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The Fizik Antares R3 Open is a well designed saddle for a whole range of riding styles, thanks to good shaping, supportive padding and a cutaway that can help if you suffer from numbness. It's a bit expensive for metal-railed saddle, though, and not the lightest for the money.
As I find with the majority of Fizik saddles, straight out of the box the padding is pretty firm, and it takes a good few rides to bed in. While never enough to create discomfort exactly, at first I was a touch sore when getting back onto the saddle the next day.
After 150-200 miles, though, the Antares softens and moulds a little, and from then on I found it remains comfortable. One upside of the supportive padding is that it stays in place around the central opening, instead of squidging down into it like some padding can.
With many new saddles seemingly getting shorter and shorter, the Antares is pretty old school with its long nose and wide rear section. The nose is narrow for plenty of clearance if you have large thighs, and the whole seat allows you to move around a fair bit to boost comfort and bike response.
You can easily slide back when climbing, and use the wide rear section as a platform to push against.
At 141mm the Antares is reasonably wide (a lot of saddles are around 135mm), so there's plenty of space for support, though if you want more there's a large version which increases that width to 153mm.
The Antares R3 uses a carbon-reinforced nylon shell and K:ium aluminium rails. K:ium is an alloy specific to Fizik and is drawn into 7mm diameter tubes, and allows a bit of extra flex on top of that afforded by the shell/padding. It all goes towards taming road vibrations and works well.
The Microtex cover sheds water well and is hardwearing too – I leant the test bike against various walls during rides, and it's left no sign of scuffs or marks. The cover is firmly glued to the underside of the shell (the Antares is handmade in Italy, and the quality is good throughout), but it doesn't look quite as neat as comparable saddles from the likes of Prologo, which sandwich the cover between the shell and an additional layer.
One neat addition is Fizik's integrated clip system, filled as stock by a branded nameplate, which allows easy attachment of compatible saddle bags and the like.
At £129.99 Antares R3 Open is fairly expensive for its build, if not excessive given its quality, and there are some cheaper competitors out there. The Prologo Scratch 2 Tirox saddle is very comfortable indeed straight out of the box, well finished, pretty much the same weight as the Fizik at 226g but a fair bit cheaper at £104.99.
The Fabric Line Race Shallow comes with titanium rails and is a touch heavier at 243g, but reviewer Hollis was very impressed with the comfort and it costs just £74.99.
The Antares R3 Open is a well made, well-shaped saddle that's comfortable for all tempos of riding, especially once the padding has settled in a bit. However there are some very good, very comfortable and similarly-specced saddles out there for less money.
Supportive and comfortable saddle for fast rides or slow, but expensive given its build
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Fizik Antares R3 Open
Size tested: Regular 142 mm
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Fizik says, "With an anatomic cut-out shape and advanced technology, materials and craft, Antares R3 Open is a performance road saddle for riders who want a medium saddle profile and a cut-out to avoid pressure and numbness. Made for riders with medium body flexibility and low pelvic rotation while pedaling, the Antares is a neutral profile saddle with support and flexibility so you can move to find your power spot and maintain comfort."
The Antares R3 Open offers plenty of positions and a good level of comfort.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Open central cutaway
Shell: Carbon-reinforced nylon
Rails: 7mm K:ium
Integrated Clip System compatible
- Dimensions: 276x141 mm
- Dimensions: 276x153 mm
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Antares is quite firm initially, but soon becomes much more comfortable and allows plenty of positions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not as cheap or light as some.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's expensive. As a composite shell/metal rail build, it's up against cheaper alternatives like the Fabric Line Race Shallow and the Prologo Scratch 2 Tirox, for instance, while you can even get full-carbon saddles such as the Merano Corsa for less.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Antares R3 is comfortable once bedded in and offers plenty of potential positions to suit many riding styles. There are cheaper and lighter alternatives for the money, though, so overall it's good but nothing more, and a seven.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!