The Line is Fabric's newest saddle, the first from the Somerset-based company with a pressure-relieving channel design, and it's every bit as comfortable as the Fabric Scoop, though not more so.
It costs from £39.99 and this chromoly rail Elite version weighs in at a respectable 247g.
It's based on the popular Scoop but the foam padding is partitioned down the middle. The unique construction method means Fabric has been able to retain a full base, so you're protected from road spray (many saddles have a hole) and no reinforcement is needed of the foam padding, which means it can be lighter.
Another significant difference to the Scoop is the width. The Scoop is 142mm wide at the base, the Line is narrower at 134mm. That's because the Line is aimed at racers and performance cyclists, who might reasonably be expected to favour a narrower saddle. Of course you don't have to be a racer or KOM chaser to prefer a narrower saddle, that's simply how Fabric is choosing to pitch it.
I've always got on well with the Scoop. It's one of the most comfortable saddles on the market, and is very reasonably priced. A lot of comfort for your pounds. Joyfully, the new Line is just as comfortable.
But is it more comfortable than the Scoop? For me, no it's not. I've never personally seen the need for recessed channels, though I know many cyclists do swear by them. I can't really say I noticed an improvement in comfort as a result of the channel. It's certainly no less comfortable than the Scoop, though, which is a good thing.
The padding is firm but provides enough cushioning: I found it more than adequate on a five-hour weekend ride. There's a bit of flex in the nylon base and the chromoly rails, which helps to dissipate some of the shocks caused when riding over rough surfaces.
The narrower width is a benefit for hard all-out efforts, whether racing, time trialling or just chasing a fast time. Saddle width is a matter of personal preference, and if you lean towards a narrower saddle then the Line is a good choice. It's not offered in any other width options, at least not at present.
It is available in two versions, though: the Elite (tested here) with chromoly rails for £39.99, or, if weight is a consideration, the Race with titanium rails. That one costs £54.99. Weight for the Elite model is a tidy 247g, which compares well with other lightweight performance saddles available. At £40, the Line Elite really is a bit of a bargain. It's available in a few different colours as well if the green isn't doing it for you.
Super-comfortable performance saddle with pressure-relieving channel
road.cc test report
Make and model: Fabric Line Elite
Size tested: 134mm, black/green
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Fabric says: "The Line uses a split, single piece, full-length pad with a central relief channel to decrease pressure on the pudendal artery. The Line is supremely comfortable for those longer days in the saddle.
"Extended pressure can lead to discomfort and numbness. The Line saddle amply supports the sit bones with lightweight foam padding and relieves pressure on the pudendal artery through the addition of a central relief channel. A rare combination of comfort and performance, however long your ride."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Unique cut out foam upper
Vacuum bonded construction
Easy clean design
Flexible nylon base
AVAILABLE IN TWO SPECIFICATIONS:
Rail / Base
Cromo / Nylon
Ti / Nylon
High quality construction with a smooth almost seamless appearance.
Comfortable, with enough cushioning in the foam padding and flex in the base and rails to take out the sting.
The microfibre upper is easy to clean and it's waterproof so retains its box fresh appearance even after racking up the miles.
Very light for the money; you can certainly pay a lot more for a saddle that isn't much lighter.
If you want a pressure-relieving channel and prefer a narrower saddle, the Line will suit you. For me it wasn't significantly more comfortable than the excellent Scoop.
A lot of comfort, and not much weight, for a decent price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Provides mile after mile of comfort.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not significantly more comfortable than the Scoop, but it does offer more choice if you're in the market for a new saddle.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
A lightweight and very comfortable saddle, which also looks really good, for not a lot of money. What's not to like?
About the tester
Age: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.