Fizik Tempo Argo Saddle Review: Shapely Rather than Svelte
Fizik may have started in 1996, but ask around and it wasn’t until the release of the Fizik Arione in 2002 that the Fizik name began to really proliferate. The Arione was a revelation in saddle design: long, narrow, flat, and decidedly svelte in shape. Fizik's newest saddle line, the Fizik Argo, eschews the Arione shape for a short, curvy, and slightly chunky profile. Its short profile is decidedly on-trend, and we were fortunate enough to get some literal saddle time with the Fizik Tempo Argo R3.
Versatility is the name of the game with the Fizik Argo
The Fizik saddle range is highly varied for shape, price point, and even technology. Fizik’s Argo line might itself be a sub nose saddle, but even the Argo line comes in two variations: Vento Argo for a more aggressive body position and sleeker profile, and Tempo Argo which has a bit more padding, curves, and an overall bent toward comfort. Those come in different widths ranging from 140mm to 160mm wide, each with three different material choices. On test here is the Fizik Tempo Argo R3 in the 150mm width. A bit of a mouthful if you ask me.
This Tempo Argo R3 is based around their Type 2 foam, which is on the thicker end in an effort to soak up road vibrations. They call this their progressive cushioning, with a bit of give early on before firming up as you dive deeper into it. This is paired with their hollow Kium rails rather than the steel or carbon rails of the other models. Either way, you’ll get a carbon-enforced nylon shell underneath the padding with just a touch of flex to adapt to leg movement just a bit better.
Overall you'd expect there to be differences between the Tempo and Vento models, and there are. The Tempo Argo has a bit more padding that is most obvious in the middle and front of the saddle, and there is ample padding along the back really. The front of the saddle has a bit more padding than one would expect, even considering the saddle cutout. The padding itself particularly at the front is on the angular side, and while there is more padding than the Tempo model it is firmer here than the rest of the bike.
As stated above we rode the Tempo Argo R3 in 150mm width, weighing in at 235g. Prices range from $109 and go up to $229.
Riding the Fizik Tempo Argo
Let’s talk about that cutout. It's huge. So big that those with the narrowest sit bones will likely find the Vento Argo in the 140mm to be a better saddle for them as some found their sit bones on the edge of the cutout or even inside of it. That said, most riders regardless of sex found the Tempo Argo comfortable. You’ll want to take advantage of the Fizik 60-day fit guarantee on this saddle, which lets you try it out on your bike and exchange or outright return the saddle if it doesn’t work for you.
We found that saddle angle to be more critical on the Tempo Argo than most other saddles on test. The first few rides saw us ride with the saddle level, which sees the nose of the saddle tipped up slightly. We appreciated the wide nose for it's added stability, but having the nose tilted up also was a sore spot for some people, literally.
The solution? Tilt the nose down - or the front of the saddle level - and you’ll see the front part out of harm’s way while offering loads of comfort. Tilting the saddle down more allows greater use of the large cutout section, comfortable padding, and flexible base material. Further, its shape, more curved than most Fizik saddles, means there is a bit less sit bone pressure than other Fizik saddles.
Also notable here is that the Tempo Argo is a good 10mm longer than most saddles we have on test. So while still a short saddle by modern comparison, the Tempo Argo gives just a slight bit more fore-aft flexibility than other snub-nose saddles while still offering the powerful forward position of a typical snub-nose saddle.
We found the Fizik Tempo Argo to be a great vibration damper overall, and the best of the bunch in our eyes in this regard. It would make a great companion for a long-distance rider on both road or gravel thanks to the flexible shell and padding profile. Be sure to find your right angle and you should be good to go.
Have any questions about the Fizik Tempo Argo R3 saddle, or about Fizik in general? Give us a call during business hours, or send us an email any time to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Cody Wignall.