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Gravel Gear

Fabric Line-S Race Flat saddle review

This padded, snub-nosed saddle works particularly well for gravel riding and racing.

Review Rating


Pros

Wide-tail/snub-nose shape with full-length channel
Two width options
Soft but not spongy padding
Great price

Cons

The shape may not work well for everyone


Our Thoughts

I love the shape and long-term comfort and durability of the Specialized Power saddle. This Fabric model is similar — a little flatter, a little more padding — but costs significantly less. It's an excellent saddle for gravel.


Size Reviewed

142mm

Weight

230g

Price

$100

Brand

Fabric


Each saddle brand has its own story and fit classification, but the only thing that matters is whether or not the saddle shape works for you. As someone who owns five Specialized Power saddles (for use on personal and test bikes), I can tell you that the Fabric Line-S Race Flat shape works very well for me, especially for riding and racing gravel.

I mention the Power design because it’s well known, popular, and arguably to be credited for the recent bumper crop of snub-nosed saddles with wide tails and pressure-relief channels.

Fabric bonds the pad onto the base instead of wrapping it with a cover. The end result is clean visually, and the design allows for soft, uniform padding. Also, the cut-out channel works well when rotated forward. Photo: Ben Delaney

Fabric has three styles of saddles, based on torso position. The Radius is for the most upright, the Flat is for the most aggressive, and the Shallow is for positions in between. Within those three categories, Fabric has various saddles and price points.

The $100 Line-S Race Flat is the middle-price option for the Line-S shape. For $80 more you can get carbon rails and fewer grams; for $20 less you get chromoly rails and a few more grams. The flexible nylon-based and the bonded microfiber pad are the same.

For reference, the 143mm-width Specialized Power with titanium rails is 233g and $160. (The S-Works Power is $300 and the S-Works Power Mirror is $450.)

Typically, saddles are made by stretching a cover over the pad and then stapling that cover to the base. By bonding its pad to the base, Fabric claims it’s able to use a softer foam and achieve more uniform padding.

The saddle comes in two widths and three rail options. The carbon-rail model is lighter and costlier; the chromoly-rail is heavier and cheaper. Otherwise, they are the same. Photo: Ben Delaney

All I know, as I said above, is that the shape works for me and that I find that saddle to be very comfortable for just spinning along on the tops or hammering flat-out in the drops. Some saddles, particularly those without a cut-out, can be comfortable in one or the other position.

The Line-S Race Flat’s padding is softer than most ‘performance’ saddles, and I was initially worried that what felt nice 5 minutes in would cause issues 5 hours in, similar to how a super-padded chamois can feel nice initially but end up bunching and squirming. I rode the Belgian Waffle Ride Cedar City on this saddle and while my legs weren’t too happy after 144 mostly-gravel miles, my backside was just fine.

The saddle comes in 142mm or 155mm width options, and all three price/weight options.

If you’re into racing gravel or just like riding fast on roads that aren’t bowling-lane smooth, I heartily recommend this saddle.