Fizik Kurve Seat - Review

May 28, 2015
by Mike Levy  
Fizik's radical Kurve seat is a big departure from tradition, with a one-piece, cold forged aluminum seat rail design that's pretty out there compared to the steel, titanium and carbon that we're all used to seeing. The company calls the design their 'Mobius' rail because, as the name suggests, it's one continuous rail that runs from the front of the seat to the back, splitting at each end to form the dual rails for the seat post's head clamp. A protective wrap has also been applied to the clamping zone to prevent any sharp edges on the clamp from creating any stress risers.


Fizik Kurve review test
The Kurve Chameleon sports a wider, flatter shape than some other options out there.
Fizik Kurve review test
Certainly not your average looking bike seat.
Fizik Kurve review test
A wrap around the clamp zones protects the aluminum rail from damage.
Fizik Kurve review test
The one-piece, cold forged aluminum rail looks much different than what you'd usually see under a seat.


The Kurve is available in three different shell shapes: the Snake is narrow, flat and intended for a rider who's very flexible; the Chameleon is wide, flat and designed for a rider of medium flexibility; the Bull is wide, wavy and for the least flexible rider. Those sizing guidelines were put out there with road riding in mind, though, and Fizik would likely say that the 278 x 144mm Chameleon model that's reviewed below is the best option for mountain biking due to its shorter length and more forgiving shape. A minimal amount of foam padding has been laid down over all three shell sizes, with Fizik engineering flex into the 'Re:flex Composite - Kevlar' shell in order to keep the rider's behind comfortable. Remember that while you don't want to sit on a bare shell, comfort is determined by saddle shape for the most part, and adding an overly thick layer of padding can often make for seat that's more torture device than bike saddle after a few hours of use. That sounds counter intuitive, and it's also fair to say that there is certainly only minimal padding on the Kurve, working with shell flex to up comfort is a proven method. Also, the padding that has been used does not extend to the seat's edges, which might makes the Kurve look a bit... penetrating to some riders. Those exposed side edges are designed to flex with the rider's legs, though, and should be quite resilient to damage in the long run.


Fizik Kurve review test
The unpadded edges do make it look a tad unforgiving.
Fizik Kurve review test
The seat's side edges are designed to flex as the rider's legs move up and down while pedalling.


The amount of shell flex that the Kurve offers is also tuneable via inserts in the seat's nose that either add or subtract tension across it's length. A heavier rider might want to add more tension so that the shell isn't completely sagged out under his weight, which would then mean that there would be less flex available to keep him comfortable. The opposite could be said of a lighter rider, and the design means that the Kurve's shell flex isn't a one size fits all kind of thing.

So how much does all of the above add up to? The 225 gram Kurve Chameleon with forged aluminum rails goes for $275 USD, which isn't exactly a small chunk of money but still less than the $350 USD asking price for the carbon railed model. The seat does come with a five year warranty, though, which you won't likely find being offered from other seat brands. www.fizik.it




Pinkbike’s Take:
bigquotesThere were a handful of reasons as to why the Kurve had me hesitant, with the flat-ish profile and scary looking edges all the way around it making me a bit unsure about having it anywhere near my undercarriage during a five hour jaunt in the forest. And then there are its aluminum rails, or rail system, since it is really all one single piece. Steel, titanium and carbon, sure, but aluminum seat rails? You get the picture - I wasn't so sure about Fizik's latest offering. But then a funny thing happened: I put the Kurve on my bike and went straight out for a long ride... and nothing bad happened, which is always a good thing when we're talking about our twig and berries. Over the years I've found that a seat with a more rounded, convex profile seems to work best for me, and I've tried to steer clear of seats with flatter tops like the Kurve, but I have absolutely nothing to complain about with the new Fizik offering when it comes to comfort. I adjusted it to sit close to level, with the nose down ever so slightly as per usual, and never once had to tinker with the angle or position, which is pretty rare for me when it comes to testing out new perches. That tells me that the Kurve is more neutral and forgiving than its svelte appearance and lack of padding would have you believe, which is something that also applies to the unpadded edge that runs completely around it. I've had bad luck with similar deigns in the past, finding that the harder material is adept at both being resilient and beating the hell out of the inside of my thighs, but that's not the case with the Kurve. The edges are flexible and not nearly as hard as they appear, and the shape of the seat kept them from leaving behind any questionable bruising. So yes, it looks kinda scary, but no, it isn't even noticeable. Fizik's approach of depending on shell flex over thick padding works well in the real world.

