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Old 07-06-12, 08:41 PM   #1
GetUpnGo
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Weird but comfortable seat: Selle SMP Martin Touring

Mostly for hybrid bikers

http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_537790_-1___203514


I just installed this seat today and went for a 15-mile trial ride. I have fairly severe hip arthritis and have been in a lot of pain for the last several years. I would be forced to get off the bike and rest every 5 miles to relieve the pain. Not on this seat!

The foam in this seat is described as soft, but I would rate it as medium. It "looks" like a marshmallow seat, but doesn't ride like one. The foam felt just right---both supportive and cushioning. The nose rises a bit in the front, creating a dip in the center of the seat. The dip seemed to cradle my pelvis very well. There was no tendency to slip off the nose even though it angles down.

It took half an hour to get used to the unusually large hole in the center. You definitely notice it at first. I put a nylon cover over the seat and that was more comfortable. By the end of the ride I was no longer noticing the hole.

Most importantly, I had no hip pain whatsoever. I was pain free the entire time. There was no standing to relieve pressure on the sit bones, no squirming to avoid pressure points. There were no pressure points. That for me is a real miracle. I stopped at 15 miles because it got dark, but I felt like I could have gone double the distance with no pain. (Time will tell.)

This is definitely a wide saddle at 218 mm and not for everyone. I was worried that I would notice the width especially at the point where the back of the leg hits the seat, but in fact I quickly got used to it.

Bottom line, this is the most comfortable seat I've ever had, at least so far. I've ridden a Brooks, a Body Geometry, a Selle Royal, and a million others. This one is the best. I know 15 miles is nothing, but my instant reaction was, "Man, this thing is GOOD" and I felt the same way at the end of the ride. I was barely even aware of the saddle much of the time.

Especially recommended for larger people as one of the few large seats that's not a marshmallow and will give you support.

If you're not a large person, explore the other nose-down saddles by Selle SMP. Something for everyone. A very well thought out line of saddles. I can't imagine anything more comfortable.

P.S. That's a Jamis Coda Sport modified with an upright handlebar, twist-grip shifters, and low mountain gears front and rear. The ultimate do-all long-distance cruiser/fitness bike/tourer.
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File Type: jpg Martin 3.jpg (95.2 KB, 85 views)
File Type: jpg Martin 4.jpg (92.6 KB, 89 views)
File Type: jpg Martin 7.jpg (101.3 KB, 113 views)

Last edited by GetUpnGo; 07-06-12 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 07-07-12, 12:52 AM   #2
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Good for you on finding a saddle that works and keeps you out riding!!
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Old 07-07-12, 04:11 AM   #3
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I just ordered one. Thought I would give it a try.
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Old 07-07-12, 04:46 AM   #4
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Thanks for taking the time in writing this review. Many of us continue to seek a more comfortable seat for our needs. Thanks to what you have offered, I am going to take a serious look at this replacement in the near future.
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Old 07-07-12, 07:07 AM   #5
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Glad you got a seat that is helpful and comfortable.

I had to chuckle though...does anyone else find the seat resembling a posterior from the rear view?
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Old 07-07-12, 08:22 AM   #6
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Glad to see a couple of people are considering this seat. If you think this one is too wide check the other Selle SMP seats. I will post an update when I have more miles on this seat.
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Old 07-07-12, 09:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by GetUpnGo View Post
Glad to see a couple of people are considering this seat. If you think this one is too wide check the other Selle SMP seats. I will post an update when I have more miles on this seat.
Thank you for the info. I'm in the market for a saddle....this one is interesting... http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...0052_537793_-1
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Old 07-07-12, 11:57 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by dirty tiger View Post
Thank you for the info. I'm in the market for a saddle....this one is interesting... http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...0052_537793_-1

REVIEWS & THREADS ABOUT THE TRK
http://www.amazon.com/Selle-SMP-TRK-...ews/B001K12JHK

http://boardreader.com/thread/New_sa...7arnXf4nt.html

Video about Selle SMP in general: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o_QoUxzB1M

Selle SMP seems to be better known in Europe. If you read German, there are 64 4.5-star reviews at http://www.fahrrad.de/fahrradteile/s...king/6065.html This TRK is 177 mm wide, vs 160 for the Nashbar version.


REVIEWS AND THREADS ABOUT THE MARTIN
This guy has put 7000 miles on it! http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/revie...1&nested=0&v=W

http://www.amazon.de/product-reviews...owViewpoints=1
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Old 07-07-12, 05:26 PM   #9
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Are these for men only?
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Old 07-07-12, 06:00 PM   #10
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Not at all, even if a label says men or women try the saddle and see if it works for you. I used a women's model Avocet anatomical saddle in the mid 80's and it was very comfortable. Forget what people say or think, what works for you is what you should use. Let us know if you try it and if you like it.

