There are three touchpoints with a bike: your feet, your hands and your ass. The one that normally goes through the most pain and has the most potential for long-term physical damage is the latter. Needless to say saddle research and development has been given a lot more emphasis in the last decade and the number of options, theories and variety of saddles has increased tremendously. So from having a plank covered in leather to saddles that have cut-outs, grooves, wings, short-noses, long-noses, flat, curved, raised backs, composite, carbon, plastic, leather, non-slip, variety in sizes, widths and colours… phew! There are some serious decisions to make.
I can tell you that without a doubt the most important factor when choosing a saddle is ensuring you have the correct width. Have your sit bones measured at a good bike fitter and ensure that you have the correct saddle width – this is the basis for your perfect seat.
With this in mind you might think that Fabric are missing the boat here. The Fabric Scoop is just so simple. Traditional looking, elegant and nothing fancy. You start getting an inkling of “more than meets the eye” here when you have a choice of either flat, shallow or radius depending on your riding position. Don’t be fooled, these guys know what they are doing. I have been riding the Scoop Shallow Elite for some time now, I have done both Berg and Bush and W2W on it, as well as all my training and riding in between. I love it. The saddle is just so comfortable and not once can I remember having “numb-nuts” or chafing issues. The saddle is made with a nylon base that provides great flexibility and allows for their unique bonded upper to rely on the base flexibility and body contouring properties for comfort, without having to add padding. The vacuum bonded upper means there is no cover material tension necessary to keep the padding in place which allows for greater flexibility. The result is a really good looking saddle that is really comfortable. The raised tail piece is just enough for pushing into on the climbs and the Shallow profile is comfortable enough in the more upright position of mountain biking to be on the saddle for long periods of time. There is a short centre groove and this combined with the flex of the saddle assists with blood flow and so no numb bits. The saddle only comes in 142mm width so if you need anything wider this is not for you – which may not suit ladies who generally have wider sit bones. The saddle retails at R800 for the chromo steel rails/nylon base entry level version, which is what I have been using, and is also available with different rail choices.
If you are in the market for a saddle I would seriously advise you give the Fabric Scoop a go, it is without a doubt one of the best saddles I have ridden. It looks great and is really well priced.