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  1. #1
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    Do rigid, 'comfort' seatposts make a real world difference?

    There are a group of carbon seatposts that claim to do a better job damping vibrations and absorbing bumps than a 'standard' seatpost, including the Specialized CG-R, Niner RDO, Syntace PR6 Hiflex, Cannondale SAVE, Ergon CF3, Ritchey Flexlogic, and maybe some others. According to an older Velo Magazine article and a more recent bikeradar test, there are definitely measurable differences that show advantages for some of these posts; the Ergon CF3 in particular does quite well. These links have the information from those tests:
    Best soft-riding rigid seatposts for road, dirt, and gravel - BikeRadar USA
    https://www.cyclingabout.com/seatpos...cling-comfort/

    The conundrum comes when you go to read peoples opinions, it seems like it's split pretty evenly between people saying they could tell no difference, people saying it was life changing, and people saying there was a noticeable but small difference. I know I couldn't tell the difference on my Roubaix between the stock Specialized Pave seatpost and the Thomson elite I replaced it with, so in spite of the numerical evidence I'm inclined to join the 'it makes no difference' camp. I don't know if the Pave was designed as specifically with comfort in mind as these other options though.

    Does anyone fall strongly into one of the other opinions?

  2. #2
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    Yeah there have been a few articles written where they actually measured the amount of vibration dampened by said seatpost using strain gauges. Although these supposed vibration damping seatposts do offer a significant advantage over a regular seatpost in the lab, I think its something that is hard to physically quantify in terms of how it affects your ride in the real world.

    I think this is the same for any super high tech item. Yes there are significant technical advantages that it may offer but can the average cyclist maximize these benefits?? Take your average aero bike helmet. It will save you a minute off your best time if you can maintain over 45kph. So in terms of the seatposts, most of the riding I do are on fairly smooth roads will I see a benefit?? Probably not. Its not like I'm doing Paris Roubaix every day for 6 hours. So I think that is why opinion is so split. There are those that do lots of gravel riding, so I'm sure that someone that does that will say that its a benefit. YMMV

  3. #3
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    I guess I should clarify that my interest is in the context of a new adventure bike frame that I bought, so gravel/dirt riding is definitely relevant.

  4. #4
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    I had a niner rdo carbon post on my cx bike. I could feel a difference b/t it and a Thomson elite on the same bike with the same tires, etc.

    But, the niner post cracked. Back on the thomson. Don't think the niner rdo was a $100 better.

    Rode the thompson post on a 200 mile gravel ride. Fine for that, it will be fine for everything else.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by crit_boy View Post
    I had a niner rdo carbon post on my cx bike. I could feel a difference b/t it and a Thomson elite on the same bike with the same tires, etc.

    But, the niner post cracked. Back on the thomson. Don't think the niner rdo was a $100 better.

    Rode the thompson post on a 200 mile gravel ride. Fine for that, it will be fine for everything else.
    Thanks, did the niner post crack during use or user error like clamping in a workstand? It's interesting that most of these carbon posts aren't any lighter than the Thomson elite, and most are heavier than the Thomson masterpiece. It seems like the seatpost is not a great application for carbon because of the need to resist crushing forces forcing designs with very thick walls.

  6. #6
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    I found a crack on one side of the part of the post where the adjustment bolt goes through it.

    Don't know how or when cracked.
    -Not from clamping. I do not use clamp style stands.
    -I use torque wrenches for all carbon parts.

    User error/jra? Maybe. I am not going to replace it. It will likely turn into a workshop paper towel holder.

  7. #7
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    A lot of it depends on seatpost size...and how much post stick out of the frame.
    On my mtb....the Syntace HiFlex 31.6 makes a noticeable difference from alloy and other carbon posts.
    So much so that I bought one for my gravel bike...
    On my GT Grade....the 27.2 HiFlex isn't noticeably different than any other seatpost.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by stan01 View Post
    ...So in terms of the seatposts, most of the riding I do are on fairly smooth roads will I see a benefit?? Probably not. Its not like I'm doing Paris Roubaix every day for 6 hours. So I think that is why opinion is so split. There are those that do lots of gravel riding, so I'm sure that someone that does that will say that its a benefit. YMMV
    This makes a whole lot of sense. You provide some content with your opinion and experience.

    This is why I take opinions with a grain of salt if the person doesn't qualify their statement. I always ask the follow up questions to get more specifics to shed more light on their opinions, whereas I see many just take whatever is stated. For example. Someone says it's the worst thing I've had, but they don't state what they've had. My question would be why and what else have you tried.

