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.
Saddles are a personal component, and it can be a challenge to find the right one. Thankfully, Ergon does some serious engineering on their saddles and grips to help take the pain out of riding. Our friend John recently installed their SM Pro saddle on his bike and loves the comfort and looks. Read on for more!
Forty miles on the wrong seat is not the life changing experience that you seek when you are engaging in your first bike race or seeking the solitude of pedal therapy. That’s exactly the brutal reality I faced as I slugged through the fire roads and trails that make up the Black Fly Challenge in the Adirondack mountains. I had made the leap of faith and upgraded the stock WTB Volt 135 saddle for a fancy Brooks C17 a.k.a. “The <insert reference to nether regions> Hammock” as one LBS tech described it. Fancy it was and a slight improvement over the WTB. I, however, knew absolutely jack squat about the science behind keeping your sit bones content as you slowly tack on the miles.
Prior to my first attempt at the gravel grinder as my fitness goal for the year, I knew after 10 miles in my current saddle (WTB at that time) was torture. The Brooks made sense, but I was never “fitted” for a saddle. At some LBS, they pointed to the wall of thrones and basically said… pick your punishment. The options were endless. I knew the answer was out there (and in some shops, those sit bone measurement devices were sitting around getting dusty).
Between this website and Ergon’s own website, the fog of finding the right seat lifted. The sit bone calculations boiled down to sitting on my weight bench straddling a piece of tin foiled… essentially MacGyvering the process… measuring the indentations on the foil and plugging in the information into Ergon’s calculator. I’m not a little guy but what was clear is that the Volt 135 stock seat essentially was way too small and rightfully so it would not work for my needs. I needed the M/L seat size when choosing a seat from Ergon. The SM line was newer at the time of the first version I purchased, but seemed to fit the bill for that "perfect saddle".
There were a few reviews out in cyberspace that were brief, but good overviews. It was a men’s trail specific design and situated for a more upright posture when riding. The additional “high end” padding and notch cut out support where you need it the most. The three options available in the SM line went up in price and rail features. Since I’m heavier, I opted for the titanium rails. They also had some color options for accents to the seat at the SM Pro level for those who want to be all matchy matchy with their rides.
When it came time for the race, I noticed that I was not numb and in pain past the 25 mile mark.
The first spin around the neighborhood was promising. The complete transformation from torture to comfort became the new norm for my riding experience as I began the spring training runs through road, gravel, and singletrack. When it came time for the race, I noticed that I was not numb and in pain past the 25 mile mark. This is where I struggled the year before. When I finished the race, my legs were on fire but I could comfortably sit in my car seat for the couple of hours ride back home.
I cannot recommend Ergon’s products enough. Some brands are now using their products as stock on their bikes. There’s a reason why, their products work at alleviating some of the comfort issues you experience on the road or trail. You make an initial investment in a bike, but seriously save space for upgrading your cockpit to suit your needs. When I purchased my carbon fat bike and that same micro-sized stock WTB came standard, I knew what I needed to do.