Reverence: Fi’zi:k

Reverence: Fi’zi:k

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Three is a big deal.  There are three constituents to an atom, there are three main classifications of galaxies, we live on the third stone from the sun, we perceive the universe in 3D, we have the holy trinity, there are three goals in a hat-trick, there are three little pigs (and bears),  there’s the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (yup, three), and of course we all practice the three-point system. Basically, when there’s only three things that contribute to one thing, each one of those things is really important.  The loss of one renders the other two, and the sum of their trinity useless, sooner or later.

The three things that Fi’zi:k focuses on are the contact points between the rider and the bicycle.  Starting at the hands and moving down (or aft as it were), Fi’zi:k has been designing and manufacturing handlebar tape and saddles since 1996 and more recently, shoes.  As gear-junkies, snobs even, you all know this.  There are few, if any, bicycle equipment manufacturers that haven’t released at least one less than savory product.  And in this time of big helmet-to-cleat-and-below-the-seat companies branding everything from frames to rim tape to kit there are probably fewer still who have as small of a line as Fi’zi:k (they also do seatposts).  If you’re not already fully familiar with their line click on over and have a look here.

To my knowledge we have yet to write a Reverence article for an entire company. My intent here is not necessarily to review Fi’zi:k’s gear, lest I wow  you to sleep with Huangisms and other musings. My intent is to declare our reverence for Fi’zi:k’s sublimely elegant wedding of style and purpose. Even if their shoes and saddles aren’t quite suited to your anatomy, and Merckx forbid one company could be all things to all riders, you must admit that Fi’zi:k has cultivated a top-shelf aesthete and makes the gear to back it up.

My personal foray into Fi’zi:k’s product line started, as most folks probably do, with handlebar tape. Previously to becoming a devotee of their tape though, I had noticed their logo on the backsides of some of my favorite riders in the pro peloton for years. Smart marketing. Place a logo on a kit where it’s either going to be frequently shot by the camera car or seen by riders as they get dropped and it’ll be remembered.

The virtues of microtex may have first been chronicled on this site here. It looks impeccable, wears well, and cleans up nice. You owe it to yourself to grace your bars with some Fi’zi:k tape. After being sold on their tape I delved into their saddles.  I purchased a black and red Antares for bike number one and was immediately impressed by the perfect stitching and elegant lines of the rails and saddle platform. To this day my VMH still doesn’t understand how I can perch myself atop such a small looking saddle for so many hours. And if there was ever a saddle that epitomized Rule #61 it is the Antares.  I now run the Antares on all three of my bikes.  And truth be told, due to the circumstances of extended gravel rides in cellular dead zones bordering wilderness on a bike with one bidon, I frequently use their integrated/yet detachable EPMS on my gravel rig.  As far as Rule #29 violations go I figure I may as well be classy about it.

That brings me to the Fi’zi:k shoe line.  Recently I picked up a pair of R3’s and had a similar reaction to them as I did to my first Antares.  They just look cool and are made extremely well and no other country on earth has produced better cobblers than Italy. From the baby kangaroo leather toe, to the sail cloth straps, the Italian flag under the tongue, to the “:K” logo on the baby kangaroo leather heel these things scream Italian shoemakers. When I say “scream”, I really mean get bras and panties tossed at you by not saying anything and just sitting there in that Cipo back in mid-nineties sort of way. In other words you render all who gaze your way powerless to your handsomeness. In fact, the power these shoes hold over me have led me to (in the tradition of this fine site) name them “The Aristocrats” for their black-tie look and high-end appeal.

So chapeau, er, bellissimo to Fi’zi:k for nailing the three ways we contact our machines.  I appreciate your dedication to developing products that serve to provide us with one thing; connecting to our bikes.

// Accessories and Gear // Reverence

  1. @snoov
    Good link. I like the adjective “superluminal”. I think Frank’s rain bike could be described as superluminal.
    The comments section there is a gas (at STP, of course).

  2. @frank

    @itburns

    My understanding is that relativity says nothing can accelerate to the speed of light but has nothing to say about particles created going faster than light. Like The Prophet, you better be born with supernatural speed or you are out of luck.

