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
Adjustable "Active Technology" rotation function
Weight: 320g (actual, 14mm width)
, SQlab USA
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.
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: