Charge's new Scoop saddle has a lot to live up to, following Charge's Spoon seat which is a huge favourite across all genres of cycling. The Scoop is quite a different beast but still manages to be comfortable, light and pretty cheap.
Charge have used a one-piece nylon base for the Scoop, with everything other than the rails moulded in one go. On top of that sits a fairly generous section of padding, covered by a waterproof microfibre cover. There's no stitching on the top or staples holding the cover on to the base; the whole thing looks very sleek.
Shape-wise, the Scoop has a slightly raised rear section and the nose, which is fairly thin, is dropped a bit at the front too. This makes the saddle look like it's pointing down a touch, even when you've had your spirit level on the middle section to make sure it's level.
I like my saddle to actually point down a touch, so I was caught out by this when I first fitted the Scoop, and found I wasn't sitting on it quite as I like. That was soon fixed, and from then on I found the Scoop to be a very likeable saddle.
So what's it like to sit on? Well, in a death-or-glory moment I fitted the Scoop to my Audax bike immediately before the 400km Brevet Cymru. If it wasn't comfy, I'd soon know.
It is comfy. Phew. The padding is firmer than the Spoon it replaced, but there's plenty of it and it's not harsh. The base is designed to allow the whole saddle to flex for extra suspension and that seems to work pretty well.
With the softer Spoon I'd often ride to work and back in normal shorts, but the Scoop works better with Lycra and a decent pad. It's a firmer ride, but not uncomfortable; one for your road bike more than your commuter.
I didn't get on quite as well with the shape of the more contoured Scoop as I do with the flatter Spoon, but everyone's rear is different and this one might suit you just right.
In terms of weight (249g) and price (£40, or £60 for Ti rails) it's a reasonably light saddle for the money. It comes in eight colours which means matching to your bar tape should be a cinch, and the clean looks won't look out of place on your Sunday-best racer
Good value road saddle with good looks and a firm, but comfortable, ride.
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Make and model: Charge Scoop saddle
Size tested: Black, one size
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?
A highly-flexible, one-piece base with a super-light foam top, encased with a durable and waterproof microfibre cover.
Available with either lightweight Chromoly or super-lightweight titanium rails, in a wide selection of colours.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Colours: Black*, Black/White*, White*, White/Black*, Red/Black, Black/Red, Black/Green, Brown/Blue.
> WEIGHT: 245g (Ti alloy rail)
> RAIL: Chromoly or Titanium alloy*
> SIZE: W: 145mm L: 280mm
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good looking, light and comfy
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
shape wasn't quite right for me
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not as the shape didn't quite suit
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 40 Height: 190cm Weight: 102kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.