Fabric Scoop Flat Pro saddle - review - Road Cycling UK

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Saddles

Fabric Scoop Flat Pro saddle – review

Impressive comfort and variety from the people behind the original Charge Scoop saddle

Charge Bikes enjoyed great success among British cyclists with their saddles, notably the with the Spoon and Scoop, so much so that Fabric was launched as a standalone saddle brand last year.

The Scoop made the transition from Charge to Fabric (the Spoon is still only available as a Charge saddle, though), but it’s now available in three variations – flat, shallow and radius – to widen the appeal of the saddle, with each available in four models at various price points using different materials. Our Pro test saddle costs £109.99, while the top-of-the-range Ultimate will set you back £169.99, and the Race and Elite will cost you £59.99 and £39.99 respectively.

Fabric was launched as a standalone brand after the success of Charge Bikes’ saddles

Now, everyone has their own preference when it comes to saddles, but the Scoop is a perch likely to appeal to a broad variety of riders and one I’ve found to be impressively comfortable, not just because the flat, relatively narrow shape of the Flat Pro works for me, but because it offers a generous amount of flex.

  • Specification

  • Price: £109.99
    Width: 142mm
    Colours: black/white; black/white
    Website: Fabric
    UK distributor: Cycling Sports Group

First, let’s quickly run through the full Fabric line-up, seeing as it’s a relatively new brand. Four saddles make up the range: the Line, Scoop and Cell, as well as the flagship ALM.

The width increases as you move between the Line Scoop and Cell, from 134mm, to 142mm, to 155m, and the shape and construction techniques change, too.

If you need help deciding which of the three saddle widths is right for you then Fabric have a handy online tool which recommends either the Line, Scoop or Cell based on height and wrist circumference (used to determine your somatotype, or underlying bone structure).

Fabric say the Line – which is due for release this spring – is designed for long days in the saddle and it has a central relief channel as a result, while the Cell is said to be the first saddle to use the same air-sprung technology as found in lightweight running shoes. Essentially it’s a saddle with all-out comfort placed at the top of the design agenda.

The ALM, if you were wondering, is Fabric’s all-singing saddle. They’ve collaborated with engineers from Airbus and utilised Additive Layer Manufacturing technology to create a saddle where the base and rails are made from one-piece, with the rails effectively acting as a leaf-spring. It’s a superb piece of saddle innovation, but it’ll cost you (£225 for the ‘standard’ version or £249.99 with a buffalo leather cover).

The £109.99 Fabric Scoop Flat Pro has a nylon base and carbon fibre rails

So what of the Scoop? The saddle is essentially made from three parts, in a three-step manufacturing process. First there’s the waterproof microfibre and – here’s the clever bit – that’s moulded to the base, doing away with any of the staples or stitching that you see on most other saddles.

It’s a design which Fabric say allows the base to offer more flexibility. That base is made from nylon on the Elite, Race and Pro saddles, while the top-of-the-range Ultimate gets a carbon fibre upgrade. The rails on our Pro test saddle and the Ultimate are made from carbon fibre, while the Race gets titanium-alloy rails and the Elite’s rails are made from chromoly steel.

The Fabric Scoop is available in three shapes: Flat. Shallow and Radius. This is the Flat version.

The Scoop Flat Pro is, unsurprisingly, very flat. There’s a little curvature at the back of the saddle and the nose drops a little but, in essence, this is a saddle designed for riders who like to adopt a fairly aggressive position on the bike.

At the other end of the scale, the Radius shape is aimed at riders who have a more upright position, while the Shallow is sandwiched between the two. I typically like flat saddles (the Fizik Antares is another of my favourites) and this shape suits me well, but the beauty of the Fabric line-up is that there’s a wide range, both in shape and price.

The saddle also offers plenty of comfort thanks to the flexibility served up by the nylon base. If you’re looking to improve the comfort of your bike then the Scoop would be a smart choice as the base and construction techniques really help in that regard, while the carbon rails also add a little flex.

The amount of flexibility in the base might not appeal to anyone, but never has it felt unsettlingly nervy during this test. There isn’t a great deal of padding on top of the saddle but that’s no bad thing.

As for weight, the Scoop Flat Pro comes in at 176g, so it’s impressively light. Obviously, as you move down the range, the weight increases as the price drops (to 238g on the Race and 244g on the Elite), and vice versa with the Ultimate (162g).

The Fabric Scoop Flat Pro saddle is, in our opinion at least, an exceptionally comfortable saddle

All that’s left to mention, then, is that the Scoop looks great on the bike. The saddle has a really classy, understated look, particularly in the all black of our test model, but it’s also available with a white base. The simple construction as means it’s easier than most saddles to clean.

Conclusion

The Fabric Scoop Flat Pro is an exceptionally comfortable saddle, for this behind at least, and one which comes in three shapes, and at a number of price points, to suit a wide variety of riders.

Pros

– Impressive comfort
– Wide range of models
– Innovative, clean construction

Cons

– Flex of base may not suit some riders

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