review

Fabric Line Titanium Saddle

9
£69.99

VERDICT:

9
10
A classic in the making thanks to its shape and performance, now in wider and lighter options
Weight: 
237g
Contact: 

The Line has been part of Fabric's catalogue for just over a year, but since we reviewed the chromoly-railed model back in 2015, it has launched a wider version to mirror that of its very successful Scoop range. Initially, the Line came in one width – 134mm (tested here) – but it's now available in a 142mm width to match the Scoop. Both are 270mm in length.

There are also three versions of the Line: what was called the Elite, with chromoly rails, is £49.99; this 'Race' option has titanium rails, and there's a carbon-railed model for £109.99 (142mm only). The model names seem to have been dropped, at least from the website.

> Find your nearest dealer here

For the extra 20 quid, you don't save a whole lot of weight over the chromoly-railed model (which doesn't really matter as that's pretty svelte anyway), but you do get a little more in the way of comfort, because the titanium tubes tend to flex a bit. You can notice it when riding the two side by side.

As I've said, the Line is based on the Scoop, a saddle that has always impressed us here at road.cc, with one major change: the channel running down through the middle.

If you read my Fairlight Strael review you'd have seen that I mentioned the Scoop as being very comfortable, but with quite a firm ride it could be a touch harsh on those longer but more relaxed rides. The Line solves that issue for me by removing the material through the central section, reducing pressure.

As you can see, Fabric hasn't gone for a full cutout, like many others, which I'm glad about as I find it can tend to make a saddle quite flexible; instead, the Line has a recess, which keeps the strength there in the nylon base.

> Buyer's Guide: Performance saddles

The other thing I'm a fan of his how supple Fabric has managed to keep the top edges either side of where the channel begins. Often these can be made so firm to stop them collapsing that you end up putting more pressure on your body than you removed by having the channel or cutout in the first place.

It is still firm, though, so the Line is definitely suited for those hard efforts where you want to really push against the saddle to get the power down, plus its narrow nose is ideal if you have large thighs and like to ride with your knees as close to the top tube as possible for full aero gains.

In terms of price I'd say the chromoly-railed model is the better value when compared against other saddles we've tested over the years. For its performance, overall build quality and comfort, it competes very highly against many saddles double the price. If you really must have titanium though, your £69.99 is a sensible investment. You can even customise your saddle on Fabric's website, choosing from a range of colours.

Verdict

A classic in the making thanks to its shape and performance, now in wider and lighter options

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Fabric Line Titanium Saddle

Size tested: width 134mm, length 270mm

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."

I found the Fabric saddle a pleasure to sit on, especially as the top edges of the channel aren't overly hard.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Weight: 237g | Width: 134mm | Length: 270mm

* Titanium rail

* Flexible nylon base

* Micro-fibre bonded cover

* Profile: Shallow

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

It looks and feel to be very well made and finished, with no rough edges left anywhere.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

The Line Race is excellent all round, being supportive and a stiff platform to push against.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

It's been standing up to winter abuse well.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10

The weight is impressive for a saddle of this price.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
9/10

A very comfortable saddle for me, without being too soft or squidgy.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

I've used many much more expensive saddles that haven't been any better than the Line in terms of performance.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Great for those hard rides when you want a performance saddle.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

For me, the channel really works.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Not a lot really.

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

The Fabric Line is a top notch saddle for those who like a firm but comfortable ride from a narrow, race-orientated saddle. If you don't need titanium rails, go for the chromoly version; if you want lighter, go carbon...

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien

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: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!

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