Review: SQlab 610 Ergolux Saddle

Sep 21, 2018
by Richard Cunningham  
SQlab 610 Ergolux saddle
Eric Eilers photo


SQlab is a German component maker that pioneered sit-bone-width saddle measurement and most of the technological improvements that have become standards for modern saddle design. The 610 Ergolux we review here evolved from their most popular comfort/touring profile. What caught my attention was the 610's upwardly angled tail section. Many contemporary riders angle the nose of their saddles down to stay planted while climbing steep pitches - an adaptation for bikes with seat tube angles upwards of 75 degrees. I figured that the SQlab's angled flare would allow me to run my saddle level, which is best for most seated pedaling, while offering a firm, powerful position while I was pushing up technical climbs. It turned out that my hunch was correct.


Ergolux is SQlab's more comfort oriented range, with slightly softer padding and increased pressure relief functions. Those not up to speed on SQlab's technology should give their website a visit (their science is solid). The short version is that their saddles have a defined platform for the rider's sit-bones, followed by a slight dropped section which takes the pressure off your sensitive bits.

The nose of their saddles are flattened slightly and longer than most, which allows for more options for technical climbing and body English while seated. The 610, of course, has a raised, flair at the rear of the saddle, designed to help the rider counter heavy climbing efforts.
SQlab 610 Ergolux Details:

Use: Long rides
Construction: Flared tail section & Increased pressure-relief areas
Widths: 13, 14, 15 & 16cm
Length: 275mm
Chromoly rails
Adjustable "Active Technology" rotation function
Weight: 320g (actual, 14mm width)
MSRP: 139.99
Contact: SQlab, SQlab USA


SQlab 610 Ergolux saddle
"Active Technology" refers to a special elastomer cushion that allows the saddle to rotate slightly with the rider's pedaling motion.
SQlab 610 Ergolux saddle
Three cushions are shipped with each saddle in different durometers. White is softest, black is the harder option, and grey is standard.

Another notable feature is that the back-side of the saddle's rails are mounted to special cushions. SQlab dubs the feature "Active Technology" and it frees up the seat to rotate slightly as the rider's sit bones naturally rock with each power stroke. Reportedly, the feature reduces stress on the lumbar area of the spine. A removable elastomer cushion controls the degree of flex and three durometers are included with each saddle: white/soft, grey/medium, and black/firm. I left the medium option in place for the review.

Ride Impressions

I am familiar with SQlab's saddles, so the angular look and unusual profile of the 610 did not spark a flight-or-fight response. Those used to the classic narrow and pointed Italian shape may have a hard time believing that SQlab's saddles could provide any degree of comfort, much less performance - but they absolutely do. I'd suggest giving one a try before cementing an opinion.

SQlab says that the padding is softer, but you'll be surprised how firm it is by comparison to contemporary performance seats. As recommended, I set the nose portion of the 610 level and when viewed in profile, the sit-bone section of the saddle also sits level, and up about five millimeters taller than the nose. I set my fore-aft adjustment to get the flared tail piece forward enough to engage my glutes when the climbing began, but not so my butt was constantly in contact. That worked out well.

SQlab 610 Ergolux saddle

bigquotesLong slogs up trails were where I noticed the boost in efficiency. I thought that the bike had a steeper seat tube angle than when riding the same setup with a conventional saddle.

I ran the 610 saddle on a bike with a 75.5 degree seat tube angle, but with the rails set forward, which put the effective angle slightly steeper than 76 degrees. Positioned there, seated and out-of-the-saddle pedaling took place in close proximity to the saddle and that's where the function of the flaired portion of the 610 first became apparent.

I liked that, unless I chose otherwise, my body position remained consistent while seated, regardless of the pitch of the climbs. Huge difference? No, but it was a noticeable improvement. It was one less action that I need to commit to muscle memory and a more seamless transition between seated to standing when it mattered most.

Long slogs up trails were where I noticed the boost in efficiency. I thought that the bike had a steeper seat tube angle than when riding the same setup with a conventional saddle. Evidently, I was slipping back farther than anticipated with the old one. I was more relaxed in my upper body and pedaling at the same leg extension almost all the time while I was seated.

Climbing technical steeps is made easier by the longer flatter nose of the 610. It makes for a more useful platform from which to weight the rear tire to maintain traction at maximum climbing angles, like slick rock pitches and when heaving up large steps.

