For 25 years, Fizik has focused on the most important rider touch points — saddles, bars, tape and shoes. With Italian design and passion, Fizik saddles have quietly gained fans worldwide. I’ve used a handful of them over the years and each one has offered excellent comfort. Expanding into dirt and gravel for 2021, the Terra Argo X5 Saddle is a great option for dirt adventures with curly bars.
Fizik Terra Argo X5 Features:
- Argo shape provides a versatile short-nose saddle the encourages stability and relieves pressure on sensitive areas
- X5 model incorporates a ride-compliant carbon fiber reinforced nylon shell and a s-alloy rail
- Closed loop S-Alloy rail system adds strength and distributes weight evenly
- Wingflex side edges flex and adapt to a riders inner leg movement
- Type 2 foam brings progressive cushioning with a lower compression modulus
- All-terrain series designed to take you beyond your boundaries
- Length: 270mm
- Weight: 271 g (150mm, stated)
- Widths: 150mm (tested) or 160mm
- MSRP: $109
An instantly nice perch
Finding the right saddle can sometimes be a lifelong pursuit. But, many of the latest saddles are much more comfortable and accommodating for long or rough gravel rides. It’s for that purpose that Fizik launched the Argo series with the X5 coming in as the entry-level model in the line and the X3 as the mid-level offering. The only difference is in the rail, with the X5 featuring an S-Alloy system. At only 20 grams lighter, you’ll have to decide if the X3 is your choice, because everything else is identical.
As usual for me, I got the Terra Argo X5 set up at -1 degree nose-down. The easiest method is to use your iPhone as a level and off you go. A traditional level is also just as easy. Once situated, I headed out on the Ventum GS1 without too much concern. It didn’t take long on that first ride to recognize that the Fizik Terra Argo X5 was going to be a winner. Over the past few years, I’ve gravitated towards similar saddles to the X5, with the Ergon SR Comp, PRO Stealth Offroad and Bontrager Verse Elite as my current favorites. So, it’s not surprising that after 200+ miles, I’m liking the X5.
I’d call the shape very agreeable with a nice saddle spot to settle into. The nose is a good width and comfortable enough to scoot onto on those steep climbs or when in time trail mode. Overall, though, the best way to enjoy the X5 is to find that sweet spot and pedal on. I can easily stand and plop right in place, every time. And, even on the longest seated efforts, it never results in discomfort or numbness. As far as length goes, this one is pretty much regular these days at 270mm. With that length, you do have some fore/aft wiggle room in the saddle, which is greater than today’s stubby options. I appreciate that extra little length for seating variety on longer rides.
I have found that if I do spend long periods in the drops, the nose of the X5 does get a little uncomfortable. This has been more evident aboard the BMC Roadmachine X 01 that has been in review. I didn’t notice much discomfort on the Ventum GS1, so if you do use this saddle on a true gravel bike, comfort should be improved.
While a small number of gravel bikes do have dropper posts, most do not. I have found that the Argo X5 can be difficult to slide off of when descending tricky terrain. It’s just not super easy to slide behind the saddle and back into the saddle without making a concerted effort to clear the wings.
At $109, the Fizik Argo X5 is a bargain. But, there are several competitive saddles in that price range as well. Overall weight is good, but not best-in-class. But, while it’s great to save a few grams here-and-there, a proper-fitting saddle beats out a lightweight saddle any day. I typically fit best on a 145-155mm saddle, so the 150mm X5 hits me with a perfect width.
On gravel rides from 15-30 miles, the Argo X5 has been fantastic. I did end up sticking with this saddle for SBT GRVL Blue Course and it was a great experience. My backside has appreciated this saddle and I’ve comfortably ridden it with a wide variety of bib shorts.
- Very affordable
- Instantly comfortable
- Comfortable for long, rough gravel rides
- Available in two widths
- Foam is firm for power transfer, but compliant enough for comfort
- Cutout relieves pressure
- Hard to get off the back of the saddle on sketchy descents
The Bottom Line: Fizik Terra Argo X5 Saddle
With gravel-focused saddles becoming the norm, the new Fizik Terra Argo X5 is a great early player in that space. Without question, I would hop on this saddle and pedal away for 100 miles or more. It has proven comfortable and easy to live with for a reasonable price.
Buy Now: Available from PerformanceBike.com