SQLab 610 Ergolux Active Saddle
Ergolux VS Ergowave
The SQLab 611 Ergowave saddle is one of my top five NSMB review experiences. Even ten months after my review it still looks fresh and it remains the most comfortable saddle I've perched on for an extended time.
Writing a review that improves someone's riding experience, which has happened in spades with SQLab saddles, is a rare pleasure. The reader feedback I received, and continue to receive, made the experience memorable. Like the SQLab 12° and 16° handlebars, many riders will see these saddles as weird and expensive. For riders who have been unable to ride due to discomfort, these products could allow them to enjoy riding again. That sort of experience can encourage you to pay more and forgive clunky looks.
I took the plunge and picked up one of these saddles for my hardtail. The difference is mind-boggling. I didn't expect it to live up to the hype, but it's easily surpassed my expectations." - Goose8 on the 611 Ergowave.
I've been riding the SQLab 610 Ergolux saddle for several months now and, like the 611 Ergowave, it's available in four widths. The 611 comes in 12cm-15cm widths and the 610 is available in 13cm-16cm* options. As with the 611, I'm on the 14cm model. The 610 uses the same active-saddle technology to allow the saddle to "follow" a rider's pedaling motion. The idea is to mobilize the spine and minimize pressure on the sit bones to reduce back pain.
*13cm, 14cm, 15cm, and 16cm
Where the 611 has a performance bent, with a shape focussed on technical climbs and a more supportive foam structure, SQLab states the 610 is catering to a more "comfort-oriented mountain biker."
One interesting element of the new Ergolux is that SQLab is marketing it for both men and women. This man loves a women's saddle so I don't generally buy into gender-specific components, so this human-specific marketing aligns with my philosophy.
The lower saddle nose provides pressure relief to the sensitive structures and for the branches of the pubic bones to the same extent in men and women." - SQLab
There are three steps to deciding whether the three-step Ergolux saddle is right for you. First off, if you have a current saddle that works great for you and no issues with back pain when riding, best not to fix what ain't broke. If not move to the next step.
Before choosing an SQLab saddle you need to determine width using the company's measuring technique. In my experience, the majority of men will ride a 140mm saddle and the majority of women will be on a 150mm saddle but all that's required is a piece of corrugated cardboard to order with certainty.
The third step is figuring out your bike's seat tube angle. The more upright the riding position will be, the more benefit the Ergolux presents.
Three Ergolux Steps
The first step of the Ergolux is the rear shelf which provides great support when climbing a bike with a steep seat tube angle and an upright riding position. The steepest seat angle bike I've ever ridden is the 78°+ STA on the Kona Satori and the difference in power on steep climbs between the Ergolux and the stock WTB saddle was clear. It feels like there is something solid to push against.
The second step is the more padded (compared to the Ergowave) seating position. Historically I could adapt to a wide range of saddles, from couches to ass-hatchets, but with a steep seat angle and more upright riding position, I've become much more discerning about getting the right combination of support and pressure relief for my sit bones.
I can happily run either saddle on my Marin Rift Zone, which has an effective seat angle* around 75°. On the Satori the Ergolux was the obvious choice. On my over-forked Honzo the Ergowave is the sure winner.
*saddle position measured at the same height as handlebars
The last step is the dropped nose. When the going gets truly steep and I drop my elbows and lean forward, the nose of the 610 exerts very limited pressure. At the same time, the long saddle provides lots of room to move around when climbing and plentiful contact area when descending. The nose shape is the human-specific feature I mentioned earlier. It's designed to relieve pressure on both men's and women's "sensitive structures".
At the back of SQLab's active-shell saddles, the rails attach to a central pillar instead of directly to the base of the saddle. This allows the 'wings' to flex as I'm pedaling. making for a supportive saddle that is also very comfortable. With the added padding of the Ergolux saddle I suspected I'd like the active-shell function to be firmer but after months of experimenting, I'm back where I ended up with the Ergowave. Of three elastomer supports included with the saddle, I'm running a fourth option. None.
It's fairly quick and straightforward to swap the elastomers. They are a tight fit which I appreciate on the trail but that could make a rider less likely to experiment. I recommend starting with the softest elastomer option, which is white, and then stepping up to the medium (grey) and finally firm (black) if more support is warranted. If the white elastomer feels wonderful I'd also suggest (thanks Kenny!) removing the elastomers entirely and giving that a try. It's the winner for me.
A specific concern for riders pedaling up to ride down steep and technical trails is the relative girth of this saddle's rear end. There's a lot of junk in that trunk to keep everything comfortable on the climb. This compounds the need for a longer dropper post on bikes with steep seat tube angles since the saddle is right beneath me whenever I stand up. I have historically been happy with 5" droppers but between steeper seat angles and this saddle, a 170mm post makes perfect sense to me. If this saddle makes climbs and traverses significantly more comfortable it's likely most riders will adapt to it for descending
For most bikes, and riding situations, I'd purchase the active-shell version of the SQLab 611 Ergowave. I like the increased support from the firmer padding and the shape works for me, especially since my personal bikes don't have cutting-edge-steep seat tube angles.
For bikes with steep seat angles and more upright positions, the active-shell 610 Ergolux works great. It would also be my first recommendation for riders who prefer a softer saddle but are looking for the comfort and performance benefits of the saddle's wing movement.
Hit me with any questions below. This version of the Ergolux has an SRP of 140 USD and can be purchased through your preferred local shop or directly from SQLab here.