- 4 / 5 Bee's Knees -
What component on your bike could be more important than a saddle? It is paramount to your comfort and riding longevity. Subjective though it may be, it is time to dive into reviewing the Specialized Toupe Pro saddle.
Starting with padding, this model is rated at a level 1 in the world of Specialized’s padding index. Though it is certainly firm, I’ve definitely sat on harder. Still, although it is very firm I would highly suggest a test ride if one permits for those riders who gravitate towards harder models. The upper is constructed of a synthetic leather-look material coined “Micromatrix” that cleans up much better than anticipated. After exposing the saddle to various shorts, some dirt and road debris as well as grease, this white saddle easily cleaned up to a like-new condition typically via general cleaners or occasionally with a quick wipe from a friendly degreaser for severe stains.
You’ll notice the cutout which is well portioned, not overly massive like some. I found it apparent yet pleasing that a void was in this area of the saddle. Equally however, pressure was greater beneath your sit bones as you'd expect due to the reduced surface area. Per the dealer I purchased from, Specialized’s measuring guide suggested a 155mm width which is greater than what I usually ride. Subjective opinion, the fit of the 155mm saddle feels overly wide for my comfort and I think that is notable considering Specialized treats their fit system as a selling point to help you select the correct size saddle for your body geometry. No fault can be brought against the saddle itself, but certainly Specialized for suggesting this size per their sizing system. That said, I have not compared it again either smaller sizes and potentially it could be preferable to the two smaller sizes. But regardless, the width felt improper and I gravitated towards the nose of the saddle to compensate for the extra width. Even though the width didn’t feel ideal, the shape sure seemed fantastic. Employing Specialized’s “body geometry” design concept, the overall form was excellent for your thighs and the tapers, edges and curves felt natural, I might even go so far as to say perfect. Aggressive riding positions including riding in the drops continues to be significantly more comfortable than riding in the hoods or flats.
Some final construction talk. As you can see from the pictures, this saddle sports a full carbon construction body and rails. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a carbon saddle that looks so meticulously made. The carbon weave and the UD body looks absolutely fantastic. The ovular rails raised no issue with my Deda seatpost but proved terrifically difficult to adapt to my Enve post though compatibility with OS rails was claimed…a fault of Enve, not Specialized. Overall, the carbon construction layup provides a proper balance of stiffness with subtle flex and excellent vibration control which I found equated to noticeable comfortable. And weight, hooo, she's light.
What more is there to say? I’ve ridden saddles that are more comfortable and I’ve ridden those which are less comfortable…MUCH less comfortable. Given the Toupe pro is a stiffness level 1 and the saddle is geared towards riders who desire that characteristic, it is hard to find fault in the saddles firmness which I personally found to be overly firm. The remaining construction, ergonomics (if you will), and fit/finish are truly the best I’ve seen. Really, I think the overall finished product is of a higher grade than what you see from companies that exclusively produce saddles…something isn’t right here but cheers to Specialized. Again, if you have the opportunity to ride the Toupe Pro or the similar but slightly curvier Romin saddle, give it a go. Additionally, start with the fit that the dealer suggests but amuse your instinct and try a size that is similar to what you usually ride for comparison and to confirm the fit.