This story was orginally published on Bikeradar.
Next season might be the biggest one yet for Fi'zi:k, who have launched a new range of Cyrano road cockpits, new triathlon/time trial and road saddles and more shoes for triathlon, cross-country racing and cyclocross at Eurobike 2013.
All the new products are available now, with European prices included below (US and UK pricing is to be confirmed).
Fi'zi:k have already established a saddle system that focuses on rider flexibility – the Aliante is for the less flexible 'Bull', the Arione for the most flexible 'Snake' and the Antares for the in-between 'Chameleon'. Now the company are expanding the philosophy to include handlebars. Created under the Cyrano name, the three-unit family uses the same Bull, Snake and Chameleon monikers for different levels of rider flexibility.
The shallow-drop Bull bar has a drop of 130mm with an 80mm reach. Fi'zi:k say many Bull riders tend to be of larger stature, so the shape of the drop has to work with larger hands. We tried the bar and found it had none of the usual cramping issues for those with shovel-like palms.
The bar shape has also considered the shifter and hood shapes of all the big players in the drivetrain market, and comes with suggested positions for SRAM, Shimano and Campagnolo units.
Fi'zi:k's Volta road saddle
Perhaps the most surprising thing in Fi'zi:k's 2014 lineup is the new Volta saddle. The company found that, despite their three styles of saddle, some pro riders were still requesting classic designs such as the original Selle Italia Flite, Concor and Rolls or the Brooks B17 or Colt.
What is it that all these designs have in common? Aside from vertical sides, they all feature a deeply curved top shape at the sit point. The clue is in the name for 'Volta' – think vaulted ceiling, or archway.
Fi'zi:k measured all of the original designs and found the relationship and shape of the arch was within millimetres, irrespective of brand or design. So, they recreated the look with modern materials and production methods.
Although based on a traditional shape, the Volta looks pretty futuristic, and its weight has a lot in common with modern high-end saddles. With carbon-braided rails, the Volta R1 is a svelte 165g (€250) and the K:ium alloy-railed R3 a still impressive 205g (€169).
The Aliante R3 with carbon rails
Fi'zi:k's three key road saddles (the Airone, Antares and Aliante) come in three models – 00, R1 and R3. The 00 editions have always impressed us, with their prohibitively high prices if nothing else.
For 2014, a new range of carbon-railed saddles will be available, but under the R3 umbrella. They share the same rails as the 00 models but use a fibreglass, thermoplastic wingflex hull instead of a pricier carbon one.
Weights stack up favourably, with an R3 Arione with braided carbon rails claimed to weigh 165g (€199) compared to a 135g 00.
Fi'zi:k have launched their first noseless saddle, aimed at triathletes and time triallists who favour a forward position and are looking for greater comfort. The new Tritone has a 55mm-wide nose, and a truncated shape that widens sooner than a conventional saddle for greater seated support and greater hip rotation. Length is 24cm, which complies with UCI rules for time trials, widening its appeal.
A pressure-relieving channel runs the full length of the saddle, starting at almost the full width of the nose and tapering towards the rear. Silk-screen printed silicone strips run along the top of each side of the channel to increase grip and help you maintain position.
The new foam material, which we’re told is more elastic, is certainly very generous, has a density specifically developed for the Tritone and is aimed at improving comfort for prolonged seated efforts. The nylon carbon fibre-reinforced shell is both light and stiff, and sports extra-long 85mm rails to fit every time trial or tri bike.
What really sets the Tritone apart is its supplied modular carriage kit. This provides the ability to fit two bottle cages, a CO2 canister and inflator and spare inner tube to a minimal frame that bolts neatly on the rear underside of the shell to give a completely integrated look. The CO2 canister sits below the saddle and screws through the frame at the rear, with the inflator screwing onto the outside. The inner tube straps on below, also below the saddle.
The angled bottle cages sit at approximately 45 degrees to the saddle’s centre line, and are as close as possible to the rear of the saddle without interfering, making reaching for a drink much simpler than with some extended bolt-on designs.
Also beneath the saddle is a tough plastic hook under the nose, designed in conjunction with the forward section of the rails to allow easy and secure racking on varied diameter bars.
The Tritone will be available in two models, the 250g K:ium (€179) or a 220g version with braided carbon rails for €250. Colour options are black/black, black/white or black/red.
Fi'z:ik's M3 cyclocross shoe
The M3 cyclocross shoe has been updated for 2014. It features a super-stiff carbon sole and improved rubber tread to offer more grip while still accepting a pair of studs or spikes at the toe. The uppers use a combination of leather, anti-scratch leather and ventilating nylon mesh with three sailcloth straps – two Velcro and one ankle strap secured by an aluminium micro-adjust buckle.
The shoe has in part been developed by Focus professional Francis Mourey, who for some time led this year’s Cyclocross World Championships in Louisville. Claimed weight for a size 43 pair of M3s is 280g and they'll come in black with yellow highlights.
The M5 mountain bike shoe has a nylon, carbon-reinforced sole that also has provision for studs. The uppers use Microtex, nylon mesh and anti-scratch leather, and sailcloth straps with the same aluminium buckle as used on the M3s. A pair of M5s in size 43 is claimed to weigh 329g and colour options are white/orange, black/silver and black/red.
For all our Eurobike coverage, click here.