One potential negative is that SQlab's wider and taller tail section takes some getting used to when dropping down boulder rolls and sketchy gravity lines. I was glad I had a 150-millimeter dropper, because the rear of the seat was noticeably taller than I had first anticipated. Later, however, that sensation evaporated, as I became accustomed to the change.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesSQlab's 610 Ergolux saddle successfully defies conventional design with a shape that falls into line with vanguard frame angles, while delivering next level pedaling comfort. The 610 was intended to be a more comfortable option for long days on the bike, but it turns out that it may be better suited for technical, all-mountain riding. SQlab agrees with my assessment. They plan to release a racier version later this year.RC





74 Comments

  • + 13
 Ive tried the newest version of the 611 and didnt like it, got back on the older version. But I think it might try the 610. Sqlab is superb! cool company and high quality stuff.
  • + 3
 I had 611 which was slightly too narrow (I measured myself at 142 and bought the 140 instead of the 150). So I picked up a 610 since I have a bike with a 77' seat tube angle. I could never get happy with it no matter the adjustment. Also, it has no friction protection pads and it tore on my first tumble. SQ Lab helped me out and got me onto a 611 in 150 (the correct width for me) and I've been happy ever since. They make some really interesting products.
  • - 7
flag MarylizVision (Sep 21, 2018 at 9:27) (Below Threshold)
 Ya... They Break at the rail’s if you ride hard at all or jump more than 3-5 feet at a time... CRAP PRODUCT!!! They are designed to flex when pedaling.. Tho it feels great and is nice when not broken, I’ve been through 3 saddles in this year alone, Changed back to Ergon! At least they don’t break
  • + 24
 @MarylizVision: Why are you jumping seated?
  • + 3
 @MarylizVision: I broke the rails on an Ergon saddle, but they were carbon. Switched to metal rails, which I've bent but not broken. I don't know what I was thinking getting carbon rails.
  • + 4
 @vapidoscar: you've never overshot a transition and come down hard on the saddle?
  • + 8
 @fpmd: jump 3-5ft, over shoot landing, come down hard on the saddle...something not quite right about that picture.
  • + 3
 @iqbal-achieve: for sure, it's gotta be way more than 3-5 ft to break a saddle. unless you're like me and weigh 500 lbs! j/k
  • + 4
 @vapidoscar: jumping seated?? Have you never touched the seat after a jump.. must be nice to be a dope ass mofo! Seriously need to reconsider the meaning in that sentence.. people understand that the seat is a main contact point and even jumping can bring a seat’s durability into the equation. I’ve also broken this companies saddles before.. it breaks pretty easy because it is meant to uh how should I say...flex... Broke both Titanium & Cromo Rails! I’ll show you pics if you don’t get the picture that’s painted before you now
  • + 3
 @Jaybirdy: Thank you... Wow some people have a really hard time on this website taking any kind of information wayyy too critically in the comments! Haha
  • + 0
 @MarylizVision: Yea! Never buying from this company again.. I really Really wanted to like them, But it’s a hassle to have to keep trying to replace things when I know I won’t have to with other companies being more reliable. Sad Violin Note€~:
  • + 9
 SQ lab saddles saved my bits After having spent hundreds of euros on various saddles, these work perfectly for me. Especially the ones with carbon rails feel as there is no saddle below your bum. Only complaint is that the active feature is garbage, the joints creak as if there is no tomorrow. Tried everything, i just cannot silence the damn thing. Their ordinary versions are top of the line though.
  • + 2
 I can confirm the creaking... and no hope of stopping it as it seems.
  • + 1
 @bikeinbih: Update: I sent it back to SQ Lab and they replaced it since they could not repair it. The quality and responsiveness of their support was outstanding.
  • + 1
 @bobos: Awesome! As for my 611 Active, I sprayed the joints with silicon spray and it helped but I don't know how long it will last. Was yours still under warranty?
  • + 11
 Is it too much to ask that expensive saddles intended for mountain bikes have abrasion resistant panels on the rear corners? WTB has that figured out.
  • + 11
 these patches were the first things to rip open on my silverado...
  • + 1
 Look at the 611, it has the abrasion pads. I'm a parts killer, it's holding up great. Slightly different saddle than the review, but it's been a life saver (ok, actually a taint saver) for me. I actually went and high-fived the guys in the booth at Interbike for saving my junk, I'm now a total fanboi.
  • + 1
 SQ labs do have a version with kevlar on the back/outer rim. I have it; great saddle
  • + 2
 @jzPV: same here. toast in under 1,000 miles
  • + 2
 @jzPV: Mine too. Ripped at the joint between the kevlar and the 'leather'
  • + 8
 Bought a SQlab 16 deg handlebar 3 months ago, absolutely the best thing I’ve done to my bike. Used to get aches in my wrists and shoulders on long rides, now non existent. Next purchase will be a SQlab saddle.
  • + 6
 Guess I’m a SQ Labs fanboi now, but my 611 Active seat is the best bike part I’ve bought in years. I have pelvis rotation from a lumbar spine injury and slightly different leg lengths (both common problems but rarely noticed.) Conventional saddles that can’t flex side-to-side don’t accommodate a tilted pelvis so one side of your butt will take the brunt of a long day. I also have the 16-degree riser bars and they alleviate wrist pain as well, especially on long days. Riding without ass/back/wrist pain that I thought was just part of the sport is eye-opening.
