The Arione saddle has been around for a while, largely unchanged apart from some rail or covering tweaks, and Fizik have stuck to their belief that split or cutout saddles are inherently weaker and lack support.
But to cater for riders who love the shape of the Arione, Aliante and Antares but suffer with pressure-related saddle issues, they have developed the Versus range, featuring a central groove designed to relieve pressure on the sensitive arteries, nerves and prostate.
With the usual features unchanged, we tried one in place of our original Arione, and despite a 6g weight increase it was hard to detect any obvious differences at first. The Versus saddles use the same base as their ungroovy cousins for stability. The padding feels a little more dense on either side of the channel, but is still generous, and although there was no eureka moment, over the many rides since fitting it we haven’t even noticed the slightest trace of pressure-related discomfort.
A saddle should never be intrusive, so on that basis we can conclude that the idea is sound. So far, we can’t see a downside, but only you can decide if it’s right for you.