Ergon SMD2 Saddle - Review

Nov 9, 2016
by Paul Aston  
Ergon SMD2 Saddle



Ergon's downhill products were released back in June at Crankworx in France. After a summer of testing, I was duly impressed by the GD1 grips in my recent review, but can the matching saddle perform equally as well?

I was supplied with the $149.95 USD / €149.95, top of the range, Pro Ti saddle that comes with solid titanium rails, a microfiber surface on the nose and edges of the saddle, and an anti-slip surface under your sit bones. Two more affordable options are available in the form of the SMD2 Comp with chromoly rails, and the SMD2 with chromoly rails and a lack of anti-slip material.


SMD2 Pro Ti Details:

• Solid titanium rails
• Anti-slip seating surface
• Low Friction nose and edge surface
• Carbon composite shell
• 360° edge padding
• 'Wheel Gap' to avoid tire contact
• Length: 260mm
• Width: 130mm
• Weight: 205g
• Price: $149.95 USD / €149.95
ergon-bike.com / @ergonbike



Ergon SMD2 Saddle
Ergon SMD2 Saddle


Fit and Construction

The SMD2 is one of the few mountain bike saddles, if any, that's design focus was not based around sitting down comfortably. Instead, riding control was the target. Its main features are the dimpled seated surface, said to aid grip when sitting, especially in muddy conditions. The low-friction surface on the nose and sides of the saddle are meant to help to allow the movement of the bike between you legs.

The carbon composite shell is shaped with vertical edges around its complete circumference. This means the foam and surface cover will wrap around the saddle and leave padded sides for bashing about your inner legs when the going gets rough. The nose of the saddle is quite wide; this is designed for sitting down through foot out, flat out corners when you need to weight the front wheel, or if you just want to be 'moto.'


Ergon SMD2 Saddle
The 'Wheel Gap' might give you a couple of extra millimeters of spaces for your tire lugs, but it's nothing to call home about.


Most saddles have a forward bias to aid climbing when sliding your weight towards the nose, and a central position is said to be better for weight distribution on the bike when sitting. The SMD2 is also tipped backward more than normal seat, so you don't slide forward when sitting down and descending. The SMD2's carbon composite shell is shaped with a 'wheel gap' that can give that little bit of extra clearance when the low seat height on your downhill bike gets close during bottom-out.


Ergon SMD2 Saddle
The wide nose of the SMD2 is designed to help get your front wheel tracking on fast and loose corners.
Ergon SMD2 Saddle


Solid titanium rails are the choice, even though a lighter carbon version could be spec'd at this price-point. Even though they may bend, you should make it to the bottom of the hill with your perch, and percher intact.


Ergon SMD2 Saddle
The vertical, padded sides of the SMD2 should keep your inner thighs bruise-free.


Performance

The SMD2 did everything promised by the marketing team, except being grippy when sitting down – the dimpled surface is too shallow to make any real difference except when everything is clean and dry, especially compared to something like an SDG Fly RL Storm which has real world lugs on its top. The 'Wheel Gap' isn't much to shout about, either, though it may give you a couple of extra millimeters clearance, it's not wide enough to let a full-size downhill tire in.

Aside from this, performance was spot on. It's plenty comfortable to sit on in lift cues or chatting (DH comes in a close second to dirt jumping when it comes to this). It really is easier to slide between your legs than others, and there is a distinct lack of sharp edges. The saddle is waterproofed well and has hardly shown any noticeable signs of wear and tear after a plenty of rides in the worst conditions.


Ergon SMD2 Saddle
The solid titanium rails stayed straight and true...
Ergon SMD2 Saddle
...but the dimpled surface didn't really help with grip.


Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe SMD2 does nearly everything it set out to do, and very well. For those who don't think downhill saddle choice is important, this product might change your mind. - Paul Aston



Visit the feature gallery for hi-res and additional images.




49 Comments

  • + 40
 these would sell like hotcakes if they printed either of the candidates faces on the sitting surface.
  • + 49
 Pretty sure I don't want ma junk sitting on either of their faces.....but I won't judge others fetishes
  • + 12
 @onemind123: geez man... I'm not THAT american lol
  • - 7
flag chasejj (Nov 10, 2016 at 7:21) (Below Threshold)
 Only if the Witch's face is on it.
  • - 12
flag chasejj (Nov 10, 2016 at 7:22) (Below Threshold)
 She can eat me.
  • + 8
 @chasejj: Like, whole and alive or bite by bite? I mean, whichever your into is cool, dude, but be specific. Don't be afraid, we're here for you.
  • + 36
 My wife wont let me spend that much on a saddle! Now I want ERGON from my life
  • + 8
 a german made saddle is cheaper in the states than der fatherland, thats not right
  • + 3
 German prices are always with tax, US not so much. But I still agree that pricing is usually rather strange especially when you add CAN price in the mix.
  • + 7
 Rogatkin has been rocking the seat all year and looks like the seat can handle a lot of abuse
  • + 7
 yes I just saw him cashrolling Enduro bike with that seat
  • + 9
 Not only Rogatkin. We developed it with Fabien Barel and Tahnée Seagrave which are testing it since 2015. A quite long time developing a saddle but we think the result was worth it.
  • + 3
 Good to know the seat rails are strong.
  • + 5
 I smacked my nuts about 2 dozen times this season on my downhill bike, I think I'll take the investment quite seriously.I'm not sure how a different saddle shape will help me corner like Connor Fearon, but maybe I'll learn.
  • + 6
 I have a $160 saddle
A SelleItalia, Elite Titanium.

