Since its inception in 1995, California’s SDG Components have sold over one million Bel-Air saddles. Twenty-Five years later the brand are releasing the SDG Bel-Air V3, revamped to suit the demands of modern day trail riding. The redesign sees some much needed improvements to an old school comfort classic. The V3 is significantly trimmed down at the sides and in overall length. We cover the notable updates.
SDG Bel-Air V3 Saddle for Mountain Biking
The Bel-Air has always been a comfort-focused saddle. While the foam shape has slightly morphed over the years, the same base has remained. For 2020, SDG’s Bel-Air V3 continues in the tradition of the iconic shape, with a slight rear rise profile, on a proven 140mm platform. The saddle also takes advantage of new materials and manufacturing techniques to further enhance the performance and overall aesthetics.
SDG Bel-Air V3 compact comfort
The new SDG Bel-Air V3 saddle moves to a shorter, padded nose and a reduced overall length of 260mm to match current bike trends.
A slight rear rise is said to help rotate the pelvis forward and provide extra support, comfort and power from a seated position.
The shoulders of the V3 are also trimmed up, providing a sleeker overall appearance. With seat angles getting ever steeper it is important that a saddle isn’t too wide at the rear as it can get in the way of your knees as you angulate into turns.
A hidden undercut relief has also been added. This partial cut-out through the bottom of the saddle is said to relieve perineal pressure in a way its predecessor did not. This saddle could be a good option for those who ride in wet conditions all year around and prefer to avoid a soggy undercarriage.
Sitting above the cutout is the newest type of EVA Foam technology available. This is a lightweight injection molded EVA foam. SDG say the production process allows for a lower profile saddle that still offers support and comfort while also increasing the saddle’s lifespan.
The new Bel-Air uses Atmos Shaping which eliminates the need for bumpers, staples or glue to connect the upper with the base. This is a vacuum sealing process that eliminated the need for Kevlar or Cordura side panels as SDG is now able to Sonic Weld protective edges.
The result of this process is a saddle with increased durability and reduced friction points that could irritate riders. It also looks cleaner.
On the Rails
At the base, SDG integrated their reverse Free Float Rail Inserts to allow for more forgiving wings. While there is a bit of flex here, the base itself is made of a fiberglass reinforced nylon that is said to provide unparalleled strength and stiffness.
Also new for the SDG Bel-Air V3 are Lux-Alloy rails. These heat treated composite rails are nearly 15% stronger than standard Ti-Alloy in push and fatigue testing. There is a small weight penalty but it comes at a more affordable price.
Pricing & Availability
The new SDG Bel-Air V3 is available at four price points to suit a range of budgets. The heaviest model at 318g features steel rails. In Black it will set you back $59.99. An upgrade to the new Lux Alloy rails will shed 82g and cost you $89.99.
Dipping those Lux Alloy rails in an iridescent finish gives you the Fuel model with its oil slick finish. This bling saddle retails at $109.99. Finally, weighing a claimed 181g, get the matte finish carbon rail model for $189.99.