The Kurve Bull, Kurve Chameleon, and Kurve Snake, eloquently displayed in Fizik's unique, new package design.
Italian parts maker fi'zi:k revealed their newest line of saddles on Tuesday, live from their "fi'zi:k ba:kstage" press camp in Follina, Italy. Over three years in development, the "Kurve" line, comprising three unique models, differs from fi'zi:k 's standard line of "solid base" saddles in that they provide what fi'zi:k is calling a "dynamic interface." This involves an entirely new base construction, dubbed "Re:Flex." Its unique layering of thermoformed carbon fiber composites features cutouts in strategic locations that are then covered with a soft layer of carbon, as well as foam padding, in order to provide the shell with immense flexibility.
The Kurve saddle lineup also features a completely new rail design, called "Mobius." Two aluminum rails connect to the base at the nose, just as any other traditional saddle. But whereas traditional saddles have the rearward ends of the rails connecting to two points of the base directly beneath the rider's sit bones, the Mobius design involves a circular rail pattern to alleviate pressure points. When the rider positions their sit bones over the rear portion of the Kurve saddle, their weight is evenly distributed over the Mobius rail, thereby eliminating pressure points caused by a traditional rail system.
The black color scheme and subtle snake silhouette on the padding give the Kurve Snake saddle a sleek and stealthy appearance. The Kurve Bull and Kurve Chameleon have their own distinctive padding silhouettes.
Like fi'zi:k's other saddles, the Kurve features a Wing Flex design, which allows the left and right sides of the saddle to flex when the corresponding leg is under load during a pedal stroke. This eliminates thigh contact on the saddle, allowing for more rider comfort, as well as improved power transfer.
Finally, Kurve saddles will come with two different "Tuner" nose inserts. These small, plastic pieces snap into place underneath the nose of the Kurve in between the rails, and secured with a safety screw. Their function is provide tension to the Mobius rail system, which in turn will put tension on the base. This allows the rider to customize the precise amount of overall flex in the Kurve saddle, providing the rider with two different levels of support.
The bottom of the Kurve Snake reveals the Mobius Rail system, with a circular design at the saddle's rear, as well as the base's cutouts underneath the sit bone areas. Also note the removable "Tuner" nose insert - the black plastic piece can be unscrewed and replaced with a different size, adjusting the saddle's rail and base tension, allowing you to "tune" your support preference.
Continuing with their "spine concept" designs, the three different Kurve models are shaped to provide the right fit for riders depending on their overall flexibility and sit bone placement. The Kurve Snake is akin to the solid base Arione, and designed for riders with ample flexibility, and who position most of their weight on their sit bones. The Kurve Bull is similar shares a similar shape to the Aliante, designed for riders who may not be so flexible and position most of their weight on the perineum region. And the Kurve Chameleon, akin to the Antares saddle, is for riders whose flexibility and seating preferences fall somewhere between the other two.
The Kurve saddles all feature a black color scheme with subtle branding and "animal silhouette" detailing on the pad surface. All three Kurve saddles will weigh in at 220 grams, will retail for $270, and will be available in the US sometime around mid-October.
The R3 SL shoe from fi'zi:k, to be officially unveiled at Eurobike 2011.
The other big news from "fi'zi:k ba:stage 2011" was the announcement that fi'zi:k's customizable, heat-moldeable insoles developed with French outfit Sidas, will soon be available as an aftermarket product to fi'zi:k dealers. Formerly only offered on fi'zi:k's top-of-the line R1 shoe, the custom outsole will allow dealers the opportunity to "provide their customers with a custom fit for any shoe within about 15 minutes," according to Steve Delacruz, fi'zik's footwear product manager.
Delacruz also surprised media attendees with a sneak peak at fi'zi:k's latest shoes design, set to be officially unveiled at Eurobike later this year. "The R3 SL, aka 'super light,' is designed for racing. It will be lighter than the standard R3 thanks to a new carbon fiber outsole design and construction, as well as its three-strap design that does away with the standard buckle closure," said Delacruz.
Check back soon for more coverage from Fi'zi:k Ba:stage 2011!