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Product Review: Selle SMP Hell Saddle

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Selle SMP’s Hell Saddle is designed to limit the amount of pressure on the pelvic floor for a more comfortable ride and increased rider stability. The extra wide central cut-out ensures blood flow is unrestricted around sensitive areas. Its extra wide rear provides a supportive flat base for long climbs and offers relief and increased control during descents.

Features:

  • Cover: Lorica microfibre
  • Padding: Elastomer
  • Shell: Nylon reinforced with Carbon Fibre
  • Rail: AISI 304 tubular Stainless Steel
  • Dimensions: 147x277mm
  • Use: MTB, Road
  • Weight: 280g

Selle Smp Hell Saddle Review:

Observations: I noticed a lot less pressure on the hips/legs and increased blood flow; the saddle did a good job of ‘moving’ with me and felt very comfortable. I am someone who does not seat/clip-in and really has to want to ride a saddle because of fit – I did ride this saddle several times and was comfortable on it.

Enthusiast or Expert: I think this would be a better saddle for an enthusiast since the Selle SMP Hell saddle is intended for those who spend most time in a seated position, whether that be a rider or someone who drives a lot of miles.

Invisible (needs to be properly set up): Again, this saddle has a very specific purpose, and dialing it in to my frame/seatpost/cleat/pedals/body took some experimenting, but once I had it sorted I was very impressed with it.

It’s not often that we at Bikemagic get asked to review a saddle. In fact the first time was the Speedplay Zeros. So to be asked to review a saddle had a different purpose to the norm is always interesting. When Selle SMP approached us with their new Hell, at first I was pretty hesitant. I didn’t want to just be another tester, this was a big deal for them I am sure, and I didn’t want to let them down. However after a few weeks of testing their top-end model for a review I think I had gotten everything out of the saddle possible.

So why is Selle SMP so proud of their seats? Well, they have been recognised by the medical profession for their lightweight seats that offer “unique support for women suffering from pelvic floor muscular insufficiency”. To be honest, I didn’t know anything about that condition, but when you start to look into SMP you understand why it exists.

It seems everyday there is someone out there who is pushing the boundaries, that medical professionals want to be part of the way in which we live our lives, and there is absolutely no sign of them letting up. So with that in mind I decided to give this saddle a go.

Read more or buy here

My initial thoughts on this saddle is that its a real Italian looking/feeling bit of kit, if you know what I mean. Slightly flashy, similar to a Brooks but ever so slightly different. Italian style cheese? Then the inspection… first impressions of the construction were good. You can see from the construction that it is a solid saddle; no carbon here. Just a solid chunk of nylon and thin layer of carbon fibre wrapped around a couple of pieces of stainless steel.

Using a formula I have developed I can determine that this is one wicked looking saddle!

I have been using the latest version of the Avocet Sports Touring Gel saddle for the past 18 months. At first the Avocet was a little hard to get used to, but over time I have developed a bond. In fact the Speedplay team attached a small light to the top of my saddle specifically so I could be seen by the cameras in case I did lose it. I asked Ian.

After almost eighteen months on the same saddle, if I was going to change the saddle, I wanted a break in period. Long rides were out, I had Christmas to do, shopping to go and a bottom to protect. So with a slight toot toot off to the Wiggle warehouse in Milton Keynes I installed the saddle. Now I could see a difference. My new seat, or maybe I should call my new bum, was a little disconcerted with the carbon construction and stiffness, but over the next week the two became reunited and became the best of friends.

I have always been a person that needs a very specific fit with a saddle. Short visits to the doctors and even a visit to my gynocologist brought no joy. Mind you it was quite interesting.

My point is that if I was going to try this saddle I needed to try it against the best. So off I trotted to Cannock Chase to check out the Cannock Chase Cyclo Cross Trophy race and to ride some of my favourite trails. over the weekend I checked it out, to ride both on familiar terrain and some new country MTB trails.

From the off you can tell the main cut-out is in the right place, its pretty close to the rear wheel. You do feel the saddle is doing its job. With my first ride on the saddle, the saddle did not try to move around much, and went with me. The only way I could get the saddle to move was to move around a lot. Now, if you are a bit of a weight weeny like me, you should be able to fit this saddle, so if that is your problem, you have found a saddle that can fit you.

In addition to that the Selle SMP Hell Saddle has gone a step further, and added a thin layer of memory foam to the top layer, this is slightly squishy, just take a look at the pictures. As the saying goes “feel the power of the cumulus”, this squishiness is a little more than just a thin layer of memory foam.

Just from getting on the saddle I would say that the cut-out is a little close to the railed section, but that is not a problem. Where the Hell excels is in the movement.

Read more reviews or buy here

Written by Mark Adams

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