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Who has experience with Selle SMP saddles?

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Who has experience with Selle SMP saddles?

Old 09-02-11, 07:59 PM
  #1  
bianchi10
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Who has experience with Selle SMP saddles?

I was looking into these saddles when I first started cycling and having saddle issues. Its been 3 years and the thought still crosses my mind. When looking through all the options, I get so overwhelmed trying to figure out which model would be the one to start with. Biketiresdirect.com's warehouse is just down the street from me and they have a great demo program which would allow me to try them. the obvious answer is, "no real answer, just try one and start from there." but I'm more interested to know how others made that decision.

My question is mainly out of curiousity. My saddle is fine and I may never try the SMP, but with its un-orthodox shape its intriguing.

How many people have tried the SMP to find out it was the wrong shape, then moved onto the next shape, then the next...then BOOM BAM....total comfort?
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Old 09-02-11, 10:31 PM
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I just moved to a selle smp forma this year and it solved my saddle issues. They have a lot of options of widths and padding. I found this saddle to be a perfect fit for my sit bones.

I'd recommend giving them a try. Hope it works for you as well as it did for me. Make sure you read their website to find out info on their widths before you pick one. Their naming convention doesn't reveal anything about width or padding.
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Old 09-02-11, 10:40 PM
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I have the SMP avant and love it. I found that that other saddles I tried where to long and caused alot of discomfort. For me it was worth every penny, however saddles can be as tuff as finding the right women. Good luck with your search.
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Old 09-02-11, 10:47 PM
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I've been using a SMP Lite 209 on one of my bikes. Before I ordered it, I did an extensive evaluation of the different SMP saddles. There seem to be four levels of padding, then differing widths within each padding category. I ordered the Lite 209 because it seem to have the padding level I wanted and it is the same width as one of my other saddles.

After six months, I'm not totally happy with it. It is slightly too wide in the mid to forward part of the saddle and even though I never get numb anymore, after about 40 miles, it starts getting uncomfortable. Talking with a vendor set up at a recent century ride the other week, he asked about the symptoms and said right off that I needed a narrower saddle. He showed me two side-by-side, and I could see the width difference. I'm on the hunt now for a LBS that has a SMP rental program. I want to try before I purchase next time.
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Old 09-02-11, 10:54 PM
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I tried an SMP Pro for a month or so....thumbs down. Returned it. You have one semi-comfortable spot - a slight move and you're sitting on a narrow fence. Ouch!
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Old 09-02-11, 10:55 PM
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I've been on my SMP Pro for about eighteen months, and have found it to be more comfortable than any others I've tried. Even on 200 mile weekend rides, there's no discomfort. I'm 69, and until a couple of years ago I was comfortable on Brooks Professionals, but started having numbness in my perineum on long rides and switched to the SMP Pro after doing some homework on the subject.
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Old 09-02-11, 11:00 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by AlexZ View Post
I tried an SMP Pro for a month or so....thumbs down. Returned it. You have one semi-comfortable spot - a slight move and you're sitting on a narrow fence. Ouch!
I tried a couple of SMPs with different widths and padding. The cutout is very good and really does solve any numbness problems. Much more than a gimmick.

But that is irrelevant if you can't get comfortable and I could not. Saddles are a lottery; a $50 saddle turned out to fit me better than any of the SMP range.
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Old 09-03-11, 10:08 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by bianchi10 View Post
the obvious answer is, "no real answer, just try one and start from there." but I'm more interested to know how others made that decision.
I bought one of the cheap ($99 at the time) Selle SMP Extra saddles from Performance Bike during a sale, figuring it was an easy way to give SMP a try. I found the saddle to be an immediate improvement over whatever I'd previously been using. Rode it for 6-9 months and eventually decided that I liked the basic shape, but wanted something that was a bit narrower and had less padding. At that point, a local store had started to carry SMP so I went over, rode a bunch of different models on a trainer, and decided on the Lite 209. The Lite 209 noticeably more comfortable than the Extra; wish I'd bought it sooner!
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Old 09-03-11, 10:41 AM
  #9  
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Forget all the padding options that SMP offers. You don't really need it. Go by the width! I ride the SMP Forma which has no padding, but is more wide and it's great! When I was first trying out the SMP saddles, I liked the shape of the Forma, but thought I needed the padding so I tried out the Dynamic. It was no where near as comfortable as the Forma. The Forma, a good pair of bibs, and I can ride for hours!
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Old 09-03-11, 11:01 AM
  #10  
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The Forma is 137mm wide with a relatively narrow flat area before rolloff toward the outer edge. It may not be suitable for riders with wide sit bones.

