Let’s get this out of the way first – yes, the Madison Flux is essentially identical to the Charge Spoon. It has the same rails, same hull, same shape, even the same stitching along the sides. And it’s not all that surprising – at the cheaper end of the market there’s nowhere near the same scope for extensive medical research and custom design as with the top end.
You find a factory, choose from the enormous range of options, apply a logo and you’re done. With the more expensive saddles you’ll need to do more to be competitive, but at £25 it’s a different game. Of course there are some differences – Charge have gone to the trouble of getting their logo moulded into the underside of the hull, the stitching follows a somewhat different route at the corners and Madison have opted for a faux-perforated finish to the cover.
The Flux is also distinctly softer in the padding department – it uses different densities of foam in different areas, but they’re all on the soft side. And while there’s no actual hole in the shell, there is a hollow section that permits deeper padding in the all-important centre area. Hardened backsides may find it a little over-soft, though we suspect that those buyers probably aren’t generally looking at budget saddles.
It’s a good-looking perch though, and we’d be more than happy to roll around with these on our bikes. Obviously it’s tricky to choose between the Flux and Spoon at the same price – both are very good, and impressive value for money. The Flux edges it thanks to slightly lower weight. Yes, it’s only about a packet of crisps lighter, but it still counts.