    To the OP, ask the follow up questions to get behind those opinions.
    Last edited by Methodical; 03-05-2018 at 08:20 AM.

  9. #9
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    ^Good post^ I think a lot of the testing done finds that certain frequencies are damped, and that those frequencies are the same ones that are damped by certain tire characteristics. If this is the case, you'd never notice the effect of the post because it would be masked by the vibration damping qualities of the tires. Well, that's what an engineer in the bike business told me.
    I work for some bike racers
    I've got some bikes, some guns,
    and a bunch of skateboards

  10. #10
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    I use a Cannondale Save seatpost on my CX bike and it seems much more comfortable than my Thomson. But that is nothing compared to the Canyon/Ergon CF "leaf spring" seatpost on my gravel bike. I've had some back problems and it is the best without going to a true suspension post. They are pricey and finicky to set up but IMO worth it. I would ride it on my CX bike but I've had some rough remounts that have caused it to slip, never any problems on gravel.

  11. #11
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    I have a Ritchey post that is supposed to flex quite a bit on my gravel bike, seems to be fairly compliant, but not bouncy.
    Gravel Rocks

    Trek Domane
    Niner RLT9 (Gravel Bike)
    Trek Crockett

  12. #12
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    Cobra_kai,

    Everyone above makes great points. I can only give observations & personal experience from what I've seen of racing & riding nearly 30 yrs here in Belgium.

    I think it's safe to say Belgium is one of the cycling capitals of the world. Roads/terrain here can go from the most unbelievably smooth asphalt/cement to the most brutal, well, I think you know where I am going with this.

    I've seen guys, both racers, fast local riders, recreational riders, and importantly (as I've gotten older) I have noticed the audax ridrs the past 6-7 years. Quite honestly, throughout all types/groups, some swear and are convinced they feel something with carbon seatposts helping them during their ride, others say 'I'm not sure" but that there surely must be something happening since the posts are so expensive. Others, they are on alu posts, and swear the carbon seatpost-seeking guys could take a bottle of sugar pills, and if they were told this pill would make them incredibly fast after a couple of weeks, those riders would indeed end up faster. Which is unfair, imho.

    Seatposts (like seats) are such a subjective thing that no amount of research is ever going to give you complete confidence if you decide to buy & try a carbon seatpost. I've seen heavy (plus 220 lbs) guys, who sit really upright, on the same carbon seatpost for years now. They've never had one problem, and they say the feel the little bit of increased comfort a carbon post can bring (if you've got a long seatpost exposed from your seattube, then this "feeling comfort" is magnified a lot). And equally, I've seen 160 lb racers literally go through 2 high-end carbon seatposts in one year. This one 160Lb-er guy I know is one of the smoothest pedallers and most caring of his bikes racers/riders I've known, yet he still cracks carbon seatposts (and he's never, far as I know, bunny-hopped his bikes once).

    So, overall, I say if you've got the scratch ($$$), and it won't hurt you financially and/or make you feel terrible afterwords, go for it, get yourself a nice (avoid knockoffs) crbon post and see what happens. But do not go into the purchase thinking that you will "definitely" feel something, and especially do not go into the purchase if you even suspect you are the type of person who will have serious post-purchase cognitive-dissonance (anger, frustration, pissed off, etc) if you do not feel something from your new carbon seatpost (because if you are this type of person, it is not fair to the carbon seatpost manufacturers of the world & what you're likely to say in the future).

    Good luck and hope it works out!



    P.S. My wife rolls her eyes at me in my eternal quest to find a seat that provides that butt-bliss we are search for........it's hitting me again, as I just posted about it in the "Components" section....so don't feel bad, just get yourself a carbon-seatpost beauty, and she how she treats ya
    Last edited by BelgianHammer; 03-06-2018 at 03:36 AM.

  13. #13
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    I guess I'll post an update to this thread since it seems to have picked up life again. I decided against a carbon post for durability reasons - I have one of the large seat packs for bikepacking (Revelate Terrapin) and didn't want to have to worry about the strap abrading the post when mixed with sand or dirt. People seem to have success with protective tape but I just didn't want it in the back of my mind.

    I ended up purchasing a used Ti Eriksen Sweetpost off ebay. It looks great, should be very durable, and cost less than (non counterfeit) carbon options. And maybe it adds some compliance over an aluminum post but it's impossible for me to tell, especially with the large tires I have on the bike.

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