Crap I love: the Selle SMP Strike saddle

I’ve spent the last four years riding a handful of different bikes a few thousand miles total and in that time I’ve learned a lot about how my body works, what kind of bike feels most comfortable, and areas where comfort can be improved.

It took quite a bit of trial and error to find the perfect seat for my road bike. It’s no secret that for both men and women cyclists, sitting on your junk for hundreds of hours a year can cause a lot of problems (increased ED in male cyclists is a definite something I don’t look forward to). After getting saddle sore on the seats that came with the last three bikes I rode, I tried using different models with more padding (made problems even worse) and less padding (better, as you try to sit just on the bones of your butt) and I got a proper bike fitting on my last two bikes (this helped immensely). Eventually I found a Selle San Marco model with a cutaway mid-section. That seat worked pretty well until rides went beyond an hour long — eventually I’d move around on the saddle and settle too far forward or too much in the middle and end a ride sore as usual.

Recently I picked up a Selle SMP Strike Pro saddle for my newest bike. It’s a pretty weird looking saddle, with the entire middle cut away and oddly dropped nose. It also starts around $200 at most shops, which is a drag. After using the San Marco model (with the mid-section cut away) for a year, I had a feeling that going to a more extreme saddle like the Strike Pro would be a good next step. There’s some science on their site claiming that it’ll relieve pressure in all the right places.

I’ll admit that I’ve only ridden this saddle for about 100 miles in the week or two that I’ve had it but I have to say it’s miles ahead of anything I’ve used before. In the short time I’ve had this seat on my bike I’ve realized it forces you into good form and positioning because there’s really nowhere to sit besides the two rails. Unlike other saddles I’ve used, my entire weight rests on the bones of my pelvis (as it should) and never moves to other parts over time. Even on my longer rides, I felt perfectly fine at the end of the ride, with no numbness or soreness anywhere which is pretty much a first.

The only drawbacks I’ve found is the steep price (unless your local shop carries a ton of them and will let you test them out, you’ll have to pony up $200+ just to give it a try) and if you’re a weight weenie that cares about grams the seat is a little on the heavy side for a pro-level saddle (they make lighter models with varying levels of padding). But if you’re looking for a little piece of mind and bit more comfort on your long bike rides, I can’t recommend this saddle highly enough.

5 Comments

  • This saddle does indeed rock. I got one back in September, just as my Ironman rides were getting longer and more frequent, and it’s saved me from a lot of numbness.

  • Hello there! Fellow Oregonian here. Found you, amazingly, on Dooce’s Twitter list. Saw the word “Burgerville” and flipped out after reading that, YES, it is indeed time for Strawberry again! Are they early this year?
    Do you ever cycle near Hagg Lake? There was a big competition not long ago. Anyway, pleasure to meet you.

  • I will be very interested to know how you like it during hill climbs. I used to prefer saddles with a bit of a ‘ridge’ on the back, to prevent my rear sliding off when pushing hard.
    $200 ain’t much, really, when you’re out to save your manhood for the long term. Sure wish the local shops would allow try-outs …

  • In 2006 I joined a British tour group at Dover to start a
    “Channel To Med” supported tour across France. My doctor, an experienced cycle tourist suggested I would probably have to get a ride in the van in the Massif Central, something to do with being 78. He was right.
    What I thought was a comfortable saddle was giving pain after a full day’s riding.
    The company’s sweep rider was singing the praises of his Selle SMP saddle. When I got home I ordered one, the Srrike Pro version. Despite the red ink in the cheque book I ordered 2 more for my other bikes. Wish I had found them several years ago!
    But being a Brit (& synthetic Canadian) I felt the primitive lack of a saddlebag facility was a downer & set about correcting that.
    I removed the SMP cartouche from its mount, drilled 2 3/16 holes in the mount & mounted a bag hanger on it.
    The hanger is a piece of 1/8 Aluminum 1 inch x 6 inch shaped to fit tidily under the back of the saddle.
    I then covered the 2 screw heads with the SMP cartouche.
    I have done 2 of the bikes, the 3rd one is only used on special occasions that seldom need a bag.

  • Dude, Harold, YOU ROCK!!! 78 and signed up for GB-MED. FNG-A, (to use appropriately French words). I always get inspired when I hear about oldies still riding. I’m 43, and still ride hard after 35 years. I sure hope to be able to ride across france 35 years from now.
    As far as bike seats, I always ride HARD and flat saddles. If you sit on your sit bones on a really hard and flat seat, all your penile parts are off the seat, i.e. no (or very little pressure). I get some problems with chafing on long rides with cutout-type saddles.
    One thing that makes any saddle comfortable is to ride alot. If you’re extremely fit, you’re able to put out more power during regular riding, and therefore less weight goes on the saddle. 35kph requires a certain power output, and some of that is produced by pushing down on the pedals, i.e. less weight on the seat.
    Most amateurs don’t ride enough to be able to “lighten their load” sufficiently. That’s why you rarely see pro’s riding cut-outs. They just don’t need to.
    For the rest of us, I think SMP is a great seat. My friends swear by it. I just have had bad experiences with cutouts, and I’m slightly apprehensive. My LBS actually lets you lend saddles for a few days. They sell SMP, so I’ll give it a shot and let you know how it all went.

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