True, I was not always dressed in proper cycling gear (okay, there were those first few rides, embarrassing in hindsight, before I was told "no underpants, only an under shirt--and don't call it that, call it an inner layer"). And then there was a multi-year process of getting slightly better quality padded shorts, then bib shorts, then Assos bib shorts (and now, Q36.5).
So when I found the Fizik Arione saddle, I could not have been happier. Ride all day, then ride again the next day. No sores, no pain, no numbness, lots of positions on the long/flat platform. I see other people riding all different types of saddles, and hear them rave about ones that look, to me, extremely painful.
|I think Mike Rice was riding one of these in Toito a few years back. Looks painful to me ... but he said it was great.|
|Someone was riding this awhile back -- I think Tom Wielrenner ... or am I misremembering?|
|Super light ... super hard. Looks painful to me.|
No, they say, it works for them. There is a theory behind the bare shiny hard piece of twisted carbon (or two pieces at odd angles with a slot in the middle). Well, more power to 'em. But I will stick with what works for me. The trusty Fizik Arione.
|The Fizik Arione. "Nylon reinforced shell". Has carried me how many kilometers this past decade? 100,000? More?|
My only recent deviations? I tried a Brooks B-17 -- very comfortable once broken in, if a bit heavy ... great for a touring bike or commuter (except you need to cover it in the rain to keep the leather in good shape). Then I got a Brooks Cambium -- worked fine on the Yamabushi for commuting, until one of the rivet heads came off. I sent it back.
|Brooks B17 - a classic. Mine is honey brown.|
|Brooks Cambium -- Liked it until tip's rivet cover popped off|
I thought, maybe I should try the "VX" or "versus" type with a lower channel section in the middle. But no, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The reviews of the channeled version seemed more mixed than the standard, anyway.
|The "versus" model of Arione.|
Instead, one of the slightly lighter, higher-end Arione models, the Arione R5, was on sale, so I clicked and closed the deal.
|Arione R5. Ouch.|
I recently had a chance to put it on a bike and try it out. It was a definitely newer and lighter weight model. Less padding (but I thought, should be okay, as long as I have padded bib shirts).
In fact, the feel was completely different. Uncomfortable. Painful.
And after my broken cable on the Yamabushi, I rode it in a pinch once in the city without padded shorts. OUCH. In a pinch indeed.
The R5 has a newer "nylon carbon thermoplastic composite shell" instead of the old "nylon reinforced shell". Whatever. It strikes me as an entirely different saddle. They should have dropped the Arione name and just called it an R5.