Reviews You Can Rely On

Selle SMP Pro Review

A unique saddle that maximizes anatomic relief and minimizes pressure on long rides
Selle SMP Pro
Photo: Selle
Top Pick Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $270 List | $249.00 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Huge pressure relief channel, supports variable riding positions, good for long rides
Cons:  Pricey, can alter riding form, can cause pressure points
Manufacturer:   Selle
By Nick Bruckbauer ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 24, 2019
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 15
  • Comfort - 30% 8
  • Performance - 30% 8
  • Versatility - 20% 8
  • Durability - 10% 9
  • Weight - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The Selle SMP Pro stands out in the sea of traditional bike saddles with its distinctive design, featuring a uniquely sloping shape and one of the most aggressive pressure relief cutouts on the market. Along with its high-end materials and quality construction, it rides away as our Top Pick for Anatomic Relief. Its unique design may not be for everyone, though, as some of our testers experienced pressure points when the smaller seating platform didn't perfectly align with their sit bones. However, after tinkering with the setup and trying different seat positions, our testers agreed it was quite comfortable across a variety of speeds and riding positions.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Selle SMP Pro
This Product
Selle SMP Pro
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $249.00 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$134.73 at REI$100.50 at Amazon$95.74 at Amazon$35 List
Check Price at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
78
85
82
79
76
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Huge pressure relief channel, supports variable riding positions, good for long ridesLightweight, comfortable, durableLightweight, supportive, comfortable on long ridesLightweight, comfortable, reasonably pricedComfortable, anatomical groove and cutout, versatile, economical
Cons Pricey, can alter riding form, can cause pressure pointsNo anatomic relief channel, lacks versatilityNo pressure relief channel, limited colorsUnique shape may not be for everyoneHeavy, not as stiff as high performance options
Bottom Line A unique saddle that maximizes anatomic relief and minimizes pressure on long ridesA high-end, ultra lightweight racing saddle that blends comfort and performanceA comfortable, affordable saddle great for long-distance cruisingA high-performing saddle that provides lightweight comfort and a unique designA Jack or Jackie of all trades, comfortable for any riding style in any situation, this affordable saddle ranks competitively with higher-priced alternatives
Rating Categories Selle SMP Pro Fabric Scoop Fizik Aliante Gamma... Prologo Dimension Bontrager Sport Saddle
Comfort (30%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Performance (30%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Versatility (20%)
8.0
7.0
9.0
5.0
9.0
Durability (10%)
9.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Weight (10%)
5.0
9.0
7.0
9.0
5.0
Specs Selle SMP Pro Fabric Scoop Fizik Aliante Gamma... Prologo Dimension Bontrager Sport Saddle
Dimensions L 278 mm, W 148 mm L 282 mm, W 142 mm L 265 mm, W 142 mm L 245 mm, W 143 mm L 275 mm, W 163 mm
Weight (grams) 337 g 195 g 252 g 191 g 350 g
Rail Material Steel Carbon fiber Alloy Tirox Steel
Shell Material Nylon, Carbon Reinforced Nylon, PU foam Nylon Carbon Reinforced with Twin Flex™ center Light foam Foam
Seat Cover Material Leather Waterproof Microfiber Synthetic Microfiber Microfiber
Anatomical Cut Out or Channel Yes, full cut out No No Yes, full cut out Yes groove and cut out
Target Use (mountain, road, etc.) Road Road Road Road, Mountain, Cyclocross Road, Commuting, Touring

Our Analysis and Test Results

With an extreme cutout design that many riders will appreciate, a unique sloping profile that is versatile throughout a wide variety of riding positions, and a high-end leather cover, the Selle SMP Pro scores well across the board. While it's a little on the heavier side compared to some other high-end models, its premium materials and construction that help create the unique pressure-relieving design help offset the potential weight penalty. Read on to see if it's the right saddle for you!

Performance Comparison


The SMP Pro is definitely on the heavier side, which could come into...
The SMP Pro is definitely on the heavier side, which could come into play on those long, grueling climbs.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Comfort


When it comes to comfort, the SMP Pro has some obvious design features in its favor. First is the gigantic, full-length pressure relief channel that saves your soft tissues from taking the brunt of your weight, and instead focuses the contact onto your sit bones. Its design also includes a dramatically downturned nose, which prevents riders from jamming their rear into the nose when exhaustedly or aggressively slamming back into the saddle.


While this dramatic relief channel certainly performs as advertised, and the seating platform gets broader towards the tail of the saddle, it still provides a smaller seating area than on most other saddles. This means that if the sit bones in your anatomy don't properly align with the seating platforms, it can lead to some uncomfortable pressure points. Selle advertises that this saddle is best suited for riders with a USA 34-39 pants size, and some of our smaller testers outside this range found that this design didn't suit them as well.

They SMP Pro features a carbon-reinforced nylon shell atop steel alloy 304 rails for stiffness and stability, and the foam elastomer padding is definitely also on the firmer side to help support the unique shape of the saddle. The Primo Fiore leather seat cover is a nice luxurious-feeling bonus, with a smooth, soft surface that allows just enough sliding to accommodate repositioning without sticking or squeaking. Keep in mind that only the black version comes in leather. The colored versions come in high-performance Lorica Microfiber.