The Kurve's aluminum rail system proved to be both reliable and noise-free, with no creaking or groaning to complain about, and that's after a few hectic moments of me getting bounced around with my feet off the pedals like I had no idea what I was doing. The interchangeable nose piece is said to allow the rider to tune the amount of flex, but I honestly couldn't notice a difference between the two on my mountain bike - maybe this would be more noteworthy when used on a road bike.

The Kurve is weird, which I'd usually not consider a good thing when talking about bike seats, but it turned out to be a winner in my books. It's the Kurve's price tag that is obviously going to be the issue for many riders: is it more comfortable and more reliable than a $100 (or less) seat? While I didn't have anything to complain about in either of those departments, the bottom line is that I can say the same thing about much less expensive seats out there. That said, my bum isn't your bum, so you should obviously take my words with a grain of salt, but the Kurve is worth considering if you don't mind trying something different and if its price isn't a deal breaker for you. - Mike Levy



61 Comments

  • + 57
 You can have the most comfortable saddle on your bike and still be butthurt on the internet
  • + 3
 haha!
  • + 7
 Probably the most accurate descriptor of all of pinkbike.
  • + 41
 I have a regular, inexpensive Bontrager on my Trek, it's perfect. I feel 275 bucks is overpriced. My butt doesn't care about the price, but my brain does
  • + 11
 The Bontrager saddles Trek have stock on there bikes are surprisingly good!
  • - 3
 Never been a fan of their saddles, but more so fizik and fabric. Bontrager does make good tires, stems, and seatpost. Floor pump? Never been a fan of their saddles though.
  • + 4
 I've been running the same dirty old Bontrager saddle on multiple bikes since 2010. The back of it is peeling off and it looks a little ridiculous on my shiny new(er) Mega but if it ain't broke...
  • + 13
 When it comes to saddles i don't really think there is one saddle better than the others, it clearly boils down to personal preference. I for one have been using the same Selle Italia SLR for 6 years and it is still going strong even if i'm far from riding xc tracks. There isn't much padding but i find it well designed, which is by far the most important for a saddle, so that it is surprisingly comfortable. Plus, if you get the basic version you get a 180g saddle for 100 bucks.
  • + 10
 Thanks to local classifieds, i can try many seats at cut rate prices. Some poor fool pays 350 for a seat and decides he dosnt like it and then realizes in the real world he can only get 50 bucks for it. Thats where i step in to fill the void of foolish squandering to wise investment.
  • - 3
 They atta make a seat with a built in clamp under the nose so you can clamp it on a horizontal post or limb to allow you to work on it and chage tubes and what not. And also massage your ass then id pay 275 for it.
  • + 1
 Yeah huh?!?
  • + 6
 Pardon me, this is not my native language, but am I correct in interpreting this review as judging the seat as adequate, i.e., comfort is OK, robustness is OK, nothing bad happened? If so, you'd hope that for the price, they could have done better than that...
  • + 2
 it's a fizik with no padding and aluminum rails-it's a stellar review.
  • + 9
 Aluminum huh. I can break that thing in T-minus 3 rides.
  • + 13
 Exactly what I had assumed. I bent the steel rails on both the Tioga Spyder and the Fizik Gobi that I reviewed awhile back, and I thought the Kurve wouldn't last long... It has taken harder hits from my ass and me being unclipped at the wrong times than either of those two seats, though, and it's perfectly straight. I'm not saying it's unbreakable, just that its forged aluminum rails stood up better than the steel rails of the last two seats that I reviewed.
  • + 5
 Depends on the aluminum alloy used... most saddle rails that are steel aren't particularly strong steel and the ones that do use strong steels then use hollow tubing instead to save weight at the cost of ultimate strength. A saddle rail is basically a spring, and it will bend back and forth in usage... to bend it into a new position requires exceeding the yield strength without exceeding the tensile strength limit. There are aluminum alloys that well exceed the strength of regular 4130 Chromoly and push into the territory of some of the lower grade titanium alloys.
  • + 2
 thanks for that man
  • + 6
 Best upgrade I found was a pair of grips and a saddle, cost me $65 AUD. One Charge Spoon(saddle) $25 and a pair of Half Nelson grips from Raceface $40. Seriously good gear. Check me out!!!
  • + 4
 Em*
  • + 2
 Where'd you buy them from?
Interested in the charge saddles as my standard fizik ne is making my bum bones hurt, even riding on streets.
  • + 2
 Loving my Charge/Fabric Spoon. Changed about 12 months ago of riding matching fizik's on my road and mountain bike. Was not unhappy with the fizik's, they were quite comfortable but had started to get pretty scuffed up. I never think about the Spoon when I'm riding, it just does it's job and gives me no troubles, I guess that means it's very comfortable. The cover is far more durable too and smooth base is easy to clean.
  • + 3
 +1 on the Charge spoon saddle. Best saddle I've ever used and its 1/10 the cost of the Fizik.
  • + 3
 Yep, i would recommend a charge spoon every time. Comfy, light and great value
  • + 7
 I like not feeling like I've been in prison for a week after a ride. I think I'll stick to foam padded seats for now.
  • + 1
 I know and the damn thing doesnt even vibrate, pfff what a rip!
  • + 1
 That would be an awesome feature. Why is no one funding this yet?
  • + 3
 I recently changed to the new Bontrager Montrose saddle (with a central cutout), after using Specialized Romin saddles for years... Super comfy, does the job well - no complaints at all for $80. I can't see how I'd get nearly 300$ extra benefit from something like this...
  • + 5
 It looks like a torture device.....numb nuts..... Frown I will take a WTB Rocket V SLT any day.
  • + 5
 I had many saddles but nothing beats WTBs in my books. I run RocketV and Volt. Both super comfy and totaly worth their weight, coming in good shape at a great money. My wife has the theoretically comfiest saddle from Selle italia, the Diva Gel Flow, and it ain't even close to Pure V in comfort.
  • + 1
 I think it's all preference really. My derriere does not like round, raised-tail saddles (like most WTB or SDG models) at all. I feel best on flat saddles, thus I've been using a Fizik for many many years now and when the time comes to change it, I'll just buy another one.
  • + 0
 Total personal preference. Buy the shape to fit and then you can usually find that shape in everything from cheap synthetic leather and steel rails to full ti rails and carbon shell depending on how much you want to spend. The RocketV is the least comfortable seat I have ever used but half of my friends think its the most comfortable one on the market. I've settled on the Chromag Moon and WTB Devo as my favorites for comfort.
  • + 1
 Never take chamois cream out of equation...
  • + 1
 I exclusively ride WTB Silverado's and Volt's. Every other saddle is just uncomfortable for me
  • + 2
 I struggle to see how the seat width options cater for different cyclist flexibility. Is it basically because the further bent over someone can get into an 'aero' position, then the narrower the seat they want?

