Fi'zi:k Aliante Saddle
Fi'zi:k (the phonetic spelling for the word physique), is an Italian company founded in 1996. Now in 2010 it might be a relative newcomer to the performance saddle market when compared to Selle San Marco(1935) and Selle Italia (1897), but in my opinion the fit, finish, and just plain overall quality of Fizik’s saddles surpass their competition.
Fizik has recently created a larger line of recreational and women specific saddles, although their focus is primarily on their race performance line. They tend to this market via three saddles, the Aliante (143mm wide), Arione (132mm), and Anatres (143).
The Aliante is their best selling saddle and has brought many riders over from classic designs such as the Regal, Turbomatic, Concor, Rolls etc. These are all wider saddles, most of which have a slight ergonomic dip along the length of the saddle. Selle Italia and Selle San Marco have released new carbon railed and shelled versions of some of these classics but the finish of these models makes the move seem like a “me too” or afterthought effort. This is what makes the Aliante shine, that it has been built from the ground up as a next generation saddle that has not compromised comfort for a few extra grams of weight savings. The Fizik Aliante Carbon is no slouch at 199 grams either though. From my personal experience I think the Aliante is akin to a much wider, softer, Conor light with a less exaggerated flare at the back and much more fore/aft ridable area. I feel that the biggest feature separating the Fizik saddle from competitors is the hammock effect of the saddle which is achieved through their patented Twin Flex shell. The exterior shell is comprised of a 35g multi-directional carbon fiber shell which surrounds a 15g bi-directional carbon/kevlar weave interior "hammock".
Saddles are a very specific thing and ultimately only a certain shape and size will work for you. The best thing to do is try the saddles out for yourself. Nytro has 6 Fizik saddles to try among other brands. For me the winning combination happens to be a Fizik Antares on my road bike, Aliante Carbon on my track bike, and Arione Tri2 on my TT bike.