SDG has updated the classic Bel-Air with new shaping and dimensions. This V3 version on its Lux-Alloy rails is padded very well and impressively comfortable, but it’s just a little on the short side, and the pressure relief channel tends to pack up with mud.
SDG has altered the Bel-Air considerably, shortening it to 260mm and slimming the width to 140mm in an attempt to suit modern geometries better.
There’s now a full-length perineal channel for pressure relief, and the shell beneath is cut away to allow more squish in the padding without also allowing freezing mud and water to blast through a full cutout.
The saddle gets a wide nose, injection-moulded EVA foam, and a cover that's seamlessly joined together with sonic welding – so no stitching or stapling to create holes or potential snagging points.
The Lux-Alloy rails of this version keep overall weight to 236g, which is a useful 82g lighter than the steel-railed option, but 55g heavier than the carbon-railed model.
I find the V3 comfortable regardless of the length of the ride, but as someone who likes his saddles as far forward as possible, I found it a little restrictive – it's a little on the short side. This is wholly a personal preference though.
That said, the upside is it's never cumbersome when the seat is down, and gives plenty of space to manoeuvre when hurtling down descents.
Length aside, the shape of the Bel-Air V3 works really well for me. It’s got a flatter central surface with a bit of a kick at the rear that adds some climbing support, and I found the width bang on too. It's a supportive and comfortable seat that's pleasant to pedal on.
The lack of width options means it won't work quite so well for everyone, however.
Also, on muddy rides that the pressure relief channel can fill with mud, though to be fair it never really causes any real annoyance. It might do if you really benefit from that pressure relief though.
If you’re a fan of small saddles, you’ll get along just fine with the SDG Bel-Air V3 Lux-Alloy. It’s superbly comfortable, and the wide nose is a boon when you’re grinding up the climbs. If the single size fits you – and you like short saddles – it's pretty close to perfect.
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