It just looks like you would get the narrow light seat if you have a gooch of steel!
  • + 2
 For some unfathomable reason i now can't sit on my SDG Belair for long without my sit bones becoming really sore. I have to run it at such an angle to compensate that i slide off the back when climbing. I've tried wearing two pairs of padded under shorts which does help a bit but is uncomfy in it's own way. Riding holidays coming up and I'll really struggle to ride two days in a row. Has anybody experienced this, and any tips on the worlds most comfortable saddle? This Fizik doesn't look to have enough padding to be honest.
  • + 2
 Not sure what the width is on the SDG Belair. I would imagine you get the sore sit bones from too narrow a saddle. I would go Fabric. I think you can buy online or from c-dale dealers currently. I like something for long rides to be 142 at least. Then again I would try different widths.that are wider than what you currently have.
  • + 3
 If you're having to adjust your saddle at positive rise to alleviate discomfort, there might be a large fit issue (leads to ED!). I would suggest starting with a proper baseline and only make one adjust at a time from the baseline set-up. Find a trustworthy bike shop that believes in measuring sit-bones and choosing a saddle aligned with you flexibility (a good bike shop should allow you to test the saddle on your bike). I've had the most success in alleviating mtber's discomfort with the Specialized Henge, Fizik Tundra, and the Ergon series. BTW, take advice from someone you know that spends 3+ hrs in the saddle of a mtb bike! Quality bib shorts + chamois butter + strong core = more fun!
  • + 1
 Cheers fellas. I've been fine for a lot of years on the SDG belair on all my bikes but this year after not so much riding in the winter it's flaired up. If I have the saddle at what would be seen as the 'normal' level, it feels like it's made of solid plastic it's that bad. Read some advice somewhere regarding 'rolling the hips forward' which does help, and the tipping back of the saddle is an exaggeration of that. I'm thinking it may be some kind of tendon trouble as I've just finished treatment for it in my elbows, and apparently there are a lot of muscle/tendon connections at the 'sit-bone' point. Thanks for the input anyway.
  • + 2
 @mikelevy, many quasi roadie magazines from Europe write articles on importance of saddle comfort for man's contact patch and nearby areas. Is PB considering writing something on that front?
  • + 4
 RocketV, $50 bucks, does the job and I can buy 5 of them for that price and have a new saddle every year
  • + 1
 I hate how all the pinkbike reviewers have to waste time apologizing for the price of every item reviewed. Id rather read more about how well the product actually works, then i can decide if it has good or bad value. We all know mountain biking is an expensive activity.
  • + 5
 Trust me, I hear you on that one. I feel like talking about the price for a single sentence or two isn't a stretch, although it often does feel like I'm only doing it to limit the number of "OMG too much $$$$" comments. I've also reviewed plenty of less expensive seats and other gear (that $50 THE helmet from a few days ago, for example). Anyways, there plenty of meat for you in the Kurve review as well. Thanks for the feedback Smile
  • + 1
 Mike, my critique wasn't about your review, it was meant to be about the readers leaving the "OMG too much $$$" comments. Keep up the good work!
  • + 4
 Ridiculous price. No way.
  • + 4
 Yah, but is it 148 Boost compatible?
  • + 0
 What an asinine product. Based on looks alone (much less price) I wouldn't touch it. In the past I've found Fizik saddles extremely uncomfortable. What kind of dumbass would even consider this? And then there's the shape. I sat on a saddle that looked like this once, it felt like getting hammered in the prostate! F*ck no, no, no, no and no again.

