By Ed Pavelka
Source: website and Specialized dealers
Weight: 11.4 oz. (320 g)
How obtained: sample from company
RBR advertiser: no
Tested: 19 hours
The Telluride is actually a mountain bike saddle. But designer Roger Minkow, M.D., asked RBR to consider the ’03 model as a good one for bigger roadies. At 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds, I accepted the challenge.
Dr. Minkow and I have a history. When I was at Bicycling magazine, he came to us with an old Turbo saddle he’d modified to reduce pressure on the nerves and blood vessels that pass through the crotch. He’d simply removed a long V-shape section of cover and padding from tail to nose.
I remembered that when, months later, Specialized founder Mike Sinyard called to ask if I knew anyone working on “safe saddle” design. He wanted his company’s Body Geometry line to address the issues of numbness and erectile dysfunction. I hooked him up with Dr. Minkow. The BG saddle line, featuring the “Minkow wedge,” became the most successful product in Specialized’s history.
The Telluride is slightly longer and wider than a typical road saddle. But it’s not so extreme that it looks out of place on a road bike.
The pressure-reducing wedge is built into deep PU foam padding from nose to tail (no gel). On top is attractive gray-and-black leather. Underneath are hollow cro-moly steel rails.
It’s impossible to make judgments about saddle comfort that every rider will find true. The only way to know for sure if a saddle will work for you is to ride on it.
For me, the Telluride is too soft. For lack of a more technical term, it feels “squishy.” Initial soft comfort disappears after a few minutes in a fixed road-riding position. It seems that as the mid portion of the seat depresses under body weight, this has the effect of making the nose higher. Leaning forward puts pressure right where no one wants it.
On the other hand, a roadie might find only comfort advantages in the Telluride if he (or she) has a higher handlebar and sits taller like many mountain bikers do, with less forward lean. The saddle certainly does a good job of padding sit bones and buffering road shock.