SmartSaddle sets out to get to the bottom of cycling discomfort

SmartSaddle sets out to get to...
The SmartSaddle is presently on Kickstarter
The SmartSaddle is presently on Kickstarter
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The SmartSaddle is presently on Kickstarter
The SmartSaddle is presently on Kickstarter
The butt-cradling design in action
The butt-cradling design in action

It's an understatement to say that many cyclists find traditional saddles uncomfortable. Sore-butted riders who are looking for an alternative already have several to choose from, but now there's another – the SmartSaddle.

Invented by Kansas-based engineer Dennis Bell (apparently a distant cousin of Alexander Graham Bell), the SmartSaddle is actually the descendant of his earlier product, the MoonSaddle.

Taking its name from its crescent-moon shape, that device did away with the nose of a traditional saddle, reportedly shifting the rider's weight off of their sensitive perineum and onto their tougher "sit bones." And in order to keep that part of the butt comfortable, the saddle features strategically placed padded foam inserts.

The butt-cradling design in action
The butt-cradling design in action

The SmartSaddle is based on the same design, but it's said to be slimmer and sleeker, plus its shell is made of carbon fiber and polymer instead of just plastic. Like its predecessor, it has standard rails along its underside, allowing it to be mounted on a regular seatpost. There's currently no word on its weight.

The saddle is recommended for all types of cycling, although mountain bikers might find it somewhat challenging to slip back off of when making steep descents, as it certainly appears to be wider than a conventional model.

Should you be interested, the SmartSaddle is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of US$149 will get you one, when and if they reach production. The planned retail price is $175.

Source: Kickstarter

I suspect this saddle will become very uncomfortable on a long ride. Over the past 50 years I have ridden on dozens of Century (100 miles or more) and the most comfortable saddle is a simple Brooks saddle that supports my weight on my pubic bones. I suspect that the saddle pictured, like other wide saddles, presses on and numbs the gluteal muscles on a long ride.
No thanks.
Arthur Camaret
Where's the "smart" part ?
I have come to detest biking because of the saddle issue as well as the fact you can only press so hard on the pedals. I think I might like a recumbent bike better,as the numb butt problem would be solved,and you can push against the seat back to generate more power.
No more taint bruise? I’m interested...
Just buy a recumbent (like Michael suggested below). It's like riding in an easy chair. You do have to take care not to ruin your knees though (SPIN!) since you're able to push harder against the pedals. Also, many recumbents are more aerodynamic (i.e. faster) and they can climb as well as wedgies, if you train your legs...
People who advocate recumbents as the cure for everything aren't being honest. Those have their own problems, including something called "recumbent butt" or recumbutt, which is discomfort believed to be from gluteals being sat upon while asked to generate power (unlike conventional saddles which contact the bony ischial tuberosities rather than muscles).
Mike Johnson
Interesting concept as avoid sterilization is always step one. If it hurts it gets pushed to the side by 98% as auto-masochists are pretty rare.
Hybrid electric is the route to go -spin an generator - no Victorian Era Steam Punk BS with haywire chains and gadget trannies.