The Arione R3 Race Edition Saddle with K:ium Rails has been a fixture on bikes at every level of the sport for so long that it feels as though it's as old as cycling itself. Fi'zi:k has occasionally found cause to tweak the shape, but the basic premise remains: a saddle that balances considerations of weight with one of the longest support platforms in the road market. With the Race Edition models, the Arione is being updated with some colors designed to celebrate the multi-day races that, though they often get overshadowed by grand tours, tend to provide just as much drama as their 21-day counterparts.
The changes aren't only aesthetic, though; Fi'zi:k found a way to shed around 15g of claimed weight compared to the standard K:ium model. For the rails, Fi'zi:k forgoes carbon in favor of K:ium, a proprietary alloy. K:ium incorporates silicone, a tubular body, and a jealously guarded proprietary finishing process (we do know that chromium is involved) to produce a rail that's as durable as it is aesthetically pleasing — all while enjoying a claimed 8% reduction in weight over solid titanium. It also provides some peace of mind to know that you don't have to spring for a torque wrench or risk crushing your rails every time you tweak your position—a distinct possibility with carbon rails.
The rails support the Arione's Wing Flex body, which is designed to support a cyclist's engine from fore to aft but allows a bit of engineered flex at the rear flair in order to accommodate the pedaling motion. The body itself is a blend of nylon with composite glass reinforcement, a composition that targets vibration damping without turning into a bouncing trampoline at high cadences. It's wrapped with Fi'zi:k's microtex synthetic, ever seam of which is thermowelded to create a low-profile face that's kind to Lycra.
Like with its standard edition counterparts, the Race Edition Arione is shaped to accommodate cyclists who are flexible enough that their hips don't need any rotational coaching in order to achieve a comfortable reach to the bars. The payoff is that the Arione also affords a virtually limitless number of positions on the saddle because it's almost perfectly flat from fore to aft. Unlike the Aliante or Antares, there's no exaggerated basket limiting where you can rest your weight, so every inch of the Arione's long profile is fair game, perch-wise. Scoot back for leverage on climbs or ride the nose when you're in the wind alone.
- A popular cycling saddle for all-purpose riding
- K:ium rails combine low weight with durability
- Wing Flex body accommodates legs in motion
- Microtex cover cleans easily and is kind to Lycra
- Fi'zi:k's Snake profile is virtually flat for flexible riders
- Graphical flair commemorates multi-day races