sqlab 611 Ergowave Saddle
Product Review

SQLab 611 Ergowave Saddle

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major
Date Sep 15, 2017

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. 

SQLab 611 Ergonomic Saddle AndrewM

The 611 Ergowave Active saddle includes three different elastomer options to tune flex in the saddle base. 

SQLab 611 Saddle AndrewM

After trying both the medium and soft elastomers I opted not to run one at all. With the exception of true Clydesdale riders based on my experience that's where I'd recommend starting off. 

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.  

SQLab 611 Saddle AndrewM

The cover of the 611 shows no wear thus far but I'll report back if I have any issues over the winter as it is living on the Wolf Ridge. 

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

Buy In

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


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Comments

goose8
+1 Andrew Major
goose8  - Oct. 25, 2017, 7:06 a.m.

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. Thanks for the terrific review. 

Side note: SQ Labs had amazing customer service and are generally just nice folks- I got my saddle used and they hooked me up with a new set of elastomers.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - July 13, 2018, 11:08 a.m.

I missed this comment, so just wanted to say thanks for sharing - months later I know. Writing up the review of the 610 Ergolux right now.

Reply

goose8
+1 Andrew Major
goose8  - July 13, 2018, 7:52 p.m.

No worries! I now have a second SQ Lab saddle for my other bike, and recently had another spectacular customer service experience with the company. I'm seriously impressed with the support they provide, and can't wait to hear about the 610.

Reply

DemonMike
+1 Andrew Major
mike  - May 3, 2019, 8:08 p.m.

Just added one of these too my bike. I agree with so much of what you stated. I only have one ride , but I could feel the difference . It was comfortable the first time I sat on it. So far I not felt the need To find my sweet spot each time I sit down. I sit and it,s comfortable and I continue to pedal. Next bike upgrade is a new seat post. So I can keep the saddle in one spot.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 3, 2019, 10:59 p.m.

What width did you go with? How did you decide what width to buy?

Hope it's awesome long term!

Reply

generationfourth
0
generationfourth  - June 29, 2019, 9:48 p.m.

So I’m curious ... if you recommend no elastomer I’m assuming that is a lot more active than their cheaper non elastomer model?

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