Though Selle SMP has been making saddles in Italy since just after WWII, the brand inexplicably christened the Avant Saddle with a French word. The choice is doubly confusing given that "avant" translates to "before" when the saddle's recommended use situates it closer to the "behind" side of things. Semantic nitpicking disappears once you're actually atop the Avant, though, as it presents a wide, generously padded (by Selle SMP's standards) face to your derrière. Maybe the saddle's confusing title is meant to stress that it puts comfort ahead of any other criteria.
The Avant is built with wide sit bones in mind, and Selle SMP recommends it for men whose waists range from 34 to 39in and women in the 32 to 37in range. Strategic cutouts and a the iconic, drooping nose help ensure that the soft tissues between sit bones don't suffer. This is especially apparent when sitting forward on the saddle to drive a high pace on the flats. The embroidered branding on the full-leather (black) or blemish-free synthetic (colored) cover adds a touch of Italian elegance—though, to be fair, we've just come to expect this from Selle SMP.
- A saddle for endurance and gran fondo cycling
- Wide, padded body for cyclists with wide hips and sit bones
- Body and railsprovide a firm platform that resists road noise
- Drop nose and central channel stress comfort across the saddle
- 100% of materials and the saddle itself are made in Italy