SQ-Lab's New Racing-Focused Performance Line - Pond Beaver 2020

Apr 8, 2020
by Brian Park  


SQ-Lab have turned their attention to competition with the introduction of a new Performance Line. Their goal is to show that the ergonomics they've focused on for comfort can also win races. On a practical level that means more carbon, more titanium, and pared down designs.

The line includes the ultralight 612 R Ergowave saddle, the minimalist One12 SQ-short bibs, and the 711 R push-o grips. They'll also have new bar tape and inner-barends (bar-ins? bar-middles?) coming later this month.







SQ-Lab 612 Ergowave R Carbon Saddle Features
• Shorter and narrower than their other saddles
• No pivoting "active" technology, but the shell incorporates side-to-side flex for comfort
• 5mm raised rear is designed for more grip and better power transmission
• Ergowave shape claims to relieve soft tissue pressure and prevent bad posture
• Narrower mid-section and nose to reduce chafing
• Ultralight cover is abrasion resistant and non-slip, with minimal closed-cell padding
• Designed for road and XC bikes with low bars
• Available in 12cm, 13cm, and 14cm widths
• Ultralight claimed weight: 125g (12cm), 130g (13cm), 140g (14cm)
• Unisex design
• Price: 229,95 €, $249.99 USD
• Also available with slightly heavier (and less expensive) "S-Tube" rails
• Available now in Germany, and soon internationally
• More info at sq-lab.com

bigquotesThe 612 Ergowave R is a key piece in the line, removing the elastomer and pivoting shell of the regular 612 Ergowave and tuning the flex of the shell via carbon wizardry.

I get along with SQ-Lab's saddle shape and am optimistic about the 612R after a few rides. I like being able to push back against the raised portion of the saddle, and haven't missed the extra padding. That said, it's definitely an XC focused saddle (it's on my gravel bike at the moment) and I will probably put one of their active (pivoting) saddles on my trainer instead of the 612R.






Extra wide gripper sections.

The One12 pad is only 4mm thick at its widest point.

SQ-Lab One12 SQ-Short Bib Features
• Thin 4 mm thin padding
• Made for SQ-Lab by Maloja
• Flatlocked stitched seams
• The main fabric is a breathable 65% nylon and 35% elasthan
• Elastic, breathable cuffs and straps
• Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
• Price: 189,95€ / $199.99 USD (*currently appearing on sale for $159.99)
• Available now in Germany, and soon internationally
• More info at sq-lab.com

bigquotesSQ-Lab have also released some new bib shorts as part of their Performance Line, called the SQ-Short One12.

The theory behind their chamois shorts is to remove much of the padding in favour of a 4mm layer of foam that reduces abrasion while letting the saddle do the work of keeping you supported and comfortable—for context most bib shorts have pads ~12mm thick. SQ-Lab say that a chamois with less padding is more comfortable on long rides for the same reason that a saddle with less padding is more comfortable on long rides. Their press material specifically says "does not become unpleasantly wedged in when pedaling" which sounds, you know, important.

I've actually gotten a few rides in on the 612R combined with the One12 shorts, and the results are promising. There's definitely something to removing extraneous padding—the shorts feel decidedly un-diaper-like, and coupled with the right saddle I actually prefer the less padding on long rides.






SQ-Lab 711R Grip Features
• Slide-on/push-on style
• Designed to distribute pressure better than wing designs that support only the outside of your hand
• Different diameter and shape for each size (they have a good sizing chart)
• Made of a silicone rubber compound
• 128mm long
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Weight: 59g, 79g, 89g, 114g (lock-on grips usually weigh at least 100g)
• Price: 19,95€ / $24.99 USD
• Available now in Germany, and soon internationally
• More info at sq-lab.com

bigquotesStarting from their 70x grip, SQ-Lab removed a lot of material. While they do "winged" designs for some of their grips, they designed these to distribute weight differently, and claim that the design reduces arm pump because you don't need to death-grip your bars as hard.

I haven't gotten my hands on a set of these yet, but I'm a big fan of push-on grips. I currently go back and forth between Renthal and ODI push-ons, but will get the 711Rs into the mix as well.





The Performance Line is a welcome addition to SQ-Lab's offerings, and worth checking out for the racing-focused set.


