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TESTED: Specialized Toupe

Specialized’s range of Body Geometry components continues to grow. The Toupe is the latest from the California based company and extends their quest to become the best bike brand in the world.

Similar to other minimilist and racy saddles, the Toupe is a stunning object to look at. The slender sleek carbon-reinforced shell is covered in very light padding – there’s plenty of flex along the whole body and through the titanium rails for comfort. And in white, it looks positively pimpin’.

As well as pimpin’ your ride, it’ll make your bike a little lighter, on the scales it’s just 155g, putting it on a par with equivalent saddles. The Toupe though features the latest from Specialized’s Body Geometry research, the groove along the middle the main evidence of BG at work. And BG does work, we’ve been shown how their saddles do put less pressure on your crown jewels, and in the face of this kind of evidence, it’s hard not to find this saddle reassuring. To buy a BG saddle you have to have your sit bones measured (as described in the feature above) and most good Spesh dealers will be able to do this for you – we needed a 143mm wide one.

The cheaper version that’s on the Specialized test bikes we’ve had through the office recently (Roubaix and Tarmac) are equally impressive – so you don’t have to spend £90 to get a piece of the BG action. Indeed you can get a BG saddle from £39.99 (Avatar – Roubaix) or £59.99 (Alias – Tarmac) which are more substantial (material and weight wise) and also available in three width fittings.

We’ve used plenty of saddles, and the Toupe has impressed over most of the recent crop or minimal lightweight ‘saddles’. We’ve been using the Toupe for months, and have simply had no displeasure while sat aboard it, not once. [In fact Dave’s been swapping in onto to every test bike passing through the RCUK offices – which has been the only pain in the arse. But as he says, it’s that great – Ed].

Main Features:
• Available in 2 widths for optimum fit and comfort
• Hollow titanium rail
• Carbon reinforced shell for stiffness and strength
• Ultralight foam padding
• Tough, light & water resistant Micromatrix cover
• Approximate weight: 130mm = 150g, 143mm = 155g (+/- 5%)
• Length 270mm
• Available in black or white

RCUK VERDICT



Good:
Amazingly comfortable, you can still have children, looks great




Bad:
White could get dirty, but a black version is available




Overall:
It’s hard not to be impressed by the level of research Specialized are putting into their range of Body Geometry products, the Toupe is a contemporary looking saddle but rides like an old skool comfy one – so if you value your arse (ahem) get one on your bike now.


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