At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.
Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
The Fabric Scoop Race Shallow is a well-made, supremely comfortable saddle, with a non-slip surface and shock-absorbing titanium rails, and comes at an excellent price.
The Scoop has been around a fair few years now and has a well-deserved reputation for being a very comfortable saddle for smashing out the miles. This titanium-railed version continues the theme, impressing with its levels of comfort, build quality and value.
Undoing the cable ties from the sheet of cardboard it comes attached to – kudos to Fabric for not wasting resources on packaging – this version has a rather nice looking 'Fabric' logo running the length of the saddle. This isn't just for show, though, as it forms the grippy surface texture of the saddle.
The cover is moulded on top of a harder but flexible base that has just the right amount of give. The cover is bonded in a manner that curves over the top of the harder base, so that at no point do your legs come into contact with it and risk chafing.
Mounting the titanium rails onto my seatpost was no issue, and with 75mm of fore and aft travel marked on the rails, I was able to quickly find my ideal position.
From the first 50 metres riding on the Scoop, I was very taken with it. It felt just right, and this feeling continued for the next month or so and 650 miles of testing.
I found the titanium rails gave a slightly sprung effect, so that any potholes or rough surfaces felt slightly damped. At no point during testing did I feel that it had been a harsh ride.
I also really like the non-slip surface formed by the Fabric logo. When you pick a position, you stay stuck to it – to move backwards and forwards you have to rise up and move, rather than slide. I tested it on some of the really steep climbs around Bath – some over 30% – and found it really good for seated climbing. On descents, or fast cornering too – as long as a small patch of your posterior is on the saddle – you stay in position.
The Shallow in the name denotes the type of riding this version of the Scoop is intended for. In this case it's sportive or endurance type-riding, where most of your time is spent on the hoods, with the odd blast on the drops. As a rider who spends probably 90-95 per cent of my time on the hoods, I found this to be a pretty spot-on description. However, I did try a one-hour flat-out training session entirely on the drops, and it didn't restrict my ability to do that at all. It was still really comfy.
Fabric does a complete range of Scoop saddles at other price points and widths, to suit different riding styles, including designs for racier or more relaxed riding positions.
I think the thing that impressed me most was that, during the whole time testing it, I didn't really have to think about it much at all – surely the sign of an excellent saddle, one that doesn't give any niggles, or uncomfortable numb feeling during the ride whatsoever.
Maintenance is also super-easy: it's just an easy wipe down to get rid of dirt or mud to get it looking like new again. The base is simple and easy to clean, unlike some saddles that have more complex undercarriages.
It was also easy to mount an Ass Saver or saddle bag to the rails.
Looking at the Scoop's competition, Shaun found the PRO Turnix suitable for long, steady miles, but it is £30 more and has steel rails as opposed to titanium. The PRO is also slightly heavier.
Stu found the Ergon SR Comp saddle had good pressure-reducing features, with rail flex that aided to the comfort, but the finish underneath was not as tidy as the Fabric's, and it's also £20 more.
This makes the Fabric Scoop Race Shallow seem a real bargain in the marketplace, and a quick scan online shows it can be found for just over £60, which is an absolute steal for a titanium-railed saddle offering this level of comfort and quality finish. It is also designed at Fabric's headquarters in Frome, in Somerset, if supporting a UK business is important to you.
Offering a very high level of comfort, with a classy finish and non-slip surface, the titanium-railed Scoop is a bargain
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Fabric Scoop Race Shallow Saddle
Size tested: 142mm
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."
I found that to be the case, but would add that it is also great value and UK designed. I really enjoyed using the Fabric Scoop Race.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Rails: Titanium (7mm)
Base: Flexible nylon
Mid rail to saddle topper 49mm
The construction is simple, but it's well made and showing no signs of wear after 650 miles of testing. The simple undercarriage of the Fabric Scoop means it's really easy to clean underneath, unlike some, and I was able to get it to come up like new each time.
Very high level of comfort, I enjoyed using it from the start. The non-slip surface is handy for steep climbs and hard cornering.
No wear during testing. It seems like it will last really well.
For a £70 saddle, 261g is very good, and beats most of the competition.
For me it was flawless on comfort. I never really thought about it during riding, which for me is the perfect sign of a comfortable saddle.
An RRP of £69.99 is great for a titanium-railed saddle that weighs 261g.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Fabric says the Shallow version of the Scoop is for endurance, sportive or gran fondo style riding – those type of rides where you spend hours riding on the hoods. I found it perfect for this, but it was also comfortable riding in the drops.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The comfort, the sprung suspension from the titanium rails, easy to clean, UK designed, and a bargain to boot.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's £20 cheaper than the Ergon SR Comp, and £30 less than the PRO Turnix, both of which are slightly heavier. This weight and titanium rails are hard to find at this price.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely
Use this box to explain your overall score
Offering a such high level of comfort, with a classy finish and non-slip surface, for £70, the titanium-railed Scoop is a bargain. For long rides on a variety of surfaces it was superb, hence scoring a 9 out of 10.
About the tester
I usually ride: GT Grade My best bike is: Boardman ASR 8.9
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,