SKS and SQlab are two German companies imported to the U.S. by the same distributor, based in southern Illinois. SKS specializes in fenders and bags, while SQ Lab focuses on where the body meets the bike, namely saddles and grips/tape.
Mark Burgener from SKS USA told us about the latest offerings from SKS, which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. They include the Speed Rocker fender, intended for gravel and city bikes, which attach without the need for fender eyelets and can fit tires up to 700 x42c. The Veloflex model fits up to 55mm tires, and for MTB use, there’s the Mudrocker, which fits either 27.5 or 29 inch wheels with tires up to 3 inches wide.
Also from SKS are the EXP line of bags which come in saddlebag, frame bag and bar bag iterations.The EXP series of bags are perfect for bikepacking or day trips and feature reflective elements and water proof material.
SQlab are the originators of custom saddle sizing, which can be determined at home by customers, or at one of SQlab’s dealer network shops across the country. Their sizing system offers four different sizes for a perfect rider/saddle interface.
Burgener showed us the 6OX Ergowave Active saddle, newly improved and made in Germany. The new improved model uses a unique BASF Infinergy foam material, made famous in running shoes. This material is very robust and brings comfort to a whole new level, especially in off-road conditions, due to its quick recovery time. The production technology was developed by an automotive supplier, Oechsler in Ansbach, Germany, for a large sporting goods manufacturer a few years ago. SQlab and Oechsler then formed a partnership to optimize this technology for saddles.
The wave-shaped elevation of the Ergowave, which extends from the rear to the front, offers a perfect form-fit shape for most sit bones. This shape significantly reduces the pressure in the perineal area or female pubic arch.
The flat, slightly curved saddle nose, which is lower in level, ensures less pressure on the sensitive areas for both men and women. For even better pressure relief, especially on longer climbs, the saddle nose has a slightly wider design, with a larger contact surface area.
Thanks to the SQlab active saddle technology, the saddle follows you as you pedal. This increases comfort and works to keep the intervertebral discs mobilized while greatly reducing pressure on the sit bones. A prerequisite for maximum performance is the perfect fit for the athlete and therefore the saddle, as with all saddles from SQlab, is available in four different sizes: 13cm, 14cm, 15cm, and 16cm.
Burgener explained that due to SKS and SQlab’s German production, they have been unaffected by the supply chain disruption that has plagued Asian imports during the pandemic. In fact, he said that SKS had ramped up production to meet the increased demand for bicycles during the pandemic, producing 70,000 fenders per week.