Ergon SR Allroad Core Comp Saddle: Getting Rolling – by Guitar Ted
Ergon announced recently that they have added their first all-road/gravel saddle to their range, the Ergon SR Allroad Core. Riding Gravel was chosen as one of the places which received an early production sample of the base saddle in the range, the Comp model, and we have it on our Noble Bikes GX-5 test sled and have already put a couple hundred miles on it. But before we get to impressions on the Ergon SR Allroad Core, let’s find out more about what it is.
What It Is: The SR Allroad Core saddle range is completely new Core range saddle designed from the ground up and was developed for road to gravel and back again. One of the design aims was to make the new saddle the most comfortable saddle possible from two standpoints- Ergonomically and in terms of ride feel. True- these are somewhat intertwined goals, but riding off-pavement can cause the rider to suffer from vibration induced fatigue, which is not alleviated by perfect ergonomics. Something else was going to have to be added to address that issue.
That something comes from Ergon’s partnership with the BASF company. BASF’s Infinergy® material was employed into the design of the new SR Allroad Core range and along with an AirCell foam top layer, and various base materials, depending on the range, Ergon claims to have developed a saddle which filters out vibrations and is the most comfortable saddle for gravel riding you can buy.
Here are a few of the features and benefits as outlined in a press release sent to Riding Gravel by Ergon:
- Infinergy®: like the midsole of an Adidas Boost trainer, dampening impacts.
- Orthopedic AirCell Seat Foam: For maximum support and optimal pressure
- Gender-Specific Relief Channel: The saddle surface is precisely tailored to the
male anatomy. The sensitive perineal area is relieved, numbness is eliminated.
- Two different sizes: The shape and size of a saddle must match the sit bone
spacing in order to offer the best possible comfort.
- S / M with 9-12 cm sit bone widths
M / L with 12-16 cm sit bone widths
As stated, the SR Allroad Core saddle range has different base and rail materials for each saddle in the range. Their make-up and pricing is as follows, again courtesy of the Ergon press release:
SR Allroad Core Comp Men
o Nylon Composite Shell
o Weight: S/M (260 g), M/L (275 g)
SR Allroad Core Pro Men
o Carbon Composite Shell
o TiNox Rail
o Weight: S/M (240 g), M/L (255 g)
SR Allroad Core Pro Carbon Men
o Carbon Composite Shell
o Carbon Rail
o Weight: S/M (195 g), M/L (210 g)
NOTE: Initial availability of the SR Allroad Core saddle range will be quite limited, and availability in the USA will not happen until next Spring. As of now, only the European market has access to this saddle.
First Impressions: The saddle came in an impressive Ergon green box with a hang card inside which the saddle was mounted to. The saddle looks much like many of the shorter, snub-nosed saddles with a short snout and a wider rear section. We received the M/L sized saddle in the Comp level. While Ergon claims a 275 gram weight for this model, I was surprised to find that it only weighed 257 grams on my digital table top scale.
The cover of the saddle looks sleek and has some small textured graphics on it. Of course, with the claims of comfort and vibration reduction, my first instinct was to press into the saddle with my thumbs to see what would happen. On many saddles you can flex the entire shell and see that when you push your thumbs into it. Not so with the SR Allroad. Only the area which you are compressing moves. Interesting. But that doesn’t really tell us anything. Only riding can do that, of course.
So, I mounted up the SR Allroad Core on our Noble Bikes GX-5, as stated above, and got to riding. Ergon advises that you start with the front section of the saddle level. This leaves the back third or so ‘kicked-up’, if you will. Okay, so that didn’t really agree with me. After a note was sent off to Ergon’s Jeff Kerkove, he answered back that he actually rides his sample 1 degree up from level on the front section. I tried that, and – bingo! That was my sweet spot too. With a few more ‘getting acquainted’ rides where I adjusted the saddle fore-aft to my tastes, I was ready to go.
One of my longest rides this year was done on the SR Allroad Core. It was a 112 mile gravel ride with a little pavement mixed in here and there with towns passed through. The ride was 10.5 hours long and I experienced no saddle discomfort at all, despite the roads having copious amounts of freshly dumped gravel all over them. I’ve also done several rides with no chamois and the comfort level is definitely ‘there’. In terms of vibration damping, the SR Allroad is very good. I could feel my feet and hands getting rattled and feel almost nothing from the saddle. Now, it will not absolve you from dealing with ruts, pot holes, and expansion cracks, but on a good seat post, this saddle wold make for quite the bump-damping and vibration eating combo.
So Far… Of course, saddles are very personal in terms of fit and comfort, but these Ergon saddles seem to have some great ideas implemented in them which would be a great advantage to anyone riding gravel or rough roads on a regular basis. I’d have to say that as of this writing, it is very difficult to find anything negative to say about the SR Allroad. It cuts down on the high frequency buzz of crushed rock roads, almost to zero, and rider fatigue due to that is therefore reduced to a non-factor. At least where a saddle on a bicycle is concerned. Of course, you still can get buzz transferred to you through other contact points.
I’ll be putting in even more time on the SR Allroad Core over the coming weeks and I should have an update in about a month.
NOTE: Ergon sent over the SR Allroad Core Comp saddle at no charge to Riding Gravel for test and review. We were not bribed, nor paid, to give this review and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.