The Fabric Scoop is tough, affordable and a near perfect product
Fabric’s sleek, beautifully packaged Scoop is something of a benchmark perch among the best mountain bike saddles. King of the hill for the last few years, the Fabric Scoop is incredibly sleek, comfortable and, with steel rails, is amazing value for money. The minimal finish is the result of a three-part bonding process that joins the waterproof cover to a coloured nylon base. There are no staples or glued seams underneath — it’s just clean and dead easy to keep that way.
For £40, the Elite gets hollow cro-mo rails and is available in three different profiles. Our test saddle is the curvier Radius, which is a more trail-riding-friendly shape, with plusher padding and scooped out geometry. For downhillers and enduro racers there’s a totally flat design that is easy to move around on, and in between is a saddle shaped for XC racing/fast trail riding. It has a bit more of a rounded profile and is a little narrower at the back end.
Due to the nylon base having a shock-absorbing property, all three shapes share an extremely cushioned feel. When you’re banging into stuff it flexes nicely, which is dead handy if you’re looking to add some resilience to a hardtail or short-travel full-susser. However, the padding, flexy shell and concave shape can feel a bit soft and overall the Scoop isn’t the most supportive. There are also better saddles in wet weather and this is simply due to the Scoop having an incredibly slick synthetic cover. The Scoop is a tall saddle, so you may struggle getting it to work with a 150-170mm dropper, but it’s great value, with a top-end build quality.
Being so outwardly smooth, with no Kevlar panels or exposed stitching, we found muddy shorts can slip around a bit. The overall height from rails to the crown is taller than some, which is important if getting your saddle as low as possible is a priority. These observations aside, the Scoop is tough, affordable and a near perfect product.