    Not quite; relativity just means that time is not universal and changes relative to the subject’s speed. The problem with the E=Mc2 is that it means that as your speed increases so does your mass, and once your mass is infinite it takes infinite energy to accelerate. The only way to get around it is do jump a dimension, which almost has to be possible. It would also explain quantum particles, I think, if they’re just bouncing around in other dimensions and not actually disappearing. Conservation of mass prohibits it, but it works if you include other dimensions for what you consider “conservation”.

    So the faster I get the fatter I become.

    So obese people are really mega fast beings from the planet Tharg who are just passing through our dimension but because we just see a brief reflection of time from that dimension they just appear fat and slow….Yes. It makes sense.

    I need to sleep dammit.

  3. @frank
    Yes, infinite energy needed to reach c and everything is relative to your inertial frame of reference. Newtonian constant time thrown out when the frames of reference are different enough but good enough for every day. As G’phant observed, the OPERA people are saying they have found a particle that says “Shut up legs”, climbs to the top of Mount c, then leaves the course to continue climbing in hopes of getting to Nobel first. Will be exciting, but ICARUS has already raised some doping concerns and it will probably end up taking longer than a Clenbutador arbitration before we know the official decision.

    Look to CERN for more interesting results in the future. The Large Hadron Collider is at the lowest level of energy to start confirming/refuting some multi-dimension theories.

    Apologies – just remembered this was a thread about fi'zi:k, not physics, but I typed all this babble so you are going to get it.

  4. @mcsqueak

    Now that trumps the Cats Cock every time.

  5. I for one enjoy the minor off topic things that come up from time to time but I hasten to add, I have had my Arione saddle for 4 months now and am very happy with it. I also really enjoyed reading the article, thanks Marko.

  6. @frank
    …”in other Seattle news, a cyclist’s garishly lit bike caused an epileptic seizure in yesterday evening’s fading light. The subsequent pileup…” Go on, fess up: you also have one of G’Phant’s luminescent life vests. Because, that would, like, complete the look. There’s being seen and being seen

  7. Excellent choice Marko. Big fan of Fi’zi:k every since the Avocet O2 Airs went out of vogue. Riding the Antares these days. Good stuff.

  8. @paolo & itburns

    itburns, you freakin smart dude, when i talk to people like you, my business partner reads quantum physics on the side and stargazes, he started talking like you do and I just stood thinking…yeah…yeah…yeah

    yes, fatter is supposedly better, zipp calls it firecrest, and i just say, yeah….yeah…add a set

    i even read some dumb article recently calling for fatter fitness wheich is quantum physics that i understand and as i read this article it was…whatever…here, let me dig it out of the trash bin…there it is…bla bla bla, BS…

    HTFU is all I can say, repeat and rub on Rule V a little deeper til the adipose runs off like butter off the edge of the muffins, puns intended of course

    no extra mass needed for cyclists, we’re only hitting 55kph on flats now, not the speed of light

  9. as i read my post, please remove the sarcasm, i don’t mean it that way, place stupidity across my forehead, thats what i meant:-)

  10. Damn, those almost all white fi'zi:k shoes are sharp!

    As for my fi'zi:k feelings – have a Gobi on my nice cx bike, really dig it, looking for a second one to put on my backup cx bike. Also have some microtex glossy tape on my road #1. Very sharp, not as slippery as it would appear, and looks new after six months. Awesome. The VMH also have microtex on her steed. It’s probably four years old and looks damn good still.

    Have ridden an Arione and liked it a lot. It’s nice when someone does something and they do it well!

    Oh yeah, nice one Marko!!

  11. Actually since I’ve seen David Millar wear the R3 in black and white….

  12. @Pedale.Forchetta

    Actually since I’ve seen David Millar wear the R3 in black and white….

    I feel like I’ve seen him in all black ones, too, but I’m not finding evidence. Looks like he’s got a pair like Marko does

  13. @frank
    As someone who attempted to double major in physics and computer science, be glad you stayed at the high-level. When you actually try to learn quantum physics and you’re integrating these horrid line integrals for fucking infinite potentials wells that can’t possibly exist, but we use because the math is too hard otherwise, you realize the beauty of abstraction. Isn’t computer science all about finding the most beautiful abstractions for the task at hand?

