Review: Fizik Thar 29er Mountain Bike Saddle

Fizik That 29er mountain bike saddle review and actual weight

The Fizik Thar was the first wheel-size-specific saddle we heard of, but it wasn’t the last.

The concept was born from Fizik’s research that showed 29er riders tend to sit further back than others, so they redesigned the shell and rails to let the whole thing be mounted a bit more forward. That sounds counterintuitive, right? But it works, and the nose is snubbed short to keep it from looking ridiculous. In fact, on the bike, it looks a bit shorter that most saddles. Thanks to the protruding tip at the rear, though, dimensions are pretty similar to other seats.

After more than half a year on the Niner RIP 9 and plenty of XC-ish saddle time and big mountain action, here’s where it sits…

Fizik That 29er mountain bike saddle review and actual weight

The details: The Thar has a carbon reinforced nylon shell with decent padding and a leather-like Microtex cover. The cover uses diagonally cut panels with the right rear getting a glossy section in either red or black. Rails are either K:ium (tested) or manganese (with white rear panel). Dimensions are 125mm x 265mm. Claimed weight for the K:ium model is 195g, but ours came in at 225g with the branded clip cover.

Fizik That 29er mountain bike saddle review and actual weight

The cover pops out to open up the rear to hold their proprietary seat bags. It also has a replaceable insert at the front to tune the ride feel.

Fizik That 29er mountain bike saddle review and actual weight

The top is perfectly flat, making it easy to scoot off the rear on aggressive descents. Despite my general preference for more rounded saddles like their Gobi or the PRO Turnix, I’m really digging the Thar for all-mountain type riding. The shape kept me sitting in a good pedaling position, which helped climbing on a bike like the RIP with a 150mm fork pushing the seat angle to a very slack lean.

Fizik That 29er mountain bike saddle review and actual weight

Fizik’s research may indicate 29er riders sit further back, but I prefer a more forward position. With 95mm of rail adjustment, the Thar accommodates both styles just fine.

Fizik That 29er mountain bike saddle review and actual weight

The Microtex cover is a good balance of smoothness and grip. As in, I could easily stay in position, but when it came time to move around for maneuvering the bike, it didn’t hinder the action. I couldn’t tell any difference in friction from left to right despite the varying slickness of the patches.

Fizik That 29er mountain bike saddle review and actual weight

The only complaint I have is the delicate nature of the material. That’s not to say it’s any more delicate than similarly smooth materials on other saddles, but a Kevlar band around the back would be welcomed.

Other than that, the Thar has held up well. There are no creaks or wobbles or other other signs of wear. In fact, other than the scratched tail, it looks remarkably like new. Definitely worth a look if you want a saddle that both puts you in a powerful pedaling position and provides ease of movement. Retail is $149 for the K:ium model and $99 for the Manganese one, street price is a hair lower.

Fizik.it

Comments

BrandonTheGinger - 07/29/14 - 11:34am

I’m holding out for the 27.5 saddles

Ck - 07/29/14 - 11:38am

125mm seems narrow for a saddle. Any comments on that? Right now I prefer riding road saddles on my MTBs as MTB saddles tend to have super wide noses, but the saddles I ride are in the 140mm-ish range for width. .

TT - 07/29/14 - 11:38am

I’m waiting for alu, carbon and alu/carbon road saddle because I tend to pedal a little bit different on each of my wheelsets.

Sorry, but 29ER MOUNTAIN BIKE SADDLE is bu***t.

-s - 07/29/14 - 12:04pm

I prefer a short nosed saddle on my 29′rs. Currently I have an Adamo Peak so the Thar makes sense to me.

Tad Dickman - 07/29/14 - 12:39pm

OK… I love my Fizik saddle… but this thing aesthetically looks like it has gorilla or electrical tape all over it! Especially the second to the last two pictures… it looks all taped up. Yuk on this one Fizik.

pile-on - 07/29/14 - 12:49pm

thar she blows

buriedundersnow - 07/29/14 - 12:49pm

They should love this saddle in the South…

Rider 1: “Say, is that thar saddle anee gud?”

Rider 2: “Yep, that thar saddle is pert ‘neer perfect, she’s a bute!”

brattercakes - 07/29/14 - 1:29pm

LOL @BrandonTheGinger

Ryan - 07/29/14 - 2:08pm

@ Tad

I totally agree. I love my Gobi, and I DO sit further back as their research showed, but it’s ugly and really does look like cheap, glossy, electrical tape. The Gobi stays.

Craig - 07/29/14 - 4:07pm

Can anyone tell me where i go to buy 29er specific grips?

Tim Birdwell - 07/29/14 - 4:08pm

How does a 700c rim size, by itself, make you ride further back on a saddle?

I always figured rider hip position on the saddle was dictated by the height of the saddle, the seat tube angle combined with the reach created by frame dimensions – stem selection – handlebar choice, the amount of setback a seatpost has, and where the rider puts his/her saddle in a fore/aft sense relative to the seatpost’s saddle clamp.

Apparently all that is wrong, since I’m not in the business of selling a 29-specific saddle. But wouldn’t it be better to say “saddle with longer rails” or “saddle with more platform at the back”?

Clearly I’m not in marketing.

maddogeco - 07/29/14 - 6:18pm

I just got my new 29er campy seat post to go with this saddle. Just got to wait 20 years for it to become vintage.

derderder - 07/29/14 - 7:17pm

Will it work on a fatbike?

muf - 07/29/14 - 9:25pm

Its been said 27.5ers seat in the middle of the saddle so we’ll make the bars shorter!

David - 07/29/14 - 9:29pm

If I use this saddle on my 26er, will it void the warranty?

Brantley - 07/29/14 - 10:58pm

What about a 29r specific nut pad for the top tube.. good for when you fall off those big clown-wheeled bikes! lol I smell a fresh dump truck load of hot steaming marketing manure here.

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