By Adam Newman
Best known for its line of ergonomic grips, Ergon continues to expand into new product segments for road and mountain biking.
After first designing mountain bike saddles, Ergon introduces road saddles for 2013. The SR3 line is available in three different widths for a perfect fit, and three price points, from $140 to $240.
While the heart of a saddle is the base, the foam is what determines comfort. Most super-light saddles use thinner foam to save weight, but the base of the SR3 dips away, allowing for a deeper pocket of the dual-density, German-made foam under the riders’ sit bones.
Below that saddle, the CF3 Pro carbon seatpost is a novel take on increasing rider comfort. By realizing that the force of road impacts large and small does not travel vertically, but rather in an arc pivoting around the bottom bracket, Ergon designed the seatpost to move a small amount forward and back to absorb vibrations.
The post is actually two pieces that slide up and down against each other, and are secured with a set screw. Because the saddle mounts are on bushings, the saddle does not tilt as the post flexes backwards, it remains level. The system is maintainence-free, offers simple adjustments, and weighs in a just 200g. Look for it to go on sale in the spring.
Also new are these leather versions of the popular GP1 grips, using hides from Bavaria, made in conjunction with high-end shoemaker Quac Pham. The leather is dyed without using toxins and is certified hypoallergenic.
New this year is Ergon’s sister brand, Phorm, designed to be a comfort-oriented alternative to Ergon’s performance-minded products.
Ergon’s engineers looked a lot of suspension designs in saddles and found they were mostly useless, so they partnered with BASF to employ a special damping material under the saddle to absorb road vibrations. The foam-like material is designed for use in engine mounts and can compress up to 80 percent.
The saddles will retail for $29-$59. The grips will retail for $20.