Saddle porn!

The Fizik Arione saddle I put on my LOOK 585 when I first built it started showing some wear this summer – the leather on the sides started separating from the shell up by the nose. I’ve got about 15,000 miles on the bike now, but I expected a little more life out of such a top shelf saddle. I didn’t even consider replacing it with anything else though, the Arione is without question THE MOST COMFORTABLE saddle I have ever tried. This is actually the third one I’ve bought – I also have one on my crit bike (C’dale CAAD7) and the triathlon version on my time trial bike. When it comes to saddles, once you find a winner you stick with it, and whatever it costs is worth it to keep the ‘boys’ happy – even if it’s not as durable as you might wish. Anyway, I did an electrical tape repair to keep the leather in place until I got a replacement. Functional, but those who know how picky I can be about my equipment will know that this just wasn’t gonna cut it for me:


Still, I didn’t think it was too bad. I figured I’d try to squeeze some more miles out of it and maybe ask for a new saddle for Christmas. After a few weeks though, I noticed a crack on one side of the saddle – it was failing fast:


I’d already had my eye on one of the Team Issue Ariones, which Fizik had released during the summer. I’d seen them down at the Shark and instantly fell in love with the Aqua & Sapone version – white, with a red center stripe and ‘fi’zi:k’ block letter branding over each wing. Talk about stylin’ – in a totally Euro slut sort of way! I decided it was the perfect complement for a white frame (along with white handlebar tape, to which I’d already transitioned earlier in the year). So I headed on down to the Shark to pick it up, but somebody had already nabbed it. Damn! No problem, I’d also seen on Ghisallo’s blog that they got a batch in, but when I asked TK if they still had the Aqua & Sapone model, he said it was gone and they couldn’t get any more! Yikes! I had already gotten myself excited about getting a white saddle, but I just couldn’t bring myself to switch to some other model. As a last ditch effort, I searched the web and found it at Competetive Cyclist – but for mucho dinero! I was about to go ahead and bite the bullet when I found it still in stock at Gloria Cycles for $20 bucks less – competition is a great thing! I clicked “confirm order” and waited for this jewel of a saddle to arrive on my doorstep.

When it came, it was even more beautiful than I remembered. Included in the price was a set of handlebar tape (white!), and since shipping was free for orders over $150 and there was no sales tax, all-in-all it seemed like a pretty good deal. Today I finally got a chance to install this thing of beauty on my bike:



After I removed the old saddle, I happened to check out the underside – only then did I see how bad the damage was, with the crack on the side actually extending almost completely across the shell. I would say this thing was definitely on its last leg:


I don’t know if I’ll get any more miles out of this saddle than my previous one, but I really don’t care – for now I’m comfy and stylin’! Of course, once I got it on I just had to ride – I’ve been a little unmotivated the past couple of days, but a sparkling new saddle put the desire back. I did 40+ miles on a loop from my house that goes through Chesterfield Valley and cuts down Baxter and Ries to Castlewood. I stopped for a bit at the Lone Wolf trailhead to eat and see if anybody I knew came along (no) before continuing on along Kiefer Creek and Pierside to the “Old-Old-Old” route (Old State, Old Fairway, Old Manchester). I finsihed up along Melrose and Ossenfort – an enjoyable (and appropriately slow) ride.

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About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
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7 Responses to Saddle porn!

  1. Daniel B. says:

    that white arione matches your Look with frightening perfection!

    I tried the arione, and it was damn good for about 5-6 months, then got quickly uncomfortable.

    Then switched to the Fizik Dolemite (the mtb. version of the poggio. i think?) after that, got a fizik poggio and have used that ever since. unfortunately they no longer make them.

    i just messed up the “word verification”… kind of funny… maybe i’ll get it right this time?

  2. Justin says:

    Sweet saddle, you get my bike porn thumbs up for that!

  3. Jim says:

    Compeitive Cyclist was expensive? No way.

    That break seems like a design flaw with the Ariones. That’s where mine broke.
    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/144/387324056_7cd37a499b.jpg

  4. Boz says:

    Saddle looks hot, hot, hot! Very euro-pro. I just put an Arione on my mtb race bike and like it fairly well.

  5. Patrick says:

    Mugsy, I think yr iron balls broke the poor little Italian saddle!

    Personally, my undercarriage couldn’t handle said saddle…when I first got one after getting back in to cycling, suddenly I was 15 years old again and wondering why I never heard that a numb penis was part of puberty.

    My boys need the cutout S.I. ProLink, but more power to ya!

  6. Marijn says:

    Mine broke same place, and I’m a lightweight. LBS confirmed desing issue and replaced under warranty (yr + later!). They’ve beefed up the design since then.

  7. Ted M. says:

    I guess others having the same problem is good news for me – I just figured it was my fat butt!

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