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Ere Research says its Genus CC-T ProRoad gives you three saddles in one thanks to its Comfort Trigger Technology, which controls the amount of flex on offer. It's a clever idea that works well, but some parts of the saddle remain very firm indeed.
The main thing that sets the Genus saddle apart from all others on the market is the fact that you can change the amount of flex available at the front end.
The little red tab you can see sticking out beneath the nose, that's the Comfort Trigger which has three settings. As gimmicky as it sounds, it really does work.
Ere says that the difference between the firmest and softest settings is about 10Nm, and there is a noticeable difference between the three settings. As you click the lever you can feel the tension leave the saddle.
The theory is that if you are to change conditions – from, say, road to cobbles – you can make the saddle more flexible, which would allow you to remain seated and in comfort while powering over the rough stuff. Or you could have the saddle firm for racing and softer for long training rides.
As with any saddle review, when it comes to comfort it’s entirely subjective – what I find comfortable might, to you, feel like sitting on a bed of nails, or what is uncomfortable for me might make you feel like you’re floating on a cushion of air – and in its stiffest setting I found the Genus to be much firmer than virtually any other saddle I've ever ridden. How uncomfortable? Let's put it this way, I couldn't pee without pain for a couple of days after a 100km ride. One of the firmest saddles I’ve ridden is the Cadex Boost (which has a composite base and carbon rails) and for me that was still much more comfortable than the Genus in its softest setting.
I think a lot of the issue is the Dynamic Torsion Bar. This is the bar that runs between the two rails near the rear of the saddle, which ties the left and right sides of the saddle together.
Ere says that using the Comfort Trigger system puts more stress on the saddle base and rails than usual. Add this to the carbon fibre structure (both rails and shell) and minimal padding, and the Genus is quite unforgiving.
Things did start to give a little after a few rides, but I still stand by my initial thoughts that this saddle is firmer than pretty much any other I have used, and I've ridden hundreds of saddles over the years.
It's a shame I didn't really get on with its firmness because I like the shape. At 240mm long and 145mm wide it follows the trend for short nose saddles that we're seeing.
Its flat shape allows you to move around a bit for when you are climbing or getting down in the drops, and there is plenty of clearance for your thighs.
The overall quality is very high, too – it looks well finished throughout, with all edges of the synthetic upper material hidden away beneath the base.
All of this technology and materials comes at a cost, though its rrp of £299 is still cheaper than some, like the Fizik Arione 00 Versus Evo at £324; the Genus is lighter, too, at 136g versus 167g. For me, though, the Fizik wins on comfort.
No other saddles have this technology, so comparing like for like is tricky. Hollis found the £269.90 Selle Italia Flite Boost Kit Carbonio to be on the firm side too, and it's also heavier at 182g.
Along with the Genus saddle you are also getting a cover for protection and some wipes to keep the upper looking spick and span.
The Comfort Trigger technology here is a good idea, and if you like a very firm saddle then the Genus is a good choice, especially if you enjoy various types of riding. For me it is just too firm – and I get on with virtually every saddle I ride – and possibly brings more issues than it solves.
Some clever use of technology, but even in its softest setting the Genus will be too firm for many
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Ere Genus CC-T Pro Road Saddle
Size tested: 240x145mm
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Ere Research says, "With this saddle, you get three saddles in one! The unique design and innovative features give you all you need to leave the competition behind.
'The Ere Research Genus CC-T model is a full carbon saddle with a carbon rail, and the shape is flat which is ideal for riders that can rotate their hips more easily and like to move around on the saddle.
'This saddle was designed with a narrower 'neck'; To make sure that the inner thigh has enough space, and won't rub against the saddle when pushing more deeply into the power-transfer position.
'It comes with the unique Comfort Trigger technology (patented by ere). The red lever let you adjust the flexibility of the saddle while riding. Adjusting the level of comfort or flexibility is required when you encounter varying situations, such as changing road surface or an uphill climb. It can also be used for comfort during a long endurance ride."
The technology works and is a clever idea, but the saddle is very firm in the first place.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From Ere Research:
Size: 240mm x 145mm
Comfort Trigger: Three-position comfort adjustment button
Dynamic Torsion Bar for stability and comfort
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I get the idea, and it does work, but for me the firmness level is set too high for it to be comfortable enough at the softer setting.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I liked the shape.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Too firm for me.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's quite an investment at just under £300, but considering you have the extra bits and pieces to allow for the Comfort Trigger it still comes in cheaper than some, such as Fizik's flagship saddles.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes and no – I liked the shape but not the firmness.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Saddle choice is very subjective and personal, which is why I'm not being overly critical here – just because it doesn't work for me doesn't mean you won't get on with it. Firmness issues aside, it is a well-made saddle with clever technology, and the shape works well whatever type of riding you are doing.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!