If you want a mega-size cutout to eliminate numbness and prefer a semi-curved shape, Fizik’s Tempo Argo R3 might just be for you (though it may be too wide for those with narrow sit bones). With thicker padding than the pricier R1, this offering aims at the meat of the semi-competitive market, and gives Fizik new life outside of traditionally-shaped road saddles.
Basics: 260mm long; 150mm wide; large cutout
Pros: Affordable, longer than some competitors
Cons:Comfort seems highly dependent on shorts and chamois used
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Fizik has entered the snub-nose saddle category somewhat late, with the introduction of the Tempo Argo R3. Its 260mm length is about 30mm shorter than many common traditional saddles, but still well above the UCI limit of 240mm. The result is a saddle offering some ability to move your body fore and aft (i.e. beyond the 240mm-long Specialized Power), but still keeping to the general design theme of perch-and-power. Two widths are available – 150mm and 160mm – and our tester used the former.
The type of padding used varies within the R series, with the R3 featuring thicker Type 2 Foam, and the R1 using thinner Type 1 Foam (along with carbon rails and an $85 price increase).
Out on the road, we found the padding level to be right where it needed to be, while other Fizik saddles have often felt too firm. This feeling may have also been influenced by the side-to-side curvature of the Tempo Argo R3, giving our tester a sensation of less sit bone pressure than flatter Fizik models.
Note, however, that the comfort was dependent on the model of shorts used: the winner was a mid-level model from Bellwether – eclipsing more than one pair of high-end bibs. A thick chamois resulted in a feeling of too much material being bunched up around the perineum, causing rubbing and discomfort.
The cutout center channel of the saddle is quite generous – fine for our tester – but may be too wide for those with narrow sit bones, which might slip into the cutout. The outside edges of the saddle use Fizik’s Wingflex design, enhancing comfort for your inner thighs.
Overall, this ranks among our favorite Fizik saddles ever. We experienced no numbness, even during extended seated periods. The nose of the saddle is on the wider end of the spectrum, which often results in improved blood flow (and can allow for more comfort while perching up front), but may be a cause for concern for those with a very narrow pedaling stance. The R3 is competitive in both weight and price, making it a strong entry into the category for Fizik.