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Product Review: Fi'zi:k Gobi XM

Posted by: Jens Raz |August 16, 2011 1:50 AM
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Fi'zi:k Gobi XM K:ium

Saddles can best be described like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get!  Yet, the saddle is one of the most important (and personal) parts on your bike.  It is either loved or loathed.  And, being a long-time mountain biker, I am full of little idiosyncrasies when it comes to "my" perfect seat. 

Fi'zi:k has a long history of making saddles to fit our varied preferences with comfort and performance in mind.  Not sure which saddle will fit your rump?  Fi'zi:k's website provides a great overview of the perfect cushion for one's unique rear end in the "Spine Concept" section.  After some research, I concluded that I am a chameleon for which Fi'zi:k suggests a "Gobi" is the best fit.

While the Gobi XM is a pretty light-weight unit at only 229gr, it offers a host of benefits that are tailor-made for endurance mountain bikers:

 - A narrow nose. Great for individuals with narrow hips and bigger thighs. It greatly reduces the chafing and rubbing on the inside of the thighs with the saddle.

 - A padded nose. Great for resting one's soft tissue while grinding steep ascents in a granny gear.

 - A padded rear section. Offers a little cushion for longer rides.

 - No stitches on top of the saddle and on the nose. Leaving a smooth surface allows for easier fore and aft movement when climbing with less friction and pinching.

 - Numerically marked side rails. Not an earthshaking development, but it makes it easier to fit, re-fit, or fine-tune the saddle position.

The quality of fit and finish were also notable.  And perhaps most importantly, the saddle was extremely supportive.  I'd go so far as to say that it fit my bum perfectly.

The saddle comes in both white and black.  I picked white and it looks great and stands out on my otherwise black bike.  Of course, longevity is a concern, especially with a white saddle.  Only time will tell how the shell and white cover will fare after a couple of months of abuse. So far I have been able to clean up little smirches easily with just a wet rag. 

I will keep you posted over the next couple of months.

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I fit the chameleon description as well, but I thought the Gobi XM (which is the stock saddle on my Giant Trance) felt more like the Arione road saddle (snake fit). I swapped it for an Antares (chameleon road saddle, same as I have on my road bike), and I haven't looked back. I agree with your assessment that Fizik probably has something that will fit no matter who you are. Good stuff.
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