SQLab 611 Ergowave Saddle
611 Ergowave Active
The catalogue of thoughtful features injected into the SQLab 611 Ergowave Active saddle make the name seem comparatively simple. A wide nose for pressure relief on steep technical climbs, padding designed for better damping virbration than similar looking road models, kevlar in the high wear area and the obvious perineal relief zone all speak to attention to detail but are not features unique to SQLab's most ergonomic mountain bike saddle. What sets the Ergowave Active saddle apart is the uncoupling of shell flex from rail support. This reduces pressure on sit bones and provides back relief for long days in the saddle. It's also available in four different widths.
With the 611 set up in my preferred configuration, with no elastomer installed, the wings of the saddle have significantly enhanced compliance compared to my usual go-to saddle options. The padding is very supportive so the compliance doesn't translate to a sloppy feeling of overly padded saddles.
This is the 14cm version of the saddle (12, 13, 14 and 15 available). I pedaled this saddle on my personal Kona Explosif and the Marin Wolf Ridge and Trek Stache test bikes.
I have been quite surprised by my SQlab saddle, less back pain for sure and you totally don't feel the flex while riding" - Bart
Seated On The 611
Over the course of a long ride there is a lot of room to move around on the SQLab 611. I found the shape to be very setup specific but once I found an angle and position over the bottom bracket that works well for me it was very quick to move the saddle around between different bikes.
Noting for the record that I do not stretch enough, the benefits of the SQLab saddle were obvious from my first ride with sustained seated climbing. My legs felt fresher and my back is good for much longer before it starts to tighten up. It feels like my leg and back muscles signed an armistice.
The biggest performance difference climbing is on the Marin Wolf Ridge test bike. I've gone back to the Deva on my single speed and the Ergowave Active saddle is living full time on the unique Naild R3ACT suspension bike.
The Wolf Ridge climbs amazingly with my weight centered over the bike and the 611 saddle is comfortable through a range of body positions from the trail to the nose. The Marin also rewards hard in the saddle efforts and I notice reduced leg fatigue over a long day which I attribute to SQLab's claims that their saddles are better able to follow biomechanical motion.
Have a minor lower back injury from a few years ago and this has helped immensely. I also seem to have less butt fatigue overall on longer rides, even though I don't really notice that until after 20+ miles of riding. - JeffG
Standing With The 611
Descending with the 611 saddle is less surprising than spending a couple of hours climbing in the saddle. The shape provides very good purchase for gripping the saddle with my legs. The length of the nose is not an issue with the Stache or Wolf Ridge but on my personal bike I noticed it. Not a deal breaker but I am happy to go back to my WTB Deva on that bike.
As with climbing the bike, the saddle is a brilliant addition to the Wolf Ridge which again rewards riders staying centered over the bike. I find it easier to remind myself to ride more upright thanks to the obvious transition to the rear saddle.
Whatever combination of materials and design, I find it very easy to move around on the saddle without it feeling slippery the way some saddles do when wet. On the Marin I have no problem getting behind the saddle when it's necessary.
I have been riding the SQ Labs seat for a year now and love it... I took the plunge and haven't looked back. It was a big cost (for a seat) with a risk, but the gamble ended up paying off in spades. I legitimately haven't had any issues with comfort or pain since switching... This is one of the best things I have ever bought on a bike. -JSinclair
I find the shape of the SQLab 611 very comfortable and the Ergowave Active feature improves how my back responds to long rides in the saddle.
Every saddle review includes a caveat about personal preference and this is no different. No matter how full featured if the shape of a saddle doesn't work with your junk, it doesn't work. I'm a big fan of the Chromag Moon and the WTB Deva but I can comfortably ride a variety of saddles as long as they're fairly firm and fairly narrow.
Caveat aside, if back pain is cutting your rides short and you've tried everything then no matter what shape of saddle you normally like I'd highly recommend trying a 611 Ergowave Active, and I'm not the only one. The quotes I've included come from comments on my brief first look piece and I've heard from a number of other people about what a difference SQLab has made for them.
For more information on taking the $190 (USD) SQLab 611 Ergowave Active plunge see here.