Comfortable perch based on the classic Bel Air
MBR Editor’s Choice 2019: SDG Bel Air 2.0 saddle, £54.95
A true classic that has stood the test of time, SDG’s Bel Air is one of the best places to park your behind. The swoopy shape and ample padding has been pared back with lighter foam and a trimmed shell, so it weighs less than ever before, but this has not come at the expense of comfort. The dropped nose and perky tail help when climbing, while the central channel relieves pressure on long seated sections.
SDG Bel Air 2.0 saddle review
A lot of product come and go but SDG got the shape of the Bel Air saddle right about 20 years ago, you can still buy this saddle now as the SDG Bel Air 2.0.
To compliment this old stalwart there’s a reboot called the Bel Air 2.0; a pared back design that retains the original’s unique profile and impressive comfort.
It still gets a gently swooping shape, deep shoulders and hooked nose but the 2.0 is much lighter. SDG has managed to shed the weight by switching to a lighter EVA foam and also trimming some bulk from the shell. This has the added benefit of creating a bit more flex, which ups the comfort levels. Not that the Bel Air needed any help in that department because it really is one of the most comfortable seats out there. Why it’s so comfy is hard to define – it’s mainly the shape, which is wide and welcoming, but also the unobtrusive central channel to alleviate perineal pressure, subtle profile and wider front section. We find that when you rotate forward on the Bel Air 2.0 this wide section doesn’t localized the pressure – it just feels comfortable and supportive.
The dropped nose doesn’t catch in your shorts when descending and is invisible when really pushing hard. The raised tail keeps you centred when shredding downhill but really helps stabilise the pelvis when climbing. Even the little perforations in the synthetic cover boost traction when it’s wet and slippery.
The Bel Air 2.0 doesn’t have the plush padding of the Fabric Scoop saddle or sleek construction but it’s way more supportive.
It feels solid underneath you and is also incredibly hardwearing. It’s good rather than great value but it has the best shape and is truly comfortable.
We’ve awarded the SDG Bel Air 2.0 and Fabric Scoop perfect 10’s in the past and we still stand by those ratings but recently we’ve tended to prefer the Bel Air 2.0 because it just feels more supportive. It’s not as plush as the Fabric but the comfort comes from the shape rather than the padding – we also have a few MBR testers that don’t get on with the Scoop’s hammock styling. Not that the Scoop is a bad saddle – it’s amazing value, the ground-breaking construction is excellent and it’s really comfortable. It’s just this time round we preferred the shape and feel of the Bel Air 2.0.