Next season might be the biggest one yet for Fi'zi:k, who have launched a new range of Cyrano road cockpits, new triathlon/time trial and road saddles and more shoes for triathlon, cross-country racing and cyclocross at Eurobike 2013.
All the new products are available now, with European prices included below (US and UK pricing is to be confirmed).
Cyrano handlebar system – three designs to fit rider flexibility
Fi'zi:k have already established a saddle system that focuses on rider flexibility – the Aliante is for the less flexible 'Bull', the Arione for the most flexible 'Snake' and the Antares for the in-between 'Chameleon'. Now the company are expanding the philosophy to include handlebars. Created under the Cyrano name, the three-unit family uses the same Bull, Snake and Chameleon monikers for different levels of rider flexibility.
The shallow-drop Bull bar has a drop of 130mm with an 80mm reach. Fi'zi:k say many Bull riders tend to be of larger stature, so the shape of the drop has to work with larger hands. We tried the bar and found it had none of the usual cramping issues for those with shovel-like palms.
Next in the Cyrano line is the Chameleon bar, which increases reach to 85mm and drop to 135mm.
The Cyrano 00 handlebar for 'Snakes'
The most radical bar in terms of appearance is the Snake, with a big drop of 140mm and a reach of 85mm. While this model stays true to the classic French or Merckx drops, it's actually much squarer than those traditional bends, as it's designed for use with modern shifters, not those of Merckx' era.
Each of the three bar shapes is available in three models (00, R1 and R3), with pricing varying according to material and weight. Prices and claimed weights are listed below.
|Body material||High modulus unidirectional carbon||Unidirectional carbon||Ergal (7075) aluminium|
|Finish||Matte black/yellow details||Glossy carbon/red R1 details||Matte sandblasted black/white R3 details|
|Diameter||31.8mm (clamp) - 28.8mm (top)||31.8mm (clamp) - 28.8mm (top)||31.8mm (clamp) - 28.8mm (top)|
|Suggested retail price||€350||€250||€89|
A matching Cyrano stem is available for the bars, made from Ergal aluminium with titanium bolts and weighing 128g (110mm, 7 degrees). It will be available in lengths between 70mm and 130mm, in 10mm increments, and in 7- or 20-degree angles.
Volta road saddle – new model based on classic design
Fi'zi:k's Volta road saddle
Perhaps the most surprising thing in Fi'zi:k's 2014 lineup is the new Volta saddle. The company found that, despite their three styles of saddle, some pro riders were still requesting classic designs such as the original Selle Italia Flite, Concor and Rolls or the Brooks B17 or Colt.
What is it that all these designs have in common? Aside from vertical sides, they all feature a deeply curved top shape at the sit point. The clue is in the name for 'Volta' – think vaulted ceiling, or archway.
Fi'zi:k measured all of the original designs and found the relationship and shape of the arch was within millimetres, irrespective of brand or design. So, they recreated the look with modern materials and production methods.
Although based on a traditional shape, the Volta looks pretty futuristic, and its weight has a lot in common with modern high-end saddles. With carbon-braided rails, the Volta R1 is a svelte 165g (€250) and the K:ium alloy-railed R3 a still impressive 205g (€169).
R3 saddle range brings carbon to wider audience
The Aliante R3 with carbon rails
Fi'zi:k's three key road saddles (the Airone, Antares and Aliante) come in three models – 00, R1 and R3. The 00 editions have always impressed us, with their prohibitively high prices if nothing else.
For 2014, a new range of carbon-railed saddles will be available, but under the R3 umbrella. They share the same rails as the 00 models but use a fibreglass, thermoplastic wingflex hull instead of a pricier carbon one.
Weights stack up favourably, with an R3 Arione with braided carbon rails claimed to weigh 165g (€199) compared to a 135g 00.