The advantage of the downturned nose becomes apparent on those rides...
The advantage of the downturned nose becomes apparent on those rides that require a lot of jumping out of the saddle and slamming back in.
Photo: Crystal Huffman

After researching some online user reviews, we found that there are other riders who, like some of our testers, found that it took a bit of tinkering to get the saddle positioned just right for a comfortable ride. Because of the extreme sloping profile of this seat, it's imperative to get the fore and aft adjustment and the tilt of the saddle just right. The bottom line is that riders who typically experience pressure or discomfort in their sensitive soft tissues will find tremendous relief with this saddle!

The downturned nose and extreme sloping shape of the SMP Pro...
The downturned nose and extreme sloping shape of the SMP Pro compared to a more traditionally shaped saddle.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Performance


One of the biggest concerns we had when we first looked at this saddle was that we would end up feeling like we were straddling a small box-frame. This concern was soon alleviated after the first quick spin and forgotten after a few longer rides. Firm foam padding, stiff alloy rails, and a solid carbon-reinforced nylon shell ensure that very little power is lost in the saddle without sacrificing comfort. The leather cover and tapered nose smoothly mitigate thigh-rub and minimize saddle-thigh contact, keeping you going with the flow.


The SMP Pro ranks well in the performance category, right alongside lighter and stiffer racing-inspired saddles, which is impressive because of its amazing pressure-relieving qualities. It can strike an ideal balance between rigid power transfer, forgiving flex, and anatomically-friendly design, landing among the highest-ranked products in or lineup, and earning our Top Pick for Anatomic Relief.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Durability


We have no reason to believe that the lifespan of this saddle shouldn't be several seasons, as long as you aren't chewing on the nose or taking a ton of hard spills. The premium leather (black) or Lorica (colored) covers will last a long time, particularly given the strong, tucked-away anchoring under the shell. The shell is tough nylon with carbon fiber reinforcement, adding considerable strength to the framing. It sits atop rails made of tubular 304 steel - the most common type of stainless steel, selected for its resistance to corrosion. Foam padding can certainly wear down over time, but the firm elastomer foam, which is essentially rubber, showed no signs of breaking down during our testing period and generally lasts much longer than lighter, less dense types of foam padding.


The most durable saddles in our lineup all have more streamlined designs with thinner or denser padding and include higher-end materials that tend to perform better and last longer. We've found that thicker or softer padding tends to wear down quicker and change shape or lose support over time. The only durability concern we have with the SMP Pro is that the leather cover is held in place on the bottom side with staples and glue, without a firm guard around the leather edges, so any small tears could potentially lead to a tearing or peeling cover.

High-end materials and construction mean the SMP Pro will likely...
High-end materials and construction mean the SMP Pro will likely last for many, many years.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Versatility


One of the surprising things about the SMP Pro is that it is not just a comfort cruiser for those looking for pressure relief in their soft tissues. Its bulk, padding and dramatic relief channel might suggest that it's for the folks who prefer to stay back and cruise when the attacking starts, and while it's definitely a great saddle for exactly that, its downturned nose and supportive tail are perfect for getting down in the drops and doing some pain-infliction of your own. We found that the dramatically sloping profile makes it easy to slide back and forth through different riding positions and find a comfortable spot.


The firm padding and extreme cut-out channel make this a great saddle for the sit-down and grind style of climbing for those of you lucky enough to have categorized climbs in your life. It also does well in the long-distance category, making it a good choice for touring and centuries with its all-day pressure-relieving design.

The Selle combines the features of a narrow-nosed racing saddle with...
The Selle combines the features of a narrow-nosed racing saddle with a wide-flanged touring saddle to become one of the most versatile saddles out there.
Photo: Crystal Huffman

Weight


This seat certainly might turn off the weight weenies with its measured weight of 337 grams, which can be mostly attributed to its supple leather, thick elastomer (rubber) foam padding, and tough nylon 12-carbon fiber shell. The rails are also made from 304 steel, which is on the heavier side. Riders looking for dramatic pressure relief likely will be willing to make the tradeoff for a little extra weight.


337 g is a bit on the chubby side for road saddles.
337 g is a bit on the chubby side for road saddles.
Photo: Crystal Huffman

Value


This is a premium saddle that hits a certain segment of riders that are looking for dramatic anatomic relief, and it's priced accordingly. While the $270 list price is definitely on the upper end of our lineup and the market as a whole, riders desperately seeking relief will find a well-designed, comfortable, versatile road bike saddle for their money.

The Selle SMP Pro is a really unique saddle that may make some...
The Selle SMP Pro is a really unique saddle that may make some riders forget about traditional saddles for good.
Photo: Crystal Huffman

Conclusion


There's no question that this saddle is targets riders looking for extreme pressure relief, and while it certainly delivers in that area, it also offers so much more with its other high-end attributes. Its firmly padded seating platform helps cushion even the boniest bottom, while the strong, stiff nylon 12 shell with carbon reinforcement can support even the heftiest hiney. It's just as suited to climbing as it is sprinting and will also keep you happy cruising or touring. The Selle SMP Pro truly earns its spot as our Top Pick for Anatomic Relief.

Nick Bruckbauer