Oh wait - lightweight, expensive as hell and uncomfortable...... I could see the "roadie" mtb-er market considering this.

#WTB4LIFE

ps - sorry I'm a little more than passionate about my nether regions.
  • + 4
 No taint cutout? No thanks!
  • + 2
 If my choda-taint can't be catered to for $275, then I'll just keep keep on gettin' on.........
  • + 3
 $350 for the carbon railed model... $275 for the aluminium railed one...Thats all I needed to know...
'Neeext'....lol
  • + 1
 Fizik needs to get give up there flexibility snake, chameleon bull garbage and get with the medical stats. Sitbone width is everything! And all your Kurve stuff does is change the usable saddle space based on weight.
  • + 3
 You could buy a dropper post for that price!
  • + 9
 You could by an entire bike from Walmart for that price. I don't want to get into the whole price thing, but it's all relative. A friend of mine has a $90,000 truck that I think is dumb and a $900 mountain bike that he rides fairly often. Crazy to me, but he spends his money on what he wants, just like us.
  • + 1
 Brooks B190. Looks like it should be on a motocycle.I weight 265lbs, and the only thing that a super-clydesdale like myself can rock. The rest bend.ha ha
  • + 3
 Twig and berries! Bucolic metaphor!
  • + 2
 How does this feel compared to the Tundra 2 or Gobi?
  • + 1
 Need somebody from Poland in this thread, for something like:

$350 USD Ja perdolem, co to KURWA jest?
  • + 2
 Just for the sake of education (not that I swear a lot), it's "pierdole", not "perdolem" in the first person singular. #grammarnazi
  • + 1
 Superstar Peak saddle. Titanium rails, leather top, kevlar corners, super comfy. Very similar to a Belair. £35. Job done.
  • + 2
 Interesting...
  • + 1
 Ergon makes the best saddles out there... And they are affordable!
  • + 1
 "kurve" means "hookers" in croatian ... just sayin'

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.064905
Mobile Version of Website