First Look: Fizik Adaptive Saddle

All-black

Fizik has expanded their Adaptive saddle range to include two new options in addition to the original, based on Fizik’s Antares platform. This is a high module carbon fiber, performance racing saddle with the new 3D printed Adaptive material on top. an all-black aesthetic in the Antares Versus Evo R1 and R3 Adaptive. The update brings a choice of either lightweight carbon or Kium rail systems. At this time, both new saddles come in all-black.

The Adaptive saddle padding is crafted by Carbon (a Silicon Valley based digital manufacturing company) using its  Digital Light Synthesis technology. DLS is an additive manufacturing process which employs digital ultraviolet light projection, oxygen permeable optics, and programmable liquid resins to produce parts with excellent mechanical properties, resolution and surface finish.

This production method means Fizik was able to develop the first Adaptive saddle five times faster than traditional industrial methods, creating and field-testing hundreds of iterations. Being suitable for mass production, this technology completely remaps the traditional manufacturing process, accelerating and bypassing all intermediate phases.

FIRST RIDE: Fizik Antares Versus Evo 00 

Under first inspection, our saddle is labeled regular with a width of 139mm and a length of 274mm. It weighed in at 156 grams and uses the carbon 7×9 rails. The upper material is a type of soft plastic that’s porous. The internal structure seems very complex and changes throughout the saddle allowing for different sections to have different levels of firmness and support.

In the saddle, the main section that we sit on is pretty stiff and supportive with the very top layer offering a bit of indentation. The very back is much softer and we never found ourselves in that area. As you move up onto the nose it’s a bit softer but still supportive enough. The sides of the material fold into the cutout in the nose section, making it more comfortable to ride in for longer periods of time than a traditional Antares for us.

The shape nearly mimics that of the normal saddle. The material in a normal saddle is constant throughout the length of the saddle and this is probably the biggest highlight of the Adaptive material. The support changes depending on which zone of the saddle you are positioned on. For us this is nice and we found ourselves moving to the nose a bit more to get over the pedals during big efforts.

We rode mostly smooth pavement but did take it on a short gravel section. We wouldn’t say it added compliance when things were rough but it does seem to have a more progressive feel being soft on the top but gets firm pretty quick. The normal saddle feels fairly firm all the time.

Since this was just a first ride we don’t have much feedback on the longevity of the material or if the structure will change over time, but the quality is evident. A few things that could be of concern is the nature of a Porous material getting debris lodged in it. The structure seems complex and small pebbles could get lodged in the small voids. Fizik claims it’s easy to clean and has been tested in extreme climates (-4 to +158F). They also claim it’s abrasion resistance but only time will tell.

MORE INFO

STATS

Antares Versus Evo R1 Adaptive – 139mm – $300
Antares Versus Evo R1 Adaptive – 149mm – $300
Antares Versus Evo R3 Adaptive – 139mm – $250
Antares Versus Evo R3 Adaptive – 149mm – $250

www.fizik.com

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