I bought it in 1992, still using it on my Specialized Enduro.
Good investment I guess.

Cheers
  • + 5
 nobody can test the seat better then Rogatkin and he rides it on slope and dh bikes. Its got to be good.
  • + 2
 Ergon saddles might be ergonomically designed, yet my ergon sme3 has been the most uncomfortable saddle ever. Despite chosing the recommended sizing, I dont feel like having proper pressure distribution. I believe the upper part is too flat for my skinny ass
  • + 1
 Their GE1 grips were also ergonomically designed, and the second most uncomfortable and nerve pain giving that I have ever tried, just after Bontrager Rhythm lock-ons.
  • + 5
 Try making sure it is set exactly parallel to the ground. I found 1 degree off in either direction makes it uncomfortable.
  • - 1
 @LuvAZ: 1 degree, really? I want to you visualize how each human is different, how almost each bike is different and how infitnite number of positions can human take in relation to the bike. How many different angles "happen" betwen your palm and forearm... I tested several different rotations, nothing worked. I have never ever experienced nerve pain before I got Ergon grips. Then I got Bontragers and they were freaking terrible, especially on wide bars with little sweep.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns I was having nerve pain with Ruffians and got the GE1 grips and it went away.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns:

I had the same experience. They needed to be within 1 degree of the sweet spot. They're the best grips I've ever used.

I sharpied the correct spot on my handlebars incase they need to come off.
  • + 1
 @UtahBikeMike: i move way too much over the bike to get grips that suit a single position
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: I was talking about the saddle
  • + 1
 @LuvAZ: aaaaaah. Then yes totaly. For me the same regardless of the model. My precious scrotum senses very small differences. God bless 2-bolt seat rail clamping systems
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns:

They're ony that sensitive when I'm seated and climbing for long distances.

When I'm standing the angle doesn't matter
  • + 2
 guy's. ...no matter how padded the back of a sale is, one light slap from a saddle in the bearings and you will still be rather uncomfortable. ....my last slap happened while on a rocky DH section. ...not much fun
  • + 5
 149 sounds like a 'Bum deal' to me!
  • + 2
 I agree. Doesn't 'sit' very well with me either!
  • + 1
 The side profile turned me off, as well as the giant advertising. Somebody should be able to make the perfect seat at this point, but even when I found a "good" seat, and ordered it, it's not what I was hoping.
  • + 0
 If I was designing a downhill saddle I'd defo make the back surface rather large and cushy. Most of times when I hit my bladder, willie or balls against the saddle it is the rear of it. Then it's good to have sides rather large to be able to put a thigh on it when needed, or to protect the inside of your thighs when bike bounces around in the corner. In my world it's hard to beat WTB Pure for that reason. That bit here looks like something taken away from Thriathlon bike and labeled DH specific. No thanks.
  • + 4
 Yes, do something about the back of these Ergon saddles. They are comfortable, but too pointy in the rear and the plastic shell is right there... testicle severing device. Ergon please curve/round the shell downwards so the boys can't get hung up on the edge when you get chucked forward while off the back. You will have a winner on your hands.
  • + 1
 I like my SDG Patriot. Plenty grippy, durable, and matches my bike. That being said, it's great that Ergon is building a DH-specific saddle. It seems worth checking out.
  • + 3
 I read on the internet this will make you 14% faster
  • + 2
 A decision I think I'll SIT ON making for a while
  • + 1
 I'm going to get one of these got my next dh saddle, I always get bruised thighs
  • + 3
 SMD....... LOL
  • + 1
 should be smdu2
  • + 2
 Still no match for the over sized Tioga DH seat from back in the day.
  • + 1
 mmhhh...interesting to rethink this issue. Indeed I had a lot of bruises made by a saddle...and hitting the nuts - not good!
  • + 1
 Where is the hole to protect prostate?
  • + 1
 this can also be used as a table tennis racket ! genius
  • + 1
 Why isn't anybody freaking out about the price? That's ridiculous!!!
  • + 1
 How come no love for those of us with man-sized buttocks-ez?
140mm+
  • + 0
 Not Enduro...Not interested...
  • - 2
 After this review, I will surely be in the hot seat while picking a blazing saddle for my DH bike next year.
  • - 1
 What a compelling review, had me glued to my seat.
  • - 3
 I read the review and thought you can shove that saddle where the sun don't shine.

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