Thursday, February 26, 2009

GamJams Reviews: Saddles/Seatpost - Specialized Saddles

I've been slacking on the GamJams reviews lately but aside from the gloves a few weeks ago I've had little to say. No clue on bars and stem (I use what I've got) and chamois creme has yet to grace my dairy-aire. Today's review of saddles at last I've got.

While my variance in saddle usage is limited I've found ones that work and I'm very happy with. First for the road bike I've got the Specialized Toupe Gel saddle. Swapped out the stock saddle on the Cannondale right away for the Toupe and haven't turned back since. The Toupe has been plenty cushy for all my riding over the last two years including my higher mileage 1/2 IM training last year and along with a neoprene seat cover saw me through the handful of tri's including the 1/2 IM on the limited padding in the tri shorts.

The Specialized Toupe Gel - I ride the 143 if you care.

It also is a very minimalist saddle; very light and sleek looking to match the light and sleek aluminum CAAD9 with carbon trimmings. A cushy yet firm, all around great saddle. The only issue I've really had with the Toupewas when attempting to mount the saddle to an old seat post. I was unable to get the post hardware to fit into the slim area between the saddle and the rails. Not an issue on the newer posts, though the older and bulkier hardware just wasn't quite compatible.

For the mountain bike I tried to stay close to what worked for the road without going too minimalist. Specialized makes a full line of saddles and while I was test riding saddles for the road bike I'd tried one of the cushier road saddles. While it was super comfortable (at the time I believe I called it a Cadillac ride) I knew it was too much for my lightweight road bike. For the mountain rig however, it turned out to be just right.

The Avatar Profile Shot in action. A cushed up version of the Toupe in my eyes.

The Specialized Avatar Gel saddle provides just the cushion and support I need on the mountain bike and so far it's been sturdy enough to take the abuse I've doled out. From my Redline cross rig, to my Jamis Exile/Dragon and now on my Cannondale Scalpel this saddle just works. The good side, it's under $100 (in comparison to the $150 Toupe). On the other hand this saddle is perfect for all of those bikes so at some point I'll need to be picking up a few extras to throw back on the Jamis and the Redline.

Lastly, my fixed rolls in pure urban hipster, bike dork, I'm too cool for school style. Don't remember who makes it but it just plan fits!

Yes this saddle really is on my fixed gear...

No comments: