After spending the summer on the SDG Components Bel-Air V3 Max saddle, it’s time to admit I have a few favorite perch. It’s not terribly surprising, as I’ve professed a fondness for the Bel-Air series of saddles for years. Essentially, the V3 Max is an iteration of the Bel-Air platform that has been optimized to increase the level of comfort without detracting from the performance aspects of the proven saddle shape.
- 260mm length
- 140mm width
- Wide nose for better climbing
- Deep peri-canal for pressure relief for soft bits
- “Lux-alloy” rails
- Listed weight 245g
The V3 Max is essentially the V3, but a tad more comfortable and adds a bit of additional rear rise to aid with climbing. There’s a bit more EVA foam padding, which provides another level of comfort with a minimal increase in weight. Targeted at e-MTBs, this additional padding is adds to the level of comfort, while still performing like a “performance” saddle.
For all-day rides on my dual suspension trail bike, the more svelte Bel-Air 3 is still my go-to perch. (though the new Bel-Air Overland is taking over as it’s a bit lighter) That said, I have a V3 Max on both my Turbo LEVO eMTB as well as its acoustic companion, a Specialized Stumpjumper EVO, which I have optimized for descending with a more durable, all mountain / mini-enduro build for charging
Reduced need for padded shorts
Though I still utilize padded cycling undershorts for all-day rides, I haven’t worn one at the bike park or on shuttles for some time, finding more all-day comfort with performance lycra/poly underwear. I hate how chamois can get sweaty after a day of riding, and the V3 Max saddle is comfortable enough that I can forgo a chamois on rides, instead wearing performance underwear that breathes better and is more comfortable for all day shuttle, park, and ebike sessions.
The peri-canal relief area is noticeably deeper than the standard Bel-Air model as well and illustrates the difference from the base model. The best part is that the increase in comfort comes with a minimal increase in weight. The V3 Max weighs in at a listed 245g, only 9g more than the SDG Bel-Air V3.