The Fizik Gobi XM Braided Carbon Saddle is one of our favorite saddles -- it adapts technology from the Fizik Arione road saddle for use on a mountain bike. And we've always considered it to be a dirt friendly cross between the Arione and Aliante saddles with regards to shape. It features a somewhat flat profile with WingFlex technology like the Arione. The shell has tines, like a comb, which are suspended in place by an injected elastomer, creating controlled flex. Likewise, the TailFlex works the same way. These flex zones are designed to give more than solid plastic and as a pattern of use emerges, the sections soften to yield to your body. The rest of the nylon shell is reinforced with carbon fiber giving it enough extra strength and stiffness to shed any extra grams. The rails are made from braided carbon-fiber and then wrapped with another layer of carbon fiber cloth for even greater durability as well as producing a roughened surface for secure clamping. Another design feature for adding strength to the rails is the fact that they're oval -- 9mm tall by 7mm wide. People are going to ask if carbon-fiber rails are durable enough for off-road riding. Geoff Kabush, the estimable Canadian who's one of the best North American performers on the international circuit has been using braided carbon-fiber rails for years without a problem. The carbon rails net you approximately 30 grams of saved weight over the K:ium version.The Fizik Gobi XM Braided Carbon Saddle is designated as an XM, or cross-mountain saddle and is available in Black with glossy gold on the sides. It's longer than the Aliante and has a similar width to the Arione at 290mm long and 130mm wide. The Microtex covering offers just enough traction for your rear to be able to stay planted when you're digging hard on the pedals up rough climbs, but the slick finish on the thigh glides won't keep you from being able to shift yourself fore and aft on the saddle when you need to find the right weight balance. The Gobi XM Saddle possesses Fizik's Integrated Clip System (ICS), a means by which to attach a Fizik blinky light or saddle bag directly to the saddle without the need for straps.
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