Pinkbike Pond Beaver 2020






45 Comments

  • 32 2
 Ooooh Pond Beaver...I get it now.
  • 8 3
 I don't
  • 6 0
 @makripper: maybe think of it more like Lake Muskrat.
  • 27 1
 @makripper: sea/pond otter/beaver
  • 9 0
 @gemma8788: ohhhh, gym
  • 9 1
 @gemma8788: also Pink / Pond — Bike / Beaver.... PB (R optional)
  • 1 17
flag getsomesy (Apr 7, 2020 at 23:12) (Below Threshold)
 @gemma8788: nahh your wrong, just shutup
  • 1 1
 @gemma8788: but why pond and beaver?
  • 1 1
 @makripper: Like Sea:Otter, except Pond & Beaver
  • 2 1
 @makripper: A pond is a lot smaller than a sea, just like how the wet spot left after seeing new bike gear is a lot smaller when you’re all alone instead of when you’re at a big festival with a large group of other bike nerds...duh!
  • 27 2
 I have a 611 Active and can't say enough good things about it. Strongly recommended. Make sure you have the correct width for your sit bones and it'll be the best you've ever used.
  • 7 1
 Agree 100%. Have been very impressed with mine, getting it on all the other bikes now too
  • 3 0
 With you. I have 611s on all my bikes. Love them.
  • 4 0
 +1, I have the 611 active as well. Took me a few rides to get used to the feel but now I won't be using another saddle.
  • 1 0
 I commute on my all mountain bike. The saddle is very comfortable, but the lack of a cutout means that with the wet/snowy/slushy weather my ass is soaked by the time my ride is over, fenders or not.

I'd drill a small hole in it, if i didn't think it would effect the integrity of the saddle.
  • 17 1
 I have a sq saddle on every bike I own. Best saddle on the face of the planet. I’m too heavy for carbon as I broke my last one as well. Ended up getting an ass full of rear wheel after it broke.
  • 9 0
 there are worse things to get an ass full of. and +1 on sq lab saddles. got one last year, and i love it.
  • 3 0
 Love the feel. Hate how wide the back of the saddle is. Hands down the most comfortable saddle ive ever owned. I have two of them. But i kept getting hung up even with the saddle slid real forward. So off it came and the ergon is back on the bike. Yes i have the right width. The tail could use some serious taper imo.
  • 10 2
 I have an SQlab saddle on every bike I own- my first 661 converted me for life. I tried everything and don't miss pain.

I bought one of their carbon saddles once. Rated for all mountain. I absolutely shattered it in two weeks.
They replaced it- good for them. But I won't ride one again.

Having ridden a bunch of their stuff, I think one of their cheapest saddles is also the best: the 610 base model. I have it on my "superbike". CroMo rails that can't die, 245 grams, $90 online.
  • 10 0
 Gee will smash that carbon saddle to pieces. With his balls.
  • 1 0
 Not if he rotates his levers parallel to the ground...
  • 6 2
 Bought a 612 in hopes of finding the holy grail of saddles. It was no more comfortable than any decent quality saddle only 2x -3x the price. Chromag saddles all the way!
  • 4 1
 I like the concept behind SQ Lab saddles but I don't like the fact that I'd need to lose weight to stay under their maximum rider weight.
  • 1 0
 What are you people doing to these saddles to break them? I've tomahawked my bike multiple times with my 60x. It's still in one piece and remains the comfiest thing that's every been between my butt and a bike.

One disclaimer I'd add for anyone who doesn't think these are worth the money; if you can live with a cheaper saddle and not be in pain, I envy you and absolutely understand why you wouldn't waste the money. But for anyone who's struggling with age or injury-induced aches, pains or back problems, these things are a godsend. Totally worth it to be able to keep riding comfortably.
  • 1 0
 I have both the 611 and 612 and they are the best saddles I've ever tried. Tried about 20 different saddles before I found these: the first ones I was actually satisfied with.

Both of them have been on my bikes for years and they are both going strong. Both are alu railed versions.
  • 4 1
 Expensive POS broke a rail after two weeks, warranty saddle broke rail another week later threw it in the trash...
  • 5 2
 Had a carbon 612, broke 2 weeks after...
  • 5 11
flag RedRedRe (Apr 7, 2020 at 19:52) (Below Threshold)
 These are made by commuters for commuters, what do you expect
  • 3 1
 Still amazed how manufacturers keep a straight face when they charge $250 for a bike seat.
  • 3 0
 The regular 611 starts at under $100.
  • 5 0
 Please let me know which significantly cheaper brands come in multiple widths.
  • 1 0
 I really like thin chamois (and don't know how to make that word plural) so far the Fox green liner is the thinnest, firmest I've found. Any other good options?
  • 1 0
 i've heard they make good saddles, but it's clear they don't make 'em pretty. the graphics all over their saddles are offputting
  • 2 0
 Cooking greens, making beans - shop at farmers markets if you have one.
  • 1 0
 An sq lab fan I certainly am but these items look suspect. Less this less that for 3x the price is not exactly better.
  • 1 0
 Given that the scoop in the middle will probably redirect inner gases frontwards, I would have called it the Fart Forward.
  • 1 0
 Broke my SQ Labs saddle in about a month then contacted them for a crash replacement....that was over 6 months ago.
  • 1 0
 OMG this stuff looks so racing!
  • 2 1
 I love how that 12 is gonna leave an imprint hahahah
  • 1 0
 60x saddle on every bike I own plus their one10 shorts is the best combo.
  • 1 0
 Wanna buy it for racing, better wait for model 2021...
  • 1 0
 I'm just looking at these and I can already feel my taint getting seared
  • 1 0
 It's definitely one for the fast-and-light crowd but it surprised me with how comfortable it is, especially on longer rides.
  • 1 1
 Hard pass.

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