History - SMP Saddles

SMP History
SMP History

An Italian StoryHistory - SMP Saddles

Post World War II, the golden years of the bicycle. An entire country moved around on two wheels, and two champions, Coppi and Bartali, challenged each other on the roads of the Giro and the Tour.  These were the years before the economic boom; the motorization of Italy was still yet to come.

A young craftsman, Martino Schiavon, produced bicycle seats in an attic in the historical center of Padua.  This was the beginning of the story of Selle SMP, an Italian story based on age-old values such as tenaciousness, spirit of initiative, courage, and the desire to embark on a new enterprise, counting on the strength of one’s own ideas.

Over the years the company grew and developed until becoming one of the main producers worldwide in terms of innovative capacity and number of products sold. Then, at the beginning of the 2000’s, the sector was hit by a serious crisis caused by formidable competition from Asian producers.

The only company on the panorama of national producers, Selle SMP decided to face the global market difficulties without taking the route of delocalization in countries with low labor costs.

The Schiavon family, convinced that the local production network must not lose experience and know how gained over many years of impassioned work and sacrifices, has kept production and employment in the Veneto region, opting to compete in the field of innovation and quality.

In 2004, following long and in-depth anthropometric and ergonomic studies, Pro, the first creation in the 4BIKE series, was born. Selle SMP became a pioneer of a different and absolutely innovative concept of the bicycle seat.

On July 21, 2006, 60 years after that day in 1947 when he started up his business, Martino passed away. Over the years the “helm” of the company was taken over by his sons Franco and Maurizio, but up to the day he died Martino was the President and continued to show up for work every day.

Today Selle SMP is the leader in the sector of high-range ergonomic seats. Sixty years have gone by, but each individual seat is still entirely produced in the Veneto, with the same passion and craftsmanlike care as when production was in a tiny attic.

If up to a few years ago the focus of the company was the first system, supplying the main world bicycle producers, intensive research and development over the years has led to a substantial modification in the positioning of Selle SMP in the market, enabling it to offer high, middle and low range products.

  • 1947 – Selle SMP is founded
  • 1970 – Annual production of 1,000,000 seats
  • 1981 – Transfer to new headquarters in Casalserugo
  • 1990 – Annual production of 3,000,000 seats
  • 1995 – Internal testing laboratory is created, over 5,000,000 seats produced
  • 2000 – First company in the sector with a certified quality system
  • 2004 – The 4bike revolution is born with the PRO model
  • 2005 -  Composit, Evolution, Stratos ………..
  • 2006 – Thanks Martino!
  • 2007 – The carbon era
  • 2010 – The first Giro d’Italia

SMP Research

Research and innovation

Our seats are unique products for their ergonomy, construction quality, technical performance, respect for environmental standards, and respect for product safety standards.

All these achievements are the fruit of constant investments in research and development, with a large boost starting in the 1990’s.

Since 2004 Selle SMP has extended its fame and increased the value of its name by successfully introducing the SMP4BIKE seat models on the market, fruit of countless studies and patents deposited worldwide, strongly innovative from the aesthetic and ergonomic points of view, able to entirely respect the anatomy of the human body and born from thorough research on the body-seat interactions of cyclists during all the phases of cycling.

'Designed on your body ' is the slogan coined to synthesize the values and innovative contents of this very high range production.

Since the introduction of the ergonomic seat, available in versions that cover the range of uses from city bikes to professional carbon bikes, it has been hugely successful, with direct testimonies from users, professionals and amateurs alike.

Apart from the study of ergonomic aspects, research focuses on materials, extensively introducing the use of carbon in order to join elastomechanic performance with lightness, and on the chemical characteristics of raw materials in order to assure compliance with increasingly stricter European standards.

100% Made in Italy

Selle SMP   -   We conceive them in Italy.... We create them in Italy.... We sell them worldwide

Italy is the cradle of creativity. Its artisan tradition and style are known and admired throughout the world, so much so that the Made in Italy mark has always constituted sought-after added value. An Italian product can immediately be recognized for the attention to details and the aesthetic values it expresses.

In the wake of this great tradition, since 1947 Selle SMP has been creating 100% Made in Italy products, exclusively collaborating with Italian companies and craftsmen in order to offer its clients a high tech and design product. Selle SMP boasts over fifty original patents deposited worldwide.

100 % Made in Italy

Computer Aided Design

100 % Made in Italy

Building models and prototypes

100 % Made in Italy


100 % Made in Italy

Covering and coating

The rigorous selection of high-quality components and materials and the processing guided by criteria such as total quality enable us to produce and offer clients a vast range of seats for all types of use.

Products we are proud of. Products 100 % Made in Italy with a certified system.

100 % Made in Italy

Trimming & cutting excess carbon fiber

100 % Made in Italy

Final assembly

100 % Made in Italy

Application of ornamental details

100 % Made in Italy
Final control of each piece

1995 – 2010 15 years of certified quality

1995 - NFR 12450 – DIN 255

Selle SMP certifies the quality of all its seat models

In 1995 there were still no Italian or European quality standards for bicycle seats: producers were not obliged to guarantee minimum safety protections. Selle SMP, in order to assure its users quality and safety, used the only standards available as a reference: those adopted in France and Germany. All models are tested and certified by an external laboratory according to French and German standards.

2000 - UNI EN ISO 9002:1994

Selle SMP is the first European producer to have a certified quality system

Quality is the main inspiration of Selle SMP. In 1998 the company wanted to consolidate its specificity and decided to structure its business according to the canons of total quality: the quality of the organization, productive processes, materials used, and controls on finished products. Thanks to this innovative turning point, Selle SMP is able to guarantee compliance with the highest quality standards in all operational and production phases. The progress made by Selle SMP was sealed in April 2000 when it obtained ISO 9002:1994 certification; for several years it was the only certified European producer.

2006 - UNI EN ISO 9001:2000

Even creativity and innovation are implemented with certified quality

The road to complete growth for Selle SMP led to reaching, after creating the SMP4BIKE patents, another important goal tied to certification in the planning phase: in July 2006 Selle SMP obtained ISO 9001:2000 certification. The new certification attests how Selle SMP applies the principles of quality to the entire production process: from planning to the finished product, guaranteeing a standard of production excellence.

2006 - UNI EN 14764 – 65 – 66 - 81

All Selle SMP products respect the new safety standards

Finally Europe and Italy have adopted harmonized standards on the safety of bicycles and their components. For years Selle SMP had already guaranteed a very high quality standard for all its products and all the models are already perfectly in line with the requisites of the new standards.


ISO 9001:2008 certification
ISO 9001:2008 certification

2009 - ISO 9001:2008

Selle SMP is the only producer in the world that can boast being certified for the


The latest goal was reached in July 2009: Selle SMP is the first producer of seats in Italy to obtain ISO 9001:2008 certification and the only one in the world that can boast having ISO 9001 certification for the “Design and production of bicycle seats entirely made in Italy”

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Albabici, LLC
1501 Mariner Dr., Oxnard, CA  93033
805-385-3179 /