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The Smanie GP Pro Saddle is a lightweight, race-focused saddle with a classic flat shape and wings that are contoured to avoid catching your legs when you're pedalling. It's longer than a lot of modern saddles and lacks a central pressure-relieving cut-out, and I felt it became uncomfortable on longer rides because of this. And as our best bike saddles buyer's guide shows, it faces a lot of competition. One thing that separates Smanie from most other brands is its eco-friendliness, with Smanie producing its saddles entirely from recycled materials.
In contrast with the current trend for shorter, more snub-nosed saddles such as the PRO Stealth Curved Team Saddle that Steve reviewed, Smanie has gone for a classically shaped saddle, and at 276mm it's relatively long.
I found that the Smanie's extra length did allow me to sit forward on the saddle and really maximise my power on steeper climbs.
The saddle does not have a central cut-out, and though Smanie has included a pressure-relief channel, I wasn't convinced this was quite as effective. I didn't feel the channel was deep enough to relieve pressure on the perineal region, and to me it felt like more of an aesthetic feature rather than a practical one. But saddles are highly subjective, and this may just be a case of my body preferring saddles with a cut-out; you may not find the absence of a cut-out as much of an issue.
Fortunately, the saddle's flex adds comfort and helps to absorb some of the harshness you experience from riding British roads in winter. You don't bounce all over the place either, Smanie having balanced the stiff carbon rails with just the right amount of flexibility from the hull.
The 7x9mm diameter is common for carbon saddle rails, though this size won't be compatible with all seatpost saddle clamps. Although most manufacturers now offer specific seatposts for saddles with carbon rails, do make sure yours is compatible – or it could be an expensive mistake.
The Smanie GP weight of just 152g puts it at the lighter end of the spectrum. It may not be the lightest you can buy, for example the Tune Skyracer weighs a scant 66g, but the Smanie is still around half the weight of many stock saddles on the market.
One final positive is that Smanie only uses recycled materials to produce its products, including 'covers, foam, bases, rails' and even its packaging. In addition to this, Smanie also claims that its manufacturing methods are as eco-friendly as possible, which is something that should resonate well with cyclists.
At £169.99 the Smanie GP Pro isn't cheap, but its price compares pretty well with other carbon-railed saddles. There are less expensive ones around, such as the £149.99 Orro X Repente Saddle with its interchangeable covers, which Jamie loved, but the Orro is 30g heavier.
Start to pay top dollar and there's the Specialized S-Works Romin EVO that Liam rated very highly, but while it's a super-stiff race-ready saddle weighing a feathery 131g, it will lighten your wallet by a whopping £255.
Alternatively, there's the PRO Stealth Curved Team Saddle that Steve reviewed, which is a short-nosed design with a pressure-relieving cut-out. This is £10 pricier than the Smanie at £179.99 and a near-imperceptible 16g heavier.
The Smanie GP Pro is ideal if you are looking for a lightweight saddle with enough flex to provide some absorption from harsh road surfaces. But if you are not used to riding a classically styled saddle it will take some getting used to, especially over longer rides. Smanie's eco-friendly manufacturing is a great selling point, and Smanie has also nailed it by keeping the costs down for products made using recycled materials and 'greener' production methods.
An eco-friendly, lightweight, race-ready saddle with a classic flat shape and long nose
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Smanie GP Pro saddle
Size tested: 137mm
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
This saddle is designed for the racing cyclist aiming for the lightest possible bike build while not forgetting about those longer days in the saddle. Smanie says this saddle is "the clear choice for race day", which I think is accurate given its narrow width and flat surface.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Weight (Carbon Rail) 137mm: 152g
Cover Material: Synthetic Leather
Padding Material: Eco + Light
Shell Material: Nylon + Fiberglass
The padding encases the saddle well, though the plastic nose-piece underneath the tip of the saddle is not quite as securely fixed.
It feels very light and its flat shape allows you to get a long way forward on the saddle, which is good for power transfer.
I washed it properly after leaning it against a wall and no scuffs were evident, which is a good sign. But that little piece under the nose isn't fixed as firmly in place as I'd like.
It is a very light saddle – though not the lightest.
Not the most comfortable on long days, when the lack of a central cut-out became evident.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I used the Smanie saddle on hill climbs, where it definitely allowed me to sit right over the bottom bracket so that I could maximise my power. But I wasn't enjoying it quite so much at the end of a four-hour ride.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's very light.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The lack of a central cut-out compromises comfort on longer rides.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Its price is around the same as that of many other race-focused saddles.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Its low weight could help you trim a few grams if you're looking to build a lightweight race bike. But I didn't find it the most comfortable saddle for rides over four hours long.
About the tester
I usually ride: Dolan Rebus My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, Always love some off-road with some mates.