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  1. #1
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    Saddles: ISM vs. Selle Italia SMP ?

    Does anyone use or have tried either of these two saddles? "Down Under" issues are forcing me to re- evaluate my saddle needs. The fore- mentioned look to be the best choices from what I can tell. They aren't cheap though and most places won't let you return them once used. From what I have heard the new feel of these two takes some getting used to as well. Not sure how they would be for racing either? I need to replace the road saddle (Specialized Toupe) and the MTB (WTB) with something. What though? If there are saddles that someone has tried for this issue, please let me know. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I've tried quite a few of the saddles in the Selle SMP line (along with many, many others) but settled on one of the less expensive ones as the most comfortable (for me) - the Selle SMP Extra. Two of the lightweight (very expensive) saddles in the Selle SMP line that I tried were incredibly painful. One I couldn't ride for more than two miles on-road without having to get off the saddle to get some relief from the pain. FWIW, I can ride practically any saddle off-road though becauase I'm seldom sitting still long enuf for the saddle to be uncomfortable. The one exception being a very, very lightweight unpadded carbon saddle that I tried. That was just a bit too hard.

    As an additional reference, I could never get used to the Selle Italia Flite line. Tried & tried ... but AFAIC they're torture devices.

    The most comfy saddle that I've used thus far is my ISM Adamo Podium. Did considerable research before finally taking a chance on it. And, so far, after ~4 months, I'm very happy with my selection. Many of the ISM Adamo saddles are shorter than a standard saddle & in addition have a 'hook' (for tri staging) under the rear of the seat (that I read some atb'ers were catching their shorts on when going off the back of the saddle) so that narrowed down my choices to the Breakaway & Podium. Settled on the Podium because it's slightly narrower, 130mm vs 135mm, & has less padding than the Breakaway.

    In summary, I've tried loads of saddles. And I'm not even remotely exaggerating. I prefer not to think about the money I've spent trying to find that 'perfect' saddle. Was riding the Selle SMP Extra until fairly recently but have now settled on the ISM Adamo Podium as my favorite saddle.

    YMMV.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
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    I could never get used to the SMP. Gave it a full year and still felt like two planks under my cheeks. I just bought a Specialized Romin and absolutely love it. I suggest trying to find something used so if you don't like it, you won't be out to much money.

  4. #4
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    I have been on a ISM breakaway Mtb saddle for a couple weeks and its been awsome so far.
    "It Is What It Is" Phil 4:13
    B-Ray Da Beast

  5. #5
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    As a user of traditional Selle Italia Flytes I guess I'd have to lean toward the Selle Italia. I did pick up a pair of Bontrager Inform RL in August. I put several hours on one with my road bike and loved it as much as the Flytes. I put the other on my 'cross bike thinking the gel section would be appropriate, but on the first use I caught my shorts on the pointy rear part and tore the shorts at the seam. So it's not a saddle I'd recommend for 'cross bikes or MTB's if you're trying to throw a leg over from the back. But it's a great saddle otherwise.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  6. #6
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    I use the ISM saddles on my MTB and road bike. Great saddles! A bit of a weight penalty but well worth it. If not set up properly, they wont be comfortable at all.
    **Team ProEdgeBiker.com / LeRoys Bikeworks**
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the replies

  8. #8
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    I tried an SMP pro and while it definitely relieves pressure in the middle, it is painful where it does make contact. Romins are pretty good. I am currently riding an Aliante XM on my road bike and it is probably my favorite saddle ever (I like it better than the regular Aliante). I have no need to change it. I plan to put one on my MTB that I am currently building.

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