As well as the obvious attributes of support and comfort, the Terra Argo X3 is also a gravel saddle designed for ‘stability’. This is achieved through the wave shape and a really grippy finish which gives the Terra Argo quite a different feel from most other saddles. All of this means it’s much harder to make small adjustments to load and off-load your weight and so may not match your riding style.
Good balance of support and comfort
Lots of stability for those who want it
Additional stack height may limit dropper use
Hard to make subtle shifts when riding
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Like the riding itself, the best gravel saddles combine features on and off-road riding. They need to combine comfort and support when riding in the the drops with durability to grit and enough flex to dampen the vibrations from the rough terrain.
The Fizik Terra Argo X3 is designed to do all of this with added 'stability'. The rationale being the more stable you are in the saddle, the less shifting needed to do to get the power down.
Fizik Terra Argo X3: construction
The features of the of the Fizik Terra Argo X3 are all contained in its name: 'Terra' is the off-road gravel range and the 'Argo' is Fizik’s short nosed saddle. Finally, the X3 is the mid-point of the three-saddle range.
The headline stability results from the saddle's shape and outer material. The front/back wave shape gives a natural center point to the saddle which cradles your sit bones. On top of this, the surface of the saddle has a grippy finish which holds you in place and stops any sliding around.
In line with current trends, the stubby 270mm long saddle allows plenty of forward movement. There's a slight drop at the nose to allow you to sit forward without undue pressure on soft-tissues. Pressure relief is enhanced by the cut-out channel which has a 'mud-flap' to stop any gritty spray tracking through.
The nylon shell has carbon reinforcement for flex and strength in order to absorb the chatter of off-road riding. These properties are augmented by foam cushioning and a closed loop design of the hollow rail.
The Terra Argo X3 is available in two widths available, 150 and 160mm. There’s a helpful measuring and saddle finder guide on Fizik’s website. Our 150mm saddle weighed 258g.
Fizik Terra Argo X3: the ride
The Terra Argo X3 is nicely comfortable to ride. It has a good balance of firmness and flex so neither feels to spongey nor too harsh regardless of whether I was riding several hours in the drops or hard and fast on rugged trails.
The shape of the saddle gives plenty of support in different riding positions; forward on the drops, up on the hoods or perched on the nose for steep climbs. It is noticeable wider than my usual (and most other manufacturers’) saddle but the flexed design of these wings mean that the width isn't noticeable when riding.
There’s an incredibly planted feel to sitting on the Terra Argo. A little of this is from the waved saddle shape but most predominately the grippy surface. It’s a really notable feature and very different from other saddles I’ve ridden.
This grip meant quite a change in how I moved about the saddle and bike. Instead of subtle slides, I needed to consciously lift myself off the saddle to avoid my chamois pulling. This didn’t really suit my riding style as it restricted my ability to constantly load and off-load the bike across washboard gravel and rougher terrain. Conversely it will suit riders who find it hard to hold a stable position on the bike.
The closed-loop rail design gives the Argo quite a high stack (51mm) which is greater than most saddles. This meant I had to drop my seat post by about 10mm to accommodate. Most of the time this shouldn’t cause a problem but check if you run a dropper post, I didn't have quite enough room to run the Argo with mine.
Fizik Terra Argo X3: value and conclusion
At $175 / £140 the Terra Argo X3 sits nicely in the price range of other gravel saddles we’ve reviewed recently. The Prologo Scratch M5 AGX is cheaper but doesn’t have a carbon fibre shell ($130.00 / £105.00). The titanium railed Selle Italia Flite Boost Gravel TI 316 is a fair bit more expensive at $258 / £211.
Within the Terra Argo range there’s also the carbon railed X1 for an additional $/£50 or the solid-alloy railed X5 for $/£40 less.
The Terra Argo X3 performs well, balancing comfort with support and there’s plenty of space to move on and off the saddle. Its shape and finish makes for an incredibly planted ride, something that is quite different from other gravel-specific saddles and a feature that is likely to attract as many riders as it puts off.
Fizik Terra Argo X3: specs
- Length: 270 mm
- Width: 150 mm or 160 mm
- Height at 75mm width: 51 mm
- Length from nose to 75mm width: 113 mm
- Rail: 7x7 mm
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