Scicon Elan Power Ergo Saddle review
Scicon has worked with ASG Bike Science to create a high performing perch
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An excellent first attempt at a saddle, which expertly straddles the needs of riders across road and off-road disciplines, both when racing and relaxing. A wider choice of widths would allow this saddle to service a broader audience.
Dual discipline use
Comfortable when racing and relaxing
Limited width options
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Scicon's Elan Power Ergo Saddle is the brand's first foray into the seating category. Launched soon after its X-Over bib shorts, the duo sees the Italians usually associated with travel bags move into contact points.
The lateral move from suitcases for bikes to saddles might not seem intuitive, at first glance. It all makes a lot more sense when considered alongside the fact that Scicon is owned by the ASG group, which also owns ASG Bike Science - with its sports science and biomechanics team.
The Elan Power Ergo, developed alongside ASG Bike Science's experts, was originally created for road racers. However, researchers soon discovered that mountain bikers aiming to scale steep climbs were also embracing a forward leaning stance - and so it was concluded that this should be a multi-use perch.
I tested this model on both road and mountain bikes, and found it comfortable in both cases, with one caveat.
Snub nosed and gender neutral
At 248mm long, the Scicon Elan Power Ergo definitely falls into the short nose family. These saddles are particularly ideal for riders who tend to roll their hips forward and adopt an agressive position, typically staying put for most of the ride rather than moving around as the terrain changes.
On of the earliest such designs - the Specialized Power - was created around the needs of Boels-Dolmans rider, Evelyn Stevens. It turned out that the shape suited men too, and ever since there's been an influx of snub nosed perches on the market. Since most models are unisex and feature a cut-out, their sudden rise to popularity has had the accidental bonus effect of dramatically increasing the availability of carbon railed, race ready saddles suited to female riders.
In this design however, Scicon didn't want only to address the 'on the rivet' position. No cyclist is racing all the time, and Scicon wanted riders to be comfortable when they came to sit back and relax. As a result, as well as the slight downwards wave, cut out with Compression Control and grippy material on the nose to suit the racing stance, there's padding at the rear and a little flex built in.
This dual design focus suited me well. The cut-out is a little narrower than I'd like, but once I'd found the right position I felt pretty dialled in. I tend to roll forwards during hard efforts, but like to have space to move around on long rides. As a result, I've found I get on with some snub nose models (such as the Pro Stealth) but not others (the Specialized Power Mimic). The Elan Power provided a sweetspot for me which suited both short, hard rides and long easy spins.
>>> How to choose the right saddle for you
This model comes in one width: 148mm. My sit bones measure in at 169mm - so this saddle didn't really offer more a lot of support at the rear. A lot of saddle manufacturers focus on the narrower end of the scale so I'm quite used to being the anomaly, and I'm often leaning forwards on the bike rather than placing my weight on my sit bones, so the narrow width didn't cause me pain.
However, I know from a bike fit with British Cycling's former physio Phil Burt (opens in new tab) that a wider saddle offers me much more support, so I'd like to try something measuring closer to my sit bone size.
Since the initial launch, Scicon has released a women's model which measures 158mm - and though this is still narrower than ideal, could represent an improvement.
As well as honing in on ergonomics to create a saddle that's comfortable when racing and relaxing - both on and off-road - Scicon also wanted to provide a perch that would satisfy those after a competitive edge.
The shell is made from a carbon fibre reinforced polymer, whilst the rails are carbon, and treated with a non-slip coating.
All in, the saddle tipped our scales at 205g, costing £170. Whilst of course there are lighter models out there (the carbon railed Specialized Power S-Works comes in at 159g, but costs £230), the Scicon blends its weight with the comfort of added padding and a slightly more reasonable price tag when compared with other performance models on the market.
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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.
Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor.
Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.
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