German touch-point specialist Ergon has announced it's adding a downhill-specific saddle that has features focused on improving bike control, rather than adding seated comfort.
The new Ergon SM Downhill range consists of three models and was developed with feedback from World Cup downhillers Troy Brosnan and Vali Höll. Ergon says it focused on how gravity riders interact with their saddles which resulted in some specific-design requirements with the goal of designing the best mountain bike saddle for downhill and slopestyle.
Thicker padding has been used to increase comfort in heavy landing situations and it extends down the edges of the saddle too, which is said to significantly reduce inner thigh bruising. The side padding has also been flattened in order to offer better leg guidance when maneuvering the bike through corners or in the air.
The saddle has a short length, which Ergon has designed in order to improve bottom-out tire clearance on small 29er downhill bikes. Ergon doesn't expect riders to be spending much time sitting, so the saddle comes in a single width and size, with a width of 120mm and a length of 236mm. Ergon says that the saddle's shape has been designed to reflect the nose-up angle often seen on gravity bikes.
Ergon offers three versions of the new saddle: the SM Downhill, SM Downhill Comp, and SM Downhill Pro Titanium. They all use a Nylon Composite shell and the standard SM Downhill (225g) and Comp (220g) versions come with cromo rails, while the Pro Titanium (205g) is fitted with solid titanium rails. The Comp and Pro versions also get an anti-slip panel on the top of the saddle to offer another layer of control.
The saddle is currently available in Europe and Ergon says it will be available in the USA soon. Pricing starts at €59.95, the Downhill Comp costs €89.95 or €99.95 for an Oil Slick color, and the Downhill Pro Titanium Team costs €149.95. US pricing is still to be announced. For more details, check out Ergon.com.