  14. @frank
    I don’t believe quantum particles just “disappear”. Entanglement and lots of those other strange phenomena are about information transfer, not mass. I do think the likelihood of other dimensions could help to explain a good deal of the mysteries of how the universe functions though. Alan Guth’s “The Inflationary Universe” is a good one. Michio Kaku’s “Parallel Worlds” delves a lot into how string theory concepts potentially explain currently unexplained properties of the universe.

    Physics is way more fun to deal with at this higher-level of having a grasp of the concepts and what they generally mean in relation to the world. The math quickly becomes heinous however.

  15. You guys are way to smart for me.

  16. @frank
    On the bike they look better but I’m sticking to my guns & claiming them to be inspired by a pair of golf shoes.

  17. @frank
    Look here for some photos of David Millar, it’s hilarious!
    http://www.mrporter.com/journal/journal_issue40/6#1

  18. @Pedale.Forchetta

    @frankLook here for some photos of David Millar, it’s hilarious!http://www.mrporter.com/journal/journal_issue40/6#1

    Two great quotes from the article, even if the photos are a bit gaudy, in my opinion.

    “I’d like to think I just have an aesthetic eye, meaning that I care about how things should look, including myself on and off the bike. When I first became interested in professional cycling, I kept coming across these fantastically stylish old photos of champion cyclists who looked so dashing. I liked the way their style juxtaposed with the monotony of their team clothing. There was an eccentricity in their dress. I just liked the sheer class of it all.

    I started learning about the sport and I was enchanted. It seemed romantic but also tragic – people would be winning but then lose it all, or crash but fight on, break bones but get back on their bikes and try to finish. Just getting to the end was an achievement in itself. It’s somehow old-fashioned, gladiatorial. Often the best guys are those that can suffer longer, who don’t give up. And it’s so easy to give up, when you’re on a mountain and it’s really hurting.”

    Man, just Loving Millar more and more.

  19. @Buck Rogers

    My favourite was:

    “My wardrobe reflects my mood; my best days are those after a big night out. On the morning after I tend not to give a damn what people think and dress how I’d like to think the arty version of myself would, had I let that part of me blossom.”

    The more I hear of Mr Millar the more I like. How could you not like someone who spends forty minutes in his shed working out which bike to go to the shops on then takes his TT bike?

  20. @Pedale.Forchetta

    @frank
    Look here for some photos of David Millar, it’s hilarious!
    http://www.mrporter.com/journal/journal_issue40/6#1

    MILLAR ON MR. PORTER!! GOLD!!

  21. @Marcus
    still in the vein of velominitpickin’, in my view the soccer is played by yanks, while the rest of the world-billions-play football!

  22. @zalamanda

    @Marcus
    still in the vein of velominitpickin’, in my view the soccer is played by yanks, while the rest of the world-billions-play football!

    Yanks in the know are calling it football, too, as the sport is rising in popularity quickly over here. I call it football and wait patiently for the pissbeer-guzzling ogre I mentioned it to to understand what sport I’m talking about. I am very patient. VERY patient.

  23. @frank

    @zalamanda

    @Marcusstill in the vein of velominitpickin’, in my view the soccer is played by yanks, while the rest of the world-billions-play football!

    Yanks in the know are calling it football, too, as the sport is rising in popularity quickly over here. I call it football and wait patiently for the pissbeer-guzzling ogre I mentioned it to to understand what sport I’m talking about. I am very patient. VERY patient.

    LOVE IT! I do the same thing. I have four of my V kiddos playing football pretty much year round and, esp here in Texas, NO ONE understands what I am talking about, “Your 6 year old daughter plays FOOTBALL???” Kills me everytime.

  24. @Buck Rogers

    @frank
    I actually say futbol or calico. Speaking of confusing mericans I have been commuting to school on an old steel frame bike and rock my walz cap. Do I get some looks from the mates in class.

  25. Calico? I’ve never heard that one before.

  26. @mcsqueak
    I think it means “to kick” in Italian. It’s just what they call futbol.

  27. @frank

    @zalamanda

    @Marcusstill in the vein of velominitpickin’, in my view the soccer is played by yanks, while the rest of the world-billions-play football!

