pIf you're looking at this saddle, you're probably drawn to the center cutout relief area and the pocket most SMP saddles have between the flared up tail and sloped nose. I felt the same way, having found some old Bontrager and Titec saddles pretty comfy, so I took this one out for about 25 miles. p
pFor comparison's sake, I often use an ancient, pre-Gel-flow Selle Italia SLK (no longer made) with a full split all the way from the back up to just before the nose, and I find the Fizik Antares shape to be very comfortable, too. I've ridden a bunch of WTB saddles and usually find them to be a little wide (even though I'm a fat guy). p
pFirst ten miles on the SMP were extremely comfortable. Probably never had a saddle seem like such a natural fit. And it stayed pretty comfortable, but what I found at about 20 miles was that the advantage-the pocket-became a bit of a disadvantage. I couldn't find many other spots that were as comfy as one specific area.p
pApparently, I move around a bit and that works with saddles with a more gradual valley or pocket, but the walls of the SMP were a little too high, if that makes any sense.p
pI'm still considering giving it a second chance based on how comfy it was right from the start and how little time I spent tinkering with angle and fore-aft position. It was pretty incredibly comfy in that one sweet spot. But I did go back to my old saddle, which gives me a few more viable spots and a little easier movement.p
It's certainly not cheap but it's without doubt the best saddle I have used. Now have a collection of basically new saddles on shelf from Specialize, Fizik, San Marco etc and the SMP stays on the bike full time. Saddles are a personal preference but I do not hesitate recomending this one, lots of 3 hour plus rides on it.
Fantastic, comfortable saddle once you get it dialed in correctly - it took me some experimentation to get it right. I've been riding on it for 2 seasons now. My sitbones measure 112 and the Stratos fits me better than the Evolution or the Glider.
I needed a saddle that would eliminate numbness and this did the trick. After much searching and a leap of faith, I went with this one. I concur with other reviews I've read in that it takes a while to get truly comfortable with this saddle but it 100% eliminated my numbness. I've now had it for 6 months and I'm perfectly comfortable in the Selle on long rides, it's my only saddle. Definitely worth the money.
A must use for older riders, cradles your soft tissues extremely well. You have to ride and adjust 3-4 times before you dial it in but after that it becomes part of the bike. The saddle is well constructed and thought out.
This saddle is super comfy as long as you don't move. Unfortunately I move around a lot. With the way the center of the saddle dips you can not move fore or aft without great discomfort, and heaven forbid you hit a bump in the road while not perfectly centered. I gave it 2 stars for the amazing build quality and it actually is amazingly comfortable as long as you stay put in one spot. But if the pace quickens and you scoot forward to get more leverage you are in for a world of hurt as your boys rest right on the top of the eagle beak which as you can see is curved the wrong way for that kind of maneuver.
I discovered the Selle SMP series when searching for a saddle that provided adequate, even exaggerated perennial relief. I was riding a bulky, cushy, $50 bontrager and had adjusted it so that I had no issue with numbness or tingling, but nonetheless my genitals felt squished, I would feel an uncomfortable smack going over bumps, the area under my thighs right at the pelvic joint rubbed uncomfortably against the seat, my lower back got very sore, and I constantly had to shift and adjust my riding position to alleviate these discomforts. Some of the saddles I saw in a catalog went as far as to split completely down the middle providing two free pads for your sitting and nothing in between. These, however, were in the $400-500 range and I had no way of knowing how they might feel.
I could just tell by looking at the form of the SMP saddles I would remedy at least two of my issues. The deep cut channel allows for no upward force back into your crotch, even over bumps, because there is only empty space there. The thin valley ridges only put a light pressure into your thighs at the pelvic joint, and the eagle beak nose ensures leaning forward isn't cumbersome. I consulted this very thorough appraisal and explanation of the Selle SMP series
I first tried the Selle SMP evolution because I am 5'6 130 lbs and it was one of the narrower, sleeker models recommended for smaller riders. I found the evolution felt too hard and there was not enough sit area and thus felt I had little wiggle room to keep my balance in the manner I was used to. One thing I was not aware of from the picture that I discovered much to my liking is the back pads really do accommodate the sit bones directly and little of anything else. The only significant upward force directed back into your body targets your bones and no soft flesh is mashed nor does it chafe anywhere. With a little more time I could have easily adapted to be one with the Evolution, but I could tell the Stratos would have the minor adjustments I yearned for. Sure enough it did. After a week of riding I can already feel it has broken in some and my sit bones have grown used to the pressure they are exerted to. I am more eager to ride and no longer dread longer rides because the saddle has the exact same feel after two hours as it did in the first five minutes of taking off. My lower back still gets sore, but I think that is an issue of my stem being too long and leaning so far forward so that my spine bows outward.
All in all this saddle is superb for perennial and genital relief, sit comfort, and weight. Many brands advertise with a catchline of pseudo-medical jargon about how their saddle is designed to anatomical studies and will consequently feel
This is my second selle smp stratos, I got a second bike. They are terrific and I have several high end saddles around which I don't even bother with anymore. I was chatting with a friend who owns a store and races and he too said they are much underused. The price here and service was excellent.