Rapha Rides – ManchesterAugust 28, 2017
Rapha is visiting 20 cities around the world to celebrate the communities that make this beautiful sport so different, this month it’s Manchester.
Even during long training days, long 300KM days in the saddle, no issues were experienced at all. It was only the continuous day after day efforts that I realised that my saddle choice was wrong.
When I came back from the TCR I was on a mission to find a saddle which would have the same lightweight race attributes as my Fizik Arione VS but with a wider profile to compliment those longer rides.
Ben Thomson lent me the alloy version to try prior to the TCR but I was nervous about changing saddle so close to the race so gave it a miss. When I arrived home I decided to invest and give it a go, if anything the wider profile was desirable compared to the Fizik.
Fabirc Scoop Saddle with carbon rails
First impressons: The first thing that caught my attention was the lack of packaging.
On removing the saddle from the packaging it feels robust, well made and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. There’s been a serious amount of design consideration gone into it. The saddle feels very light (198g), I choose the carbon rail version for weight as much as aesthetics – can’t put alloy rails on a Enve seat post!
Installation & positioning: This wasn’t as easy as first thought due to the shape the saddle. Having only really ridden a Fizik arione saddle, which is totally flat, fitting the Fabric Scoop in the right position took a couple of attempts.
The Fabric Scoop is modest in it’s appearance, psychologically folk will press down on a saddle to feel how soft it is. The impression being the feeling of pressing with your fingers will be similar to the feeling on bum – wrong.
Back in the day (a couple of years when fabric wasn’t born) the Charge Scoop was always talked about as a ‘total all round saddle that was super comfy yet affordable saddle’. I had friends ride the scoop on MTB, Fixed, Road etc and everyone raved about it. Given I felt I already had my ‘chosen saddle’ I didn’t want to rock the boat and try anything else.
The first ride: As mentioned earlier, it took me a few attempts to get the positioning right, but after that I knew it was a keeper. The larger rear section of the saddle means your arse (putting it bluntly) sits on a larger surface area (duh) thus making it more comfier, with the slight dip it also allows you to naturally position yourself in the best place possible for your rear.
The difference between a race saddle like the Fizik Arione VS is this saddle for me personally is the time in which it takes to be come acquainted with. Once setup right, it feels like a totally natural position which compliments your posture whilst on the bike.
Recomendations: Absolutely! Racing or touring, this saddle is totally versatile. It comes in a selection of different variations with alternative materials which can effect the standard price. You have the choice of three riding positions; race, in-between and leisurely. I choose the in between model as I knew I’d be using this for long distance rides as well as 130KM club rides. As well as ride position, there’s also the option of alternative rails and base saddle layer.
The saddles differ in price starting from £39.99 (Alloy/Nylon) to £169.99 (Carbon/Carbon). I choose the Nylon/Carbon coming in at £109.99.
“Over £100 quid for saddle!? Really?!”
Totally, it’s money well spent. Bib shorts and saddles aren’t cheap but you’re investing in comfort which doesn’t have a price tag. You don’t have go in guns blazing and get the same model as mine, there’s 68g’s between the Carbon/Nylon version and the Alloy/Nylon version. For the standard Alloy/Nylon version it’s just under £40! You can’t go wrong for that price in my opinion! Given how many people went on about this saddle in the past there’s no surprise I was blown away by it’s comfort! I simply chose the carbon rails to go with my carbon seat post (sad I know…).
Next question: “You were paid for this post right?” NAH. I paid £109.99 for this saddle, not a penny less. Infact, I actually bought an Alloy/Nylon version too after accidentally selling the one that Ben lent me before the race on another bike!
It’s a worth while investment and a saddle that’s carried much more reputation and recommendation then any other saddle I’ve known of.
You can purchase a Fabric Saddle from many local bike shops or online retailers – for more information, check out Fabric.