Top saddle manufacturer fi’zi:k and triple Tour de France-winning Team Sky will continue working together for at least two more seasons.
Italian saddle maker fi’zi:k has worked with Team Sky since 2012, supplying saddles for the whole team. This relationship has seen three Tour titles together – two with Chris Froome and one with World Hour Record holder Sir Bradley Wiggins – along with a huge amount of other race, stage and jersey wins throughout the WorldTour race calendar.
A release from fi’zi:k notes that, with Team Sky, it is happy to announce that the companies’ partnership has been extended to run through at least the forthcoming 2016 and 2017 seasons.
“We are very pleased to renew our long term partnership with fi’zi:k – they have been our loyal friends over those exciting years since our first victory at the Tour on 2012,” said Carsten Jeppesen Head of Technical Operations and Commercial, Team Sky.
“We love the company’s approach and attention to detail. They work closely with the team to always be on the leading edge of technological developments, and to accommodate our requirements. Over the years we have realized just how important it is for the rider to be comfortable on their bike. This is especially true for a pro rider of course, who spends so many hours on the bike.”
“We are delighted to extend our partnership with Team Sky for another two years,” added Nicolò Ildos, Racing Manager, fi’zi:k, “It’s important to us to work closely together to know we continue to create the best saddles for the team, and understand exactly what works for them.
“Our success together is a great source of pride and inspiration, not just the Grand Tour victories and podiums, but the great performances at the Classics, many other stage races, and the incredible feats by Team Sky’s riders past and present at World and National Championships, at Olympic level and in record-breaking rides.”
fi’zi:k’s priorities in the development of racing saddles is to combine comfort, high performance, strength and light weight for any rider. This is achieved through ‘expert design, technological innovation and the choice and development of materials and construction methods.’
Like all fi’zi:k saddles, Team Sky’s are hand-made in Italy under exacting quality control conditions. For the continued development of fi’zi:k’s saddles to stay at the very pinnacle, the company notes that rider feedback is essential, and this is an area where fi’zi:k and Team Sky collaborating has been mutually advantageous.
fi’zi:k’s range of race saddles are supplied to Team Sky, as specified by each rider. Rider types are identified by fi’zi:k’s unique Spine Concept system, which is determined by the flexibility of the rider’s spine. The fi’zi:k saddle best suited to the most flexible riders – called ‘Snakes’ – is the Arione. The Aliante is the model used by most ‘Bull’ riders who have the least spine flexibility and typically put out the most power. The ‘Chameleon’ riders who demonstrate medium flexibility usually choose the fi’zi:k Antares.
Some of Team Sky’s higher profile riders have spoken about their fi’zi:k saddles…
“You can have the best bike in the world but if the saddle’s uncomfortable, you’re going to be in pain. For me the Antares is a really comfortable saddle and I enjoy using it,” says Team Sky’s double Tour de France winner Chris Froome.
“I really like the fact that the nose is quite broad and when you’re really on the limit and you need to sit on the end of the saddle. That part of the saddle is actually quite comfortable as well as the rear part that cushions you well if you’re sitting back a little bit.”
Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas, OBE added: “When you don’t feel comfortable in the saddle there is nothing more you can do, there’s nothing worse to be honest. The right saddle definitely makes a big difference – I use the Arione, it’s quite long so it gives you that bit of movement.”