Fabric is a spin-off brand from Charge Bikes, itself a part of the larger Cycling Sports Group which also operates Cannondale, GT, Schwinn and other brands. Charge had found huge success with its saddles, and when some sister brands like Cannondale began asking for a stock saddle for its bikes—the idea for a new parts and accessories brand was born.
The Fabric brand was formally introduced this week, with a line of three saddles, plus grips and handlebar tape. The line is not unique to Cycling Sports Group brands, however. In fact, you will see its products on a handful of brands’ bikes this fall and more in the future. They will be available through your local bike shop and online.
One of Fabric’s first products is this super-high-end carbon fiber saddle called the ALM. Thanks to its expertise with carbon fiber, the ALM was designed input from Airbus, the aerospace company, and is manufactured in a factory that specializes in sporting goods like hockey sticks and golf clubs, rather than a traditional saddle factory.
The ALM is created by joining two carbon leaf springs that also serve as the saddle rails with a slim shell and an ultra-minimalist layer of leather. We’re told is still comfortable because of how the carbon is tuned to deflect, but your mileage may vary. Look for in on some top-of-the-line Cannondale bikes this fall, and if you want to grab one for yourself, it will command a premium: $329.99.
The Scoop is the workhorse of the lineup, with models with nylon shells and chromoly rails starting at $69.99 and ranging to the full carbon fiber version at $279.99. What is unique about the Scoop is the simplified, three-piece construction method, which bonds the cover to the shell rather than gluing and stapling it on.
In addition to a number of different colors and price points, the Scoop is also available in three different shapes. There is flat shape for the most aggressive position, a shallow radius curved model for the middle ground, and a larger radius curved shell that suits a more upright position. It measures 142mm wide.
Fabric will also soon offer a custom program where customers can choose the combination of saddle rails, shell, radius and colors that they like, and the saddle will be assembled for them.
Look for the Scoop to become available in August.
The Line model is a narrow saddle with a pressure-relief groove in the upper, but not the one-piece shell. Fabric says this construction provides all the benefits of a cutaway, but without having to reinforce the shell to accommodate a hole, thus keeping the weight actually lower. The 134mm Line model is best for riders with an athletic, slim body and an aggressive position on the bike.
The Line will be available in September with pricing to be determined.
The 155mm Cell model is best for the most upright position or riders with wider sit bones. While many saddle makers have tried gel inserts, the Cell uses pressurized air cells in a flexible polyurethane material similar to what you would find cushioning many athletic shoes. In fact, the Cell is manufactured in a shoe factory rather than a traditional saddle factory.
The Cell will also be available in September with pricing to be determined.
There is also a selection of handlebar tape coming to match the saddles. It will feature a rubberized texture outer and a cushioning gel inner for comfort.
The grips are a super-light 135 grams with textured cutouts and a hidden lock-on bolt. Naturally they will be available in a number of colors to match your saddle.
We were introduced to Fabric at PressCamp, a media-only show where we meet one on one with brands to see their latest products. See all our coverage from PressCamp here, and stay tuned for lots more.