Limousine-like smoothness with extra width and reduced nose pressure for more upright off-road rides. X5 is the better buy though
- Soft but supportive padding
- Wide shell with comfortable extra flex
- Shorter, softer, curved snout
- Centre cut out without splashback
- Mostly wipe clean
- Width won't suit everyone
- Kium rails are expensive
Fizik’s new Terra Argo gravel saddles are a gravel-evolution of the brand's Vento Argo range. With added flex and cushioning for rougher surfaces and a more upright position, they take aim squarely at our roundup of the best gravel bike saddles, but are they worthy of inclusion?
Here we have the 150mm width, but they also come in a wider 160mm fit and you get a mudguard to stop the midline vent being a douche on dirty days. You’re paying a lot to save just over 10g with the X3 rather than the X5 though.
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The Terra version of the Argo is 5mm longer than the Tempo, but it’s still 15mm shorter than a full-length saddle like the Tundra. We tested the 150mm width which is already pretty wide but Fizik also offers a 160mm option. The carbon-reinforced shell is designed to be very compliant though with extra springy 'Wingflex' flanks to soften up potential pedalling related movement. The Type 2 padding is slightly thicker, particularly under your bum and uses a more progressive (so softer at the top) feel. The upper comprises a single-piece wipe-clean synthetic for easy cleaning, with small slotted detailing designed to add grip. The central slot is slightly narrower than the other Argo saddles and gets a plastic splashguard, too.
The ‘Mobius’ rail is a single closed-looped piece which Fizik says adds strength and gives better weight distribution. The Kium alloy material of the X3 rail saves around 12g over the S-Alloy of the £89.99 X5.
The softness of the saddle is noticeable straight away and it’s comfy whether you’re just scooting to the shops in your jeans or bouncing along farm tracks for hours on end. The gently curved shape from the downward swept nose, through the hollowed centre and to the raised rear positions you really well on the sweet spot of the saddle, with just enough soft nose to slide onto for steep climbs.
Even though the Wingflex sections melt away as you pedal, the way it sits you back onto the wider profile won’t suit everyone - but Fizik offers a vast range of more traditionally shaped seats if you don’t like it. There are no scuff guards on the corners either but so far we’ve not suffered any scratch or tear damage despite a couple of muddy offs while using it. The mudguard is also slotted to avoid puddling.
While the small slotted detailing does stop you slipping around on the otherwise super slippery top, it does collect mud on an otherwise easy-clean surface.
The £40 cheaper X5 gets a printed-rather-than-slotted detail which stays cleaner, and apart from the slightly heavier rails, it’s identical so that’s definitely the cost-effective option from the range. We’d like to see a version with the new Alpaca mini-tool and C02 holder kit that Fizik has just introduced on their MTB saddles.
The Fizik Terra Argo saddle is distinctively soft and smoothly sprung with extra width and less pressure up front making it a potentially great option if you find traditional saddles too intrusive. The X5 is definitely a smarter buy than the X3 though.
Tech specs: Fizik Terra Argo saddle
- Weight: 245g (150mm)
- Length: 270mm
- Width: 150 or 160mm
- Price: £129.00 / €129.00 / $129.99
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