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
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
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
cyclingnews.com 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
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
www.fizik.it. Fi’zi:k saddles are distributed exclusively in the US by
BikeMine and in Canada by
Kempter Marketing Incorporated.