Short saddles came about when time-trial and triathlon riders experimented with modified standard saddles (by chopping the nose down) to boost comfort in an aggressive aero position. The first available was ISM’s radical twin-bodied noseless shape.
In 2015, Specialized launched a road-specific design, the Power. Initially, the brief was for a women’s pro-level saddle but, after testing by both sexes, Specialized says the the benefits could be felt irrespective of gender. Since then, pretty much every brand has followed. Now, here’s Fabric’s take.
In the past, we’ve tested the entry-level Cro-Mo Line-S and were hugely impressed. So we were keen to find out what the Somerset-based brand could do when it comes to a premium model.
Described as a ‘Flat’ saddle, it enables you to ride in the most aggressive of positions – down in the drops – without putting undue pressure where you don’t need it.
However, the profile’s far from completely flat and has a slight depression through the centre, resulting in an upwards kick at the rear. This ensures you remain firmly in place and don’t slide around. But not so planted that you can’t shift your weight about if needed.
The saddle is broad-nosed and the transition to the rear comes in sooner than most; it’s optimised when you set the saddle by measuring from the rear of your current saddle to the centre of the post clamp. That way there’s no interference from the nose, giving you a wonderful friction-free pedalling action yet enjoying the comfort of the well-chosen, medium-density padding and a generous relieving channel that’s 15mm at the nose and 45mm at the rear.
Fabric offers the saddle in two widths – 142mm and 155mm – so it’s well worth having your sit bones measured before you buy.
Weight-wise, the Line-S Pro is good at 187g for the 155mm and 181g for the 142mm, the carbon 9x7mm rails contributing to the low weight.
All in all, the Line-S shaping works superbly, be it for riding hard or cruising. This carbon version brings luxury and light weight to the party. But, in all honesty, the value chromoly-railed Elite (230g, £54.99 / €79.90 / $80) offers 99 per cent of the performance for less and only a few grams more.