The Ergon SMC Sport Gel Women's mountain bike saddle is a brand new perch designed to best distribute pressure from the female pelvis. The small design is still a little wide though, which causes pressure, and it's heavy – but it is decently robust.
This new saddle from Ergon builds on their SMC4 saddle, and is available in both men's and women's shapes. It's aimed at all mountain and trail riders, with an emphasis on comfort when relatively upright, rather than in racy or aggressive positions.
There's extra thick orthopaedic foam and anatomic gel pads at the pressure points, and it's all held firmly on tough CroMo steel rails.
The shape is fairly middling for a women's saddle – it's shorter than my Fizik Luna X5 but longer than a Specialized Power MIMIC – and the rear is slightly raised with a pressure relief channel in the centre front area.
Yes, there's less rubbing up front, but I'm increasingly dubious about cutouts on women's saddles – I find they reduce support and therefore increase pressure either side of the cutout itself.
The nose is wider than I'd like and feels bulky between the legs, especially on long drawn out climbs when it feels restrictive, but it doesn't rub or chafe. I'm sure it doesn't affect pedalling efficiency either, but it's annoying once you notice it.
The raised rear is also a little wide (149mm in this small/medium), with rather inflexible wings. This pushed me a bit too far forward and created some uncomfy pressure points as a result. I found moving backwards and sitting more upright, plus levelling the saddle horizontal to the ground, stopped this.
The saddle is certainly more comfortable when riding in a more upright position. Aggressive, head-down positions lead to increased pressure on sensitive parts of the undercarriage, and that raised rear seems to roll your hips forward and make that worse.
Saddles are a personal choice – obviously – so these traits may actually suit you and your riding.
The Ergon is robustly built, if a little hefty, but then it's £10 cheaper than both my go-to saddles (see above). If you ride in an upright position and know your bum suits a 150mm wide saddle, the Egron is worth trying out.
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