Clever use of materials and smart design make Fizik’s latest range of saddles, dubbed Kurve, comfortable for long rides. But comfort via technology doesn’t come cheap. The key feature of the design is a flexible composite base, in place of the usual rigid plastic. The idea is to allow the saddle to move as you pedal and to shift shock absorption from the padding to the hull.
Cushioning comes from a thin layer of foam bonded to Fizik’s familiar microfibre. It’s minimal but it works, and there’s not enough material to bunch and create pressure points. The combination is certainly comfy. We’ve done 100-mile rides on a Kurve Bull (more on the name later) with no chafing, aches or pains. The feel is of sitting in, not on, the seat, and while the saddle movement isn’t obtrusive, you can pick it out if you pay attention.
The Mobius rail is another comfort enhancer. Instead of plugging into the rear of the saddle, the 2014 aluminium rails are forged in a loop that suspends the hull at its ends. This noticeably increases the amount the Kurve gives in the middle, especially in the long-bodied Snake version. You can tune the flex by swapping the ‘Tuner’ at the nose between ‘soft’ and ‘hard’.
Fizik offer three Kurve models, named for the company’s animal-based scheme for choosing your right saddle. Riders with less flexible spines are bulls, who need an Aliante or a Kurve Bull. Flexible-backed cyclists are snakes and are directed to the Arione or the Kurve Snake, while those in between are chameleons who should choose the Antares or Kurve Chameleon.
At £200 this is a saddle for those who value comfort above all. It’s not the lightest (230g for the Bull, 224g for the Snake) but is one of the most comfortable saddles around. And it might just be the most technologically advanced.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.