SQlab has been in the saddle scene since 2001, gathering information, undertaking scientific studies and even writing a book on the subject, literally: 'The Path to the Perfect Saddle.' Their latest Ergowave saddle technology was created in conjunction with Frankfurt's University Hospital and the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences.
The 612 Ergowave Active saddle promises a lot, with a choice of widths from 12-15cm in 1cm increments, and three interchangeable compounds of rubber elastomer to support your body weight using their 'Active Technology.' My saddle was the most affordable of the 612 range that features these two technologies with TiTube alloy rails and is priced at $189.99 USD / €149.95.
SQlab 612 Ergowave Active Details:
• TiTube Alloy rails
• C84 Kevlar cover
• Superlight Foam
• 3 interchangeable elastomer dampers
• Relief of perineal area: 60%
• Length: 280mm
• Width: 12cm, 13cm, 14cm and 15cm
• Weights: 275g, 278g, 281g, 286g
• Price: $189.99 USD / €149.95
SQlabs Ergowave saddles are probably the most adjustable on the market. By visiting your local dealer for measuring, or by placing some corrugated cardboard on a hard surface and resting down onto your sit bones, you can measure the distance between your sit bones. Once this is known, follow the SQlab recommendations for your style of riding and add them together. As it turns out, I have sit bones spaced 10 centimeters apart, and being a mountain biker that prefers an upright pedaling position, the recommendation is to add 4cm to that number. There are no gender specific saddles from SQlab; on average men's hips are
narrower than women's, but the correct saddle should only be chosen on actual width, not based on the idea that 'a female needs a wider saddle,'
The Ergowave shape was developed to distribute pressure evenly to the sit bones while also relieving pressure in sensitive areas. You can read more about all of SQlabs technologies here
The saddle's second feature is called Active Technology, which uses interchangeable elastomers located at the rear of the saddle that are designed to flex along with the motion that occurs while pedaling. They can be adjusted using the soft, medium or hard elastomers, although swapping them out isn't the easiest job, and requires strong fingers.Performance
I felt instantly at home on the Active 612 saddle, and headed right into six straight days of riding at this years Trans-Rezia with minimal prior bedding in period. This is easily the most comfortable and supportive saddle I have used to date, and there was no pressure anywhere there shouldn't be. I played with the different Active Technology elastomers, but found there was not a major difference between the three. Being fairly light I stuck with the softest compound for more comfort and my notion that it should absorb trail chatter.
The saddle's construction is solid, and the water resistant material stayed free of tears. The vertical plastic edges of the saddle are covered with foam, and the top layer of material ensures there are no sharp edges that'll knock your inner thighs. The only negative I can draw to the Active 612 is the width. At the widest point the rear of the saddle is 152mm, and while it didn't prevent me from moving fore and aft, it was definitely noticeable.Pinkbike's Take
|Saddle choice will always be a matter of personal preference, but when it comes to fit and comfort SQlab have done a great job of taking away some of the guesswork that goes into finding the correct saddle. A wide array of fit options in conjunction with a sturdy construction make the Active 612 worth a try. - Paul Aston
Visit the feature gallery for hi-res and additional images.