SMP has been in the saddle business for 70 years, and promoting its high-back, low-front separated design for more than a couple of decades. If I’m being honest, I’ve always been a little sceptical of the SMP shaping, never having issues with the shape of traditional saddles.
The new Dynamic has been designed for the middle ground, for those with a waist size of around 34 (UK). Its hugely deep channel effectively separates the left and right sides of the saddle from nose to tail, it features a high, kicked-up tail and a Concorde-like drop to the nose. At first glance it appears more like an instrument of torture than somewhere you want to spend a lot of time.
After following the extensive fitting instructions, which feel counter-intuitive with the saddle seeming to be rotated too far forward, my first few rides were mixed. It wasn’t until I’d gone for a number of successive long rides that the Dynamic started to make sense. The super-deep plush padding meant it never felt uncomfortable, just different.
Once I’d settled into the shape it felt really positive
Once I’d settled into the shape it felt really positive. The kicked-up back end is superb when the road starts to rise, almost like it gives you an unfair advantage to shift your weight back and use the tail to push against to pile on the power when climbing in the saddle.
On the flat, the switch between shifting up onto the front, where the falling away nose gives you plenty of freedom, and getting down into a long and low position against that upward shaped tail, meant I always felt comfortable when pushing bigger gears.
The Selle SMP Dynamic is one of our favorite strange-looking saddles. Here is why
At 289g for the carbon-reinforced hull and stainless steel-railed model, it will add mass to your bike overall, and there’s the other downside that the SMP range could never be considered a cheap option.
The benefits have impressed me though – I never suffered a moment’s discomfort or any friction issues. If the shape works for you, there’s the feeling that this is more than just somewhere to park yourself when pedalling.
Even after covering plenty of test miles, I’ve left the saddle fitted to my bike and don’t have any real intention of replacing it anytime soon.
The saddle design
Selle SMP’s Dynamic saddleDavid Caudery / Immediate Media
1. Cut it out: That wide cutout design is patented by Selle SMP, and massively relieves pressure on sensitive areas.
2. On the nose: The beak-shaped front end creates a flat base when riding in the saddle, and aids aero performance.
3. Pad up: The plush padding took some getting used to, but I benefited from it on longer rides.