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Thread: Phenom SL

  1. #1
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    Phenom SL

    Hi all,

    I'm looking to buy a new saddle for my bike. I have it narrowed down to a Phenom SL in white with the grey scuff pads. What I really need is to figure out what size to get.

    I currently ride a Rival SL 130 but I have really been suffering lately and I'm not totaly sure why. I have had the same saddle for 3 seasons and it looks like new. The ti rails are not damaged and the hard shell seems to be in tact. The padding is still nice and firm.

    I rode a buddy's 09 S-Works Epic the other day and thought the saddle was very comfortable. That is why I am looking at the Phenom SL. Even his 130 seemed more comfortable.

    My local LBS has a new "assometer" on order. it should have been here weeks ago but I just found out that the ass-guage is getting a redesign and won't be out until September. Is there an easy way to measure the distance between the sit-bones so I can decide if I need a 130 or 143?

    If anyone has one to sell, shoot me a PM.

    Thanks,

    Rob

  2. #2
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    Just an idea of the top of my little head: put a little colored chalk (or any thing else that would leave a mark once you sit down) on you nakid arsh right by your sit-bones, sit on a white piece of paper; measure the marks and voila!
    Before you buy anything online, send Bob at bikerbob.com an email! Best online retailer!

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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply. I'm not sure I'm willing to give that one a try, but it would most likely work.

    I think I heard someone say something about a large piece of cardboard on a hard surface would do the trick. I may have to experiment since I have no idea what I am looking for after sitting on the cardboard.

    Rob

  4. #4
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    I don't know how you can measure up until the bike shop get the measure tool in. I do however love the Phenom SL which I use on my 08 S Works Stumpy, mine is white with red scuff guards. I weigh about 83kg and ride a 143.

  5. #5
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    All you're doing is measuring the distance between your sit bones. You should be able to find them by feel and use a tape measure.The Specialized "assometer" is just a way of measuring the distance without the embarassment of someone having to use a tape measure to measure customers asses in a shop.

    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...d=saddles_tech

    http://www.specialized.com/bc/micros.../main.html?x=y

    There's a chart that comes with the "assometer" that specifies what width saddle you want. It varies depending on your position. The chart ought to be on the Specialized site somewhere but I can't find it.

    The code on the back of the assometer specifies a 130 saddle for a sitbone center to center width of 100 mm or less, a 143 saddle for a sitbone center to center of 100 mm to 130mm and a 155 for a sitbone center to center of 130 or more.

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    Nothing much to add except that I love the phenom sl - best saddle I've ever used .

    I would think it'd be pretty easy to get a decent measurement of sit bone distance - assume a position somewhat similar to riding position and measure between the two pronounced bony bits - hardest part is probably finding a dedicated volunteer or loved one to help you.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcp_nz
    hardest part is probably finding a dedicated volunteer or loved one to help you.
    hence why I suggested the chalk so you would not have to subject anyone to feeling your arsh up I really like Phenon Sl too. Not quite as couch comfy as my wtb, but a heck of a lot lighter.
    Before you buy anything online, send Bob at bikerbob.com an email! Best online retailer!

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  8. #8
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    I found the chart eventually.

    Here are the official Specialized instructions on how to measure the width at home:

    "If your sitbones are between 70 & 100mm, you should ride a 130mm saddle, unless you ride in an upright, comfort position. Then you should ride a 143.

    If your sitbones are between 100 & 130mm, you should ride a 143mm, unless you ride in a very upright, comfort position. Then you should ride a 155

    If your sitbones measure out between 130mm and 160mm, and you ride a very Aerodynamic, racing or triathlon position, you should ride a 143mm saddle. All other riding positions should use a 155." Specialized.com

    "There is a way to find out your sit bone width at home. First of all, find some kind of compressable foam that will hold it's shape for a few moments when you stand up.

    I have a sleeping bag pad that works great for this, it's foam, but when you stand up, it will hold it's shape for a few moments. I can think of some "stadium seat cushions" I have seen that would work well too. You can even use a small box of sand.

    Put the foam on a low box or chair that will have your thighs at the same level as they are when your foot is at the top of the pedal stroke. Usually just find something low enough that your thighs are almost parallel to the ground, and that is about right (do this with your with heels in, upper body leaned forward just like you are pedaling).

    After sitting on the foam for long enough to make an indentation, stand up, and use your fingertips to find the low points, alternately you can drop some ball bearings in the indentations, and they will immediately roll to the low points.

    Measure this distance, center-to-center, then consult the attached PDF, it has a handy graphic that makes determining your final saddle width easy." Specialized.com

    Specialized BG Link 1

    Specialized BG Link 2

    Taken from this thread on the subject:

    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showt...php?p=60383353
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
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    Thank you so much! That is exactally what I needed. I'll experiment today and determine what size I need.

    Thanks guys for the support on the saddle. It seemed really nice when I got to borrow one for a while. I can't wait to get one!

    Rob

  10. #10
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    I'm also considering the phenom saddle. Not trying to hijack but how do you guys like the saddle? I tend to sit a lot through my rides and I'm worried about it hurting.
    2008 Specialized Stumpjumper Expert

    I DON'T avoid rocks.

  11. #11
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    I quite like my 143mm Phenom SL saddle. It took a while for the saddle body to break in and become more flexy (50-60 hours riding). After using it for a while it's worth reviewing your saddle height as once broken in the saddle body sags down by several mm more than new when you sit on it. The BG cut out seems to work well and it stays comfortable for longer 5hr+ rides. The saddle seems to be most comfortable for me if the angle is flat. I tried it with the nose down and that wasn't comfortable at all.

