Ergon SMC4 Saddle Review

by Brian Mullin on July 22, 2016


The new SMC4 is Ergon’s most comfortable and padded saddle in their mountain bike lineup. It uses orthopedic foam padding and gel technology in the seating area and has a deep relief channel down the center that creates a raised platform to protect the soft tissue regions. A larger seat surface space offers optimal pressure distribution for the sit and pubic bones for greater comfort and relief. It has a soft, and plush feeling to it surface without being overly squishy. The saddle comes in medium and large widths and three models, the SMC4 with CrMo rails ($59.95), the SMC4 Sport Gel with CroMO rails and gel pads ($79.95), and finally the top of line SMC4 Comp Gel with TiNox Rails and gel pads ($99.95).

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The SMC4 is part of their mountain bike Core Comfort Performance series. It features a nylon composite shell with custom geometry, CroMo or TiNox rails, a flexible Microfiber cover and orthopedic AirCell cushion foam padding with gel pads on the seated surface for the Sport and Comp models. The ultra-thin shell has a 3-D design which allows for additional space for padding material under the sit bone area and features flexible side wings using their Y-Flex technology that offers optimized biomechanical performance and improved comfort. It has a 9 mm deep relief channel that runs down the center which provides enhanced protection to the soft-tissue region and sensitive areas. It utilizes a softer foam than it’s brethren and has additional foam volume in the seat cushion area for improved support, damping, optimal pressure distribution, and comfort. The seat rails use an isolation attachment design to the saddle shell, so unwanted impacts don’t transmit to the seating area. The saddle has a flat seat area with a raised rear section, a tapered rear end, and the broad saddle nose is ideal for various sitting positions.

The saddles come in two width sizes which need to match the riders sit bone width to maximize pedaling efficiency and comfort, by getting the weight off the soft tissue and transmitted to the pelvis. It comes in Medium which fits an 11-13cm sit bone width and Large that’s for a 13-15cm width.



I tested the middle-grade SMC4 Sport Gel model which features CroMo saddle rails and gel pads, and I used it on my Ibis Ripley 29er with a dropper post, doing lots of climbing on long steep grinds, and many miles of fire roads and trails on my local Front Range of Colorado terrain. I found the saddle to be extremely comfortable on a variety of terrain, including the typical mellow singletrack, along with my favorite gnarlier and more rugged All Mountain conditions.

Once you get your sit bones onto the raised rear section of the saddle, the deep relief channel works surprisingly well and increases the protection for your sensitive soft tissue and significantly improves overall comfort. The soft and thick orthopedic foam padding and gel pads that follow the sit bones offer exceptional comfort while still retaining adequate support and proper pressure distribution. I usually find Ergon’s saddle designs a bit too flat in geometry, but I was quite happy with the SMC4 setup and it’s raised rear.

The CroMo rails with its shell isolation attachment design, the shells flexible side wings, and the foam and gel padding worked in synergy to offer good bump absorption while still providing stability and comfort and pedaling prowess. The shell’s Y-Flex wing system was a real highlight for me, and when you’re on the rear of the saddle, it allowed a slight lateral movement (rocking) of the hips, which made pedaling more efficient and the body more comfortable. Even though the system gave the excellent movement from the hips, it never felt squishy or sloppy, and the saddle still offered a stable and solid platform. After many long days and climbs, I’ve come to appreciate the rails damping system and the Y-Flex shell, as it made riding much more pleasant on any terrain.

When the terrain got steep on a climb, you could scrunch yourself up on the nose and pry down for greater traction and control, and the additional width and padding helped with comfort and controllability. I sometimes found the tip of the nose to be a tad too hard for my personal tastes and riding style, so an extra dollop of padding might be nice?

The medium I tested measured 28.5 cm long and 15 cm wide and weighed 300 grams.


Bottom Line

The Ergon SMC4 with its ergonomics and functional design makes for a saddle that is comfortable, efficient and easier to spend longer periods of time out riding without numbness or hot spots, especially in the nether regions, and I loved the plushness offered by the orthopedic foam padding and gel pads. The large seating area reduces pressure points and distributes the weight onto the sit bones, while the deep relief channel protects the soft tissue in the perineum area and improves comfort. The Y-Flex shell wings was a real winner, and the lateral movement of the hips was noticeable and very welcome, giving more comfort and pedaling efficiency when seated. I do wish the nose had a tad more padding as I found it too firm for my tastes on some climbs. Their sizing system helps you get on a saddle that fits your sit bone’s width, to maximize contact, power, comfort, and control.


  • Comfortable
  • Foam and gel padding
  • Y-Flex shell wings
  • Multiple sizes to fit various sit bone widths


  • Not a lightweight
  • Needs a tad more padding on the nose

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