Ergon SM3 Pro Carbon Saddle $239.95
Typically, mountain bike saddles are either designed for gravity abuse or they're road saddles with an added abrasion resistance. So, when Ergon decided to enter the off-road saddle market, it focused on the demands of endurance racers. Ergon knew that this sub-genre of mountain biking necessitates both schools of saddle design, and accordingly, would lead to the most well-rounded saddle. The result of this research is Ergon's SM3 line of saddles, and its top offering, the SM3 Pro Carbon Saddle.
Ergon knew if it could perfect a saddle for those who spend the most time on one, it'd have mass market appeal. So, a defining feature was born -- the SM3 Pro Carbon is made available in three sizes, as proper fit is a significant factor for long-term comfort when miles start stacking.
Ergon's first products were handlebar grips that gained a quick cult following because of their support and ability to reduce fatigue. Using the same benchmark design principle, Ergon designed the SM3 saddles from the ground up. To start with, the ultra-thin carbon fiber shell used an extensive finite element method analysis to map loads and areas of stress. This gave the saddle its distinctive shape, but more importantly, it allowed Ergon to tune the shell construction for optimized deflection.
The shell is actually 3D, and it features 'hollows' that provide controlled flex at the sit bones. Covering the shell are progressive dampening layers that are individual to the different saddle widths. Every size option gets its own layering for rider-specific compression. Adding to the SM3's trail smoothing ability, is a nose mounted micro damper.
This damper, located in between the shell and carbon fiber rails, filters out smaller vibrations, and works in conjunction with the isolated rear mounting to allow the shell to float independent of the rails. The result is one of the most forgiving saddles on the market. The rails provide 30mm of adjustment for proper fitting on your mountain bike.
The SM3 also has an easy-to-clean synthetic leather cover -- just wipe it off with a damp rag. But, more important than saddle hygiene is its silicone side coating. This reduces chafing, always a good thing, and it also ensures that riders can quickly shift weight fore or aft to enhance body English for optimum traction or line choice.
Ergon is a proud German company, yet instead of manufacturing the saddles itself, Ergon enlisted the help of the saddle perfectionists at Selle Italia. As a result, every SM3 is manufactured in Italy by expert craftsmen. To size yourself for an Ergon SM3 Pro Carbon Saddle, you'll need to measure the distance between your sit bones. Widths between 9-11cm should ride a Small, 11-13cm a medium and 13-15cm should opt for a Large.
The Ergon SM3 Pro Carbon Saddle is available in the colors Black and White and in the sizes Small, Medium, and Large.