With the deeper channel along the centre, the SME3-M rides cushy and plush
Designed in collaboration with downhill and enduro legend Fabien Barel, Ergon’s all-mountain-friendly SME3-M is one of the priciest here, but to justify the cost, the German brand has piled on the technology.
The shell is Y-shaped — to encourage inward flex — a specially coated outer material reduces friction while pedalling, and the padding uses a sophisticated, closed air-cell EVA foam placed directly under the sit bones to better support rider loads.
Out back, the tail is designed to flex for further compliance, and the padded area slopes off at the outermost edges to enable dynamic riding manoeuvres without catching on shorts.
Ergon’s broad shape is one of the flattest, with relatively thin mid-zone padding that feels way softer than it looks. In fact, together with the deeper channel along the centre, the SME3-M rides cushy and plush.
The relatively long, broad nose is noticeably comfortable when leaning against inner thighs for stability on aggressive off-cambers, too.
It’s one of the cheaper Ergon saddles, but the SME3-M is still at the upper end of this test, and we noted the finish did get a little more scruffy and abraded than the other saddles.