Fizik Aliante Gamma Kium Review
Cons: No pressure relief channel, limited colors
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Fizik Aliante Gamma Kium makes its mark in our lineup with high-end materials, an ideal blend of stiffness and comfort, and a reasonably low weight. It scores well across the board and doesn't have any glaring weaknesses. With a price tag that's much lower than other top-end competitors, it also provides affordable access to top quality design and performance. Continue reading below to see how it compares to the other top products that we tested.
Our testers think that the Aliante Gamma Kium is one of the most comfortable premium performance saddles that we tested. It uses Fizik's Twin Flex carbon-reinforced nylon shell, which combines a stiff outer frame with a flexible carbon layer along the middle sweet spot, which provides excellent support yet allows just enough flex to relieve some of the pressure on your soft tissue. The padding is thick enough to cushion the sit bones without being too soft to sap away energy and provides a nice stable platform for aggressive attacks and harder efforts.
The Aliante Gamma scores near the top of the charts in this rating category because of its blend of comfort and support. While the advanced shell design aims to blend stiffness with a bit of flexibility and forgiveness, riders who normally struggle with pressure or discomfort on their soft tissues may want to consider a model with an anatomic pressure relief cutout. While this saddle does an admiral job of balancing comfort and forgiveness, an actual anatomic cutout will likely do a better job of maximizing the relief.
Despite the flexible central sweet spot on the Aliante Gamma, there's still excellent power transfer, thanks to the Twin Flex technology that combines a stiff carbon-reinforced shell with the more comfortable central carbon layer. The Kium rails (Fizik's proprietary rail material) also provide a nice balance of stiffness with just enough flex to give you comfortable, responsive control in the saddle. This model also uses a smooth Microtex cover with designated glide pads along the nose to limit chafing and friction, something we appreciated in the rain and on hot, sweaty rides.
On longer days in the saddle, it can sometimes feel good to move around on the platform to a slightly different seating position to give your undercarriage a little bit of relief. On the Aliante Gamma, there's a smaller sweet spot for your rear end to sit, and because of the shape of the taper from the tail to the nose, tends to rub and chafe you a bit more if you're at the far rear end of the saddle. We found that saddles with a longer, narrower nose and midsection with a wider rear platform tend to do a good job of allowing an efficient pedal stroke in a wider range of seating positions.
The Aliante Gamma uses a tough Microtex cover to protect against tears and abrasion and has separate Microtex glide panels along the nose of the saddle to minimize thigh friction. It also has scuff guards near the side edges at the tail of the seat, to prevent scrapes or tears in case you lean the bike against a rough surface or take an unfortunate spill. The supportive shell uses a tough yet flexible carbon layer combined with a stiffer carbon reinforcement frame, that both seem strong and sturdy. The Kium rails are a proprietary titanium alloy blend, maintaining a high degree of strength while shedding some weight. The finished product is handmade in Italy, giving it a strong perception of high-quality craftsmanship and durability.
This saddle ranks near the top of our lineup in the durability ratings, and we expect it will last you several seasons without trouble. Other saddles that rank well in this category have thinner or denser padding and are made from similarly high-end materials. We think any saddle in our lineup should last several years with proper care, but the Gamma Kium definitely stands out because of its high-end materials and quality craftsmanship.
The Aliante Gamma Kium is quite versatile, and would be equally at home on your road bike, commuter, touring bike, or even mountain bike. Its firm yet comfortable padding, forgiving shell with a central sweet spot, and moderate size make it capable of performing across a wide variety of riding conditions. It certainly shines on the roads on those hard mid-distance rides and during the long, slow base miles, which is why it won the Top Pick for Cruising award. But it also holds its own when you need to aggressively pick up the pace to bridge a gap, or when you're digging deep to hold on during an intense climb, with its wide base and anatomic sweet spot providing a stable yet forgiving platform. These qualities also make it decent for touring or mountain biking, but most non-pros in those disciplines might opt for a little more padding.
While some other saddles in our lineup tend to specialize in a certain area and may make sacrifices in one area to optimize in another area, the Aliante Gamma Kium performs well across the board without any significant weaknesses. As longs as it's comfortable for your specific anatomy, there aren't many areas where this saddle would underperform or be out of place.
According to our measurements, this seat comes in at 252 grams. While it's not the lightest saddle in the lineup, that's certainly a respectable weight considering its high-end materials and top-quality construction.
Fizik maintains that their proprietary Kium rail formulation allows an 8% weight reduction compared to full titanium without sacrificing much in the way of corrosion resistance, fatigue performance, or strength. If weight is your biggest concern, there are certainly lighter saddles out there, but if this model fits your riding style and anatomy, the weight penalty is pretty minimal.
Considering the marketplace for bike saddles, it's a pretty fair asking price for this seat. It's a tough, hand made, high-performance product, and you're paying for comfort, longevity, and the relief your tail will get from a saddle made for long, hard rides.
Hands down, the Fizik Aliante Gamma Kium provided one of the best riding experiences we had during our testing period. It was great on the flats for both sprinting and cruising, we loved it during those long, mellow training rides, and it also did really well on the long grinding climbs where you're glued to the seat for up to an hour at a time. The comfortable padding and firm yet forgiving shell materials are made for sitting back and settling into the sweet spot, which is why the Gamma Kium earns our Top Pick for Cruising award, and why you should give it a try.
— Nick Bruckbauer & Ryan Baham