• lefthandside

    It’s a difficult thing you’re trying to do: review the most subjectively experienced item of bicycle componentry in a way that gives others a useful idea of what to expect. I think the takeaway from this is your sensible approach – start with what you like about your current setup and try before you buy

  • Morten Reippuert Knudsen

    I’ve been exclusively on Alianté sadels for the epast 10 years – all my bikes are equiped with Aliantes.

    Quality has gone down and a few years ago they changed the design significantly for the non VS(X) models – padding is harder, thicker and shell is less flexible.

    Aliante Delta XM magnesium rails (1.gen XM 2006 with nylon/kevlar twinflex shell).

    Aliante Gamma Ti rails (1.gen gamma 2006 with nylon/kevlar twinflex shell)

    Aliante Ti rails (approx 2002-2004 – last edition witout ICS, cabon/kevlar shell and suede sides. What i would call the classic Fizik (Alianté) über-zattle design. Both the titanium and carbon railed versions where rediculous expensive and finish is unbeatable compared to todays Fizik’s or any other sadles)

    Aliante Kium rails (1.gen Kium with cabon/kevlar shell, ICS and ugly graphics) – the ‘sit in the middle drop shape’ is less pronounced than the ‘classic’ and the gamma Ti)

    Kurve Bull mobius rals with soft insert (1.gen Bull).

    The classic 2004 Aliante fells almost identical to the original Kurve Bull with soft insert. – both sadles moves and felxes a lot and i dont feel any ‘hot spots’ when riding 12 hours non stop. Even thoug the visible shape is quite different, the effective shape under load feels identital due use of af frame instaed of a shell in the Aliante design. The Kurve is fundamentally the same design as a classic leather books saddle. carbon cloth suspended over a frame instead of leather supended over a frame. The Kurve is a totally different beast if you swap the insert – sounds like you have use the ‘hard’ insert.

    Unfortunately the bike with the Delta XM was stolen – i liked it a lot and its thicker padding and lessor ‘sit-in drop’ compared to Gamma with identical shell reduced ‘hot spots’ on longer rides.
    Hot spots started to deveop on the Gamma Ti after 5 hours in hot weather and montains with hours of long climbs.

    The Gamma Ti is now on my MTB – it started out for a short while on a steel frame, then on my then new Merliin Works CR ti frame where i used it for 8 years, until it was replaced by the ‘classic’ for two years. This year i moved the ‘classic’ to a new Gravel/endurance ti build and bought a Kurve for my Merlin road bike.

    The ‘modern’ shaped Aliante Kium which in padding and shell is smilar to the R3 fells less felxible in both shell and padding compared to the other sadels.
    in terms of comfort its smilar to the Delta XM – quality and finish on level with the Gamma Ti (aka nothing to brag about compared to the ‘classic’ or the Kurve). It sits on a vinage Koga-Miata Full Pro steel frame and i ride it lot, but its a bit too overall firm for me – its not like the Kurve or the ‘classic’ where the different zones has quite different firmness. No hot spots though, but i do feel like im ‘all over the the saddle” and that i have to work too much to stay in position due to the flatter profile under load compared to the other Aliante/Kurves i own.

  • Rob

    Some LBS also have Fizik Test Saddles (in bright yellow) that you can borrow for a period of time. Great way to narrow it down.

  • velocite

    Very good investigative project and report Matt, thanks. I’ve spent a lot on saddles over the years and I still don’t know much. I used to see saddles as one of two broad types: either the sit bone type, which I associate with Specialized, or the ‘sitting on a round pole’ type, like, say the Fizik Arione. A few years ago I trialled and selected a Specialized Phenom over a Selle Italia Gelflite, and used it until it became lop sided – maybe due to a crash. I replaced it with a new Phenom – and they’ve ruined it: the new one doesn’t work for me. But lately I’ve tried a rounded Bontrager- which I bought, and a flat Prologo on a hired bike, both of which were OK, and neither of which were ‘sit bone’ types, so maybe my characterization of types is not useful. I expected the addition of a channel to be significant, but it seems not?

    • Andy B

      Any idea if the new phenom is more like a power saddle?

      • Teresagwallace3

        <<hp.. ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::::!il795r:….,…..

  • VK

    If the bikes in the photos are on leveled surface and based on the corrugated panel behind as reference, all the saddles are angled too high at the nose and will likely cause groin numbness.

    • Morten Reippuert Knudsen

      youre abseloutely right – nose is way up for an Aliante,

    • Metar Heller-Algazi

      Or maybe that’s just his preferred angle? When I rode an Aliante, I preferred to keep it at a slight upwards pitch (if you put a spirit level resting on the two peaks – the author’s is level by that measure). Kept my hips firmly planted and took the strain off my arms, legs and – yes – groin.

      Saddles are personal. Saddle position is personal, too – and turning them upwards may seem counterintuitive, but it often works.

      • VK

        I am a fan of traditional rear upswept saddles like the old old concor light, prologo scratch, bontrager serano and of course, the Aliante. The design intent of these type of saddles allow riders with stiff lower back to rotate their pelvis forward and downward hence the dipped nose and swept back. I have made that mistake before by levelling the rear tip to the front.. and believe me it ruined my bottom. I went as far as trying all the flat saddles, cutouts, even the weird looking SMP, which I think is great but it’s too ugly to be seen on my bikes.

        Then I discovered this instruction, and life is good since then..


        • Metar Heller-Algazi

          Notice he uses the word “most” in almost every sentence?

          A slight upwards tilt keeps the pelvis in place and prevents it from sliding forwards – an action which would otherwise be prevented by the arms or legs. Since I’m not experiencing any groin discomfort on any of my saddles when they’re around 1deg upwards at the nose, and tilting them down increases shoulder pressure and pain, I think the take-away message is: It’s personal, and there’s no clear and hard rule.

          • VK

            No I didn’t notice. Yes. Each to their own. Deviate from manufacturer’s recommendation as far as you like as long as it feels right for your private region, which only you will know.

        • winkybiker

          +1 on the SMP. It might feel like an armchair and give me another 50 watts, but one of those monstrosities is never getting anywhere near a bike of mine.

        • Chuck6421

          If my old Concor was compatible with the seatpost of my Domane I’d still be riding it.
          I’ve now got several thousand miles on a Selle SMP Pro with no complaints. But that tail on the Concor seemed to open up all kinds of added power.

  • slartiblartfast

    If you are considering an Aliante, Genetic bikes do a carbon railed saddle with a very similar shape although a bit narrower at 128mm. This one weighs 178g and is available online for around $120 delivered. I swapped my Aliante for this one mainly for the weight saving around 6 months ago and haven’t had any problems.

  • Richard Stum

    It appears that perhaps the Kurve series has been discontinued. It is not showing on their US English-language site: http://www.fizik.com/us_en/.


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