One of the Three Points of Contact

Fabric-Scoop-Ultimate-Flat-Saddle-BlackBlack-142mm-Comb-320x320Many cyclists spend a lot of time looking at various saddles. Will this one be more comfortable? Does lighter always mean less comfort? Hundreds of millions of dollars are made by companies who profit from promising you less pain and a more enjoyable ride . . . and many accomplish that, sort of. No, there is no ONE brand of saddle out there that fits everyone. Everyone is different in how they ride and their physical makeup.  Side note: it is also very important to remember that if you do not ride often you will never really feel comfortable in any saddle.

For years I stayed with the Selle Italia Flight saddle. It is a good saddle with a long tradition. However, not too long ago, the owner of Arnold’s Bike Shop asked me if I had ever tried Fabric saddles, an English-owned saddle company. I told him I would give it a shot and slapped one on. Cutting to the chase, it was immediately noticeable or rather NOT noticeable. I will explain. Here is the upshot of my best way to explain it: I forgot about it. I tested it the first time on a 65-mile group ride. It has been my experience that somewhere around 40 miles the shifting in the saddle begins . . . okay that is better . . . 20 more miles . . . shifting . . . and on and on. When I say that I forgot about this saddle, I mean that I actually forgot about it; which is the best compliment you can give a saddle.

Fabric saddles accomplished something unique that sets their design apart. Mostly, if not all the other brands of saddles, have a cover stretched over some kind of foam that is stapled or glued underneath. This causes instability, pressure points and the foam eventually gives out. With Fabric, a three-part construction method bonds a single piece of foam directly to the base. A much softer foam is used, because it is not under the tension created by the cover. Simple but ingenious. Now, every one of my bikes are equipped with Fabric saddles.

A person would think that Fabric, having discovered and reinvented the design of the bike saddle, would hang a huge price tag on the concept. Not so fast, my friend. I was shocked by the price, if not floored. A quick look at the prices specifically, the high-end carbon saddle is only $180! From there, the titanium saddles are in the $105 area, and they go on from there to $47 for the “sport” model. Fabric’s website has a vast array of designs to fit most any riding style . . . not butt. Also, any authorized Fabric dealer has a nice “test saddle” section. You can try a one out for a bit, switch to another or make a purchase. Give one a go. Your butt will thank you. 

Bon Vélo!

pictures from

7 thoughts on “One of the Three Points of Contact

  1. Thank you unbelievable given I live in UK and I was not aware of this company. Got Brooks on several of my bikes but even they can take time to feel comfortable. The crux of getting the right saddle can be the measurement between your seat bones. A few videos on YouTube telling you how to do this if your interested.

  2. Maybe I’m a freak of nature, but apart from once getting sore riding a ladies’ saddle for 110s of kms (the only one the rental shop had), I’ve never had an uncomfortable saddle across many many second hand bikes. They’re all good! Or maybe I’ve just been lucky.

    Either way, I’m quite glad of this fact 😂

    1. Alex sounds like you’ve just been lucky to me.
      The number of saddles in my box is unbelievable. To be fair they are cheap ones though. Apart from the Brooks I have a Fizik Arione which is comfortable too.
      I’ve only got to read that someone has found a particular saddle comfortable and I think about buying it.
      The last one I was recommended and I cannot remember its name was a strange looking item but the fella telling me about it said his wife thinks it’s the best she’s ever owned. So I looked it up and its price in dollars was equivalent to £200 so given I’ve built bikes for less I decided not to pursue buying it.
      Often wondered why no sells a saddle which could be moulded to suit your rear end. Mmm might be a market there !.

      1. I’m told leather saddles effectively do that, but as they’re expensive, and I’m apparently physically adaptable, I haven’t tried. Thinking about it, there’s only one saddle (a Selle Italia Tieffe) I switched off a bike, only because it was too “slippy”, not uncomfortable.

      2. I think the trouble with leather saddles Alex is that they need breaking in and you need to protect it if it rains.
        We recently went to Portugal for a week where i hired a bike and i was lucky because the Selle Italia suited me. So another one on my list now.

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