Problems with the seat you ride on? There are seats out there that will help you ride better…
There would hardly be a customer we have dealt with that hasn’t has a problem with a seat at some stage through their cycling adventures. There is literally thousands of saddle options available from narrow to ultra wide, from firm to super soft to try and your rump from screaming at you.
Here at Wagga Cycle Centre we keep a large variety of saddles in store to help weekend riders through to die hard roadies. We advise customers which seats will suit them and their riding style, along with discussing any specific issues they are having with their current seat.
Our in store bicycle fitting program for serious cyclists also takes the seat into account when making adjustments to riding positions and pedaling techniques.
The number of issues that people have with seats varies greatly and is specific than “it’s too hard” or “my bum gets sore!!!”. There can be issues such as sore sit bones, numb genital area, sore glutes and thigh rub affecting all sorts of riders out there. Your rump is a series of muscles that needs to get used to a seat, no different to doing weights at the gym, you build up and condition to the stress. But a seat is dealing with some pretty important and sensitive areas of the body.
This is where Selle SMP saddles come into play.
Developed in Italy, SMP have actually been around for 70 years, but their current range of saddles that we highly recommend have been one of the best developments with seats in the last 10-15 years. SMP-4-Bike is the most iconic saddle shape on the market, and it can draw lots of looks and lots of questions. Whether you are a serious road rider, triathlete or a recreational rider, the idea behind the interesting shape of SMP seats is the same. Shape is the key to SMP, not just how soft or wide it is. Here is a quick break down of what is happening:
- The curved shape of the seat: as a person leans forward to reach their handlebars, the hips tilt forward and as a result human “sit” bones actually poke slightly backwards. This means they will push into the curve of the seat and have something to support them (think of a runner with their heals on the starting blocks). With traditional flat seats more muscles are being tensed up to hold you in position instead of leaning into the seat. Certainly the vast majority of people say they feel like their rump is more relaxed when sitting on the SMP, this curve is the main reason for this.
- large flow channel: after the sit bones have something to nicely push and stabilise against, the flow channel takes the pressure away from the sensitive areas of the genitals and the pudendal artery / nerve area. This is a great way of avoiding the numbness that many people associate with their seat and bike riding. This issue has been a major talking point with men’s health and the affect on men’s testicles. SMP seats are certainly a great way of avoiding some of the underlying problems with men spending a lot of time in the saddle and the affects on reproductive potency and testicular health.
- front curve / nose: the front curve and nose of the seat help to stabilise the user as they lean forward, and SMP have done a great job of making this section of the seat soft to avoid pressure whilst still doing the job well.
Many specific issues people have had with seats can be eliminated with the SMP philosophy… forget men’s and women’s specific seats… eliminate the actual issues that affect you. SMP stands out in a market full of seat brands promoting generic remedies…
Now that you have a bit of a grasp of why SMP saddles have their iconic shape, the great thing is that this philosophy has been applied to a massive range of saddles – many of which we keep in stock.
SMP have too many models to list and hold in store, but we make sure to keep the most relevant models and the models that have provided the best feedback from real riders out there:
Performance models $300-$400: Leather covered with firmer padding for riders doing many miles – check out SMP Lite 209, Drakon and Avant.
Sport models $100-$190: Vinyl covered with medium padding levels – aimed at riders on their road bikes and more serious recreational riders – check out SMP extra, Well and Well Plus
Recreational models: called TRK seats with wider and softer vinyl covers – aimed at hybrid riders, mountain bikers, comfort bikes and E-bikes – $99-$150
SMP saddles can be purchased and taken home by a customer, but as a bike shop committed to not just selling product, but to also making sure it works correctly, we always offer to fit the saddle for customers. There is quite a technique and measurements to take into account to get the most out of SMP saddles, and admittedly, the advice available from SMP website regarding fitting often needs a bit more of the personal touch to get right for users.
Here at Wagga Cycle Centre we provide all SMP seat fitting at no extra cost. We also provide demo models of some of our most popular models so that riders can get a feel for the right saddle over a number of rides.