Fizik Kurve bike saddle goes for the flex appeal
Fizik is a company probably best known for making bicycle saddles designed for racers, where light weight is everything and comfort is pretty low on the scale. Brooks, on the other hand, is famous for its very comfortable leather saddles, which most racers wouldn't allow anywhere near their sleek, streamlined steeds. It's interesting, therefore, that Fizik's latest saddle, the Kurve, uses the same principle employed by Brooks. It's good news for sore-bummed racers.
First of all, the Kurve has very little padding. Instead, it has a flexible carbon composite shell, mounted on forged aluminum rails. As with a Brooks, the shell is suspended on those rails somewhat like a hammock, with its flex taking the place of padding.
Users of Brooks saddles can adjust the amount of flex in the saddle, by using an integrated bolt to alter the tightness of the leather. Likewise, Kurve users can adjust the flexiness of the composite shell, by swapping in one of two included tuners. These plastic devices are located on the underside of the saddle's nose, and determine how much the rails will allow the saddle to flex downward. The Hard tuner doesn't allow much flex, while the Soft one allows more - with its two settings, the system is admittedly not as infinitely-adjustable as the Brooks.
Buyers can also choose between three versions of the Kurve - the Snake, Bull and Chameleon - each designed for different types of riders. Each model weighs 220 grams, and is available from the Fizik website for EUR220 (US$297).