By Stefan Abram
Short-nosed saddles with large central cut-outs have been booming in popularity, largely thanks to their pressure relieving qualities and amenity to aero positions.
But these coveted qualities are no longer the preserve of roadies alone; Fizik has introduced a pair of gravel bike specific saddles to its Argo range of short, wide saddles which promise “pressure-free forward rotation and better power transfer.”
The standout feature of the Terra Argo saddles is the vented mudguard. Although there are many benefits to be gained from a central cut-out, grimy water spraying directed up into your undercarriage certainly isn’t one of them. The inclusion of an insert here is intended to retain the pressure relieving and air circulating qualities of a cut-out, while dispensing with the drawbacks.
Other features include a raised tail at the back to assist with weight distribution and rider position on steep climbs, while the elongated 7x7mm circular rails allow for a wider range of fore-aft positions. This should enable it to better accommodate the multitude of gravel geometries.
Fizik has used their propriety Type 2 foam for the padding—which is softer than the Type 1 foam used in their racing saddles—to provide greater comfort over long distances and rough terrain. The inclusion of Fizik’s “Wingflex” technology means that the edges of the saddle have a degree of engineered compliance. Fizik claims that this allows for “an unimpeded pedal stroke”, even though the width is greater than that of a traditional saddle.
What differentiates the X3 saddle from the X5 is that the former has lighter hollow Kium saddle rails, whereas the latter are constructed from “ultra-strong S-Alloy.” Interestingly, both utilise the same carbon reinforced nylon shell.
The saddles come in two widths, 150mm and 160mm, with the X3 weighing a claimed 238g and the X5 250g (both in their 150mm guise). But their difference is cost is great than their weight with the X3 retailing at £129.99 and the X5 at £89.99.
Five talking points from the women's elite World Championships 2021 road race
The Netherlands finally lose their grip on the rainbow jersey, fantastically dramatic route and more from the first elite road race
By Stephen Puddicombe •
Marianne Vos: 'Silver was all I could do' as Dutch spell over rainbow jersey is broken
Everything had gone perfectly, Vos says, until the last few metres when Balsamo couldn't be brought to heel
By Jonny Long •
Bike gears: shifting explained for beginners
We talk you through how to use your bicycle gears efficiently and properly
By Michelle Arthurs-Brennan •
Zwift: Everything you need to know about the online training and racing platform
From Watopia to the Zwift Academy - check out our complete guide to start your virtual cycling experience
By Henry Robertshaw •
Electric bikes and UK law: what you need to know
Do you need a licence to ride an electric bike? What's the maximum permissable power output for an ebike? Read on to find out more...
By Nick Busca •
How to buy an e-bike: Everything you need to know about electric bikes before you purchase
Are you wondering how to buy an e-bike but don't know your torque from your power or your hub drive from a mid drive motor? Then you've come to the right place
By Rupert Radley •
Is an e-bike worth it? Why an electric bike is perfect for commuting
An e-bike is the perfect mode of transport for commuting to work
By Luke Friend •
The best electric bike conversion kits and how to fit one
Feeling a little e-curious but don't want to splash the cash?
By James Bracey •
Best road bike wheels reviewed: disc and rim wheelsets
Our complete guide to what to look for when buying your new road bike wheels, including the type of rim, the material, and the depth you should go for.
By Stefan Abram •
A new look for Strava app with updates to the navigation bar
The new design should make the app more intuitive to use, as well as offering the promise of “room to grow when it comes to developing new features
By Stefan Abram •