Fizik Link R1 Snake shorts review

Fizik's first attempt at producing shorts has been successful, although £250 is even pushing above the premium price point

(Image credit: Chris Catchpole)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

Overall the short is great, for the first attempt too, they’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head. It is insanely priced however, £250! Although, if this premium product is out of your price range, the R3 version following the same Fizik concepts is available for £165.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Good fit

  • +

    Comfortable

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Very expensive

  • -

    Slightly too long in the leg

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Fizik launched a new two part series of shorts to match its massive saddle range late last year, which they say is to enable them to deliver optimum comfort and performance. They also stated at its launch that Fizik are not a clothing brand and is still totally focused on the contact points of the bike; shoes, saddles and handlebars.

>>> Buyer's guide to bib shorts

The new Link R1 short sit in three categories, the same Spinal Concept that Fizik developed in 2009. You’ll choose between Snake, Chameleon and Bull depending on if you are flexible with limited pelvic rotation, usually sitting in an aggressive position (Snake). Or low in flexibility and high in pelvic rotation, usually sitting more upright (Bull). Chameleon is in between the two.

The short is divided into three elements suspenders, shorts and inserts. Suspenders determine the position on the saddle and provide appropriate lumbar support. Shorts ensure ergonomic fit and support whilst pedalling and finally the insert that will change in fabric and padding position depending on which animal you prefer. The elements change depending one which category you ride, so in theory, riding a Bull saddle with a Snake short shouldn’t be as comfortable as a Bull-to-Bull interface.

I tested the Snake as I ride an Arinone saddle. The shorts are exceptional and feel completely performance orientated. Bibs feel supportive and luxurious with no cutting in around the shoulders. The shorts feel supportive and are a good fit around the bum and legs. These shorts do sit really long though and personally like to have them a little shorter (Think I’m in the minority with that though).

The chamois in the R1 Snake is 3D moulded and seamless, this means it’ll stay in place even whilst in an aggressive forward position. In terms of actual padding it feels minimal and I like that, I’d go as far to say it ranks up there as one of the better chamois’s on the market.

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Symon Lewis joined Cycling Weekly as an Editorial Assistant in 2010, he went on to become a Tech Writer in 2014 before being promoted to Tech Editor in 2015 before taking on a role managing Video and Tech in 2019. Lewis discovered cycling via Herne Hill Velodrome, where he was renowned for his prolific performances, and spent two years as a coach at the South London velodrome.