So, I finally broke down and bought my baby girl Pikuro a saddle. In the end I couldn’t find one that felt good on her, so I did the only thing reasonable:

I bought a handmade, custom designed women’s saddle from the Fi’zi:k factory in Italia.

Duh.

But it wasn’t all just silliness and style. However, before we get into the rationale behind this purchase, let’s take a moment and appreciate how sexy she looks.

Damn! Is that not a good looking bike?!
Damn! Is that not a good looking bike?!

Oh yeah. Sexy. Here’s another view.

Whoo! Hot damn! Sexy, sexy bike!
Whoo! Hot damn! Sexy, sexy bike!

Ok, so now that we appreciate how very important spending 190e for a bike saddle that looks that fucking good is, let’s talk about how it feels.

Several months ago I rode an Antares Varius. It’s a saddle designed for men who are either very flexible or very aggressive in their riding position and thus put a lot of weight on the forward portion of their pelvis. The varius has a central depression, Fi’zi:k’s hat tip to the cut out demanding crowd, which runs the length of the saddle and is fairly deep. When I rode it I found it saved my clitoris, but smooshed my outer labia, so I passed it over at first. However, the Arione Donna is a women’s saddle (so Fi’zi:k claims) which also features the same central groove, so I thought it might work.

Unlike the Antares Varius, the Arione Donna’s groove is much shallower. The width of the saddle, however, is designed for a wider pelvis. Between these two competing factors, I went with the Arione for one and only one reason: you can customize the colors!

At first, I thought I liked it. Then I wasn’t sure. I still have to position it all the way forward on Pikuro to account for her oversized frame. On longer rides as my bum has accustomed to the padding, I find I sink deeper and the familiar numbness in my clitoris and forward genital area returns. I can handle it when I’m fresh, but this saddle will have me wiggling and coasting seeking desperately to get some blood flow after about 30 kilometers.

When I got my new baby Kookaburra…

OHMG! You all haven’t met Kookaburra! Isn’t he adorable?

wpid-imag3276.jpg
Post ride, post bath, post derailleur tune and chain lubing. Sparklingly beautiful! He’s such a good boy!

Right, so as I was saying, Kookaburra is fit with a lot of stuff by fi’zi:k. I’ll fill you in more on the details when he gets his last parts installed (he’s a custom build. yay!). His bar tape is fi’zi:k and so the pink perfectly matched the Arione Donna. Since he’s a smaller size than Pikuro, before ordering him the Selle Italia Lady Flow  in matching white and pink, I tried the Arione to see if my discomfort was a matter of frame size more than saddle shape.

It turns out it’s not. As fucking sexy as that saddle looked on him — sleek and speedy as compared to the slightly flowery Selle Italia — I had to give it up. My poor genitals were crying. I actually had delayed pee emergencies with this saddle because my genitals would go so numb that when I got off the bike and the blood rushed back, my body couldn’t tell the difference between renewed normal sensation and an intense need to pee. I actually peed myself once because my body was so confused.

I feel like I’m not writing a very good review here. I cannot resist a sexy look on my bike equipment and this saddle does not disappoint in looks. I mean, look at it! It’s even got sexy hot pink “racing stripes” on the sides. These were actually cutouts to aid the wing flexion on the side of the saddle. The Arione is supposed to be soft on those black sections you see in order to flex with your inner thighs as you pedal. I never had a problem with inner thigh rubbing or soreness, so I guess it works.

Is there anything else to add? Hmm… well, all my saddle sores from the 2011 San Marco Mantra healed up fabulously while riding the Arione. That’s a plus. Oh, and the only rail options are magnanese or ki:um — both of which are heavier than their braided carbon. Women, apparently don’t benefit from light equipment.

So I guess for women who don’t have trouble with genital numbing, or who ride in a more upright position (“bull” according to fi’zi:k, but they don’t differentiate their women’s saddles because, you know, women all ride in the same position on the same terrain), this saddle is probably a fairly decent choice. Alternatively, if you find your butt likes a softer seat or you feel like you never have enough padding in your shorts (I often have the opposite problem) again, this saddle might be a good fit for you.

And finally, if you absolutely have to have the sexiest set up there is, and we all know sexy bikes are WAY faster than boring ones, then I definitely recommend the custom design by fi’zi:k. You can customize one other women’s saddle and a number of men’s saddles, but unfortunately none of their varius series are customizable. The website says three weeks for delivery, but mine came in 10 days to Japan, so I’d say it’s pretty speedy. Of course, you can save on shipping if you order in a group with some friends, too.

Happy cycling. Protect your junk.

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