  • + 5
 I've owned $200 saddles, and $20 saddles. A properly adjusted $20 saddle trumps a poorly adjusted (or sometimes properly adjusted) $200 saddle. It all depends on your anatomy. I have not felt the need to change my saddle due to seat tube angle changes.
The number of riders I see with the saddle all the way back on its rails, with the nose pointing 15 degrees downwards and/or a seatpost 2" too low makes me think an article on how to set up your saddle and seat height would be a good idea.
Once you find a saddle that supports your sit bones, and not your taint, buy 5 of them.
  • + 2
 I have a 611 Ergowave Active and love it. The design and specific width for my sit bones make it the most comfortable saddle I've ever used. I recommend removing the elastomer completely for maximum flex. Rocking your hips while seated with your feet on the ground the flex is very noticeable. Once pedalling though you don't notice it at all. In fact you hardly notice the saddle at all with how natural it feels. Their saddles are pricey but well worth the cost.
  • + 1
 Started off with an active 611 and bent the rails on a pretty nasty downhill. Contacted SQ labs and got a replacment 5 days later, went for another downhill and got out of shape on another landing, bent rails again. Again warranty repalcement in 5 days. Bent rails at a bike park and again got a replacement in 5 days. This time I tried a non-active 611. That seat (the nonactive 611) was loud and squeeky due to a different shell material. This time I broke the shell on both sides parrallel to the rails on a somewhat mild riser bump. Cant figure out that one as it was a surprise. This time I requested a 610 active with cromo rails instead of the T tube rails. So far so good. Been down some nasty hills and flew a boat load of jumps without any seat failures. Bottom line is, The 611 ergo wave active was the most comfortable seat I have ever used. The 611 ergo non active just never seemed right out of the box. The 610 active ergo wave fits good and has yet to fail. Customer service is top notch and have replaced my saddle 4 times with out charge. Fantastic service.
  • + 1
 Best product,best service, best customer support, ok the prices are a bit steep but you get what you pay for and secondly, high prices are an endemic feature of the cycling industry. For me, SQ Lab works, thus i look no further.
  • + 1
 I've had several SQLab saddles and currently am on a 611 with Cro-Mo rails, after 5000 miles still love it. Just be sure to pay attention to the weight limits of the saddle before you buy. I'm 215-220 and have snapped rails on numerous saddles including SQLabs. Their Cro-Mo saddles have a 100kg (220 lbs) limit, most of their other saddles have a 90kg (198 lbs) limit. Even following weight recommendations I tend to need a new saddle about every 3 years.
  • + 1
 I got a 611 but I didnl't like it at all. Well, I did, and it felt perfect at first until a few kilometers later when I'd get a very sharp pain that would last the whole ride, everytime.
I tried to measure my seatbones but I may not have the right size so maybe the ridge of the recessed part hits right in a sensitive part.
The 611 is confusing about where you're supposed to sit. The notice seems to say that your seatbones are supposed to be resting on the elevated rear part (the step in "step saddle"), but it's awkward because as it's a rounded part you either want to fall forward and sit in the "bucket" of the saddle, or fall backward.
This 610 seems better to me as it has a "double step", so it's obvious you've got to sit on this kind of "plateau".
  • + 4
 Salomon Q-Labs are amazing snow skis.
  • + 0
 I prefer to have my saddle curved the other way around (so that it is more comfortable when you have the hips behind the saddle) and higher sides to push the legs against. My Fizik Zeak saddle has that, but it seems rare nowadays. Most modern saddles are concave and have a thin side profile. I get that the concave shape is nice for seated pedaling. But why did the side profile get so thin? Out of what I've seen (on the internet) lately, only the Selle Italia NET saddle looks interesting.
  • + 0
 @richardcunningham the nose looks pretty wide. For all the same reasons you mentioned, it seems that I'd dig this saddle, except I could see that nose causing some annoying thigh rub, especially when wearing thicker shorts. Any issues with that?
  • + 0
 I just wanted a seat, because the rails for my old seat were bent really bad, so I got a Raceface Aeffect. All I can say was I was underwhelmed, and they do a good job of marketing the seat(making it look good on the internet). Upon receiving it I was underwhelmed, and wish I had have just looked through the options at my local bike store, and picked one I liked in person.
  • + 0
 Gravity in Germany must be much more powerful for people to be falling from their saddles on climbs. Will there be a version with a harness, or with a hook and loop cover--that's Velcro to all you trademark infringers--and accompanying ergonomic pants? Why don't my Birkenstock have any square elements?
  • + 0
 Given different people hip shapes, is there really any point to reviewing saddles? Even when filled with comparisons they aren't always helpful... I've been given awful recommendations from friends based on our common preference for another model.

