We bring a round up of the 3 Best Alternatives to the Selle SMP T5 Triathlon Saddle 2021.  With the Selle SMP T5 being the market leading saddle what else should you consider when upgrading your triathlon bike?  Our panel of real triathletes round up the finest triathlon saddles to help you find the perfect fit for you.

We all love an upgrade.   The focus for most triathletes is on how they can go faster. So upgrade decisions are on speed gains and weight reduction. This is a mistake if every mile your rear aches and ultimately slows you down. A poor fitting triathlon bike can certainly be uncomfortable and at worst cause you injury.

Avoiding injury and enjoying the ride is why you need to consider finding the best triathlon-specific saddle for you. So it’s essential for your triathlon performance not to forget the saddle. A good triathlon (or TT) saddle will allow you to maintain an aero position for longer that will make you feel more at comfortable on the bike and ultimately go quicker.

The Market Leading Triathlon Saddle

Selle SMP T5 Triathlon Saddle

Selle are the oldest manufacturer listed with history dating back to 1947 being formed in Italy shortly after the second world war. With more than 70 years experience they still pride themselves on being 100% made in Italy. 

The Selle triathlon saddle features a standard short nose coupled with hollow central channel. The stubbed nose promotes cyclists adopting the aero riding position with weight forwards on the bike. Very common with the others seen here. One unique consideration of the Selle SMP T5 is that is designed to be more comfortable for riders with a wide pelvis. Read into this that it suits bigger cyclists. I am 6’3″ so by anatomy my pelvis is likely wider than shorter cyclists.

The Selle SMP T5 triathlon saddle comes in two models. One with carbon rails and one with steel (the model we have listed below). The key difference between the models as you would expect is weight. The carbon version coming in 50g lighter. The trade off is cost. In our view 50g reduction is not worth the extra cost so have included the steel model. 

Specification of the SMP T5 Triathlon Saddle

  • Category: Performance Short
  • Length: 245mm
  • Width: 143mm
  • Cover: Microfibre
  • Rails: Carbon
  • Colors: Yellow Fluo, Black, White
  • Weight: 319g (steel rails version)

Best US Price for the SMP T5 Triathlon Saddle

Buy the SMP T5 Triathlon Saddle for $278.03 from Chain Reaction Cycles

Best Alternatives to the SMP T5 Triathlon Saddle

  1. Fizik Transiro Mistica – $193.99
  2. ISM PS 1.0 Saddle – $155
  3. Fabric Tri Flat Pro Saddle – $130.99

Fizik Transiro Mistica Carbon Saddle

Fi’zi:k is the phonetic spelling of the word physique for those curious on the origins. Founded in 1996 they are mainly known for their bicycle saddles and shoes. Fizik are owned by Selle Royal who also have a saddle in our line up of the best triathlon saddles.

The Transiro Mistica Carbon has a minimalist design. The saddle has a short length with a stubbed nose at the front. With carbon rails and lightweight nylon materials weighs only 205 grams. The short design gives it a chunky look that suggests more weight. The deep channel through the middle to the nose allows comfortable weight distribution. The microtex cover should have a long life with the added bonus of stability for the rider.

Specifications of the Fizik Transiro Mistica Carbon Saddle

  • Shell: Carbon reinforced nylon
  • Length: 241mm
  • Width: 135mm
  • Cover: Thermo-Welded microtex
  • Rails: Carbon braided 7x9mm
  • Colors: Black, Multi
  • Weight: 205g

Best US Price for the Fizik Transiro Mistica Carbon Saddle

Buy the Fizik Transiro Mistica Carbon Saddle from Wiggle for $193.99

ISM PS 1.0 Triathlon Saddle

ISM was founded by Steve Toll. An American cyclist and swimmer. He began creating a new design for bike seats over 20 years ago. In 1999 he patented the first ISM saddle and the basis of the business.

The ISM design is the most radical of all those listed. They have taken the central channel design to the extreme of creating a fork nose to the saddle. The two channels that hold your weight remain separated. This channel is designed to provide a wider area to relieve pressure. The nose is gently sloped to permit a more comfortable position. With smooth surfaces the saddle limits leg injuries in particular hamstring injuries.

The back of the saddle has an incline design. This slope at the rear of the triathlon saddle gives additional hip support. This hip protection is particularly relevant to triathletes where you are positioned forwards for aero profile.

This is our favourite saddle and used by the Trivelo team themselves.

Specifications of the ISM PS 1.0 Triathlon Saddle

  • Category: Performance Short
  • Length: 250mm
  • Width: 130mm
  • Padding: 15-Series Foam and Gel
  • Rails: Titanium
  • Colors: Black, white
  • Weight: n/a

Best US Price for the ISM PS 1.0 Triathlon Saddle

Buy the ISM PS 1.0 Triathlon Saddle from Wiggle for $155

Fabric Tri Flat Pro Saddle

The Fabric Tri Flat Pro Saddle like others in our line up enhances comfort when your weight is fully shifted forwards in the aero tuck position. The central relief channel provides a relief of pressure when you are riding in an aggressive position. By alleviating pressure on your pudendal artery, this channel reduces issues of numbness and discomfort.

Carbon fibre rails provide a strong, stiff and lightweight base for the saddle. The rear of the saddle includes fittings for an interchangeable bike hanger or bottle mount.

Specifications of the Fabric Tri Flat Pro Saddle

  • Category: Performance Short
  • Length: 240mm
  • Width: 134mm
  • Cover: Nylon
  • Rails: Carbon
  • Colors: Black
  • Weight: 176g

Best US Price for the Fabric Tri Flat Pro Saddle

Buy the Fabric Tri Flat Pro Saddle from Chain Reaction Cycles for $96

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Billy Ferguson

Having founded Trivelo in 2015 after many years competing in triathlon Billy continues to enjoy training and triathlon. Founder Billy is strongest in the water but continues to try and convince his body that he is an ultra runner.


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