Charge Scoop saddle - review

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Charge Scoop saddle – review

The Charge Scoop saddle provides a good blend of comfort, low weight and durability at an affordable price point likely to appeal to riders seeking an upgraded perch for machines typically exposed to demanding conditions.

At £39.99 for the chromoly-rail version (£59.99 for Ti), and equipped with an easy-to-clean plastic base and waterproof microfibre cover, we’d recommend it as a reasonably priced upgrade for ‘cross bikes and work-a-day hacks, the latter typically encumbered with weighty and uninspiring perches.

The curved base of the aptly-named Scoop saddle provided an effective base to push against

While comfort is highly subjective, especially with saddles, we got on well with the rounded profile of the aptly-named Scoop. It has a more traditional curved architecture than some of the more recent perches to grace these pages (the Selle San Marco Concor, for example).

The Scoop’s profile is similar to my personal favourite, the Fizik Aliante, and provided the sensation of sitting “in” rather than “on” the saddle.  This will perhaps afford riders who prefer to push rather than spin a base to work against. Lightweight climbing types, however, might prefer a flatter saddle such (the PRO Falcon and Fizik’s Aliante to name but two), whose flatter shape is perhaps suited to those who adopt a position on the nose of the saddle.

The Scoop’s clean look starts with the shiny plastic base, one pleasingly at odds with the “out of sight, out of mind” approach of the many manufacturers who leave glue and staples on show

Try before you buy is our standard recommendation and there are few  components more subject to personal preference than a saddle. Many independent bike dealers have teamed up with brands such as Fizik to offer a saddle library. This system allows you (typically in exchange for a small deposit) to try a variety of saddles from a manufacturer’s range without the financial (and physical) pain of an uninformed choice. It’s a scheme we’d like to see offered by more companies.

The Scoop’s sealed plastic base was easy to clean, making it a suitable addition to ‘cross bikes or winter hacks

The Scoop’s clean look starts with the shiny plastic base, one pleasingly at odds with the “out of sight, out of mind” approach of the many manufacturers who leave glue and staples on show. The advantage isn’t only aesthetic. The Scoop’s base proved easy to wipe down with a sponge or damp cloth, a definite bonus for riders seeking a saddle for a machine likely to be exposed to more demanding conditions  – the aforementioned cyclo-cross bike, or winter hack – than your ‘best’ bike.

The ‘cross leanings are extended by the waterproof, microfibre cover, one that offered an exceptional level of grip. This might not suit everyone, however. We considered it a bonus, adding further stability to a profile which, as we’ve already mentioned, provides a base to push against.

The weight saving offered by upgrading to Charge’s titanium-railed Scoop is a mere 12 grams, but Ti is typically a more flexible and forgiving material than steel, and so one that should offer more comfort

Riders who like to shift easily in the saddle, however, and to make regular adjustments to their position, will need to unweight slightly before doing so, and for ‘cross, you’d need to ensure dismounts were well planned.

File this last observation under “slight concern”, rather than “damning indictment”, one that pertains (as usual with saddles) to personal preference . Overall, the Scoop is a reasonably flexible saddle and provided no issues for your 90 kilo correspondent.

Our chromoly-railed test sample tipped the scale at 257 grams – just 12 grams more than Charge’s claimed weight for the Ti-railed sister model

The weight saving offered by upgrading to Charge’s Ti-railed Scoop is a mere 12 grams (257 grams for our chromoly-railed sample). Ti is typically a more flexible and forgiving material than steel, and so one  that should offer more comfort. This could be another area worth investigating in a pre-purchase test.

We tested the Scoop over a range of distances and found it to be perfectly comfortable over each and would certainly recommend it as an upgrade over the standard fare specified on entry level road bikes, and usually my first point of call for an upgrade.

Lighter saddles, those which when compared to the Scoop appear to have been on a diet, tend to be more expensive. The previously tested Fizik Aliante 00, for example, would shed over 120 grams from a Scoop-equipped steed without sacrificing comfort, but will lighten your wallet considerably. At this price point, however, we think that the Scoop offers great value and could become a winter/cross bike favourite.

The  Scoop saddle is available in eight colours. For the bike snobs among us still unable to find a match, Charge offers a full custom colour programme to match the offering on their all-conquering Spoon.

Discuss in the forum

Price£39.99 – chromoly rail; £59.99 – Titanium rail
Colours:
Black, Black/Green, Black/Red, Black/White, Brown/Blue, Red/Black, White/Black, White, and custom
Website
: Charge
UK distributor: Cycling Sports Group

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