Tritone triathlon/time trial saddle
The Tritone triathlon/time trial saddle
Fi'zi:k have launched their first noseless saddle, aimed at triathletes and time triallists who favour a forward position and are looking for greater comfort. The new Tritone has a 55mm-wide nose, and a truncated shape that widens sooner than a conventional saddle for greater seated support and greater hip rotation. Length is 24cm, which complies with UCI rules for time trials, widening its appeal.
A pressure-relieving channel runs the full length of the saddle, starting at almost the full width of the nose and tapering towards the rear. Silk-screen printed silicone strips run along the top of each side of the channel to increase grip and help you maintain position.
The new foam material, which we’re told is more elastic, is certainly very generous, has a density specifically developed for the Tritone and is aimed at improving comfort for prolonged seated efforts. The nylon carbon fibre-reinforced shell is both light and stiff, and sports extra-long 85mm rails to fit every time trial or tri bike.
The Tritone's carriage kit includes two water bottle mounts and provision for a CO2 canister, inflator and inner tube
What really sets the Tritone apart is its supplied modular carriage kit. This provides the ability to fit two bottle cages, a CO2 canister and inflator and spare inner tube to a minimal frame that bolts neatly on the rear underside of the shell to give a completely integrated look. The CO2 canister sits below the saddle and screws through the frame at the rear, with the inflator screwing onto the outside. The inner tube straps on below, also below the saddle.
The angled bottle cages sit at approximately 45 degrees to the saddle’s centre line, and are as close as possible to the rear of the saddle without interfering, making reaching for a drink much simpler than with some extended bolt-on designs.
Also beneath the saddle is a tough plastic hook under the nose, designed in conjunction with the forward section of the rails to allow easy and secure racking on varied diameter bars.
The Tritone will be available in two models, the 250g K:ium (€179) or a 220g version with braided carbon rails for €250. Colour options are black/black, black/white or black/red.
Thar 29er saddle
The Thar 29er saddle with manganese rails
Fi'zi:k have also released what we believe to be a world first – a 29er specific mountain bike saddle. The company claim that the Thar has been designed in response to 29er riders pushing their saddles as far forward on the rails as possible, to counteract the slacker seat tube angles some 29er hardtail frames use to accommodate the larger wheel. The Thar comes with a short nose, and the area where the sit-bones rest is therefore closer to the front of the saddle.
Fi'zi:k analysed the nose length of the saddle, measured from where the saddle is 75mm wide, and compared it to the competition. The popular Selle Italia SLR has 22mm forward adjustment from this point, whereas the Thar has 77mm thanks to its use of Fi'zi:k's ‘Mobius’ rail. This enters the saddle at a steeper angle than traditional saddle rails, maximising its length and preventing the seatpost clamp being pushed to an unsafe area of the rails.
The Thar with K:ium rails weighs a claimed 195g (€129), while the manganese railed version is 225g (€99).
M3 cyclocross shoe/M5 mountain bike shoe
Fi'z:ik's M3 cyclocross shoe
The M3 cyclocross shoe has been updated for 2014. It features a super-stiff carbon sole and improved rubber tread to offer more grip while still accepting a pair of studs or spikes at the toe. The uppers use a combination of leather, anti-scratch leather and ventilating nylon mesh with three sailcloth straps – two Velcro and one ankle strap secured by an aluminium micro-adjust buckle.
The shoe has in part been developed by Focus professional Francis Mourey, who for some time led this year’s Cyclocross World Championships in Louisville. Claimed weight for a size 43 pair of M3s is 280g and they'll come in black with yellow highlights.
The M5 mountain bike shoe has a nylon, carbon-reinforced sole that also has provision for studs. The uppers use Microtex, nylon mesh and anti-scratch leather, and sailcloth straps with the same aluminium buckle as used on the M3s. A pair of M5s in size 43 is claimed to weigh 329g and colour options are white/orange, black/silver and black/red.
Prices for the shoes are still to be confirmed. For more information on Fi'zi:k products see www.fizik.it.