The Fabric Scoop has long been a favourite of many riders and this Sport model makes that level of performance and comfort available at a budget price. With three profile options, there is also plenty of scope for whatever type of riding you do.
- Pros: Excellent shape, bonded upper makes it look more expensive than it actually is
- Cons: Only available in black
The Scoop has been around for a number of years, having originally being known under the Charge brand (Fabric became an off-shoot of Charge bikes). I've ridden loads of them on various different test bikes over the years and owned a couple myself and the shape of each model has always sat well with me, excuse the pun.
First of all, you can get the Scoop in the three shapes. Flat is for the performance rider as it has the flattest rear section and lowest amount of padding, which suits an aggressive position with a high saddle-to-handlebar drop. A thinner nose allows for better leg movement.
The one we've got here is the Shallow – the middle of the road option, if you like. The rear is more rounded and has thicker padding, and is ideal for those who sit a little more upright, the type of position an endurance or gravel style bike is likely to put you in; not full-on racer but you'd still like to tuck into the drops every once in a while.
The third shape is the Radius, which is more rounded again and with thicker padding, ideal for a pretty upright seating position.
The Shallow is a good compromise for most riders. I tried it on a couple of bikes including my slammed race bike and my more upright winter trainer and I found it spot on. The padding is still pretty minimal which is ideal when you are riding at a decent pace and putting most of your weight through the pedals. The slightly dropped nose offers plenty of comfort too when you are crouched forward.
It has a width of 142mm and a length of 282mm, so there is a decent platform for your weight.
Fabric uses various materials throughout its Scoop range, especially when it comes to the rails. This entry-level Sport model comes with basic 7mm diameter steel rails, which add a bit of weight over the higher offerings that sport the likes of chromoly, titanium and carbon fibre. At 304g it's still not exactly a weighty seat and it does keep the cost down.
It's well made, too, especially when you consider it costs just £34.99. Rather than stretch the microfiber upper over the padding and glue or staple it to the underside of the shell (which Fabric says compresses the foam and therefore needs to be firmer) the microfiber layer is bonded to the top of the shell with the foam in the middle.
Whatever the performance gains, it certainly looks a much smarter way of doing things, and gives a neat and clean finish.
Fabric saddles have typically been offered in a range of colours, so you could change the upper or even the shell to match a saddle to any bike paintjob, but unfortunately you don't get that here as the Sport is only available in black.
Value-wise, the Scoop stands up well against the opposition when you take into account the build quality.
The Genetic STV 143 is a similar type of saddle coming in a range of three widths to suit different riding styles. I wasn't overly enamoured with its firm nose padding, plus it is more expensive at £49.99, although a tiny bit lighter.
Another saddle that comes in at a penny under 50 quid is the Selle Royal Lookin 3D Athletic. Mike reckoned it was ideal for a 45-degree rider angle, so sort of what we are looking at here with the Scoop. The Lookin is heavy, though, at 359g. Madison's Flux is another £34.99 saddle, and might be worth a look if the shape works for you.
On the whole, the Scoop is a great saddle for pretty much every discipline as long as the shape suits you, and with the three options available that should be most people.
With a fantastic shape and padding, the Sport is a great entry to Scoop ownership
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Fabric Scoop Sport saddle
Size tested: 142mm x 282mm
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, "Enjoy unparalleled comfort and performance in a saddle shaped for you. Coming in three profiles, depending on your style of riding, the groundbreaking design reinvents saddle making to create an incredibly responsive, comfortable, light and durable saddle."
That pretty much sums the Scoop up really: it's a great all-rounder.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Fabric lists these features:
Rails: Steel (7mm)
Base: Flexible PP
Mid rail to saddle topper 48mm Steel rails (7mm)
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's a well-made saddle with a great shape for all kinds of riding.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It's only available in black.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Genetic's STV 143 is more expensive at £49.99, as is the Selle Royal Lookin 3D Athletic at £49.99. The Madison Flux is the same price as the Scoop.
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 overall score
The Sport has the same great shape and padding levels of the rest of the Scoop range, with a little extra weight, but at a very good price.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 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
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.