Suspension Seatposts

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by John90210, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. John90210

    John90210 New Member

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    I ride a HT and I'm considering getting a suspension seatpost.

    How good are these and how much of a difference would one make to the comfort of sitting down?

    Are they much heavier than alu. and carbon fibre seatposts?

    So what is the best thing to buy, suspension or rigid seatposts? And can anybody recommend any of either type?

    Thanks
    John
     
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  2. Postie

    Postie New Member

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    My opinion on suspension seat posts is that they're stupid. I've heard people say, "Hey, now I have rear suspension" which is completely untrue. The main purpose for rear suspension is to increase wheel contact with the trail. Additionally, you get the bonus of having your body take less abuse. A suspension seat post does not achieve this.

    Argumentatively a person could say, "Well, at least I get the 'body taking less abuse' part from a suspension seat post". Yea, ok. But at what cost? Personally, seat height is a very important adjustment to me. None of the rear suspensions change your adjusted length from your seat to your bottom bracket. However a suspension seat post sure will.
     
  3. John90210

    John90210 New Member

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    So whats better then, carbon fibre or aluminium seatposts?
     
  4. Scotty_Dog

    Scotty_Dog New Member

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    While a suspension seatpost certainly doesn't translate into having rear suspension, it can benefit someone who simply wants to gain more comfort from their hardtail. The Cane Creek Thudbuster usually gets good reviews.

    And there actually have been some rear suspension frames that change the effective seat tube length while in use. For example, the highly regarded (pre-WalMart) Schwinn Homegrown Full Suspension comes to mind. While this change in seat tube length bothers some people, others don't notice it at all.

    If your primary goal is to gain some comfort, while losing a bit of pedaling efficiency, a suspension seatpost might be the ticket.
     
  5. Postie

    Postie New Member

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    Both make good post material.

    On a road bike, carbon fiber takes out some of the road buzz and the post isn't subjected to a ton of force. On a mountain bike, carbon isn't likely to take much out of the trail buzz and crashes/high impacts are much greater increasing the chance of snapping it.

    However both materials are used for seat posts so I'd be comfortable with both. If I were to choose, I'd probably choose carbon for the road, and aluminum for the mountain bike. But currently I have aluminum for both bikes and am happy. I'm sure I'd be happy with good carbon posts for both as well.

    If other people like suspension seatposts, I'm sure that's why they sell them. Personally I don't like them (aside from what I was saying before I also find they feel like a pogo stick) and find people's claims of "adding rear suspension" to their bike by adding one, comical.
     
  6. rek

    rek New Member

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    I've used a suspension seatpost on a commuter bike, never used it off-road though. It added a nice bit of cushion for the small bumps and cracks you encounter on uneven and poor road surfaces, but I could see them being easily overwhelmed in typical off-road use.. they don't compare to a proper short-travel dual suspension frame.

    With the commuter I ultimately moved back to a rigid post: not because of the varying BB/saddle distance -- which I didn't really notice much -- but beacuse of the sideways (yaw) and angular play it introduced in the saddle.

    If comfort tends to take precedence over raw efficiency, then they're worth some consideration. It also depends on the kind of terrain you like riding on as well.

    Yes, they tend to be (at least) a couple of hundred grams heavier.

    I'll be annoying and suggest something out of left-field that only indirectly answers your question: keep your rigid seatpost, and start getting used to searching for the "hardtail line" through your off-road tracks: the line that gets you through while avoiding the bumps and nasty stuff. (When you can't avoid it, then rise out of the saddle a bit and relax your elbows a bit, so your body doesn't have to take the abuse)

    These kinds of things are some of the reasons why people say learning to ride XC on a hardtail builds your skills a lot quicker/better than riding a dually from day one. Like those crazy Japanese TV game shows, a hardtail punishes you for your mistakes, forcing you to learn technique... whereas a dually will let you be lazy and roll straight over anything ;)
     
  7. John90210

    John90210 New Member

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    Thanks for all your help everyone :D

    I think I'll play it safe and stick with a rigid seatpost. My current post it steel and adds a lot of weight to buy bike so now I just have to decide: carbon or aluminium. How much lighter is carbon than aluminium and what is the difference in price?
     
  8. parawolf

    parawolf New Member

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    It is far too open to product variations to make a general statement. Carbon could be heavier than Alu, or it could be lighter - depends on your price bracket, and what you need. Perhaps check the weight weenies web site for specific weight/product information.
     
  9. far_too_lazy

    far_too_lazy New Member

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    Hi guys,
    First post here, so hello and here goes.
    I changed to a carbon seat post last year before doing some long distance races.
    Before doing this I suffered a bit of back pain when spending more than 3 hours in the saddle.
    Last Oct I managed a 7 hour race without problems, this is on an aluminiun frame and 55-60psi in tyres.
    for me carbon works, but what are you looking for, Comfort? weight saving?
     
  10. John90210

    John90210 New Member

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    Both of them
     
  11. far_too_lazy

    far_too_lazy New Member

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    As I said I'm perfectly happy with my carbon, it gets raced over some long distances and is very comfy, it also gets a reasonable amount of hammer and hasn't broken yet.
    It takes the edge of an aluminium frame and is a lot lighter than a suspension post.
     
  12. MidBunchLurker

    MidBunchLurker New Member

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    I only have experience with the USE suspension seatpost. It worked great, but longevity wasn't fantastic. And it was expensive so I wouldn't do it again.

    If you're looking for more comfort and don't want to go full suspension for whatever reason, you have 2 main avenues for increased comfort:
    - try a different saddle
    - use a bigger volume rear tyre.

    You're highly unlikely to notice any difference between a carbon and aluminium seatpost, so I wouldn't waste any money there. The rear tyre will have a MUCH bigger influence on comfort.

    After my suspension seatpost I moved to full suspension and I've never looked back.
     
  13. aa9t8

    aa9t8 New Member

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    i have a suspesion seat post on one of my mountain bikes. i use it for a comfort bike. it has lites and fenders. if i was going to spend all day riding it would be the one. i can not take much pounding so i do very little off road with it. they are adjustable, for how much spring.
     
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