Specialized Toupé Expert Gel saddle review

The staple saddle of Specialized’s road range, the ever-evolving Toupé has been a favourite of many for nearly a decade

Specialized Toupe Expert Gel saddle
Cycling Weekly Verdict

There is a reason that Specialized saddles are popular, they just work. The slim, flat profile works well for a variety of riding positions and proves very comfortable for longer rides. Specialized’s simple saddle fitting process eliminates guesswork in choosing saddle widths. The 30 day ride guarantee gives some reassurances that if, for some reason you don’t get on with the Specialized Toupé Expert Gel saddle, you can try something else.

Reasons to buy
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    Available in differing width and comfort options

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    Pressure relieving shape

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    30 Day fit guarantee

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Reasons to avoid
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    Slippery cover material

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    Flat shape might not suit all

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You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Developed with the aid of bike fit guru Dr Andy Pruitt and his years of experience, the Specialized Toupé Expert Gel saddle has a pronounced cut out and full length groove bisecting its flat profile. This oft-imitated Body Geometry groove is designed to relieve pain and numbness by reducing pressure on nerves, arteries and soft tissue ‘down below’, which can be felt when sitting on a saddle for hours on end.

>>> Buyer's guide to road bike saddles (video)

The saddle is available in three different widths to match your ischeal tuberosities, or as most people call them, the sit bones. Getting measured up for the correct size is a quick process involving sitting on a memory foam pad and then measuring the width of the impression left by your posterior.

Watch: buyer's guide to road bike saddles

The padding on the Specialized Toupé Expert Gel saddle is incredibly minimalist rated a one out of five according to Specialized’s own grading. Contrary to expectations the minimalist Expert is very comfortable in use.

Specialized has designed the carbon reinforced base to flex markedly and it seems to shape to your body and the movements of the bike on longer rides which felt great. The hollow titanium rails also do a sterling job of softening road vibrations before they reach you.

>>> Saddle height: how to get it right, and why it's so important (video)

The Specialized Toupé Expert Gel saddle remained comfortable in all three handlebar positions and the nose unobtrusive even when in the drops. The only downside I could really see was the cover material is very smooth and your body can slip around a little when pedalling. It’s also comforting to know that Specialized offers a 30 day fit guarantee allowing you to exchange for another saddle if it doesn’t suit.

For more details visit the Specialized website.

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James Bracey

James Bracey's career has seen him move from geography teacher, to MBR writer, to Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and video presenter. He possesses an in-depth knowledge of bicycle mechanics, as well as bike fit and coaching qualifications. Bracey enjoys all manner of cycling, from road to gravel and mountain biking.