Price: $180 ListPros: Comfortable, high performance, lightweight Cons: Pointy nose can catch baggy mountain bike shorts Bottom line: A flat, and firm road racing saddle with plenty of room to move around.
The Fizik Antares is an excellent high end racing saddle. At 201g it is close to being the lightest saddle in our test group, but gives up nothing when it comes to durability. It is a flat, firm saddle that provides a solid platform for efficient power transfer. The Specialized Phenom Expert, winner of our Editors' Choice Award, received higher marks in both comfort, and versatility. The Antares has slightly less padding than the Phenom, which decreases its comfort on long rides. The Antares also lacks the rubber scuff guards that the Phenom employs, making it slightly less suited to off-road abuse. However, when it comes to performance and power transfer, the Antares shines. If the high price turns you off, consider our Best Buy Award winner, the WTB Speed. The Speed doesn't offer the performance or feathery weight of the Antares, but it is a great saddle at a very competitive price.
Check out the new versions of the Antares below!
Scroll down towards the bottom of the review to check out a quote from Fizik and see the new additions that they've added to the collection.
A relatively flat profile from tail to nose provides a comfortable perch for mountain, cyclocross, and road bike applications. The Microtex cover is not slippery even when wet, but allows for easy position adjustment. Padding is minimal, but feels ample coupled with a carbon shell that is designed to flex. This saddle does not have an anatomical cutout or depression for pressure relief. We did not experience any numbness or discomfort during testing and do not feel that the lack of a cutout impacted comfort.
The Antares is a high performance racing saddle. It is firm and offers excellent power transfer. It does not have a distinctive sweet spot like the Fizik Aliante, and its flat profile favors the rider who likes to move around and use the whole saddle. Most of the give in the saddle comes from a slight amount of flex in the shell. The nose is somewhat shorter than most racing-oriented saddles but provides ample support when the rider's weight is shifted forward in the drops on a road bike.
We torture tested this saddle at muddy cyclocross races, on long road rides, and some long mountain bike epics, and it shined in all disciplines. It was equally comfortable in a stretched out road racing position and a more upright mountain biking position. Our only complaint: we found the pointy, non-downturned nose to be prone to catching baggy shorts on the mountain bike, so if you are averse to spandex you may want to look at a saddle that offers a downturned nose such as the Selle SMP Extra Saddle or the WTB Pure.
Small abrasion on the Antares following a crash.
Despite its lightweight racing pedigree, the Antares has proven to be very durable. It survived some nasty cyclocross racing conditions and quite a few crashes in the dirt. We did manage to abrade the back corner of the saddle during a road crash, but most if not all saddles in the review would likely have reacted in a similar fashion if they touched the pavement at a decent rate of speed.
Antares being weighed in, proving it is the lightest of all the saddles in this review.
Weight weenies rejoice! This is a featherweight saddle. At 201g it is nearly the lightest saddle in the test group, rivaled only by the Fabric Scoop. Fizik claims that its proprietary Kium rail material is lighter than titanium, and we are inclined to believe them. There are many saddles on the market that utilize carbon fiber rails that struggle to come in at the weight of the Antares.
Curtis Smith and the Antares getting some race testing at the Sea Otter Classic, Monterey CA.
The Antares shines as a road racing saddle and is used by many professional road racers. Like most race oriented saddles, it is most comfortable when paired with a good pair of padded cycling shorts. Also a favorite amongst the diehard cyclocross crowd due to the lack of an anatomical cutout, which keeps excess mud and water from spraying up on your shorts. If you are looking for a high-performance saddle with a weight to complement your carbon fiber race machine, this saddle is for you.
With a retail price between $169 and $180, this is not a cheap investment. You can, however, spend quite a bit more for a racing saddle. Despite the high price, we feel that the durable, well-built Antares presents a good value in the long run.
Stiffer and lighter saddle
Ultra-light weight - 135g
Braided carbon fiber rail
All around ultralight saddle (155g)
Flexible design to allow for greater comfort when shifting positions
Braided carbon fiber rails
Antares R3 Braided Rail
All around performance saddle
Comfortable, flexible and lightweight (165g)
Braided carbon fiber rail
Antares R3 K:im rail
Minimally flexible performance road saddle
Light and strong K:ium rails
Another take on this line
A mix of comfort, flexibility, and lightweight design
Keep in mind that like most carbon railed saddles the Antares rails have an oval shape and are not compatible with single bolt seat post clamps that apply lateral force.
Example of single bolt side clamp seat post not compatible with carbon rail saddles.
Check out the quote below from Fizik!
"The Fizik Antares has not been updated since you last reviewed it. The models that were restyled was the Antares R1, Antares R3 braided rail, Antares R3 K:im rail and the Antares R5. These are brand new versions compared to the Antares that you last tested.
The ANTARES range includes R1 and R3 models, both sharing the gently dipped shape of the ANTARES. The new Wing Flex shell allows the saddle to adapt to the rider's favored position and pedalling style. Wing flex: WING FLEX shell flexes downward in the critical area where the inner thighs contact the saddle allowing for more efficient, full-range movement while pedalling. Combined with the saddle's extended length, Wing Flex allows the rider to find the most comfortable sitting position — it's possible to sit in a range of positions. This means it's less critical that a rider finds exactly the right saddle dimensions. Whether the rider has big or small thighs, or a wide or a narrow pelvis, the saddle adapts to the rider rather than the rider having to get used to the saddle, Integrated Clip System, Carbon Braided Rail, and K:ium rails. As the ANTARES R1 and R3 saddles use an existing shape, development of the new saddles was mainly concerned with material choices and construction and the addition of wingflex.
All ANTARES saddles use materials chosen for the best function and performance at the price.
• The original ANTARES 00 continues to use the revolutionary Carbon Foam Core Wing Flex shell for ultimate low weight.
• The new ANTARES R1 Braided also uses carbon braided rails but uses a carbon-reinforced nylon thermoplastic composite shell with Wing Flex.
• The new ANTARES R3 Braided also has carbon braided rails but this time the shell is fiberglass thermoplastic composite.
• The entry-level ANTARES R3 k:ium has the same fiberglass thermoplastic composite shell combined with k:ium alloy rails. This saddle offers the same performance benefits as the top of the range models and still weighs under 200g."
Check out a photo lineup of the four new models, pictured below, from left to right: Antares R1, Antares R3 braided rail, Antares R3 K:im rail, and the Antares R5.