Ergon’s SM Women saddle has been developed specifically with female riders in mind with a focus on comfort rather than performance.
Its design was influenced by in-house feedback from female Fizik designers, as well as university research on the pelvic characteristics of men and women, which concluded that women have, on average, a wider pelvic bone arch and greater pelvic flexion.
This means that the distance between the pelvic bone and the saddle is less than men. While men have, on average, two main points of pressure contact where the sit bones are, women have an arc of contact, in addition to their soft tissue.
This led Ergon to develop a saddle that incorporates a wide, flat rear platform to support a larger contact area and a wide central cut-out for soft tissue pressure relief.
Ergon SM Women saddle details and specifications
This seat is very much aimed at on-bike comfort rather than racing efficiency, so it’s more suited to long days in the saddle or trail riding than short, sharp bike races.
In side profile, the saddle is flat along the nose with a slight rise at the tail. From the rear, the profile is flat with a very slight downward curve at the edge of the wings.
There are two sizes available: S/M with a claimed width of 143mm, and the M/L tested here with a measured width of 155mm.
It features CroMo rails, a nylon composite shell and a microfibre cover over orthopedic foam padding.
The range-topping Sport Gel version of the saddle adds features such as cushioning gel pads and lower-friction side panels to allow easier movement on the saddle.
Ergon SM Women saddle performance
This is a very comfortable saddle, which is in no doubt partly due to the ample, dense foam padding, which provides excellent supportive cushioning wherever bum meets saddle. There’s also additional gel padding along the sides and centre of the saddle.
The flat rear platform provides great support for the sit bones in a range of positions, and the slightly raised rear has enough of a brace for climbs.
I didn’t experience any pressure or chafing of the soft tissue in the labial area thanks to a wide, long and well-positioned central cut-out, along with a channel that reaches towards the nose. Even in a range of positions, soft-tissue was pressure free.
The saddle features a slightly truncated nose compared to other women’s saddles on the market, though the mid-section, where the nose widens to meet the wings, is a little wider than others on the market. In a more upright position on the bike, this can rub against the upper legs where they join the groin.
With no particularly sharp angles and a smooth covering, there’s little to impede moving around on the saddle, shifting weight or standing up when on technical descents.
At 297g for the 155mm width saddle, it’s a noticeably heavy saddle, but also comparatively inexpensive. So there’s a trade-off to be had between comfort and light weight, and it wouldn’t be a first choice for high-speed, intense racing, but for all-day comfort, or even comfort on short local trail spins, it gets top marks.