Thursday, June 26, 2008

Specialized Toupe 143mm vs Fi'zik Aliante Carbon vs Fi'zik Arione vs Brooks Team Professional

Wow, lots of saddles. I bought around 132 saddles off of ebay over the past few weeks and have been slapping them on the mighty Redline 925 for commuting and morning training rides to see how they compare or fare with hopes of replacing the Team Professional titanium I currently have mounted on my road bike. WHY?? The weight, even with the titanium, still bothers me. Yeah, shut up already! Ok, so what truly bothers me is the leather. I really don't like having to drag around a seat cover to protect the little baby from the water. Road spray, rain, whatever. It's all bad. This liability has bugged me since day one. It's a truly comfortable saddle. Significantly better than anything I've used to date. It disappears.

So, can any of these fancy saddles replace it? Who's going to be the next saddle under my tush? Or will the Brooks triumph and remain atop the glorious road bike?

Specialized Toupe 143mm

I think this saddle sucks. Ha! Ok, you'd probably like to know why I think it stinks? Ok, I'll tell you why. It simply does not work for my rear end. I really don't like how it forces me on my sit bones, and nothing but my sitbones. It DOES feel like it perhaps lets more blood flow around, but to be honest, I've never had any issue before with ANY other saddle in this area so don't try to sell me with fancy advertising making it seem like all other saddles are evil and yours is THE ONE. So, let me have less blood to critical areas for more comfort. It was okay for the first five minutes. After that I didn't truly hate it, I just didn't like it. I felt the edges dropped off dramatically creating a pinching feeling in my inner thighs. I also don't like the faux carbon accents on the corners. Why? why? Wasteful. If on the sides, yeah, OK, it keeps the saddle from being scratched when leaning on your favorite tree or wall, but these are on the rear and you'd have to be pretty creative to lean them against anything. Maybe I needed the 130mm or the 155mm. I'll never know.

Fi'zik Arione

I think this saddle is pretty good. If you like a Brooks Team Professional, just maybe, maybe you'll like this saddle. I'm going to keep it for awhile on the fixed gear commuter and play with the angles some more to see how well it works out. I like the long, flat top. It has just enough cushion. It's a saddle. Not much else to say. It's narrower than what I thought would work for me.

Fi'zik Aliante Carbon

The bling of all saddle bling. This saddle is stupid expensive. I'm glad I did not pay retail for the brand new black version. Ebay!!! This saddle has it all. Kevlar weave in the middle that is very flexible...kinda like the Brooks (hint hint) True Carbon wings...none of that plastic blend stuff. Really nice leather atop. Carbon braided raills. What else could you ask for? O yeah, comfort. And does this baby deliver! I think it's even better than the Brooks. I love this saddle. And it's only 160 grams according to my scale. DING DING. We have a winner. This shall remain on the race bike. If I were really wealthy I'd put it on every bike, but I'm not.

So, give the Fi'zik saddles a try. The two saddles are VERY different, yet both are very comfortable. I think the Aliante is a lot better for my butt, but I'm going to give the Arione some time.

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