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.