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So I bought a Specialized Toupe saddle a few years ago on the recommendation from my LBS that it's the best saddle for blood flow...I plan on having kids one day. It was a bit expensive but I just cycle for fitness and figured it would last me for a long time barring mishaps. That is until I stumbled upon this http://specialized.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1165/kw/toupe

The Toupe saddle will eventually lose it's flex. This is a sign that the saddle is pasts it's lifespan and needs to be replaced. Both the Gel saddle and the team versions will have a stiffer shell and longer lifespan.
Uh huh, I do have the Toupe Team variant that lasts longer but how do I know when it's time to replace it?? I would of thought the saddle would flex more, rather then less over time. Does anyone know the approximate lifespan in terms of miles of these saddles? I know a lot depends on the weight of a rider but any reasonable guesses or experiences....has anyone ridden this saddle to the end of its lifespan and was obvious that it needed to be replaced? Thanks.
 

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I put about 15K miles on an original Toupe until the shell broke. It was really hanging, but Specialized still replaced it under warranty. I didn't notice anything after that many miles, and I wouldn't worry about it at all.
 

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Specialized saddles in particular are somewhat known to wear out quicker than other main mfg saddles. This is in part to the build (lots of plastic) or by design (most of their designs give quite a bit). If you're worried about longevity, don't buy a Spec saddle. But if it works for your backside, ride it.
 

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I have a few of these saddles none have broken i have one with well over 20k miles its sags but still going strong. If /when its breaks get a new saddle.
 

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Selle Italia Flite, ti rails, perforated leather cover. Installed new in 1994. Threw it away last year. Leather lasted about 5 years, the foam until about 2005, and had been riding on the plastic shell since then. On a hardtail mt bike.
 

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Saddle failure

Jason1500 said:
Uh huh, I do have the Toupe Team variant that lasts longer but how do I know when it's time to replace it?? I would of thought the saddle would flex more, rather then less over time. Does anyone know the approximate lifespan in terms of miles of these saddles? I know a lot depends on the weight of a rider but any reasonable guesses or experiences....has anyone ridden this saddle to the end of its lifespan and was obvious that it needed to be replaced? Thanks.
First of all, the plastic base of the saddle will either retain it's shape or start to stretch/tear/crack. It should be fairly obvious when this happens by inspecting the saddle from the underside. The plastic doesn't get "softer" with time. The foam of the saddle may compress or crumble under the saddle cover, and that should be obvious. Likewise bent rails.

There is absolutely no way to predict the life of any saddle, even when you know the rider's weight. WAY to many variables.
 

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cmdrpiffle said:
Selle Italia Flite, ti rails, perforated leather cover. Installed new in 1994. Threw it away last year. Leather lasted about 5 years, the foam until about 2005, and had been riding on the plastic shell since then. On a hardtail mt bike.
Sounds like your bikes must be some real gems, watch out don't scratch that one...
 

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Specialized has lost it's focus on quality control. I've been a LONG time Spesh person. People use to joke that I should get the S tattooed on me. Last couple of years Spesh has gone done hill.

Apparel is garbage, but last I heard they fired everybody and hired new people. My LBS won't even carry their jersey's anymore due to quality. Maybe the new class will do better.

Most of my experience is with their mountain bikes. The 2007 MTB group was crap and tarnished their reputation badly. My 2007 Roubaix was fine, but my 2007 Epic was a train wreck. So far my 2010 S-Works Epic is less than impressive. VERY high maintenance.

My new SS is a Cannondale and my new road bike is a Felt. I didn't even bother looking at Spesh.

But with that said, your talking about a light weight saddle. Much like others said, their are many variables to the lifespan. My Toupe on my MTB lasted two season. I was okay with that. I wouldn't consider such a light weight saddle to be a long term fixture on my bike.

Spesh Helmets and Shoes seem to be good still, but it's all personal preference.

I would stay away from their MTB still.
 

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Mine last for a season before it became super flexy. My SLR has lasted twice as long. It did feel pretty nice though.
 

