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Fizik Vento Argo R5 saddle review

The Vento Argo is Fizik’s entry into the increasingly popular short-nose saddle market but where does it sit in our rankings?

Fizik Vento Argo R5
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Our Verdict

Great if you like a firm front, broad base and a saggy ventilated centre but angular design and variable support won’t suit everyone

For

  • Plenty of centre venting
  • Big pressure relief cut out
  • Broad rear
  • Aggressive styling

Against

  • Very hard nose
  • Bouncy shell won’t suit everyone
  • Angular padding pressure

The Fizik Vento Argo saddle certainly looks aggressive with its big coffin centre cut out and angular ‘stealth bomber’ padding form. The shorter, broader format that underscores many of the best road bike saddles currently on the market is proving very popular with riders. Correct angling is vital though and even then some of our testers struggled with the dramatic differences in shell flex and padding profile.

Construction

The R5 is the most affordable saddle in the Vento Argo range, sitting on steel ’S-Alloy’ rails rather than the hollow Kium rail of the £134.99, 220g R3 or the carbon rails of the £184.99, 190g R1. You get the same carbon-reinforced nylon 265mm long shell with a big cutout from mid-nose to the centre and they all come in either 140mm or 150mm widths. While graphic/embossing varies from model to model. all Vento Argos get the same angular padding shape and tapered cut-out treatment.

Fizik Vento Argo R5

(Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

 Performance

We found getting the correct saddle angle crucial for settling into the comfort sweet spot. On our first few rides with the saddle orientated in a level position, we tended to shift backwards too much onto the broad, flat rear which interfered with pedalling. Set it nose down though and you’re naturally tipped into the flexible hammock of the cut-out section, with the very firm front dropped out of harm's way. The big central cut out had several fans among our test team and it’s certainly a well-vented saddle that can really soften road/off-road shock through the springy shell.

Unsurprisingly fans of a firmer and more-rounded-rather-than-flat saddle profile, couldn’t get on with the contrast between soft centre and hard padding areas and edges. While it’s competitively priced and lighter than Specialized’s genre-creating Power Comp saddle, it’s £40 more expensive than the similarly weighted Fabric Line-S Elite saddle that all our testers got on with straight away.

Verdict

Saddles are obviously a very personal choice in terms of comfort and performance and we know the Fizik Vento Argo series has a lot of fans who enjoy the springy shell, flat angular padded profile and large cut-out. More of our testers struggled to find a comfortable set up with it compared to other similar saddles we’ve tested and it’s definitely worth playing around with angles to get your Argo ergo.

Tech spec: Fizik Vento Argo R5 saddle

  • Price: £99.99
  • Widths: 140 or 150mm (tested)
  • Weight: 243g (150mm width)