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Old 07-07-12, 06:43 PM   #11
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Are these for men only?
The Martin isn't labeled for men or women. When anatomical saddles first came out I guess people were mainly concerned about the male reproductive organs. It turns out that women appreciate crotch relief just as much as men. The shape of the cutout on this saddle should work for either gender.
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Old 07-07-12, 07:55 PM   #12
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Glad it works for you. Looks like a torture device to me.
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Old 09-24-12, 09:30 AM   #13
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Update

Sadly, I have to report that the foam in this seat broke down severely within the first 400 miles and I can no longer recommend it. I'm shocked that a seat costing $85 would use such lousy foam. And that a company with a good reputation like Selle SMP would use such a flimsy material. I'm sorry if anyone bought this seat based on my review. It was such a great seat for the first few weeks.
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Old 09-24-12, 10:13 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by GetUpnGo View Post
Sadly, I have to report that the foam in this seat broke down severely within the first 400 miles and I can no longer recommend it. I'm shocked that a seat costing $85 would use such lousy foam. And that a company with a good reputation like Selle SMP would use such a flimsy material. I'm sorry if anyone bought this seat based on my review. It was such a great seat for the first few weeks.
Wow! You paid too much. The current price (on Nashbar) is $50. Still, a saddle shouldn't fail so soon. I have a SMP saddle and went into a tri/TT fit shop to purchase another. He had to order it for me because I wanted white and while taking a look at my existing SMP, he noticed that the front of the cutout was broken. I purchased this specific seat off eBay and just figured I got a bad one and there was nothing that could be done about it. He called SMP, (in Oxnard, CA - his fit shop is in the neighboring city), to inquire about a warranty replacement. I had no paperwork and did not purchase this seat from him.

Since it was so late in the day, on a Friday, they arranged for my old seat to be sent to SMP and upon inspection, would send out a new one. It came to the house in short order. I'm pretty happy with the outcome.

Your seat is well within warranty. You should be able to send it back for a full refund to Nashbar ... or you could contact SMP directly for a replacement. If you are truly happy with the seat, it is worth getting it replaced with the same model.

If you are considering calling SMP, a Google search of "Selle SMP Oxnard" shows this as the second link:


Albabci - US distributor and agent for Selle SMP Saddles


Their contact information under their "About Us" tab is:

Albabici LLC
1500 Mariner Dr. - Unit # B
Oxnard, CA 93003

Business Hours:
9 AM - 5 PM (Pacific Time)

Telephone: 805-385-3179

Information: info@albabici.com

Might be worth a call. Explain your circumstance and how happy you are with that particular model and see what they will do for you. Personally, I wouldn't try to resolve this with Nashbar, unless you want a full refund. They're a big organization and you won't get the degree of personal attention that you deserve. Even though you aren't a dealer/bike shop, I'd try SMP/Oxnard first. Maybe explain that Nashbar isn't very helpful, or some other made-up story. Good luck.

(I have noticed that Nashbar sells Selle SMP seats that are not on the SMP web site, and concluded that they were inferior quality. Your experience seems to confirm this.)

- - - - -

p.s. I have two SMP saddles now, one on each of my main rides. I have to remove and install a seat on a third bike that I use and am considering a third seat for that bike ... but then, maybe I have too many bikes and should get rid of it. My model is the Lite 209. Pretty happy. Not totally, but numbness is no longer an issue.
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Old 09-24-12, 10:57 AM   #15
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Nashbar offered me a full refund, since they're out of stock and can't replace it. I don't want a replacement if it's going to be the same foam.

My guess is that Selle SMP produced this for the recreational market and knows how soft the foam is but they just didn't think it would be a problem with low-mileage riders. (Just guessing, obviously.) The moniker "touring" is way off. This seat would survive about two weeks of touring.

I originally consulted with Albabici before buying this seat and bought it based on their assurances that the foam was firm, not a marshmallow seat at all. So I'm guessing that the folks in California have simply had no feedback on the seat. They do now. I also sent an e-mail to Italy.

I didn't pay $85 but that's the MSRP. I would pay $85 for a fabulous, durable seat.

On another topic, what's up with Nashbar product support? The first guy I talked to was curt and grouchy. I called back and the second guy was knowledgeable, helpful, and empathethic. Some people should be kept away from customer service, e.g., those who don't actually like talking to customers. Reflects poorly on Nashbar.
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Old 09-25-12, 06:12 AM   #16
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To bad the seat was a let down, you did the right thing in letting Albabici and Nashbar know you were unhappy. SMP is supposed to be a well built saddle, wonder where the QA/QC let them down on this model? My customer service experience with Nashbar has been first rate so far. Sounds like you got the guy with personal problems on the first try. let us know what you decide to try next.

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Old 09-25-12, 06:54 AM   #17
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Bummer to hear that you got a great saddle only to find out it wasn't so great after all. I recently purchased an ISM saddle for my road bike and I swear by it. For me, that saddle was love at first sit. Fortunately for me, if there is ever a problem with the saddle, the company is located less then 15 miles from my house and I will be knocking on their door. Good luck with getting a resolution to your saddle problem with Selle.
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Old 09-25-12, 06:59 AM   #18
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I'm seeing more Selle SMP style saddles the list year. This is my first look at the touring one. For an upright postion, it might be worth a try. The key for me would be if it would be comfortable after about three hours, the longest amount of time I generally spend on any of my bikes with an upright postion. Glad it works for you.
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