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Hands-on Gear Review
Selle SMP Extra Review
Cons: Heavy, raised lettering causes chafing
Bottom line: A heavily padded saddle with an aggressive drop nose design to consider if numbness is an issue.
When we first pulled the Selle SMP Extra out of the box we had our reservations. The radical shape is unique, and the length of the cutout made us question the stability of the shell. Our first ride put these issues to rest. The shell does not suffer from any unwanted lateral flex. The cutout and unique shape offered noticeable relief of pressure when seated for extended periods of time. We found the padding to be a bit much for performance racing use, but enjoyed the saddle for more casual use. It offers comparable comfort and is lighter than the Best Buy WTB Speed, but costs twice as much. If you suffer from numbness while seated for long periods, this saddle is worth a look.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The SMP has a radical drop nose shape that is unique within our test group. Thick substantial padding and a seamless cover make it quite comfortable. The anatomical cutout runs all the way down the nose of the saddle, offering pressure relief even when shifted forward on the saddle. The SMP is 140mm in width but feels a bit wider, due to the thick padding settling outward under body weight. Our only complaint is that the raised "EXTRA" lettering on the cover caused chaffing for some of our testers.
The SMP Extra did not offer the level of performance of the race-oriented saddles in our test group. We liked the shape of the saddle, but the heavy padding had a bit too much give under load to maximize power output.
We found the SMP to be a versatile saddle, suitable for a wide range of riding. We cannot recommend it for racing due power transfer issues, but it is suitable for virtually any other type of riding. The drop nose stays out of the way during out of the saddle efforts, and the full cutout does a great job of relieving pressure when down in the drops.
The seamless synthetic cover and steel rails have proven to be very durable during testing. The absence of a rear scuff guard makes the corners more prone to abrasion than some of other saddles in our test group, such as the WTB Speed.
With a weight of 344g, the SMP is not a lightweight saddle. But compared to other saddles with a large amount of padding like the Speed V, its weight is not unreasonable.
If you have had issues with groin numbness while riding, this saddle is worth a try. The shape and cutout are designed to reduce pressure and increase blood flow while seated. The thick padding may be a bit much for the performance-oriented rider, but if general fitness and a comfortable ride are your priorities, it deserves your attention.
The SMP Extra can be purchased for around $85 online. It is durable, well built, and will last a long time. Its versatility adds to the value. If you do not like it on your road or mountain bike, it could be transferred to a cruiser or town bike, where its comfort will be more than adequate for short rides around town.
— Curtis Smith
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