I first spotted the new Arione saddle in the June 2003 issue of Cyclesport magazine, which featured the Giro otherwise known as the Tour of Italy. The saddle was being used by eventual winner Gilberto Simoni for whom the Arione had been designed for.
It instantly caught my eye, as it was longer than your average saddle "300mm" in length, which allows the rider a longer surface area to sit allowing more riding positions. Another great feature was what is called "Wing Flex"; the side wall of the saddle flex’s inwards on the pedal down stroke which also gives a feeling of little interference between the inner thigh and the saddle.
I’ve had a lot of issues with saddle in the past and the rule in cycling circles is once you find a saddle which suits you go out and buy five of them as it might be a decade until you find something which is better suited.
However it wasn’t until I saw photos of last seasons Tour of Lombardy which had a shot of current world road race champion Igor Astarloa of team Saeco using a limited edition white rainbow stripped version, that I decided to take the plunge and purchase one. I contacted my local bike shop and said I don’t care how long it takes just back order me one.
I got the called mid February to say it had arrived which also happened to be the same day as a local circuit race. I’ve always been a little anal when it comes to fitting new components before a race especially one as important as a saddle, however my excitement got the better of me and I had it fitted just in time to roll down the road and pick up my race number.
My first impression was this is super comfortable and just felt perfectly suited to me. But the true test was the race itself which it passed with first class honors. The extra length was magic especially when I had to dig deep and pull myself forward in the fast sections. It was if I had been using this little gem for years.
So in summary I’d have to say that for comfort and value for money ($225) you simply can’t go past the Fizik Arione saddle. Its not the lightest saddle on the market (230grams) but if you’re spending serious time in the chamois this little number wins hands down.