Jack reviews the BikeYoke Sagma saddle
BikeYoke is a German company that specialises in producing a range of high-quality mountain bike components that includes dropper posts, remotes and aftermarket suspension yokes. Drawing on its reputation for innovative design and attention to detail, BikeYoke has more recently turned its attention to saddles.
Featuring suspended rails and idbeads™ foam technology, the original Sagma saddle certainly stood out when it first debuted back in 2020. Since then BikeYoke has added three new variants; the Sagma Carbon, Sagma Lite, and Sagma Lite Carbon. Here we’ll be diving into my and Wil’s experience of testing the various options in the BikeYoke Sagma saddle range.
What’s the story with the BikeYoke Sagma saddle?
The BikeYoke Sagma saddle features a unique rail suspension design to help reduce vibrations and allow your body move more freely over rough terrain. BikeYoke achieves this by separating the base of the saddle from the rails with two round elastomers at either end. A small axle then runs through each elastomer to secure the saddle in place.
The top of the Sagma is equally unique. It features a tough PU covering like you’d find on a pair of high-end soccer boots, while the padding is made of a material called idbeads™. This is a special type of memory foam that offers a low-rebound characteristic. It’s claimed to offer increased damping while maintaining support for your sit bones.
What is the suspension system designed to do?
The BikeYoke Sagma saddle is designed to improve rider comfort by providing an added degree of damping from the trail.
The elastomers also allow your hips to rock from side-to-side as you pedal over rough terrain, which helps when you find yourself not perfectly balanced and need to weigh one side of the bike. Because the saddle moves with you, it reduces the amount of your bodyweight being concentrated onto a small area.
Can you adjust it?
You can adjust the Sagma’s fore/aft and tilt position like you can with any saddle, but you can also change the damping level by using different elastomer inserts. It comes from the factory with two regular inserts installed, though BikeYoke includes one soft and one hard insert for you to experiment with.
It only takes around 10-15 minutes to swap them around. We’d recommend utilising some fresh Loctite and a torque wrench to do the job properly.
After three rides on the regular inserts, I decided to swap to the soft one at the rear of the saddle to see how much of a difference there is. I was surprised to discover that it was a whole different feel! The softer insert allowed for noticeably more rocking of the saddle whilst pedalling up climbs, which at first was a little disconcerting. However, once I was used to the sensation I found it to be very comfortable.
Is it heavier than a regular saddle?
It depends on what you’re comparing it with. The regular BikeYoke saddle weighs 222g, which is similar to a standard mountain bike saddle with chromoly rails. The Sagma Carbon then drops weight down to 208g.
What about the Sagma Lite and Sagma Carbon Lite?
While the rail suspension design is the big story with the Sagma saddle, BikeYoke wanted to offer a more conventional saddle with standard rails. These saddles are called the Sagma Lite and Sagma Carbon Lite, and they skip the elastomers entirely for a traditional rail design. The rest of the saddle, including the base and upper, are otherwise the same.
As well as simplifying the design, these saddles are lighter, coming in at 225g for the Sagma Lite and 167g for the Sagma Carbon Lite.
How does it feel on the trail?
I’ve mostly been using the regular BikeYoke Sagma saddle, which I’ve tested on several hardtails as well as my Trek Slash.
At first I found the rocking movement to be a little disconcerting, but once I was used to it I didn’t really think about it. I guess this is a good thing, as a saddle that you’re thinking about all the time most likely isn’t very comfortable.
Other than the extra movement, I really like the shape and material of this saddle. The PU cover is quite soft compared to other saddles but I’ve found it to be very durable. The combination of the idbeads™ foam and the suspended rails adds a good deal of extra damping, which I was able to notice on the Slash even though it has 170/160mm of travel. It’s as if you’ve dropped some pressure out of your rear tyre, but without the associated downsides.
I will say that the overall profile is a little different and more defined, which may or may not work for you. While I got along with the Sagma’s shape, Wil found it difficult to get used to the large scalloped section in the middle. He generally prefers a flatter and more consistent saddle profile, like you’d find on a Ergon SM or Specialized Bridge. In comparison the Sagma saddle is closer in shape to a WTB.
We both found that tilting the nose of the saddle down helps to put more of your weight onto the flatter portion at the rear, so that’s how we’d recommend you set it up to begin with. However, our differing experience serves to highlight BikeYoke’s advice on its website; “Saddles are still and will always remain a very difficult thing to recommend, simply because when you sum it up, a saddle has to fit your ass. Period.”
How does it compare to other saddles you’ve used?
I’ve found that the difference between your typical stock saddle and the Sagma becomes more noticeable on longer all-mountain rides. The added comfort is particularly apparent when you’re fatigued and spending more time in the saddle up rougher climbs and down mellower descents that you might not have the extra energy for. I did a few enduro races with the Sagma and noticed that while many other riders were giving their arse a rest by pedalling out of the saddle on the liaisons, I was able to remain seated and conserve some extra energy.
Do you prefer the BikeYoke Sagma or Sagma Lite?
In the end I preferred the Sagma over the Sagma Lite. The Sagma Lite was still more comfortable than most saddles I’ve used, and it’s also priced quite competitively due to the omission of the rail suspension design. It just didn’t have the same level of compliance and damping as the standard Sagma though. If I was on a budget the Sagma Lite would be a great option, but if you can plump up the extra cash the Sagma gets the nod from me.
The BikeYoke Sagma is no doubt an impressively well-made saddle, and its unique construction presents some compelling benefits.
The suspended rail design genuinely filters out vibrations, and the way it flexes side to side helps to ease pressure when pedalling hard. We also like that you can fine-tune the damping and flex characteristics by swapping in different density elastomers. The idbeads™ foam material offers great support and further damping, so there are still benefits to be had if you wish to go for the standard rail design.
Of course like any saddle, whether the shape of the BikeYoke Sagma works for you or not will simply boil down to your anatomy and personal preferences. Wil didn’t love the shape whereas Jack loved it. Given the advantages of its unique materials and suspended rail design, we’d love to see BikeYoke offering some other shapes and sizes for its saddle lineup to offer those qualities to more riders.