Nick Larsen, founder of Charge, the boutique brand famous for its Spoon saddle and other bike accessories named for kitchen implements, is at PressCamp in Utah to officially launch a new accessories brand, Fabric. Charge is owned by the Cycling Sports Group, which also owns Cannondale, Mongoose and GT. Fabric products will be specced on Cannondale bikes this coming model year but won’t be specific to CSG brands. Fabric products will also be sold via bike shops and consumer direct from Fabric.cc.
Charge remains as a CSG brand, run by Larsen. Fabric, like Charge, will have saddles made by Velo of Taiwan but is also getting saddles made with Airbus and with a well-known sports shoe brand. Charge made waves last year by producing 3D-printed accessories and the innovation is expanded at Fabric. Working with Airbus there was going to be a saddle with rails made from 3D printed hollow titanium but this has been dropped (it would have cost £450) and in its place is a no less innovative £199 carbon saddle. This has leaf-spring carbon-fibre rails, aerospace grade UD carbon-fibre base, and an ultra-light PU foam pad with a vacuum bonded cover made from Water Buffalo leather with skived edges and laser-etched detailing. This is made with "additive layer manufacturing" and is called the ALM saddle. The leaf-spring design and tapered carbon-fibre provides both comfort and flexibility in a minimalist package. At the other end of the price scale, the Scoop range starts at £39.99 for a cro-mo rail saddle that’s claimed to be lighter than rival saddles at more than twice the price. The lightness is achieved with simpler manufacturing techniques, and just three parts.
The Cell saddle uses newly-developed "Hex-air" technology. Pressurised air-cells are set in a flexible PU material which allow for damping and comfort.
Fabric is also introducing handlebar tape and grips but isn’t just a "contact point" brand – a new and sleek multi-tool is also in the offing and there are plans for other accessories, too.
The brand was created to be "neutral" and separate from Charge, said Larsen, an industrial designer with a degree from the highly-respected Brunel University. Before founding Charge, Larsen cut his teeth in the bike trade with the TV Series produced by Pashley Cycles. Charge becomes the CSG brand for "new cyclists", said Larsen, and Fabric is the high-end, new manufacturing technologies brand.
Once product is available from September 1st the Fabric website will retail products. Dealer margins will also be "fantastic," said Larsen, present at his first PressCamp. The Fabric condo is decorated with Union flags.
Fabric will launch to the trade at Eurobike.