Review: Fi’zi:k Kurve Road Saddle

Fizik Kurve Saddle

Fizik’s new line of Kurve saddles are designed to move with the natural movements of your body during pedaling. By using built in sensory receptors and a new type of base material that provides flex and comfort without the use of lots of foam padding, Fizik has created a new standard in saddle comfort for me.

I have been testing the Snake version of this saddle for the past two months and it feels as plush as day one with no visible signs of wear.

Click through for actual weight, specs and the review….

The new Fizik Kurve Concept saddles are a great example of using older proven technology with new modern materials. The result is a new interpretation of a classic masterpiece of style and function; the Brooks leather saddle.  By using new material science and some old technology (perhaps borrowed from their sister company Brooks) they were able to create a saddle that moves with you during the pedaling motion.  In place of using lots of foam padding to provide the comfort factor, Fizik chose to use a new material which they call Re:Flex that allows the base of the saddle to flex and provide comfort for the rider.  While the saddle does have some foam under its shiney microtex cover the Re:Flex system provides the majority of the comfort.  This new composite Re:Flex material allows the saddle to flex and follow the movement of the riders contact points much like the old Brooks leather saddles, but without the weight penality. To further help increase the riders comfort they also incorporated a Twin Flex system into base of the saddle.  By using interwoven composite materials in this system they help to provide a hammock-like feel to the saddle.  This gives you a type of suspension if you will for your soft tissue areas.

Fizik Kurve Weight

All this comfort and tuneability does come with a slight weight penalty, but not as much as the popular Brooks leather saddles.  For comparison our test model weighed in at 227g while a traditional Fizik Arione CX saddle weighs 205g and a Brooks B15 Swallow with titanium rails weighs 370 grams.

Fizik Kurve Parts

Each saddle in the new Kurve family is made up of three parts.  The Re:Flex base, Mobius rail and the tuner.  When these pieces are assembled they comprise a very adjustable saddle.  The amount of tension (or flex) can be adjusted to your specific tastes by swapping out a simple tuner insert (each saddle comes with both a hard and soft tuner).   In order to help control all the flexing of the saddle Fizik uses an aluminum one piece circular “mobius” rail system that is attached to the saddle at the back and at the nose.  This rail system uses the same size 9mm x 7mm rails as their braided carbon rail saddles.  While this helps to keep the weight down and hold all the flexing in check it can prove problematic in finding seat posts that have the proper clamping mechanism.

Fizik Kurve Saddle

I used the saddle on both my road and cyclocross bikes for the last few months and all I can say is wow!  From the first moment I sat on the saddle it felt like it was not there. Even with the lack of foam padding it never left me wanting more on long road rides or even on the trainer! In the beginning I did have some reservations about using a saddle that flexed because I was worried it would just sag down in the center.  However, the engineers at Fizik have managed to create a saddle that flexes along the entire length, not just in the center and this has been very comfortable.

On the cyclocross bike the hammock effect did have a springy feel when remounting the bike – similar to having a suspension seatpost on a hardtail mountain bike.  I did not care very much for this, but the saddle is not designed for CX use.  It does provide some dirty, abusive testing, though, and even after two races our test model still looked new.

This saddle has quickly become my go-to favorite for the long winter training rides. My other saddles do not feel quite the same anymore.  My only gripe with the saddle is that it uses Fizik’s oval rails which require a seatpost clamp that does not clamp from the sides, but from the top and bottom. Other than that the saddle is awesome!  While it won’t win any weight contests it makes up for in comfort.  This saddle is best for someone who values both form and function with a highly customizable cushy ride over saving a few grams.

By using new composite materials Fizik was able to keep their traditional Italian style and provide a highly customizable saddle that would be at home on any bike from a classic lugged steel masterpiece to a new ultralight composite racer. I tested the snake version of this saddle, but it also comes in other lengths and widths corresponding to the different animals (Chameleon and Bull in this case) of their Spine concept model on their website, http://www.fizik.com/home.aspx

QUICK SPECS:

  • Weight: 227g actual (220g claimed)
  • Dimensions: 294mm x 135mm
  • MSRP: €220 / $280

 

Comments

Will - 01/23/12 - 11:46am

Carbon Brooks?

