Mountain Bike Action Product Test: SDG BEL-Air V3 Saddle
BEL-Air V3 Saddle
SDG’s Bel-Air saddle has been a classic performer for decades; however, changes made to modern mountain bikes, such as steeper seat tube angles, have created the need for an updated version. The all-new Bel-Air Version 3 combines a tweaked shape and size, along with a few new manufacturing processes. This new saddle is made for the modern era, and our testing crew was more than excited to give the new seat a try. Here’s everything you need to know about SDG’s all-new Bel-Air V3 saddle.
The main goal for the new saddle was to reduce cost while increasing performance and comfort. This was done by switching from titanium rails to Lux alloy rails, bringing the cost down $10 and only increasing weight by 6 grams. The Version 3 saddle is 10mm shorter, but the same width as the earlier generation. The Bel-Air V3 received a redesigned nose for ease of movement and climbing performance, along with a raised tail for optimum power and comfort. Additionally, the new Bel-Air has a hidden relief cut under the saddle to reduce pressure in sensitive areas. Last but not least is a new design that eliminates the need for staples or glue. Instead, the saddle features a vacuum-sealed cover with protected edges for durability and a seamless look. If that’s not enough, SDG offers seven color options to best match your bike. The entire base plate is colored, along with the saddle’s upper logos. The SDG Bel-Air V3 saddle weighs 236 grams and can be purchased online or in your local bike shop for $89.99.
Field test results:
Before we even had the chance to sit on the Bel-Air V3 saddle, we took a moment to admire its styling. Although a saddle is rarely a product our testers get excited over, it’s hard not to appreciate the slim and sleek design SDG was able to achieve. But, what really matters, of course, is how a saddle performs. We mounted up our saddle to one of our aggressive cross-country bikes and headed for the trails. Once out in the dirt, we quickly found ourselves getting along well with the new shape. On climbs, we had plenty of room on the nose to power up the trails and keep our weight forward on steep sections. On rolling terrain and flat trails when we wanted to lay down the power, the raised tail came in handy, offering the right amount of pelvis tilt for optimum power.
Saddle preference is subjective; however, our test crew found this one checked all the boxes. Furthermore, the new saddle seemed to be quite durable should you lay your bike down. If you’re struggling to find the right saddle, we’d recommend giving SDG’s Bel-Air V3 saddle a try.
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