After trying the [Fi’zi:k Aliante][alamazon] and owning a [Specialized Romin Gel][romin], there were two things I was looking for in a new saddle.
1. Flat profile. The Alianté ([read my review][alrev]) has a bit of a dip in the middle and I just didn’t like it.
2. Narrows quickly towards the nose of the saddle. I think this is whe my discomfort on the Romin comes from.
Looking at the in stock options at my local shop, the [Fi’zi:k Anatares Ki:um][antamazon] seemed the most likely candidate for a friendly relationship with my posterior based on those two desires.
As you can see in the image above the Antares narrows quite quickly from where you sit on it towards the nose. Looking from the side, it’s also flat. Those are both things I was looking for, so I bummed it from my local bike shop for a bit.
Just like all Fi’zi:k products, the craftsmanship is obvious in the Antares. The stitching is neat and there is narry a rough spot that might increase the friction as you ride.
There are a number of color options for the Antares so you can pick the one that matches your bike the best.
1. White base, black thigh glides
2. Black base, gold thigh glides
3. Black with black thigh glides
I was lucky in that the local shop had the white base with black thigh glides, which happens to match my bike well.
Another nice thing about the Antares is that it ‘hangs’ on the rails. When you push on the center portion of the saddle it flexes. This means that your soft bits aren’t taking a pounding over rough roads. My soft bits appreciate that.
Finally all the Fi’zi:k saddles have a clip under them meant to take a saddle bag. I know that my thighs have always rubbed against the smallest bags I can find and that’s a stupid way to kill an expensive pair of shorts. Fi’zi:k calls this the Integrated Clip System (ICS) and manufactures [saddle bags][fizbag] to clip in to it, and get out of your way, they even [make a light][fizlight] that fits the clip.
Fi’zi:k says this saddle is for a ‘Chameleon’. I did email them for clarification on exactly what this means but have yet to hear back. [According to forums][flex] the ‘Chameleon’ saddles are for those of medium flexibilty. Bull saddles (Alianté) are for the less flexible and the Aironé is for the most flexible. In theory Fi’zi:k has done some testing to show that your flexibilty has a correlation to the shape of saddle and power output. I’m not sure what to think about that personally since I didn’t see the data. I’d say try them all and figure out which one suits you.
As I said, I wanted a saddle that narrowed quickly from where you sit on it. The sore spots from my Romin were just under my butt cheeks and as far as I can tell its because my legs are rubbing on the saddle. The only part that really needs to be supported up are the sit bones, the rest of your lower half should be free to move without friction.
I also wanted a saddle that was flat. The Aliante, with it’s ‘scooped’ profile just didn’t suit me at all. The best I got the saddle to feel was tolerable, which is not what you want going for 6 hour rides. The Anatares is totally flat.
I found that the Antares wanted to be more forward than my Romin did. Before playing with the fore aft positioning the Antares just didn’t fit well. Once I moved it forward a few millimeters it felt awesome, since I was no longer reaching to get on the portion of the saddle meant for sitting.
I also found that I preferred the Antares at a slightly nose down angle. as you can see from the picture, we’re not talking a lot of tilt, just barely enough to say its nose down. I’ve actually always found that having a saddle barely nose down was my preferred position.
## Testing Time
My testing period was over 2 weeks and about 300km (which was actually 4 weeks and 1000km ago). I did little climbing during the testing period so I spent a lot of time cranking out distance in the valley floor around me. That means, lots of sitting was done.
After 2 weeks testing the saddle, I like it enough that I bought it. I do have one small hot spot, but the more time I put on the saddle the longer it takes to bother me. Given the large groove down the center of the Romin, which I’m used to, I figure that I’ve just got to get used to the new saddle not having it. Would I try other saddles, of course I would, I’m just not hunting through all the options at the shop anymore.
[alrev]: https://curtismchale.ca/2012/05/28/fizik-aliante-review/ “Fi’zi:k Aliante Review”
[alamazon]: http://www.amazon.com/mn/search/?_encoding=UTF8&tag=strugwithfait-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957&field-keywords=fizik%20aliante&url=search-alias%3Daps&sprefix=fizik%20alia%2Caps%2C306 “Fi’zi:k Alianté – Amazon”
[romin]: http://www.specialized.com/ca/en/ftb/saddles/road-multisportsaddles/romincompgel “Specialized Romin Comp Gel”
[antamazon]: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001VDWCM4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=strugwithfait-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001VDWCM4 “Fi’zi:k Antares on Amazon”
[flex]: http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index.php/t-554238.html “Fi’zi:k seat type explanations”
[fizbag]: http://www.fizik.it/product.aspx?c=Saddle-pak “Fi’zi:k ICS saddle bag”
[fizlight]: http://www.fizik.it/product.aspx?c=Blink “Fi’zi:k ICS light”