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Garzelli vs. Simoni: fi’zi:k’s Battle of the Saddles
By Staff
Date: 5/7/2004
Garzelli vs. Simoni: fi’zi:k’s Battle of the Saddles


Pozzeleone, Italy – While Saeco’s Gilberto Simoni and Vini Caldirola’s Stefano Garzelli are making final preparations for this year's Giro d’Italia and with the media pitting the two race favorites, fi’zi:k finds themselves in a téte a téte competition with: The Battle of the Saddles – Aliante vs Arione.



Having assisted fi’zi:k with the development of the alleged number one selling road saddle in the world, the saddle that carried Simoni to the top of the 2003 Giro d’Italia podium, his 2004 choice is clear - the Arione.  Defending champion, Simoni, will be riding on a red Arione with a mirrored silver stripe, color specifications which he specifically selected. On the other hand, 2002 Giro winner, Garzelli, after testing both saddles, has chosen the Aliante.

The ironies of fi’zi:k’s head to head battle are building. Both the Arione and Aliante were the only two saddles on the market voted to 2003 Best New Products Reader’s Poll (Arione #3; Aliante #13). Additionally and perhaps not so coincidentally, the English translation or origin of name of the Arione and the Aliante and each saddle’s specific attributes and benefits, clearly reflect Simoni and Garzelli’s distinct racing style and tactics.

Translated into English, Aliante means “glider.” Garzelli’s approach has often been one of concentrated and calculated patience, staying in one position in the saddle, gliding on and upward smoothly with the confidence of an engineless plane. The shape and Twin Flexä shell of the Aliante provide the comfort necessary for Garzelli’s style: less movement on the saddle while seated in one position for extended periods of time.

Arione takes its name from the mythological Greek Horse, Arione, the high-speed and fastidious horse that enabled Adrasto, the only one of seven kings, to escape from the Siege of Thebes. Similarly, Simoni approaches the 3-week tour more impulsively and instinctively aggressive. While both riders have reconnaissed the tour and likely have well-planned attacks tucked in their jersey pockets, Simoni will by-pass that plan and attack if instinct strikes. Aggressive and unpredictable tactics have Simoni moving back and forth on the saddle, standing for the attack and then moving back on the saddle, using the flexing Wing Flexä sides to his advantage to get more power to the pedal.  For Simoni’s riding style and his use of nearly every centimeter on the 30 cm long saddle, there is no better choice than the saddle he helped develop: the Arione.  

Since the beginning, fi’zi:k’s goal has been to provide a tailor-made saddle for each fi’zi:k rider, one providing the greatest amount of comfort and performance for all riders. While there is no one saddle guaranteed to please all riders, the shapes of both the Aliante and the Arione have garnered appeal from riders of all levels, ending the search to find ones perfect saddle. The differences between the two can be defined by riding style preferences: Aliante – preferred riding style = one position; Arione – preferred riding style = lots of movement in the saddle. The similarities, however, are more pronounced: high performance, lightweight, and comfortable. And while fi’zi:k’s larger goal is ongoing, to continuously improve and innovate, the Aliante and the Arione, like Simoni’s red and silver saddle, mirror and reflect missions accomplished.

Time will tell. Both Simoni and Garzelli are revving up for the battle. Garzelli has capped final preparations with his Vuelta a Aragon win, his Stage 2 Tour de Romandie win and a strong T de Romandie Stage 5, 2nd place TT  finish. Of the two, Garzelli is rumored to be in better form, however Simoni and his posse have loosened their legs, putting in final training miles during the Giro del Trentino where Simoni rode in support of his teammate and eventual overall winner, Damiano Cunego.

Cunego has won five races in the last two weeks where Simoni has shown he is on form, attacking the peloton in the final GP Larciano taking his comrade Leonardo Bertagnolli with him to again lead-out Cunego for the win. There is no doubt that Cunego plans to return the favors to Simoni in the weeks to come.

Visit the website at Fi’zi:k saddles are distributed exclusively in the US by BikeMine and in Canada by Kempter Marketing Incorporated.

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