Ben Smith reviews Fabrics 'air-sprung' saddle
While the brightly coloured Hex-air upper of the Fabric Cell is distinctive, it serves to highlight this saddle’s most unusual element. Rather than foam padding, Fabric has utilised hexagonally-shaped air pockets, designed to spread support across the whole of the saddle. Each cell can compress individually — a strange sensation when you press down with your thumb, as it sort of pops and you can feel the base of the saddle.
The base itself is made of flexible nylon and is supported by cro-mo rails. The saddle has a very supportive shape, the slightly dropped nose doesn’t snag on your shorts and the wide rear is designed to offer maximum support.
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On the bike, I found it surprisingly comfortable. I was expecting to feel the poppy sensation that I’d felt with my thumbs, but in reality the broader pressure points of my bum cheeks caused a much more even compression.
Only on longer rides (four hours plus with lots of in-the-saddle climbing) did I get a bit of a sore behind. The biggest criticism I can level at the Cell, is that the wide shell makes it slightly harder to slide back behind the bike on steep and technical trails.
At 355g it’s no lightweight, and it’s a bit quirky. But it certainly looks modern and there are no shortage of colours to match/clash with your bike. More importantly, comfort is good and it’s reasonably priced.
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