Fizik Kurve bike saddle goes for the flex appeal
The Fizik Kurve is a high-tech racing bicycle saddle that uses the same principle as the venerable Brooks leather touring saddle
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).
About the Author
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
All articles by Ben Coxworth
It would be nice if somebody would design a bike saddle with enough sitting area that it didn\'t feel like you were being violated by a cork.
plenty have. see \"comfort bike saddle\", \"brooks\" or try giving the one above a try. if you read the review on bikehugger, you\'ll see that it flattens out as you mount your weight on it.
less (complain), more (do).
C. Walker Walker
This saddle is cleverly designed but fundamentally flawed. To be comfortable & orthopaedically correct the saddle MUST have clearance for the pudendal nerves & arteries otherwise it is just another potentially dangerous weapon. Good marketing may well overcome that. For a while at least.
Johann is 100% correct. Look up Sellesmp.com and go through their collected medical research on this subject. As we get older, you gotta protect certain things. Johann, great summary.
The Brooks leather saddles could be broken-in to provide a very comfortable ride and full support or you could speed up the process by removing it from its frame, applying Neatsfoot leather oil and beating it with a baseball bat and then re-riveting the leather to its frame. I did this with a Brooks saddle that I have used since 1972 and it is still a great saddle and as comfortable for long distance riding as any new saddle.
Only difference with the new plastic saddles is that they are more comfortable on day one for people who need things quick and fast and with no effort on their part.
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