The Fabric Scoop Gel is described by the Somerset-based company as a 'comfort' design, and for me – saddle choice being such a personal decision – it ticks all the boxes: it's comfortable, well made, attractive and a fair price.
It's aimed at leisure, commuter and off-road riders who adopt an upright position, so has large gel inserts covering the three pressure points – the nose and wings – plus a V-shaped central channel to alleviate pressure on your bits. It's a unisex design, as are all Fabric saddles, but is particularly suited to women with wider sit bones.
I rode it both with and without padded shorts and found the design suited me really well, because it passed the test of a good saddle – namely, I wasn't aware of it. On rides of about 30 continuous miles it remained comfortable, and even the slightly dropped nose felt fine to perch on during short, steep climbs when I needed to get my weight forward.
The Scoop Gel comes in just one width (155mm) and one profile (Radius) and is slightly wider and slightly shorter than the standard Scoop. I usually ride narrower saddles but I had no issues with the extra width – for increased sit bone support – hindering my leg movement. Fabric's Radius profile is the deepest and plushest of its three standard profiles, for maximum comfort. The pleasant ride is enhanced by the (imperceptibly) flexible nylon base and curved profile.
It's a mid-weight saddle at 280g (my sample actually tipped the scales at 273g), although this felt pretty light against comparable saddles – my 130mm WTB Rocket V is 320g, for example. The Scoop Gel has hollow chromoly rails, with very subtle marks to indicate seat clamp fore and aft positions.
It looks a quality piece of kit. Despite the generous width, it's still sleek and attractive. The seat is made from a durable, waterproof microfibre, which makes it very practical – it doesn't absorb water and simply wipes clean. It doesn't scuff that easily either, though I took care when leaning it against walls as I didn't want to mark it unnecessarily. It is vacuum bonded to the base too, so no ugly staples.
For just less than 50 quid it's very good value for the quality and comfort it offers, and it comes in white as well as black with a choice of green, purple, black, turquoise or white base.
Super-comfy, well-made, sleek and good-value saddle for those with wider sit bones
road.cc test report
Make and model: Fabric Scoop Gel Saddle
Size tested: 155mm width
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 wonderfully simple and invitingly soft Scoop Gel has three large gel inserts that allow you to have it all: performance and comfort."
It's designed for people who ride in an upright, relaxed position. "The Radius profile places the accent on comfort for easy riders: urban, leisure and all-terrain cyclists who pedal in an upright position. A more rounded profile and increased padding supports a style that places more of the rider's weight directly on the saddle."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Large gel inserts
* Waterproof cover
* Flexible nylon base
* Profile: Radius
280g is mid-weight but it's not claiming to be a lightweight saddle.
I found it supremely comfy, with and without padded shorts.
Great value considering its performance and the quality of design and construction.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well indeed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort, appearance and quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
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
This deserves 9/10 thanks to its well-crafted, quality design and materials that make it a super-comfortable saddle at a very good price.
About the tester
I usually ride: Marin Point Reyes 29er My best bike is: Whyte T-130 RS
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, mountain biking, audax