The last time we saw Fabric, the company was getting to release its first batch of saddles, including the Scoop, the Cell, the Line and the Alm. A year later, Fabric has been developing and refining a few of their models with input from one of their sponsored teams, Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com, but the company explained that one of their bigger goals for the year was to bring components and items that transcended the saddle.
Changes to the Fabric Scoop, Line and Cell Saddles
Starting with saddles, the company's Alm will still retain the full custom UD carbon fiber base, although Fabric has extended the range of some of its other saddles. Much like companies like Fizik, who constantly introduces components for three separate riding styles, Fabric has defined one of their more versatile saddles, the Scoop, into three separate models: the Flat, the Swallow and the Radius.
Not only is the thickness different for each rendition of the Scoop, but the saddle widths are also different, and are based by Somatotypes based on bone structure that is not affected by diet, fitness or training. The Flat, Swallow and Radius models are 134mm, 142mm, and 155mm wide, respectively.
To add to the array of options offered by the Scoop, Fabric offers four separate price points for each of the three models, which are based on the materials used for construction. The Scoop Ultimate has a carbon fiber base and rails, weighing anywhere between 162g-182g depending on the width selected, and all are priced at $299.99. The Scoop Pro replaces the Ultimate's carbon base with a nylon-fiber matrix, adding around 14g to the weight but bringing the price down to $199.99. The Scoop race has a full nylon base and titanium rails, adding over 50g of weight from the second-tier Pro, and further taking the price to $109.99. At last, they have the Scoop Elite, with a nylon base and Cro-mo rails, weighing in at 244g-266g and having a MSRP of $89.99.
Calculating the combinations? So far with the three widths and four tiers for the Scoop, we're up to 12 different models. Add in the color combinations that fabric adds, and riders get 33 total different saddles to choose from.
For customers who are overwhelmed by too many choices, Fabric offers the Line, which only comes in the two lower tiers of Race and Elite, and the Cell, which only comes in the Radius Elite combination. Both saddles went through a slight redesign.
The Line saddle still has a 10mm deep channel in the back, but for this year, they have included a full length foam pad as the nose of the saddle now lacks that same channel. The goal appears to be to offer support near the front of the saddle, while still being able to relieve pressure on the pudendal artery, (a typical cause of numbness and discomfort with some riders). The Race model weighs 237g and retails for $109.99, while the Elite model weighs 250g and retails for $89.99.
The last time we saw the Cell, it looked almost like a gel saddle (although it was rather a honeycomb design of air pockets). For the revised model, Fabric created a three-part saddle (shown in the photo above). This allowed for a level of compression even more akin to a running shoe than before. The new Cell design does not yet have a claimed weight, but will retail for $99.99.
Fabric Moving Beyond the Saddle: Hydration and Tools
As stated at the onset, Fabric is looking to be more than just a saddle company. One of their newest offerings that will be availble late in 2015 is their Cageless Water Bottle. Rather than focusing on a cage to surround and firmly hold a bottle, Fabric devised a system whereby the retention is focused on the water bottle itself.
Using two 1.5g studs that can be installed on a bike's down tube or seat tube bosses, the bottle's ridges snap in with ease. We have already tested the design with positive results, not only did the studs retain the bottle much better than most cages, but the design also made it easier to pull the bottle out from the frame.
Two immediate benefits are both weight savings over cages, and being able to get a bottle out of a small frame. We thought that the system was also ideal for cyclocrossers who don't want to mount a cage while training during the week only to take it off come race day. Although there is an offset chance that the studs could snag on a jersey, we've successfully shouldered our bike without any problems, which is far more than we can say for shouldering with a water bottle cage on the downtube.
Cageless Water Bottle will retail for $20 with a bottle carrying 24oz of fluid.
Last on our list of unique goodies we saw at Fabric at Press Camp was their Chamber Multi-tool (named after the chamber of a revolver. The system disregards the folding design for a tool that offers better leverage. The Chamber casing twists off to reveal 13 different tools, including a range of 2-8mm Allen keys, two flat head and Phillips head screwdrivers, a T10 and a T25.
Each head comes out of its place to be put in the head at the top of the casing. Two seperate models of the Chamber are availble, with Ratchet head for $60, and a Fixed head for $50.
Use the slider below for more pictures and details. More info: fabric.cc