Tom - 01/23/12 - 11:52am

This looks really good. I have had a great experience and love my Arione, but after this I am considering this as my next saddle. How you could compare those two specifically. By the sounds of your review, this is much more forgiving than the wing-flex saddles. It looks like they have kept the nice long length of the Arione too.

dave - 01/23/12 - 12:20pm

aluminum rails? I’d be concerned about the durability. Aluminum railed saddles were marketed in the 80′s but were very prone to failure. obviously manufacturing has come a long way since then but I wonder how these will hold up after a few seasons.

M - 01/23/12 - 1:19pm

“…sensory receptors…” WTF?

R - 01/23/12 - 1:41pm

I’m really curious about this saddle since I currently use Selle An Atomica saddles on my road and monster cross/29er bike. Wondering if the Kurve could be a suitable lightweight replacement without the penalty in discomfort?

meta - 01/23/12 - 2:06pm

This is an outstanding saddle. I’ve tried at least 10 saddles. The last one was was the Specialized Romin. I’ve been riding the Fizik Chameleon now for about 5K miles. My seatpost of choice now is the Syntace HiFlex.

James - 01/23/12 - 2:38pm

They class the saddle into three sizes and make a big deal about the worm, gecko, and musk ox, but don’t explain the details that I should use to choose one over the other.

meta - 01/23/12 - 3:05pm

@James check this out for the differences in the saddles http://www.pbkblog.com/pbk-tested-fizik-antares-versus-saddle/2011/

Taylor - 01/23/12 - 3:05pm

Being an old fart and a rider of a 29er hardtail, I am curious if there would be too much flex for uphill pedaling? Also, I am a rider that needs a cutout or a deep Vee for that tender area, what is your take on that? Thanks T

William - 01/23/12 - 4:12pm

I used this saddle from late November to late December, and it damaged every bib, knicker, and tight that I own. I will stick with the Arione CX until they can cover the entire saddle with the microtex cover. It has lots of flex in the middle, but the hard edges are not kind to fabric or soft tissue.

luke - 01/23/12 - 6:04pm

Taylor, you might like the ‘Versus’ versions of the fizik range, these have a pressure relief channel built in and are the same shape as the standard Arione, Antares, Aliante
http://www.fizik.it/versus.aspx

Speedy - 01/23/12 - 6:52pm

@Taylor – if you need a cut out go with the VS line from Fizik. The Kurve won’t work well if you are used to a cut out. The VS are pretty fantastic saddles as well.

JDub - 01/23/12 - 8:24pm

I know people like them…but this looks like another seriously uncomfortable crotch hatchet from fizik. My personal experience and opinion, of course.

JDub - 01/23/12 - 8:26pm

No matter how much you’re adjusting and tuning the flex, its still flexing up against your business.

Johan - 01/24/12 - 5:17am

I’ve had 2 of these now and they have both collapsed in the seat, rails fine.
So , although they look good and felt fine, they were simply too weak, I weigh 80kgs.
Not good for such an expensive saddle.

Taylor - 01/24/12 - 3:12pm

Thank you for the input! I will look into them…T

john mulligan - 06/07/13 - 6:41pm

Be careful replacing a Arione with this saddle I own 2 and will be glad to get rid of both of them I own 3 Ariones and made the mistake of thinking the snake would work , how wrong I was , welcome to sore sit bones and be out $500.00.

Back to the Arione - 08/25/13 - 4:48pm

I loved my Kurve Chameleoon at first but I noticed it got a little soft after 800 miles.
I figured it was breaking in despite the fact that they claim there is no break in.
I looked underneath and noticed it had split in half. After a little Google research I learned that this is very common.
I weigh about 185LBS which I realize is on the high side for “high performance” bike parts so I guess I’ll try and get a replacement that will end up on Craigslist to fund my new Arione.

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