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Fabric ALM Saddle Review

26th January 2017

FABRIC ALM ULTIMATE SADDLE

DISTRIBUTOR: WORRALLS

RRP: $449.90

 

Finding the right perch is a critical part of getting your touch points on the bike sorted. And Fabric have left no stone unturned in seeking to achieve the perfect solution; even enlisting the engineers from Airbus Group Innovation (the airplane company) to help them manufacture the ALM Ultimate Saddle.

 

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Access to Airbus opened up the possibilities for materials and technologies not often seen within cycling components and the end product is a one-piece monocoque saddle weighing a mere 140 grams. Figuring it would be the ideal test, I fitted the saddle to a custom steel bike I have recently commissioned to explore routes off the beaten path. With that use in mind the saddle needed to be comfortable, robust and able to absorb some of the impact from rougher roads. I’ve now had the saddle fitted for two months and have definitely ventured down some gnarly gravel tracks in that time. I must admit I found the first few rides a little uncomfortable as I got used to the saddle – a quite common occurrence as your sit bones usually take about two weeks to get used to a new seat.

 

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However, after that initial period it’s become more and more comfortable. Aiding the comfort was a flexible carbon base and carbon rails – these are laid in a unique way that allows the whole system to act as a leaf spring. This meant harsh bumps were dispersed and I felt a ‘floating’ sensation over the roughest of terrain. Yes, there are plenty of variables in seat comfort, such as bike fit, chamois and fitness, but overall I am impressed with the performance of this lightweight saddle. The saddle is particularly well made and it looks sleek. The carbon rails blend seamlessly into the base, there’s no ragged edging, no staples, and it’s kept very minimal. To be honest the lack of padding did have me worried, but it simply wasn’t an issue. The saddle sits at the top end of the pricing scale, but it certainly responds well to direct power and is packaged with an innovative design.

 

Orginally published in the NZ Road Cyclist Jan/Feb Issue. For more in-depth reviews and exclusive articles grab the latest copy on-sale today!

 

REVIEW: LIAM FRIARY

IMAGES: CAMERON MACKENZIE