    Yanks in the know are calling it football, too, as the sport is rising in popularity quickly over here. I call it football and wait patiently for the pissbeer-guzzling ogre I mentioned it to to understand what sport I’m talking about. I am very patient. VERY patient.

    You’ve hit on a pet peeve of mine now. I am an Englishman living in the US. I have been on this planet for near 50 years. Growing up in Birmingham England we used to call it “Soccer”. As in, are you coming to the park to play “soccer”.
    We had a show on the local ITV station for the Midlands called “Sunday Soccer with Brian Moore”. British posters here of a certain age will recall. We also used to collect cards ( much like baseball cards) of our favourite players and stick them in special books. The books and cards were called “Soccer Stars”. No one in the sixties and seventies and any problem with the term “soccer”. Then somewhere maybe the late 80’s and through the ninties it became a taboo word. Maybe it was the 94 World cup that caused it. It was sheer snobbery on the part of the brits because those awful yanks started calling it soccer.

    Now anyone that tells you different is either a.too young to recall or b.has very poor recall or c.is deficient in cognitive faculties.

    I thank you..carry on.

  28. Oops…Star Soccer…ATV. Not Soccer Stars. See..I’m old. Hugh Jons, Brian Moore, Gary Newbon. C’mon you older brits, fess it up.

  29. @RedRanger

    Yes it means kick but the word is ‘calcio’.

    And Paolo, yes soccer is not a foreign (as in non-English) term. I believe it is supposed to comes from the full original name of the game which was Association Football… just like rugby is rugger.

    The Football Association codified the laws of the game, hence it became Association Football. Technically football also refers to other games… the governing body for rugby is the Rugby Football Union and for the other code, the Rugby Football League. So really Soccer is the best way to distinguish it and avoid confusion.

    And currently Sky has a popular preview programme called Soccer A.M so it isn’t just Brian Moore vintage.

  30. @ChrisO
    Ha. I think that was a iPhone auto correct I didn’t catch.

  31. @RedRanger @ChrisO

    I was wondering why playing soccer would be named after a type of cat…

  32. @frank

    I was in a band called “Three Options” for 5 years because there are always only three options.

    Shoulda quit after 3 years then…

  33. @Buck Rogers

    @frank

    @zalamanda

    @Marcusstill in the vein of velominitpickin’, in my view the soccer is played by yanks, while the rest of the world-billions-play football!

    Yanks in the know are calling it football, too, as the sport is rising in popularity quickly over here. I call it football and wait patiently for the pissbeer-guzzling ogre I mentioned it to to understand what sport I’m talking about. I am very patient. VERY patient.

    LOVE IT! I do the same thing. I have four of my V kiddos playing football pretty much year round and, esp here in Texas, NO ONE understands what I am talking about, “Your 6 year old daughter plays FOOTBALL???” Kills me everytime.

    Think you will find that most of the world play calcio, futbol and other such names. Us ignorant Aussies call the sheila’s game soccer because of our love for the greatest game in the world, Aussie Rules Football, or as it is better known, FOOTY!

    A name which I grant you, is a little bit of a misnomer, in that we can use our hands. But then so can Gaelic footballers…

    Oh yeah, and we call American football gridiron…

  34. @paolo
    GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL!

  35. WTF… I go away for a week, and JESUS…. Do any of you guys talk about bikes any more? I’ve got quantum physics and football from the nerds in my office… I don’t need it online

    Awesome link to David Millar, btw… Inspired. I want to hate him, but am really struggling after reading this.

  36. Fizik saddles – damn cool stuff. Doesn’t work for me though. My ass conformed to the shape of the old school Flite saddle. One resides on all my bikes…

  37. Love the bar tape, hate the saddles… I have a collection of lightly used Ariones and Antares if anyone wants them.. one all red, one red and black, and one all black (i think). Haven’t tried the shoes, but they look bad ass… especially in all black!

  38. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.325958890754830.98743.117002131650508&type=1

    I suppose you need friendface to view this link but it’s sort of cool. Find one of these saddles in your local LBS and get yerself some R3’s for nada.

  39. @marcus

    @Buck Rogers

    @frank

    @zalamanda

    @Marcusstill in the vein of velominitpickin’, in my view the soccer is played by yanks, while the rest of the world-billions-play football!

