Cyrano handlebar shapes: Bull, Chameleon, and Snake (l-r)
Premium Italian saddle maker Fizik (pronounced “physique”) introduces a line of Cyrano drop handlebars and stems for 2014. The Cyrano bars (in several price levels of alloy and carbon) follow the company’s “Spine Concept” first applied to their saddles. The concept is based of the theory that the flexibility of your spine determines your optimum saddle shape. If your back is rather flexible, you would ride the Arione saddle; Fizik nicknames you a “snake”. If you’re not flexible, you’re a “bull”, and you take the Aliante saddle. In between the two would be a “chameleon” on the Antares saddle. Fizik extends this idea to their new handlebars.
I’ll be honest; I’m not sure I buy into this Spine Concept. I’m even less sure that the concept is valid when applied to a rider’s combined preferences for handlebar and saddle. What if I prefer a “snake” saddle and a “bull” handlebar? Am I not allowed to do that? An Arione saddle was designed long before Fizik started bandying about this fancy concept. Riders like Gilberto Simoni on Cannondale-Saeco and other Italian stage racers were consulted, and what Fizik ended up with was a saddle as long as the UCI would allow, with a extended tail that riders sit back on to get fuller extension of the legs while climbing long grades. The Arione’s long, flat profile allows riders to use the whole length of the saddle. I wouldn’t consider myself to be all that flexible, yet I love the Arione. It’s like my taint found its soulmate. But should my taint to choose my handlebar?