First Ride: Fizik Tempo Argo Saddle

Fizik's first short saddle

Popular Italian saddle manufacturer Fizik jumped into the short saddle game with their latest release dubbed the Argo. It looks to address the numbness and discomfort many riders face, with its center channel and snub nose.

The Argo is available at two different models, the Tempo and the Vento. Both have the option to specify the saddle’s rails which affects the price point, the R3 setup has 7×7 alloy rails that allow flex, while the R1 has stiff, braided 9×7 carbon rails. Expect to pay a premium for carbon,  an Argo R1 runs $149 while the R3 tops out at $225.

The Tempo is better suited for endurance riding. It’s 260mm long and is available  in two  widths 150mm and 160mm. The wider platform disperses more weight throughout the saddle. Fizik designed the Tempo’s carbon-reinforced nylon shell for added flex with their Wingflex technology. It gives the rider a wide rear platform to increase compliance while pedaling.

A central channel paired with the cutout effectively relieves perineal pressure.

The Vento is performance-oriented. It’s 265mm long and available in 140mm and 150mm widths. The narrower widths are stiffer and of course lightweight.

Both models feature a distinct center relief channel. Positioned to allow more blood flow through the riders perineum while riding, Fizik has nailed ergonomic design with their latest releases, whether it be saddles or shoes.

Alloy rails offer a desirable strength to weight ratio.

FIRST RIDE

We tested the 150mm-wide Fizik Argo Tempo R3 (quite the mouthful).  It has a thin, dense layer of foam that is wrapped in a svelte microfiber material. The Tempo uses Fizik’s Type 1 foam padding which is more reactive throughout the saddle, than the progressive Type 2 foam used on the higher-end Vento model.

We were able to align the Argo rather easily for our first ride, thanks to its wide rear-end that allows for a smidge of error. Instead of needing to get on and off the saddle every couple miles to find the sweet spot, our initial adjustment was close enough that the length of the wide rear-end of the Vento allowed us to sit in a comfortable position that narrower, shorter saddles like the Prologo Dimension don’t have.

During hard efforts, the angled padding on the nose of the saddle alleviated the discomfort we often had from saddles like Fizik’s Arione. The angled padding along with the center relief channel allowed for blood flow when more pressure is focused on the front of the saddle.

Since the Argo is so wide there’s more room for fore and aft movement. While most short saddles are designed to prevent this, it makes it an option for riders who like to move around, but are looking for the perineal relief short saddles offer.

There is noticeable in-the-saddle compliance which makes the Argo Tempo a consideration for endurance and gravel riding. Flexing with us as we pedaled, our local rough roads were tamed by the extra give the Tempo offers.

PUNCH LINES

  • Fizik’s first short saddle offerings
  • Dense padding, with an effective relief channel
  • Long, for a short saddle

STATS

Weight: 223 grams

Price: $149

www.fizik.com

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