Fizik Gobi M3 Braided Saddle

While the Gobi M1 goes heavy on the carbon to go light on the scales, the Fizik Gobi M3 saddle offers the same superb comfort for mountain bikers, only with some less expensive materials to make the saddle friendlier to more wallets.

We've always considered the Gobi to be a mountain-bike-friendly cross between Fizik's Arione and Aliante saddles. 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 fiberglass to save a bit of weight and offer engineers greater control over the shell's flex.

The rails of this M3 were constructed from braided carbon fiber and then wrapped with another layer of carbon fiber cloth for even greater durability, as well as to produce 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 — which also means that they're compatible with virtually any vertically-clamping seatpost interface. The carbon rails net you approximately 80 grams of saved weight over the Kium alloy-railed version of the M3. The Microtex covering provides 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.