0 0

Active System - against back pain when cycling

Based on the scientific publication by Florian Röhrl et al. 2023

Lower back pain is a well-known problem among cyclists, especially during and after long, strenuous climbs. Every second cyclist reports back pain, regardless of the area of use. With the SQlab 611 active saddle, active technology was introduced back in 2010, which is designed to relieve intervertebral discs and sit bones and prevent lower back pain. Since 2011, at least one active model has been available for every area of use. Today, more than every second SQlab saddle sold is equipped with active technology.

Florian Röhrl researched the SQlab active technology as part of his Master's thesis and subsequently published a scientific paper on the subject in the journal Sport Biomechanics with the Chair of Sports Science at the University of Innsbruck.

Test procedure

The principal investigator recruited 30 participants, of which 17 were male and 13 female. Each subject took part in two field tests and laboratory measurements in which the SQlab 611 ERGOWAVE® active saddle was compared with control saddles without an active system and in the laboratory test with the SQlab 611 without active technology.

In the field test, a specific mountain bike ride of 12.2 km and 1331 m elevation gain was completed on a forest road and the subjective perception of pain in the lower back area was recorded.

In the laboratory measurement, the test subjects rode at a certain intensity (2 W/kg and a cadence of 75 rpm) on a cycle ergometer. Data from a marker-based 3D whole-body and spinal-pelvic movement and EMG data (electromyography) of the lower back muscles were recorded via 43 sensors.

Evaluation of field test

In the field test, the test subjects rode until one of the following criteria was met: "exhaustion", "too much discomfort", "too much pain", "end of route", "time limit of 3 hours", "other". The test subjects then used a pain rating scale from 1-10 to express the intensity of the back pain and a Borg scale from 6 to 20 to express the perceived exertion.

In the laboratory test, all EMG data were normalized at the MVC (maximum voluntary contraction). In each case, 60 seconds were considered. The 3D movement data was analyzed using the PMAnalyzer software based on a principal component analysis. From this, 2D movements could be generated, which could be assessed.

Result - Field test subjective pain perception

The 611 ERGOWAVE® active reduces pain in the lower back, as the result shows.

The intensity of pain in the lower back area was rated lower by the test subjects when riding the SQlab 611 ERGOWAVE® active compared to the test subjects' private standard saddles without the active system.

In both field tests (SQlab active and standard saddles), similar median values were given for the pain on the sit bones, the perceived exertion during the uphill ride, the duration of the uphill ride and the altitude meters covered, which makes the two uphill rides comparable.

This was also shown by the statistical analysis. The pain values at the end of the climb were significantly lower when using the 611 ERGOWAVE® active compared to their own standard saddles.

Result - Electromyography laboratory test

The EMG analysis showed that there are differences in the activation of the muscles in the lumbar vertebrae area between the 611 Ergowave active and the SQlab 611 Ergowave without Active technology.

There was a trend towards greater activation of the muscles in the spine with the Active saddles. The alternating tension of the muscles due to the movement of the saddle has a positive effect on back health compared to a permanent, equally high tension of all muscles in saddles without Active technology.


SQlab saddles with Active technology are designed to reduce pain in the lower back while cycling. The innovative Active technology has a targeted effect on the movements of the pelvis and lower back. This technology enables a more symmetrical pedaling movement. Our Active saddles are also characterized by their ergonomic shape, which helps to significantly reduce back pain. 

SQlab active-saddle technology

The active Comfort 2.1 saddle technology can be adjusted quickly and easily in two stages with the switch function. Turn the adapter by 90° and the degree of horizontal movement changes. A difference is made between standard-active and high-active.
  • Call / Message