Saddle advice: find one you like and then keep an eye out and buy them all in case it's ever changed or discontinued.
  • + 1
 The review may not have mentioned it but these saddles come in a variety of sizes and designs for different riding styles. Worth checking out if you aren't an average sized person doing average type biking.
  • + 1
 It's kind of a bummer that us heavier guys who put more weight on the sit bones are also the ones who can't "officially" use these saddles.
  • + 2
 Loving the tech, looks like the most solid attempt to improve the typical saddle design in a long while
  • + 2
 The 611 active changed my life. I have one on my gravel and mtb. Absurdly excellent saddle; make sure you get measured
  • + 1
 Im looking for a saddle with longer rails, rails that maybe extend farther back so I can slide my seat farther forward for climbs on my 68 deg. seat tube angled bike
  • + 1
 Ordered the free sit bone guide...been thinking about this for quite some time. Really looking forward to see what should fit the best.
  • + 1
 Haven’t been getting along with my saddles lately. Gone from raceface to SDG and now I’m on chromag. This review makes me want to buy one of these 610 now
  • + 3
 16cm width is basically Boost territory.
  • + 0
 I owned a morgaw saddle that had a similar setup with the saddle rocking on a longitudinal axis thanks to elastomeres. Was quite comfortable but you had to retorque the screws once in a while cause it became squeaky.
  • + 1
 Want to try one of these saddles but I'm too lazy to measure my ass. Went with a Chromag Moon DT instead.
  • + 1
 Best saddles ive ever owned. Ergons are like sitting on plywood compared to these SQs
  • + 2
 Not one of my balls are going to fit in that channel.
  • + 2
 That's cause you don't got any... Wink (Sorry, couldn't pass that up)
  • + 1
 @thatshowitroll:
I've got balls but since I got buried they've been tucked. Just call me Tucker.
  • - 3
 @thatshowitroll: Your about as funny as the back of my balls.
  • + 2
 @ShempHoward: ..... so are the back of your balls funny or not?
  • + 1
 @h-beck83: Since you have this joke flying over your head ,questions in your direction .
  • + 0
 Will it come in 15.99 width?

Jokes aside- the 611 is the best saddle ive ever used. And die 70€ cheaper then most "ergonomic" saddles
  • + 2
 My Azonic Love Seat is great , updated even better .
  • + 1
 Am i the only one to feel like it's hard to get behind the saddle in the steeps with such a wide one?
  • + 1
 I have a 610 ergowave. Super comfortable but creaks constantly. Really annoying for a $175 seat
  • - 1
 Try tightening it again while maybe trying to get similar torque on both bolts. I had the same problem, and while my bike was in the shop for something else, they totally alleviated the crazy creaking sound. I also have a second one that has never creaked.
  • + 1
 @h-beck83: I’ve taken it on and off several time, tightening each screw as evenly as possible to achieve the desired angle. Got so bad that I asked for a new one from their customer service. Got a new saddle and within a month same thing started happening. Have readjusted and fiddled with the no one but I’ve just grown to accept it .
  • + 1
 @stonant: Maybe some copper anti-seize or fiber grip on the rails?
  • + 1
 I had the same problem. Lightly greased the seatpost rail clamp. Gone.
  • + 1
 @stonant: ok, that sucks. I can't deal with creaking. If I didn't get mine sorted I would have moved on to a different seat.
  • + 3
 Clean the saddle rails and post interface with rubbing alcohol. Reassemble to proper torque specs.
  • + 2
 @JustinVP: It's not the rails to seatpost that's creaking, it's where the rails join to the seat. The extra-long nose gives it a bunch of leverage, so when the seat flexes front-to-back and vice versa it creaks something awful.
  • + 2
 looks like a...bed pan.
  • + 0
 I have had a couple of these saddles. They are legit, comfortable, and decent customer support.
  • + 6
 Imagine a seat without support...
  • + 0
 Hmm looks nice. However my saddle cost 1 tenth of the price of this one and is...alright?
  • + 1
 some people are alright with stuff thats just alright, not even good, just alright. Some people demand products that are great. SQ labs are the latter.
  • + 1
 140....usd? Euros? Cad?
  • + 1
 Charge Spoon=30 bucks
  • + 0
 dropper saddle $)))
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