    Used with lycra cycling shorts the Phenom SL saddle shape is easy to shift your weight off the back which is good for mountain biking. Used with baggy shorts it seems a bit easy to catch your shorts on the nose of the saddle though.

    On my 2008 Epic I had a 155mm Specialized Alias saddle (recommended width using a Specialized "assometer") which was probably a bit wide. Compared to that I definitely like the Phenom SL more.

    It's worth mentioning that a large part of comfort when cycling is down to having a good pair of padded cycling shorts. I'd recommend using Assos chamois creme on longer rides too to avoid saddle sores and chafing.

    http://static.bikeradar.com/beginner...om-bliss-17449
    Last edited by WR304; 07-16-2009 at 01:14 PM.

  12. #12
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    Great resource WR304 - thanks for that .

    I'm no expert on saddles but I really like my 143 Phenom SL.

    I don't know what is on my old MTB - it is comfy for the sit bones but I'd always get numb on long seated climbs.
    The 143 Alias on my road bike solved that problem but depending on the shorts I wear I sometimes find it a bit too firm on the boney bits.
    The phenom 143 on my new MTB is best I have used - I think the body of the Phenom is a wee bit more compliant than on the Alias which makes a difference for me.

    About the best thing I think I can say about the Phenom saddle is that I just don't ever think about it at all - no numbness, no discomfort even on 5+hr rides. I have mine flat and havn't experimented with any tilt. I havn't noticed the sag that WR304 mentions but then again I have been battling a slipping seatpost so I'm playing with saddle height a bit more than usual.

    As always with saddles YMMV.
    Last edited by dcp_nz; 07-16-2009 at 01:41 PM.

  13. #13
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    One advantage of the Specialized Phenom SL over the older style Specialized Alias is that the saddle cover is smoother and it doesn't have the raised BG side logos of the Alias. The glued on BG logos were really sharp on my Specialized Alias saddle. They will rub and wreck your shorts very quickly if you don't tidy them up. I spent ages smoothing the BG logos and trimming away the sharp edges of the Specialized Alias.

    I'd agree that the Specialized Phenom SL saddle body does seem a bit more flexible than the Specialized Alias. It takes time for the body of either saddle to break in.

  14. #14
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    I love the Phenom SL, one of the best saddles I have ridden.

    One minor issue in my opinion are the plastic scuff guards at the rear of the saddle. If you crash, or put your bike with the saddle leaning against a wall, you can scratch them pretty badly. If you're wearing lycras, and the scuff guards are scratched pretty badly, your shorts might hook- up. The scuff guards are unfortunately not sold as spare parts.

  15. #15
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    Just to clarify:

    With my current 143mm Specialized Phenom SL saddle it took approximately 50-60 hours of riding before I felt it had broken in and was more comfortable.

    It wasn't until I'd done approximately 150 hours riding that I started feeling the saddle was sagging more and needed the saddle height raising a few mm to compensate.

    Also if you're considering the Phenom SL have you read the MTBR reviews of it?

    http://www.mtbr.com/cat/controls/sad...14_140crx.aspx

  16. #16
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    Hi all,

    Thanks for all the great inforamtion and discussion about eh saddle. It sounds like I am on the right track with it.

    I'll let you know how I get a long with it after it comes in.

    Thanks,

    Rob

  17. #17
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    Geez...according to the chart that WR304 posted, I have child bearing hips. I am easily a 155, looks like its time for a new saddle. I measured 75/70 on my shops assometer.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by amillmtb
    Geez...according to the chart that WR304 posted, I have child bearing hips.
    LOL! That cracked me up. I was told a 143 is correct for me after having my sit bones measured. No wonder I was finding the Format 130 which came with my Stumpjumper a touch uncomfortable. I've only been on two rides (2hr+) on my new Phenom Gel and I really like it so far.

    I think it's a good sign that only after my two rides this weekend I realised I was riding with a new saddle.
    2009 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp | 2009 Specialized Roubaix Comp | 2008 Specialized Langster New York

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikkelz
    LOL! That cracked me up. I was told a 143 is correct for me after having my sit bones measured. No wonder I was finding the Format 130 which came with my Stumpjumper a touch uncomfortable.
    The scientific term for a saddle that's too narrow is "ass hatchet".

    Bear in mind that the Specialized recommended saddle widths vary depending on your riding position. I measured for a 155mm saddle but found it was probably a bit too wide when riding. A wider saddle is harder to get off the back when riding also.

  20. #20
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    i switched to the formats from the phenoms--best move i've made says my tender crotch area.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304
    The scientific term for a saddle that's too narrow is "ass hatchet".

    Bear in mind that the Specialized recommended saddle widths vary depending on your riding position. I measured for a 155mm saddle but found it was probably a bit too wide when riding. A wider saddle is harder to get off the back when riding also.
    lol @ ass hatchet.

    I find with my slightly wider saddle (and ass apparently), it gives me more variation in terms of where I can sit on the saddle. i.e. it's comfortable moving up to the front of the saddle whilst climbing, or in the middle on the flat sections. But I also found with the slightly wider rear of the saddle, it sits nicely between my legs (top of my thighs) whilst standing when descending. Overall, I'm happy.
    2009 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp | 2009 Specialized Roubaix Comp | 2008 Specialized Langster New York

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