SDG Bel-Air V3 Max Saddle Isn’t Just for eMTBs [Review]

With a scooped rear, wide nose, and thicker EVA foam padding, the SDG Bel-Air V3 Max mountain bike saddle is a good choice for eMTBs and for anyone who spends hours pedaling trails.
SDG Bel-Air V3 Max mountain bike saddle

The SDG Bel-Air V3 Max mountain bike saddle is a beefed-up version of the Bel-Air that’s designed with electric mountain biking in mind. I don’t own an e-bike myself, so I popped the Bel-Air V3 Max onto my full suspension trail bike just for kicks and found that it’s pretty great for non-eMTB use too.

SDG Bel-Air V3 Max saddle specs

  • Dimensions: 140mm wide, 260mm long
  • Aluminum alloy rails, nylon glass base, synthetic cover, EVA foam padding
  • Weight: 239.4g
  • Price: $94.99
  • Buy from Worldwide Cyclery.

So what makes a saddle a good choice for an electric mountain bike? SDG and others have zeroed in on a scooped rear that is designed to offer more support for seated pedaling. And because eMTB riders tend to stay seated more than 100% pedal-powered riders, this one has an extra 5mm of padding compared to non-Max Bel-Air V3 saddle models.

Electric or not, mountain bikers lean forward into the climbs, and with that in mind the Bel-Air V3 Max has a wider nose. I found the width makes the saddle comfortable in more positions compared to pointier saddles that feel pinchier as you move toward the nose. For that reason it’s quickly become my favorite saddle for climbing.

After testing the SDG Bel-Air V3 Max saddle over the past couple of months I’ve found that the scooped rear end is helpful too. The shape works well for pushing against on flat pedally stretches and there’s also a rubbery textured surface around the edges that keeps sliding to a minimum. Sometimes I find myself seated with the saddle dropped — say if I’m skirting under a low branch or just resting my legs midway through a long descent — and the scooped rear helps me feel planted and poised. Fortunately it’s scooped just the right amount so it’s not in the way when I shift my butt further back or behind the saddle on sharp drops.

The SDG Bel-Air V3 Max uses EVA padding, the same material found in many gym mats and some of the anti-fatigue mats used by bike mechanics. The padding feels like it’s on the firmer end of the spectrum, though certainly not hard or harsh. Some newer saddles are incorporating TPU padding which is used for running shoes and is said to be better at shock absorption. EVA, however, is lighter-weight than TPU. One TPU-based saddle I really like is the Ergon SMC Core which as a point of comparison is 44% heavier than the Bel-Air V3 Max. This is one component where the eMTB label isn’t being used as an excuse for ignoring weight.

Paired with a somewhat flexible nylon glass base underneath, the saddle does a good job damping vibration and I’ve found it to be very comfortable for hours-long rides. The base features a center cutout paired with a relief channel in the padding itself to reduce perineal pressure. Alloy rails can be stiffer and more harsh than other choices like chromoly or titanium, and while it’s not clear what “Lux Alloy” is, I can report that the rails have proven to be smooth and silent throughout testing. I will note that a bit of the coating on the rails has flaked off at the spot where my seatpost attaches.

Reviewer profile height: 190cm (6’3″) weight: 72.5kg (160lb) testing zone: Southeast, USA

The 140mm width is a good fit for my sit bones, though if yours are on the wide-side of medium the SDG Bel-Air V3 Max may be too narrow. (Read to learn how to measure you sit bone width.)

The quality of construction and materials is clear. I really like the smooth, marshmallow-y look of SDG saddles with a cover that appears to seamlessly transition into the base. Aside from a little bit of creasing in the cover mine has held up well to hundreds of miles of trail riding.

I tested the previous version V2 Bel-Air and also the regular V3, and the V3 Max is by far my favorite.

Pros and cons of the SDG Bel-Air V3 Max saddle


  • Good shape for pedaling and climbing that doesn’t suffer on descents
  • Quality materials and construction
  • Lightweight


  • Some may find the EVA foam padding too firm, though it is thicker than other SDG Bel-Air saddles

Bottom line

I have a short list of MTB saddles that I choose to put on both my personal and test bikes, and the SDG Bel-Air V3 Max is one of them.