EN:GAGER FORTE Saddle

CHARLES LEE | 12th Oct 2016

The competition in the bicycle saddle circle is getting stiffer.  Just 2 months back, we’ve tested the Scoop Elite saddle made by the folks at Fabric and we absolutely adored it!  Fabric is a relatively new kid on the block who has impressed the cycling realm with their race-inspired saddles.  Just as we were recovering from the intoxication of adrenaline pumped in by the Scoop Elite, we found ourselves holding a new saddle – the EN:GAGER FORTE.

EN:GAGER is a relatively new player in the saddle market.  It is so new that there is practically no technical review on any of the saddle models produced by Engager.  Togoparts is probably the first to put up a product review on EN:GAGER.

The company is formed this year by a group of dedicated cyclists who recognised a pressing need to produce quality-yet-affordable bike components.  The success of its formation was the result of combining the founders’ years of relevant biking experiences.  Judging from its corporate website, it is clear that EN:GAGER is a saddle expert.

 

The EN:GAGER Forte Saddle

The Forte looks like a serious performer in every way.  Measuring at a length of 280 millimetres from the nose to the rear and a breadth of 135 millimetres at its widest point, the Forte portrays itself as a saddle with racing genes.  Its outlook is simple yet sleek.  Designed with relatively straight contours, the flat-styled Forte does not come with an arched rear or dipped nose.  This means that the Forte is the perfect saddle for racing.

At 222 grams, the Forte is one of the lightest saddles in the market.  The railings that bridged the saddle to the seat-post are made from a calibrated mixture of titanium and chromium.  Titanium is chosen because of its flexibility and weight.  Chromium, on the other hand, is hard, steely and extremely resilient.  According to EN:GAGER, combining both titanium and chromium offers a balanced blend of strength, rigidity and weight.

The Forte’s seat portion, which is made from high-density foam, is wrapped with a microfibre cover.  The quality of the encasing is professional, neat and precise.

Despite its obvious profile as a race-specific saddle, the element of comfort is not discounted from the entire equation.  The middle section of the Forte is recessed inwards, leading to a hollow passage in the centralised part of the saddle.  According to EN:GAGER, this cut-out feature helps relieve perineum pressure.  The saddle-maker called this the DRAFT:TECH.

 

Riding on the EN:GAGER Forte Saddle

It is not always true that wide, heavily-padded saddles are the ones that provide the most comfort to the rider’s bum.  Similarly, gel saddles, which will flatten and loses its cushiness when directly placed under the weight of the upper body, may not be the most conducive seat for long-distance rides.  And the Forte seemed to have proven these points right.

Our initial impression of the Forte when we sat on it for the first time was, we felt that the saddle was a little too stiff and unresponsive.  But this negativity did not last long.

Contrary to the rigid sensation that was observed at the beginning, the Forte was surprisingly comfortable throughout our three-hour ride.  Though flat, we were able to find a common sweet spot for endurance riding.  The Forte was able to eliminate perineum-related tenderness and pain, thanks to its recessed channel  and the hollow section.  We did not experience any form of numbness or irritation during and after our test ride.  However, we did notice that the Forte provided the most comfort when we were in a forward aggressive position.  For riders who prefer to adopt an upright position, they should consider arch-shaped saddles.

The Forte is a sturdy saddle.  There was no flex and power transfer was quick and direct.  We were convinced that the Forte is the perfect component for racing and competitions.

The Forte hit it off well with us when it comes to climbing, thanks to its longer nose.  Most of the riders have a tendency to shift their weights towards the nose of the saddle when ascending, and we were happy that the frontal section of the Forte offered ample support and plushness when we placed our weight on it during climbs.

We awarded high marks for the microfibre cover that wrapped the Forte.  It was not slippery when it came into contact with water (we encountered a drizzle in the middle segment of our test ride).  And yet, it was smooth enough to allow for riding position adjustments.

Whilst we did not manage to secure the right to carry out a long-term testing on the Forte, the test ride was enough to shed light on its toughness and durability.

 

Buying Verdict

The Forte is a contender not to be reckoned with, and from our road-based test ride, we believed that it had set a new standard for racing saddles.

Albeit lightweight, the Forte had proven itself to be a stiff and strong saddle.  Despite being designed as a race-inspired saddle with sleek-straight contours, the Forte did not compromise on comfort.  Retailing at $75, the Forte appears to have successfully plugged the gap between the expensive high-end stuff and the economical no-frill saddles.

All in all, the Forte has presented itself as a well-built saddle.  We feel that it is worthwhile including it in your next race.

The EN:GAGER Forte is available at

Wize Ride (Singapore Distributor)

Retailer:
1 2 Cycle
Big Box
New Era Cycle
StationGo