By Rick Schultz
Price MSRP: See https://www.albabici.com/selle/saddles/smp-pro-saddles-mp.htm
Source: Bike shops, Websites
Features: ‘Shorty’ saddle line, new saddle shape.
Summary: Great new saddle models!
Cyclists spend most of their time researching, analyzing, evaluating, and discussing (a) frames, (b) components, and (c) wheels (in that order). Saddle discussions come in 4th or 5th (with pedals), but, when you get the wrongs saddle, it’s a painful lesson.
Recently, in social media, I have started to see more discussions on saddles. In the past 40 years of cycling, I have gone through many saddles and my current favorite (and most comfortable) saddle is the Selle SMP VT30C – reviewed here https://www.roadbikerider.com/selle-smp-vt30c-saddle-review/ . So far, I have hundreds of hours on this saddle, and I can ride the bike for hours without pain, soreness, going numb, nor getting saddle sores.
Recently, in the comments section, someone wrote that after reading my review, they went out and bought the VT30C and are happy with it. That got me to thinking that the new line up of Selle SMP saddles all have different widths. When sizing a saddle, the width is the most important feature. Too narrow and your sit bones will be either sitting non-supported off the edges of the saddle or will be sitting lower and placing the pressure where you don’t want it, on the soft tissue. Too wide of a saddle and the edges (flare) towards the rear of the saddle will be poking you in the back of the legs.
So, knowing that there is interest in this saddle, I put this table together so that it would be easy to match your sit bone width to that of the saddle to ensure you get the correct saddle. Note: the saddles with the ‘C’ are the compact or shorty versions of their counterpart. When you select a saddle, make sure to also think about the level of padding as well as if the saddle has a man-made cover or full leather cover. For example, the VT30C and F30C are almost identical except the VT30C has a man-made cover and costs $179, while the F30C has a full leather cover as well as less padding for $269. You are paying $90 more for leather. Also, most of these saddles are offered in both steel rails and carbon rails. Yes, I have replaced the Specialized Power Mirror with the VT30C again.
*So where do your sit bones fit into the saddle width. Simply measure your sit bone width, mine comes to 120mm or 12cm and I like to move up one number, so mine would be 13cm or L/XL. The VT30C states 11.6 – 15.0 cm, or should fit M, L, XL, XXL. In my opinion and observation, throw out the lowest recommendation as well as the highest, so this saddle would be ideal for 12.0-14.0cm width sit bones or L, XL in their saddle lineup.
Coach Rick Schultz is an avid cyclist who trains, races and coaches in Southern California. Rick is an engineer by trade, and in addition to being a coach, he’s a bike fitter and prolific product reviewer. He’s the author of Stretching & Core Strengthening for the Cyclist in the RBR eBookstore. Check his product reviews website, www.biketestreviews.com, and his coaching site, www.bikefitnesscoaching.com. Click to read Rick’s full bio.
Rick, you point out the importance of width but then the categories you use are not explained. What differs between “s, m, l” etc?
On the SMB site, I seem to fall between the 20 and 30.
RICK SCHULTZ says
I’ve redone the tables to make this more clear. I will ask Lars to update the article. Hopefully this will help….
So where do your sit bones fit into the saddle width. Simply measure your sit bone width, mine comes to 120mm or 12cm and I like to move up one number, so mine would be 13cm or L/XL. The VT30C states 11.6 – 15.0 cm, or should fit M, L, XL, XXL. In my opinion and observation, throw out the lowest recommendation as well as the highest, so this saddle would be ideal for 12.0-14.0cm width sit bones or L, XL in their saddle lineup.
Howie Naylor says
Best way to measure sit bone width at home?
corrugated cardboard boardboard from the box.
Would add the larger the flutes (the wavy core) the better able to read the impression.