Ergon recently sent us the latest version of their Enduro rated saddle – the SM Enduro Comp. Available in three different levels, we tested their middle of the road offering with Chromoly rails that boast a very interesting looking oil slick treatment. The saddle is aimed at providing all day comfort while still being able to get out of the way due to its low profile. After a few months on the trails this Winter and Spring thus far, here’s how it fared…
- Nylon Composite shell
- Microfiber cover
- Chromoly rails
- Orthopedic AirCell Foam
- 2 sizes: S/M (tested) and M/L
- 243 grams
While the upper and lower tier offerings have more subtle looking rails, the Comp version tested here has a wild looking iridescent aesthetic, although it is available in a stealthy matte black as well. The rails themselves are Chromoly and feature standard start/stop etchings as well as hash marks.
The nylon composite shell leans toward the more rigid, heavy duty end of things, despite the saddle’s sleek look. While we didn’t have any major crashes during testing, this could be the type of design attribute that prevents the rails from popping out when the shell flexing too much during a crash.
As is quite common on many saddles these days, there is a relief channel running the long way down the saddle to provide relief to the perineal nerve via the absence of material and thus, pressure. While some saddles are completely hollow in this area, the nylon shell is present, but not something you can feel.
One interesting feature is at the back of the channel – there is a small opening to allow muck and water to drain. It took a few rides to figure this out until one winter day where mud was literally squeezing through the drain port.
The back of the saddle is wrapped in a grabby, rubberized material for increased durability and a bit of added control.
Based on my measurements, I found myself on the Small/Medium SM Enduro Comp. Ergon has nifty fitment tools on their website which help guide you through choosing the right product(s).
On the trail
Despite some substantial differences, the SM Enduro has a strikingly silhouette to my all time favorite saddle, the Specialized Phenom – and that’s certainly not a bad thing. In fact, there were some facets on the Ergon which I actually preferred. Anyhow, the overall shape leans slightly more toward the slender side for a saddle aimed at the “Enduro” crowd, although the padding itself is quite dense and fairly thick in some spots. I’ve tested Ergon saddles in the past and while their covers aren’t made from leather, but instead from microfiber, they’ve held up well and seem to have just the right amount of grab on most of the shorts and pants I’ve worn. If you’ve ever ridden a saddle that feels sticky, or even worse super slippery, I think you’ll know what I’m talking about. Regardless, the SE Enduro Comp allowed me to stay nicely in position when pedaling, but I could still shift around when necessary. Speaking of grab, the rubberized edging that wraps from the back to the corners was a great feature. While it didn’t inhibit pedaling, since it doesn’t wrap too far toward the front, I could feel it when hovering above the saddle and pushing the bike around with the inside of my thighs, so it did provide some extra control.
In terms of the overall comfort, everyone is different, but I’ve been having a pretty good experience with this saddle thus far. While it does feel a bit on the firm side initially, it bears repeating that oftentimes ergonomics are more important that cush, and that was the case here. While this is certainly no universal barometer, I generally felt pretty comfortable on the saddle until about the one hour mark when it came to continuous non-stop climbing. After that I started to need to get out of the saddle for a little bit of pressure relief here and there. For what it’s worth, that’s where I typically get a bit antsy on most of the other saddles that I’ve tested in the past anyway. On the topic of comfort, another thing I did like on this saddle was its slightly broader, denser nose. On brutally steep climbs where you’re stuck basically sitting on the nose of the saddle, it was less bad than most, which says something seeing how that kind of thing is never really all that nice in the first place. As far as the rear of the saddle, my sit bones lined up nicely on the tail and were well supported I’d imagine that would be the case for most riders as well, provided they choose the right size.
While I’m not sure exactly what makes it specifically tailored to “Enduro” riding per se, Ergon’s SM Enduro Comp is a great saddle broadly speaking. It has nice features like the drain port and the rubber edging, making it nicely thought out. It also boasts excellent durability and the fact that it comes in two sizes is a bonus. The chromoly rail version in test here is probably the best bang for the buck at ~$100. The titanium railed version is quite expensive considering that it only saves 20 grams, but it is worth considering that, unlike with most saddles, the titanium rails are solid, not hollow. The shell is also carbon composite, not nylon – so where it may not save loads of weight, it is more robust. In any case, the Comp version here is still a great option if you’re looking for a sleek silhouette that doesn’t skimp on padding and offers a bit of extra control for those who like to steer with their thighs a bit on the descents.
**This article has been updated for clarity and accuracy.**