Specialized Phenom Gel saddle review
Specialized’s latest fat nosed, thin tailed saddle looks a bit odd, but it works pretty well for the right rider.
The Phenom is based on the very thin Toupe road saddle, but without its sharp nut-cutting rear and sphincter-spearing front. Cue a firm split tail back section in either 130mm or 143mm widths that pedals really well, but has a broader nose for comfort when you’re clawing up technical climbs.
The shape makes it as comfortable as many saddles with twice the padding, although you do have to go through a breaking-in period ﬁrst.
The padding is limited, which keeps the saddle’s weight at a reasonable 278g.
We did catch our baggies on the forked back edge occasionally, which is a shame for a saddle that’s otherwise excellent for technical riding.
Features include a central cut-out slot for pressure relief and a hint of hammock swoop to keep you centered – thankfully, the Toupe’s sharp scuff guards have been smoothed out on the Phenom.
Specialized offers the Phenom in gel, gel titanium or stripped-down titanium-railed SL versions.