3D printed saddles are becoming more affordable with Fizik’s new models

Granted, they're still expensive but the new R1 and R3 models backfill the range to bring the cost of ownership down

Fizik has bolstered its 3D printed Adaptive saddle concept with two lower priced versions alongside a more subtle all-black look.

Fizik (alongside Specialized) made waves in the saddle world in 2019 when it announced a revolutionary new way of 3D printing its saddle cushioning in order to pave the way for genuine custom saddle production. Working in conjunction with Silicon Valley material tech wizards Carbon it unveiled its new Adaptive saddle platform.

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The original Fizik Adaptive 00 VS EVO saddle comes in at £369.99, whilst the new models start from £249.99. Granted, it’s still a pricey investment but a sign of trickle-down technology to come.

The new R1 and R3 versions have a more traditional black 3D printed cushioning.

Named for the way in which the saddle is programmed and printed to ergonomically adjust across its surface, Adaptive uses a groundbreaking new engineering practice known as Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) technology. DLS is an additive manufacturing process that utilises digital ultraviolet light projection, oxygen-permeable optics, and programmable liquid resins to create zonal cushioning.

Read: Fizik Adaptive 00 VS EVO saddle review

The mapping and placement of this cushioning came about as the result of an extensive research project involving a number of professional and recreational cyclists and potentially, alongside development of the 3D printing technology, could lead the way for individual riders to undergo body mapping and have a saddle custom printed to match their biomechanical requirements.

The Adaptive range follows the shaping of the middle ground Fizik Antares saddle.

Currently consisting of just the single Adaptive Versus 00 VS EVO model, the new Antares Versus EVO saddles will fill in the lower tiers to provide riders with a potentially more affordable option. Further to the release of the new saddles, Fizik was also able to get the 3D printed cushioning made from a black polymer to provide a more traditional aesthetic.

The R1 and R3 models will share the same dimensions and choice of two widths afforded to the 00 version with the major difference being the construction of the base and saddle rails. The R1 features more traditional individual oval carbon rails mounted to a carbon base whilst the R3 employs Fizik’s Kium round alloy rails in a customised carbon base.

The R1 shares an all carbon construction but has less sophisticated rails.

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Weights for the new models are 174 grams and 180 grams for the R1 in regular and large widths. The R3 weighs in at 209 grams and 219 grams respectively. Compare that to the 160 grams the current 00 model weighs in its regular width.

Both saddles are available to buy now and retail price will be £249.99 for the R3 and £299.99 for the R1. Still at the high end for a saddle but less than the £369.99 the current version retails for.