    Yanks in the know are calling it football, too, as the sport is rising in popularity quickly over here. I call it football and wait patiently for the pissbeer-guzzling ogre I mentioned it to to understand what sport I’m talking about. I am very patient. VERY patient.

    LOVE IT! I do the same thing. I have four of my V kiddos playing football pretty much year round and, esp here in Texas, NO ONE understands what I am talking about, “Your 6 year old daughter plays FOOTBALL???” Kills me everytime.

    Think you will find that most of the world play calcio, futbol and other such names. Us ignorant Aussies call the sheila’s game soccer because of our love for the greatest game in the world, Aussie Rules Football, or as it is better known, FOOTY!
    A name which I grant you, is a little bit of a misnomer, in that we can use our hands. But then so can Gaelic footballers…
    Oh yeah, and we call American football gridiron…

    Not to carry on the whole ball game thing, but how on earth can a game played by people who dress like triathletes be the greatest game on earth? Seriously, every time I see AFL and those sleeveless jumpers I expect to see them with those behind-the-saddle bottle cage abominations.

    I can’t profess to understand the rest of the game (having never watched it properly) but seriously, they need to read Rule #7.

  40. @Marko

    So wait, do you have to buy the saddle first? I don’t even know that any LBS near me stock Fizik.

  41. @DerHoggz
    From what I understand there’s a very limited number of signed saddles. If you should be so lucky as to find one of these it seems all you have to do is send in the letter and they’ll send you some R3s.

  42. @the keepers

    I am giving away some fi’zi:k bar tape over on my charity ride blog (mainly due to it not matching my saddle in colour – did realise the rules till after purchase and the receipt was long lost)

    am i allowed to link to it here?
    cheers

  43. @all

    I was perusing the site last night when the non legally binding VMH saw these and nearly had a stroke from excitement. I’m afraid with Valentines a day off, she ordered these for me while I was deep in slumber. How fast must one be to adorn the Red Express?

  44. @roger

    @all

    I was perusing the site last night when the non legally binding VMH saw these and nearly had a stroke from excitement. I’m afraid with Valentines a day off, she ordered these for me while I was deep in slumber. How fast must one be to adorn the Red Express?

    You clearly have an awesome VMH. And those Red Damsels are beutifull. Congrats!

  45. Just received the shoes. They are SMASHING!
    I enjoy technical bits and pieces as much as the next guy, but
    these Fi’zi:k shoes are sublime in the simplicity and the excellent stitching.
    The red looks just as it does in the photos. Deep, sensual, keepturningmeover type of red.

    That said the 42 does run with a roomy toebox and almost a full size bigger than my other shoes. Giro Factors 42, Sidi Ergo 3 42.5, Sidi 6.6 Mega 42.

    Will have to toss these up on craigslist I imagine and get 41.5’s.

  46. @Martin@lejogle

    @the keepers

    I am giving away some fi’zi:k bar tape over on my charity ride blog (mainly due to it not matching my saddle in colour – did realise the rules till after purchase and the receipt was long lost)

    am i allowed to link to it here?
    cheers

    Go for it Martin…

  47. Conversing with myself here, but kept the 42s for winter and thicker socks.
    41.5 fits as I had hoped, and the White Ladies are in a word, stunning.
    I hope to do them justice at the 200 on 100.

  48. An update on R3 fi'zi:k shoes. I switched back to my s-works specilaized shoes for a few rides because I was on a smaller bike and trying to keep the toe-front wheel interaction to a minimum. On a long ride those specialized shoes brought back all the foot discomfort I’d forgotten about since I switched to the Fiziks. And the R3s have become more comfortable since the uppers have become a bit broken in and more pliable, producing better snugness and support. The specialized shoes are going on the scrap heap.

    @roger

    You, my friend, are a fellow shoe whore. And I mean that in the most complimentary manner.

  49. Dave Millar and fi'zi:k are creating a new one off pair of shoes for each race of his final season. The shoes will be auctioned off in aid of the Small Steps Project.

    Not sure the first pair are quite my cup of tee but it’ll be interesting to see what else they come up with.

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