Comfortable perch based on the classic Bel Air, just with no cow print in sight
For the second iteration of its successful Bel Air saddle, SDG went to the gym. Not literally, but metaphorically, shedding weight across the board. As a result, version 2.0 weighs a scant 228g but costs a reasonable £80. That impressive weight has been achieved through the use of lighter EVA foam padding, a thinner base and titanium alloy rails. None of this has been at the expense of comfort however. Support is perfectly judged and there’s just enough squish for long days in the saddle. In wet weather, perforations across the fabric provide extra grip, as well as revealing one of the six different accent colours below.
For those of us old enough to remember the bad old days of nineties mountain biking will recall that SDG’s Bel Air saddle (alongside the Selle Italia Flite) was The saddle to stick on your bike. Back then the most popular version was the frankly dreadful ‘cow print’ design, but as this was a time of some pretty awful trends (I’m sure we’ll look back on this decade the same) we can understand this choice. Fast forward to now and we now have the SDG Bel Air 2.0. Thankfully cow print isn’t an option with the new version but SDG has carried on the trend by offering the Bel Air 2.0 in a mind boggling array of colours and rail options.
Version 2.0 refines the gently swooping shape of the original and puts the whole saddle on a diet. Padding has been swapped for a much lighter EVA foam and the base has been thinned and shaped to create more flex. This £79.95 model comes with titanium alloy rails but cheaper steel or more expensive solid titanium versions are available.
How does it ride?
In a word, like sitting on a cloud! The Bel Air 2.0 is definitely one of the most comfortable saddles I have ever ridden. Obviously saddles are a very personal choice and often a personal favourite might not work for your best riding buddy. But objectively the Bel Air 2.0 has all the features that make up a perfect saddle. The padding, whilst not as luxurious as some others, perfectly supports your body weight and has the right amount of cushioning for longer rides. SDG has also incorporated a relatively unobtrusive central channel to alleviate perineal pressure (very important for protecting delicate bits). And I can say that not once did I feel any numbness or issues ‘down below’.
The raised tail and droopy nose makes it a perfect saddle shape for just about any form of riding. Sliding backwards really ‘locks in’ your legs for great support when climbing. And the dropped nose makes perching a pleasure. Even the little perforations in the material help grip when its wet, and also allow a little of the extra colour to pop through.
This is definitely a saddle I’ll keep coming back to for all round MTB use.
The SDG Bel Air 2.0 carries on where the original left off. Supremely comfortable, light and robust; there are few saddles to top it.