The Plus is 159mm wide with a wider flat area before rolling off.
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Old 09-03-11, 12:00 PM
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I owned five saddles before I bought my SMP. The only saddle that was in stock was the Plus which is their largest saddle. I like it. My SMP saddle is the best saddle I have ever sat on. No more saddle issues.
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Old 09-03-11, 01:38 PM
  #12  
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My SMP Pro is my best saddle.
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Old 09-03-11, 02:10 PM
  #13  
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Tried a few different SMP saddles and settled on the Stratos. Should have bought it sooner!
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Old 09-03-11, 07:36 PM
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Selle SMP Pro = Perfection
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Old 09-06-11, 11:04 AM
  #15  
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I love SMP saddles, but like any saddle, finding the right one might be a little tricky. What I did was buy them at Performance. With their return policy, you can ride it for a few months until you decide to either keep it or return it. I bought 3 SMP saddles (Lite 209, Stratos, and Evolution) and put over 500 miles on each over a period of maybe 3 or 4 months. I found the one I liked and returned the other two with no problems. Now I have the same saddle (SMP Lite 209) on all of my bikes and just love it.

As another poster has mentioned, when figuring out which saddle to buy, go by saddle width, not padding.
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Old 09-06-11, 11:49 AM
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I have the SMP Evolution. It's so comfortable I end up riding around town w/o bike shorts/bibs when wrenching. Just a quick ride up the street to check things out turns into a 30 minute joy ride. Talk about "Fredly."

Last edited by kneed2wrydemore; 09-06-11 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 09-06-11, 11:53 AM
  #17  
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After reading many reviews I took a chance and bought an SMP Glider from a guy in France via eBay.
It was perfectly comfortable from day one, and I never even think about the saddle.
I have it on my touring bike.
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Old 09-06-11, 12:36 PM
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I'm demo'ing an SMP Evolution right now and I like it so far. I'm going to try and demo a slightly larger width saddle as well to see if I like it any better, but if not, I'll definitely be getting the SMP Evolution and selling my Arione
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Old 09-06-11, 12:59 PM
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I've been on the SMP Evolution (ebay, no test riding other sizes) for a couple of years now, and generally really like it. I get some sit bone pain while riding if I haven't ridden in a while, but when I'm riding regularly, it's a huge improvement over the other saddles I've tried. I put in 195 miles on it between Sat. and Sunday this weekend and near the end it wasn't "plush" feeling, but wasn't causing any serious issues either. I would love to try other widths, but at the time I was shopping the local shops didn't yet carry them, and I didn't have the ~$230 to spend on a new one anyway.

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Old 09-09-11, 07:24 PM
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I have been riding the SMP Composit (the one with no padding, just leather wrapped carbon). for several years now. It is the best saddle I have ever ridden. I am getting a little older, and have considered the Evolution, but my butt is sooo used to the Composit, I am sticking with it.
Prior to this saddle, I rode an Arione, and had frequent "numbness" issues. I was constantly out of the saddle, letting my "parts" wake up from the numbness of the ride.
No problems like that all on the SMP.
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Old 09-09-11, 07:35 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by bianchi10 View Post
I was looking into these saddles when I first started cycling and having saddle issues. Its been 3 years and the thought still crosses my mind. When looking through all the options, I get so overwhelmed trying to figure out which model would be the one to start with. Biketiresdirect.com's warehouse is just down the street from me and they have a great demo program which would allow me to try them. the obvious answer is, "no real answer, just try one and start from there." but I'm more interested to know how others made that decision.

