Finding the right saddle can be an exercise in futility. I’ve tried about every saddle design on the market and have yet to find one that allows me to ride without going numb in the nether regions. After riding the Fizik Antares Versus saddle aboard the Salsa Warbird at the SRAM 1x launch, I thought I may have found my perfect match.
Fizik Antares Versus Saddle Features:
- Durable Microtex cover
- Lightweight K:ium rails
- Nylon and carbon-reinforced shell
- Full-length relief channel
- Integrated Clip System for lights or bags
- Length: 274mm
- Width: 142mm
- Weight: 215 grams (measured)
- Price: $179
Oh, what a relief channel
As mentioned, my body is a bit of a challenge when it comes to saddles. As such, I’ve tried so many saddles I’ve lost track. Some have performed better than others but I’ve yet to find one that doesn’t make me numb in certain situations. The best saddles for me have featured some sort of a relief channel and my current favorite shape is the Ergon SR3 — it is wide, supportive, comfortable and rarely makes me go numb.
After many years of development, Fizik introduced the Antares Versus, which features a full-length 4mm relief channel. According to them, the Antares saddle design is for chameleon’s — their terminology for someone who is relatively flexible but doesn’t necessarily ride in the most aggressive position. I find their rider characterization to be a good starting point and it makes things easy from a high level. However, I’m very flexible and as such should find myself leaning towards the Arione. But, since I don’t ride in an overly-aggressive position, I gravitate to the Antares design.
I have actually ridden the Arione extensively and found it very comfortable at the outset, but not so much after the miles started racking up. I’ve also ridden the Aliante and found it comfortable overall as well, but not exactly perfect. So, when the Antares Versus showed up equipped on my SRAM 1x test bike, I was immediately interested to see how it would feel. After 40+ comfortable miles on mixed road and dirt, I was determined to get one on my personal bike for a long-term review.
So, I purchased on and installed it on my Argon 18 Krypton XRoad and began racking up the miles. At 215 grams, the K:ium-railed version remains light in the realm of alloy-railed saddles. In fact, the proprietary alloy used is 8% lighter than titanium and is more compliant and corrosion resistant at the same time. Instead of fiddling with 7×9 carbon adapters and such, it’s nice to get something simple that works and is light at the same time.
Installation is a breeze and getting it set up level isn’t too bad (although you do have to adjust your level for the cutout at the tail of the saddle). Just get a clipboard or something else flat to obtain a level saddle.
On the bike, I have found the Antares Versus to be quite comfortable. It’s easy to move around on the saddle and with the extra width in the nose, you don’t get tortured just for pushing hard. The overall relief channel can be felt and noticed. Specifically, I’ve found that I rarely get any numbness at all — really hardly any. When I do, a quick standing climb or sprint immediately eliminates anything I may have felt. The comfort is equally great while riding in the hoods or the drops.
This is a beautiful saddle that looks great on any bike and, more importantly, noticeably reduces pressure to my sensitive bits.
Saddles are very particular and this one may work well for you or it may not. But, if you like a relief channel and still want something racy, this one might be a good choice.
- Relief channel that works
- Excellent weight
- Looks great
- Wide nose provides added support
- Standard rails are easily installed
- Expensive for a metal-railed saddle (even K:ium)
The Bottom Line: Fizik Antares Versus Saddle
The Antares Versus has proven to be a great saddle for my sensitive bits. It’s not overly-wide, yet the relief channel does its job and I feel myself right on my sit bones. With K:ium rails, this one is easily installed without adapters and remains lighter than other alloy-railed saddles around.
Buy Now: Available at Nashbar.com ($99 on sale – black/yellow color)