Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fi’zi:k’s New KURVE Saddles

The Pozzoleone, Italy, fi’zi:k is introducing a new line of saddles, the KURVE series. Here is their announcement:

"Three years in the works, fi’zi:k’s new line of KURVE saddles are now landing on the shelves. Based on the fi’zi:k-developed saddle fit system - SPINE Concept – the KURVE line offers three corresponding saddle shapes that answer the question are you a Snake, Chameleon or a Bull? KURVE are high-performance, technologically advanced saddles that operate on a comfort platform.

“KURVE was soft-launched to a select group of VIP media at fi’zi:k’s bi-annual exclusive ba:kstage event,” said Alberto Fonte, fi’zi:k’s European Marketing Director, “and the buzz was immediate. The new KURVE line of high-end performance saddles are unlike traditional saddles in terms of comfort and appearance. They will change the way you think about comfort.”

KURVE is the culmination of now standard-to-fi’zi:k-manufacturing technologies – WingFlex™, TwinFlex™ and Mobius rail – and new technologies: Tuner Insert and Re:Flex. Each technology – when isolated - provides a benefit to the rider and a distinguishing saddle feature, but it is the combination of the five technologies that create a unique product-response or interface while the cyclist is engaged in riding.

TwinFlex™, introduced in 2001 with the Aliante, refers to the shell structure that uses interwoven textiles allowing the base to flex. WingFlex™, having originated with the 2004 Arione, allows the saddle’s sides to break-in and flex as the rider pedals. The Mobius Rail, introduced on the all-carbon K1 saddle in 2007, means the rail is one continuous ‘circular’ structure with no beginning and no end. The design not only eliminates potential pressures points toward the rear of the saddle, but with KURVE, the 2014-T6 cold forged aluminum rails also provide additional side-to-side-flex or motion as the rider pedals.

New to KURVE are the Re:Flex shell and the Tuner Insert technologies. The base of all KURVE saddles – called Re:Flex - is a sensory receptor that responds to the body in motion. Made of interwoven thermoplastic composites with varying degrees of layers, the entire shell flexes. The contact points – sit bone and perineum or soft tissue areas - have fewer composite layers and respond to the body’s movement by flexing and providing pressure relief. Thicker composite layers on specific areas of the Re:Flex base provide stiffness for power and leverage. The relationship between rider and saddle is reactive as the saddle responds to the movement of the rider’s contact points on the saddle mirroring the motion of the rider.

The final piece of new KURVE technology is the Tuner Insert. The Tuner Insert is an interchangeable nose piece that allows the rider to customize their flex. KURVE comes with two screw-in tuner inserts, soft and hard, that can be easily swapped out with an included Torx T20 key. The Tuner changes the overall stiffness and/or flexibility of the base and when combined with the properties of the RE:FLEX base, provide an overall smoother, shock absorbing ride.

“First reactions have been reminiscent to the Arione intro,” said USA marketing manager, Suzette Ayotte. “The Arione changed the direction and momentum of the fi’zi:k brand forever and sometimes a brand gets only one opportunity to do that. With a static product like a saddle, there are no moving parts, and we tend to think there isn’t much you can do to it technologically. Our goal was to create a saddle that ‘changes the way you think about comfort,” Ayotte continued. “The Arione accomplished that and seven years later, KURVE is doing it again.”

Working in conjunction with SPINE Concept, the KURVE line is represented by three distinct shapes based on spine flexibility and riding style. The long and flat KURVE Snake represents the Arione for riders that prefer to use the entire length of the saddle, moving forward when climbing and after when descending. The wider and ‘waved’ KURVE Bull on the other end of the SPINE Concept fit spectrum represents the Aliante, for riders with less flexibility who tend to remain in one spot whether on the tops or drops, or whether climbing, descending or powering along flats. The KURVE Chameleon represents the Antares for the cyclist who falls somewhere in between, preferring a wider platform (compared to the narrow Arione) with a substantial surface to move around and adjust for comfort.

The 2011 line of KURVE Snake, Bull and Chameleon saddles are all-black with corresponding laser etched ‘animals’. Each weighs 220 grams."

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