My question is mainly out of curiousity. My saddle is fine and I may never try the SMP, but with its un-orthodox shape its intriguing.

How many people have tried the SMP to find out it was the wrong shape, then moved onto the next shape, then the next...then BOOM BAM....total comfort?
I've been through a ton of saddles, of which the Selle SMP was one. It's a pretty radical design. Helped with the numbness but at about 15 miles I felt like my junk was being extruded through the slot. The edges are fairly sharp and they have to fit you perfectly. Too, it's got a bit of a dip to it so you sit in one spot on it, don't expect to slide back and forth.

A similar design, but one that has more sitting positions (flat across the top - no dip) and not as sharp edges are the Koobi's. These are great and I use one on my mountain bike. Similar but not as pronounced, feeling of extrusion. I think this is a better design than the SMP and does a better job of solving the same problem.

What I settled on and works great (for me) is the new Fizik Versus series. Plenty of relief, but no hole so no extrusion. You can sit in a variety of positions on this saddle and it is quite comfortable for long, long rides.

I'd recommend trying the more moderate designs first. Selle SMP is sort of "out there" and pretty radical. The fit is difficult to get right but can be done. It's a nitpicky thing to get it right, so be prepared to spend a lot of time. Also make sure it works for you over longer distances too.

J.
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Old 09-09-11, 09:26 PM
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Thanks John, that is really helpful feedback. A co-worker has a Koobi, so I think I will ask him for a test ride to see how I like it.
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Old 09-10-11, 03:02 AM
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Yeah, like a few others, I tried the SMP Pro and didn't like it. Found it very comfortable for a short while, then after about 20 miles I could not stand it. Like someone said, only one position worked for me, so when I needed to wriggle I could not get back to a decent position. YMMV.
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Old 09-10-11, 06:43 AM
  #24  
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I've got a Glider on my Cannondale SuperX that I use for road riding in NM. For rides out west, I'm seated in one position for long stretches of time, and the one position design of the SMP works well. Riding in the east, when I'm changing position a lot, I ride Ariones.

To fit the SMP's, you need to get into your most comfortable riding position (fore to aft), and get your sit bones settled into the saddle at the part it starts to widen and tilt up. Then, you need to micro-adjust the tilt until you get the comfort spot. Well, that's what my buddy the bike shop owner told me.

As for me, I slapped in on, eyeballed the position, and started riding. No problems. But I'm an easy fit for saddles.
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Old 09-10-11, 03:16 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
Thanks John, that is really helpful feedback. A co-worker has a Koobi, so I think I will ask him for a test ride to see how I like it.
Also, I'd suggest you call Koobi directly. Phil answers and is very knowledgeable about saddle fit, the differences between Koobi saddles and others, etc... He's quite a resource. The difference is that the Koobi has similar relief as the Selle SMP in terms of channel, the edge into the relief channel is a wider radius. The side profile is flat along the top so you have all the advantages of a deep channel AND you can slide from the nose to the back with different positions. There is this one (PRS Enduro) that I have on my mountain bike. It's got more padding than the Alpha version that is the serious big mileage road saddle (have that one too).

Enduro:
https://www.koobi.com/koobiprs-enduro.aspx

I put an Enduro PRS on my wife's road bike and she likes it a lot. They'll tell you to get an Enduro if you ride <6 hours per week and an Alpha PRS if your ride for more than 6 hours per week.

They will tell you that you need to put about 100 miles on the saddle to (a) break it in and (b) get used to it. That's about right - and is true for most saddles.

But, as you're seeing here, saddles are about as personal of a thing as underwear....

J.
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