Fizik Tempo Argo R1
Fizik’s new Argo line of short saddles is aimed squarely at the endurance rider. The Tempo differs from the Vento by having a short nose in its 260mm length, the idea being that an endurance rider will spend less time up on the nose, or ‘on the rivet’ in old-school roadie speak.
It also has a much larger and wider relief channel because the theory is that you’ll be sitting slightly more upright and therefore putting a bit more pressure on sensitive areas.
The relief channel also informed the padding and Fizik has chosen to use its Type 2: a dense, memory-foam-like material with a firm, yet elastic feel that makes for a very comfortable place to spend a few hours pedalling.
In dry conditions the Tempo is excellent: comfortably padded, pressure and friction-free, it really impresses David Caudery / Immediate Media
In dry conditions the Tempo is excellent: comfortably padded, pressure and friction-free, it really impresses.
When the weather takes a turn for the worse, however, things get a little different. The smooth matt cover looks great but as soon as you introduce moisture from spray or rain it becomes slick and slippery, which meant I always found myself slipping forward and back, spending too much effort on trying to stop sliding around.
This is not great for a short saddle that’s supposed to give you a better position. A mid-ride saddle adjustment, tipping the saddle beyond horizontal with the nose tipped upward, helped somewhat but it’s not ideal.
The flatter-shaped Vento version with its lined detailing on the cover doesn’t suffer from slipping in the wet in this way. I feel that this Tempo shape would benefit from more texture on the cover to aid grip.
The saddle is available in two widths: 150mm and 160mm. If you’re able to visit your local Fizik dealer, I’d suggest getting your sit bones measured.
My 160mm test saddle tips the scales at an impressive 198g, lighter than Fizik’s claimed 202g and much of the weight loss is due to the carbon rails.
This is a premium R1 model but you can get an R3 chromoly-railed version for £129.99, which weighs 240g in the 150mm length.