Selle SMP Strike Plus saddle £96

The Strike is probably the most outlandish cutaway design I have seen - the cutaway section's so large I could almost pass my hand through sideways.

BikeRadar score 4/5

The Strike is probably the most outlandish cutaway design I have seen - the cutaway section's so large I could almost pass my hand through sideways. In keeping with the genre, Selle SMP claims this alleviates pressure and compression on the genitals and offers improved blood flow to the legs. Compared with traditional saddles, it is very long and the phallic shape prompted some risqué remarks from my wife and might not suit the self-conscious.

Fitting and set-up are laughably easy, even on slightly awkward twin-bolt seatpost cradles, thanks to very long chromoly rails with clear markings. In terms of weight, there's a penalty of 330g, but that will only worry those whose bikes are on a strict diet.

Fitting and set-up are laughably easy, even on slightly awkward twin-bolt seatpost cradles

I was really impressed - while I'm not particularly prone to numbness around the genitals, I felt noticeably more comfortable on rides longer than a couple of hours. The slightly sloping tail affords greater control, allowing you to place your weight over the back on long descents or tricky off-road sections, making it a good choice for road and cyclo-cross riders alike. However, the padding in the tail could have been more generous.

The leather top is durable, resisting accidental abrasion from the back wall and a tumble or two off-road - although Kevlar scuff guards are pretty much standard fare these days. The bottom line (excuse the pun) is that despite the quirky design, this has become my favourite saddle. It's as comfortable as they come and will add a bit of quirkiness to your ride.

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