Selle SMP Carbon Saddle Pro Review

Feature Articles Pro Review Saddle Video

Selle SMP is an Italian company that was founded in 1947 by Martino Schiavon, a young craftsman who started creating bicycle seats by hand in his attic. Martino was inspired by the racing efforts of fellow countrymen Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali in such races as the Giro d’ Italia and the Tour de France. 65 years later, Selle SMP is still a family business and their saddles are still hand crafted in Italy. They make one thing and one thing only, bicycle saddles. (Well, actually, they also make one model of bib shorts with a seamless bottom, but even that product is based off of their knowledge and expertise with saddles.)

The Selle SMP Carbon saddle is a bare bones (no padding!) performance race saddle with extremely light weight (165 grams). Hardcore gram counters might say that 165 grams isn’t all that light, so for the ├╝ber weight-weenie, Selle SMP also makes the Full Carbon model that weighs in at a scant 115 grams. The large cutaway section in the center of the saddle relieves pressure on your gentle bits and provides better blood flow.

Selle SMP offers many different models of saddles besides the minimalist Carbon, non-padded models including the popular Composit line (nylon body with elastomers, leather covers, steel frame), the Stratos line (same as the Composit series but with more padding) and the more affordable (albeit slightly heavier) Glider line. For a mountain bikers review of the Selle SMP Stratos saddle, click here.

The Selle SMP Carbon saddle features:

  • casing: carbon fiber
  • frame: AISI 304 tubuler steel
  • dimensions: 263x129mm (lengthxwidth)
  • weight: 165 grams
  • recommended for sizes: XS-S-M
  • 100% handmade in Italy

MSRP: $539

Installation and setup are very easy with this saddle. The open design makes getting to all the bolts super simple and the rails have markings that help with fore/aft adjustments. After just my first ride, I was BLOWN AWAY by how comfortable this saddle was. I don’t mean I was blown away by how comfortable it was for a carbon fiber race saddle with no padding, I mean I was blow away by how comfortable it was period. This saddle is more comfortable than some padded saddles I have used. How could this be??

About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato has been the Site Manager of RoadBikeReview.com for many years and enjoys riding local Portolla Valley roads. Besides being an avid cyclist, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.


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  • Tom Law says:

    Ride it for 100 miles and a few days then let us know how you feel. That isn’t carbon. It may have some underneath, but the top is colored aluminized fiberglass.

  • Abe Froman says:

    That has to be one of the ugliest things I’ve seen to put on a bike. The things people will spend large amounts of cash on just because it’s light or flashy.

    It’s like spending $900 on a carbon fiber because it’s 100 grams lighter than the $250 carbon fiber handlebar or $60 a piece on carbon fiber water bottle cages.

  • Craig says:

    This article is well worth a read – all about SMPs and our bodies in detail and why they make sense – http://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/blog/2011/09/all-about-smps/

    I got one after reading it and getting one on loan – it’s loads better than a Fizik Arione which I had settled on and was riding on both bikes previously.

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