With this new version of the Toupe saddle, Specialized have taken the tried-and-tested features of the popular original, but added gel instead of foam padding with the aim of increasing comfort.
It might look like a harsh, minimalist design but we find the Toupe incredibly comfortable.
That's partly down to the cutaway mid-section designed to reduce pressure on the arteries and prevent discomfort, numbness or medical problems associated with the loss of blood flow. We're not saying that the Specialized design will suit everyone's anatomy, but most of our testers found it very comfy. The choice of two different widths (130mm and 143mm) certainly helps to get a good fit - visit a Specialized dealer to find out which is best for you.
The carbon-reinforced nylon shell and hollow titanium rails offer enough flex to take the sting out of road irregularities, while still providing a firm platform for pedalling. The synthetic leather cover is water-resistant and, as previous versions have proved, durable.
Does the gel offer more comfort than the £10 cheaper standard Toupe? Well, that's simply a matter of personal preference. If you're a weight freak, it's worth considering that at 205g (for the 143mm width version), the gel saddle is fairly lightweight but it's not in the same league as the 155g foam equivalent.