by Marc Basiliere
September 24, 2013
And Marc’s favourite pack is back!
As our sport progresses, it sure is nice to see companies thinking about – and delivering – protection unobtrusive enough to be brought along on every ride. For this reason – and in order to meet increasing Enduro event safety requirements – Ergon has added back protection to their well-received BA3 Superenduro pack (see issue 84 for review). The UCI-certified BP100 back protector is built of segmented foam and adds only 140g to the big bag. The insert shares space with the bag’s bladder and at $29 (UK pricing TBC) would be a sensible addition before that next Alpine holiday.
To their growing saddle line, Ergon have added a 3-level line of cyclocross models. Available in one size, the SRX3 features a relatively flat top and padded nose for flying remounts, pockets in the shell filled with padding for additional sitz bone support, and anti-friction material around the perimeter.
2.5 years in the making, Ergon’s new SME3 Enduro saddle line draws on the experience of sponsored riders like Fabien Barel to optimize the shape, padding, and materials for Enduro use. As with all Ergon models, the SME saddles use heat treated closed-cell German orthopedic shoe foam selected with help from the German Foam Institute [we’re not sure if they were pulling our leg on that one] for its performance over time. Anti-friction material has been added around the rear of the saddle to help riders get off the back without the dreaded baggy snag. Three levels and two sizes will be offered- the right match for your bottom can be chosen with the help of Ergon’s online tool.
While Ergon’s trademark wing’d grips have proved popular with long-distance riders, more aggressive folks never really took to the design. With them in mind, Ergon was showing their new GE1 grip. Subtly profiled and designed to work with more of an elbows-out riding position, the grips felt really nice in the hand, with a ridge under the knuckles and a relief in the internal sleeve allowing for full-thickness baby-safe natural silicone rubber (chosen with help from the German Rubber Institute) under the palm heel.
Apparently, because of “people like [Marc],” the Flink-equipped Ergon BC series of packs is back. Featuring a substantial frame and harness connected by a spherical joint, the BC2 is a bit of a love-hate thing. While it can be a challenge to store or transport, the design effectively transfers most of the pack’s load to the wearer’s hips, is surprisingly cool when worn, and provides unparalleled torso freedom. Despite having any number of large-capacity bags available for a given ride, my torn, faded BC2 comes out of the closet with surprising regularity. Once again you too can own one, now in black or a handsome ‘rescue me’ blue.