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Specialized has lost it's focus on quality control.
Funny you mention that... I noticed it changing a lot a few years ago. Apparel wasn't necessarily top-notch, but it was reasonably well made and rugged. For me, this seems to have changed in apparel a few years ago. The apparel is really hit-or-miss quality-wise, so I choose to just not deal with it. And to keep this on thread, when I cracked the shell on my Toupe, the dealer was great at giving me a new one. However the one he pulled out of the display case and gave me squeaked when applying pressure on the saddle. The rails were squeaking in the shell. He agreed this was unsatisfactory, especially for a top-of-the-line saddle, and I finally got a new one that didn't squeak. Then there was the squeaking seatpost in my Tarmac SL, which I just gave up on and replaced with a Ritchey. For me, the S-Works shoes have been bomb-proof, and I do like their gloves.

I still think Specialized makes the best bang-for-the-buck framesets, and wouldn't hesitate buying another, but I'm not impressed with the quality of their apparel or equipment, aside from their shoes and gloves.
 

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Interesting as I was at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine last December getting a 3D bike fit. At one point during that process, both Pruitt and his "Biomechanist" looked at my Toupe saddle somewhat askance, finally commenting that they saw some "sag" and bowing, a sure sign of fatigue according to them. When asked how long I had owned it, I said, "less than a year!" Well, said they, it looked like it was on its way to being worn out. Their final comment was that it is not uncommon for serious riders to replace their saddles, annually. An expensive proposition. I'm still riding it. Gotta get at least a full year (and I'm south of 170 lbs.). Probably will go with something different when I do replace it.
 

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I've ridden about 10k over 2 years on my spec toupe gel and have noticed that I can't really seem to get comfortable on it the past 2-3 months. I just thought it was in my head but maybe it's time for a replacin'
 

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I used my Toupe for 3 years. It was sagging bad after 2 years. The saddle was great for me until it started sagging but I can't see dropping $150 for a saddle every few years so I'm trying to find a replacement.
 

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SLR life

bwhite_4 said:
My SLR has lasted twice as long.
The leather cover on my SLR started to shred near the saddle nose at about 2500 miles. At 30,000 miles the thing was so ratty I just peeled off the cover and scraped off the thin layer of foam. It's no less comfortable without that thin layer of foam. The saddle now has nearly 50,000 miles on it with no signs of distress. I weigh 175-180 lb.

I repeat: plastic saddle bases either fail or not. They don't get soft. If they are sagging, they have failed, but in over 200,000 miles of riding, I have only seen one fail, and that was because the plastic started to tear.
 

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my experience with SLRs is different - I find mine develop a slightly concave shape after about a season - not bad enough to toss it but definitely some loss of shape about at the midpoint in both the 135 and xp version (weight 165 lbs)
 

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"For me, the S-Works shoes have been bomb-proof, and I do like their gloves."

I think their gloves were once awesome, but now crap. I went through three pair last year. They kept ripping at the seams. Even the pair I have now, which I bought in May, are about to fall apart. Once these are gone, I'm done with them.

The S-works road shoe is great. The MTB one leaves room for improvement. BOA + Mud = stuck shoe.

I did crack my S-Works Epic frame and two days later I had a new one. Even got the current year model (2010) instead of the one I broke (2009).

I use their tri-tip saddle now since I LOVE hanging it by the saddle in the transition area. It's not as light as Toupe but VERY comfortable. My mountain bike has the Phenom saddle which is amazing.
 

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if its that light expect to replace

The leather cover on my SLR started to shred near the saddle nose at about 2500 miles. At 30,000 miles the thing was so ratty I just peeled off the cover and scraped off the thin layer of foam. It's no less comfortable without that thin layer of foam. The saddle now has nearly 50,000 miles on it with no signs of distress. I weigh 175-180 lb.

I repeat: plastic saddle bases either fail or not. They don't get soft. If they are sagging, they have failed, but in over 200,000 miles of riding, I have only seen one fail, and that was because the plastic started to tear.
started on my toupe in 2008 and it was lightly used. i ride on rough roads n. cal, and wt. is 165. i don't sit hard on the saddle, the power and wt is 75% on the pedals. 2012, it cracked in the 'love channel', one side and then a few weeks later broke at the back side. not bad for something this comfy and light. i'll get another one. 30+ years and its the most comfortable by far. if you want something that won't break it'll probably be heavier.
 
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