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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the market for an Fizik Aliante and am pondering the differences between the braided carbon rails and the kium rails. Does the carbon railed version ride/feel any differently than the kium railed version? Or is it just a chi chi/lightweight thing?

And what the helll is kium anyway? I've read what it's lighter than, what it's alloyed with, how durable it is, blah blah....but what IS it? Steel alloy?
 

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LigonierA1 said:
I'm in the market for an Fizik Aliante and am pondering the differences between the braided carbon rails and the kium rails. Does the carbon railed version ride/feel any differently than the kium railed version? Or is it just a chi chi/lightweight thing?

And what the helll is kium anyway? I've read what it's lighter than, what it's alloyed with, how durable it is, blah blah....but what IS it? Steel alloy?
K:ium - yeah, steel alloy. Probably what a seat rail ought to be made of, all things considered. Ti is probably OK, too. Carbon? I'm sure it's strong enough - at least for the left end of the bell curve - but it gives me the willies.

There is a difference in feel between the two, though perhaps not because of the rails. The shells are different, too The carbon model has a larger 'cutout' in the shell (that's spanned by what seems to be a kevlar cloth matrix material.) The k:ium has it too, but it's smaller and made of a different material. It makes the carbon model somewhat more forgiving.

At least that's how I remember them in comparison among friends bikes (carbon) and mine (Ti, steel, and k:ium versions, variously.) But they keep moving the model lines around, and some of that may be dated information. I find them all comfortable, but others say that it matters.
 

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How much do you weigh?

I have two Carbon Twin-Flex Aliante saddles and two Aliante Sport saddles. Granted, the Sport saddles don't have the Twin-Flex technology which makes them a bit more flexible which makes them a bit more comfortable for me, but they feel almost the same out on the road. I think that on bigger hits that the carbon rails give a bit more which adds to comfort but it is difficult to feel or quantify. Where I notice it is when the ride goes over 90 minutes. With the Carbon Twin-Flex saddles I can go for hours on end while I start to feel it with the Sport saddles. Again, I don't know if this is because of the Twin-Flex shell or because of the rails. I weigh 145 in riding gear, BTW.

I know that Fizik does not list a maximum rider weight with the carbon saddles but their previous ones with the stainless steel saddle rail inserts I managed to break the rails somehow. Never crashed nor dropped that bike so I don't know how I broke it. One of my two carbon rail saddles is the older style and the other one is a new version with the all-carbon rails that I got from Fizik as a warranty replacement on that broken one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Squid',
Good point you bring up by asking my weight.....I'm solidly Clydesdale.......
 

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Aliante variants

danl1 said:
There is a difference in feel between the two, though perhaps not because of the rails. The shells are different, too The carbon model has a larger 'cutout' in the shell (that's spanned by what seems to be a kevlar cloth matrix material.) The k:ium has it too, but it's smaller and made of a different material. It makes the carbon model somewhat more forgiving.
QUOTE]

The Aliante has had a few different versions through the years:

Aliante Carbon TwinFlex - top of the line, this one has a carbon outer shell with Kevlar/carbon inner shell, hence the TwinFlex name. Has carbon rails, the original rails were carbon with steel wrap at the clamping area, 8mm diameter. Newest version has the braided CF rails that are 7mm wide, 9mm high.

Aliante Carbon TwinFlex w/ k:ium (or Ti) - this is the same saddle as above but with k:ium rails. 2007 and earlier models had solid Ti rails. The outer and inner shell are exactly the same as above.

Aliante Gamma - same shape, but has a plastic outer shell and a smaller Kevlar inner shell. Currenlty has k:ium rails, but 2007 and earlier it used solid Ti rails. Retails for significantly less than the carbon-shelled versions above.

Aliante Sport - same shape, but a completely solid plastic shell. Mostly an OEM saddle that came on a lot of Giant bikes. Had manganese alloy rails, the pre-cursor to k:ium.

I have used the Aliante Carbon with Ti rails for a few years but not currently. It is a good saddle, but very sensitive to setup. The saddle is very concave from front-rear so it tends to keep the rider in one place, so care has to be taken to get it adjusted properly for both setback and angle. I always felt better running this saddle nose-up, but I run all saddles nose-up. The Aliante however required a bit more nose-up than say a Flite or Regal. Any less and I noticed I would be pushed forward by the saddle and my wrists'/hands would start to feel pressure. Seriously, 0.5 degrees can make a big diff with this saddle.
 

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LigonierA1 said:
Squid',
Good point you bring up by asking my weight.....I'm solidly Clydesdale.......
I would avoid the carbon rails, then. I know that Fizik doesn't have a weight limit on these saddles (and I'm not sure they ever had one on their earlier models with the steel sleeve) but I managed to break one under my 145 lbs. My buddy weighs around 180 lbs and he absolultely will not get a carbon rail saddle after seeing my saddle break. I posted pictures of that saddle here so try a search if you want to see some carbon carnage.
 
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