Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
There are only a few contact points between you and the bike. Some of which you can get away with something that's not optimal. The saddle is not one of those components to skimp on especially on a long ride. Our friend Chris shares his experience with the Ergon SM Pro saddle. Check it out!
I began my search for a better fitting saddle after getting tired of numbness in the groin area following long climbs which often forced me to take breaks to get sensation back. My previous saddle had a shallow relief channel and padding was minimal, as it was designed more for racing. I needed a saddle with deeper grooves to take the pressure off of the more sensitive blood flow areas while seated and gave me a little more cushion to reduce lingering soreness following long rides.
After reading several other user reviews I settled on Ergon's SM Pro saddle. I measured my sit bone distance by sitting on a few stacked pieces of corrugated cardboard and got the distance from the center points of the impressions; I found I was just inside Ergon's small/medium sizing.
The Pro saddle is light at 235 g, I think the grams are saved in the rail material. The cover fabric on the saddle has a leather type feel to it, it's not slick like a microfiber covering, it will create a slight grip against your bike shorts which some riders might like or dislike depending on what you're used to. Personally I prefer it over a slick surface but saddle texture isn't of great importance to me; I want the saddle to make me forget that it even exists while riding. After climbing half an hour on my first ride I felt I made a mistake, the cushioning wasn't there and it was making me sore; it's a sinking feeling after dropping over $100 on a component. I stopped again to try adjusting the saddle for better comfort, mainly pointing the nose just below the level.
It's true for most aspects of bike geometry that small changes can have an outsized impact on performance, saddle position is no different. I found my sit bones were being supported after the adjustment and the sore spots that were developing went away.
After 10+ rides with the Ergon saddle, I'm very satisfied, I think it's slightly sportier than my liking in that cushion is minimal but the engineering is spot on for creating a comfortable platform for the sit bones. On back to back riding days of 1500ft plus climbs I don't have lingering soreness after each ride and numbness in the groin area is eliminated.
I've always been hesitant of saddles with minimal cushion, I think the Ergon SM saddle isn't the most padded out there, but it certainly isn't the least. At full riding weight, I'm about 190lbs and for me, this saddle was much-needed relief from numbness thanks to the perfectly sized and positioned relief channel. Every anatomy is different but I feel Ergon got it right with this saddle unless you're lucky you'll likely need to make a couple finely tuned adjustments to your first install but I'm confident the physics will ultimately work in your favor.
© 2021 Worldwide Cyclery