A 2005 study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, found that SMP saddles have a new geometrical conception for maintain the vascular perfusion of the genital-perineal region. The study stated:
“The true innovation brought about by the SMP saddle is its capacity of interfering scarcely on the blood perfusion of the penis…. It is the geometry of this saddle, by redistributing the body weight onto the buttocks, prevents the squashing of the neurovascular structures that run medially to the ischial tuberosities. Furthermore, the depression in the rear part prevents the coccyx from touching the saddle, thus preventing repercussions caused by the un-evenness of the ground that may affect the spine”
The study showed that the SMP saddle was the “most efficient in protecting the blood perfusion of the penis compared to one of the saddles most frequently used by professional cyclists”
When I first saw the Selle SMP Strike saddle, I was doubtful that it would comfortable enough to do long training rides on, let alone do road and criterium racing due to its peculiar shape and hardness. I was also skeptical that the saddle would eliminate my numbness issues I frequently get during longer or easy training rides. I was pleasantly surprised. As mentioned in my previous posting, racers are less affected by blood flow issues. The same is true for me as I seldom experienced numbness during racing events; it was just during training that my issue emerged. The Selle SMP saddle seemed like it might be the saddle that could solve my problems.
I was supplied with a nice looking Strike Composite saddle that is shown here in the picture and had this mounted in conjunction with a bike-fit and raced on during the US racing season and when I represented New Zealand at the Deaflympics. I was amazed at how snug it felt during my first race. When I was on the rivet, I was able to slide forward into a position that is more conducive to power riding. SMP claim that the beak of the saddle nose is “designed to supply a flat base for efforts when sitting for long climbs that have to be faced and as a help in downhill slopes, offering greater thigh control of the bicycle”. When you actually try this saddle out, you will realize that the claims by Selle SMP have a very solid foundation with their award-winning design and function.
Based on the research in the field and the product innovation of SMP, they have come out with a cutting edge saddle that will amaze anyone who has not yet tried it. There are other saddle manufacturers that do well, such as the Specialized Body Geometry saddles, but they do not compare to the quality and performance of SMP. Provided the SMP saddle is fitted correctly, you should eliminate problems with numbness and enjoy your long rides. In fact, I just completed a seven hour ride today on the Composite saddle and was comfortable the whole time although my legs were feeling quite shattered by the end of my epic ride.