Bike Suspension Seatposts: The Silent Heroes of Back Comfort
6 min read
By 
cycle buddy_admin
Published 
July 24, 2021

Bike Suspension Seatposts: The Silent Heroes of Back Comfort

6 min read
By 
cycle buddy_admin
Published 
July 24, 2021

The key to creating a pleasant ride is a good seatpost. Both the tires and the seatposts are responsible for most coziness your bike provides. In addition, a well-made carbon seatpost is capable of bending up to 100 times greater than a steel frame.

What Exactly is a Suspension Seat?

The amount of flex your seatpost has will be substantially increased with a suspension seatpost. The impact from bumps and potholes on the road will be reduced, as well as the high frequency road vibrations transferring from your bike to your body. As a result, the ride will be smoother and, in some cases, less physically exhausting.

In a nutshell, flex seatposts are an excellent feature to provide a really pleasant ride since they:

(A) Lower high-frequency road vibrations; and

(B) Can handle larger impacts like bumpy dirt roads because of their vertical flex.

We'll go through the different seatpost materials and types before diving into the nuances between seatpost deflection and vibration damping in this article. We'll next go over some of the lab testing that's been done before we give any seatpost suggestions.

How to Choose the Best Seat Post: A Purchasing Guide

While the majority of ordinary seatposts are identical in design and function—hollow aluminum or carbon tubes on which the saddle is attached—there are a few key distinctions to be aware of when selecting or changing one.

Size, clamp type, material and the layback amount are all factors to consider.

Size

While there are a variety of seatpost diameters available, most modern road and MTB bike frames use a 27.2 mm (standard), 30.9, or 31.6 mm (oversized) seatpost. A larger post offers the stiffness and strength for more power transfer and resistance to bending or failure, but a narrower post is more comfortable over rough surfaces since it has more give.

A shim can be used to allow a 27.2 mm seatpost to fit into a frame with a larger standard, but not the other way around for obvious reasons.

Seatpost Length

While a longer post is often thought to provide more comfort, the amount of post that sticks out of the frame is mostly determined by the size and geometry of the frame and your own proportions (e.g., inside leg length, etc). Many posts have a "minimum insertion" line engraved on the shaft because a small amount of post should remain inside the frame, otherwise the seat tube might crack due to the leverage ratio being too high. To minimize excess materials, you may also cut down your seatpost with a carbon-specific saw guide to prevent making a costly error.

Materials

Carbon fiber is generally considered to be more comfy because of its vibration-absorbing qualities and top-notch carbon posts which is the most lightweight in the market. However, for maximum strength, many riders, particularly trail and gravity MTB riders, choose premium aluminum posts.

Clamp Type

A clamp intended to accommodate twin-rail saddles is installed on the majority of posts, with one or more bolts attaching the clamp's top part to the forged bottom, and two being the most common standard.

To move the saddle fore and aft to your ideal position, you can loosen the clamp bolts. There is also a degree of tilt adjustment to the front or rear for most posts: this allows you to perfectly adjust the fit. Some heavy-duty saddles may employ bigger rails (the industry standard is 7mm), so make sure your clamp can handle them.

A proprietary clamp design like a single rail iteration that necessitates the utilization of a certain saddle is used by a few saddle or seatpost manufacturers. Most riders, however, like the flexibility of being able to change saddles, thus these aren't very popular.

Layback

This is completely a question of personal opinion; riders who find that an inline post does not allow them to attain their ideal seating or saddle posture may find that a layback post does.

Weight

Suspension seatposts may add quite a bit of weight to your bike. Greater travel implies more weight, as it does with any suspension. For the same money you'd spend on a solid suspension seatpost, you could have a carbon seatpost that's three times lighter.

Suspension seatposts are no exception. A relatively light-weight suspension seatpost that functions as intended necessitates excellent engineering.

Usage

The dampening impact of non-linkage seatposts vs. the deflection effect of suspension seatposts have a significant difference. Suspension allows you to stay in your seat when traveling over rougher roads, whilst dampening is designed to eliminate road buzz. So, depending on your intended use, you'll most likely be searching in one of these two categories, as their benefits don't actually overlap.

Conclusion

The greatest method to increase your comfort and ride quality is to use suspension seat posts. You won't be afraid to get on your bike and ride along gravel roads or through rogue potholes that arise out of nowhere any longer.

Pimp your existing ride and buy one of the following seatposts for your favorite bike. You'll be grateful to your bones and derriere!

The Most Common Suspension Systems in Use Today

There are three major suspension seatpost technologies to choose from: air spring, elastomer, and internal coil.

Seatposts with Air Dropper Suspension

These can appear complicated since they allow you to drop your seatpost as needed. They're new to the market, but if you're used to riding on gravel roads and want to be able to adjust your seat height without stopping and pulling out your multitool, this is the all-in-one suspension seatpost system for you.

Seatposts with Elastomer Suspension

Don't be deceived by its ease of use. This post efficiently dampens lumps and bumps by creating a rubber cushion between you and the road. To reduce rebound and provide a more stable ride, they are frequently complemented by a hinged linkage system.

Each rubber cushion has a different amount of give, so make sure you get the proper one for your weight. The cushion will wear out over time because it is an exposed piece of rubber, but replacements are frequently inexpensive and small enough to carry with you.

Seatposts with Coil Spring Suspension

Coil spring suspension seatposts are the 21st century's answer to a smooth ride. Instead of relying on a lump of rubber, these suspension seatposts employ a hinged linkage system with a coiled metal spring to simulate riding on smooth tarmac all day.

For every terrain, you'll be able to increase or reduce tension. Although it may be tempting to ease up on the tension and make the ride more comfortable.

Keep in mind that the softer the coil, the less power you'll be able to apply to the pedals (especially on climbs). To eliminate irritating creaks, keep this system dry and apply grease to the hinges.

Seat Post Suspension: Frequently Asked Questions

What's the Difference Between Damping and Deflection in Seatposts?

Deflection

The overall movement of a seatpost after an impact is referred to as deflection. A seatpost with additional deflection protects you from stronger jolts such as sudden potholes or dirt road corrugations, reducing tiredness in your body. You'll be able to pedal through bumps on harder terrain as well.

Damping

The most significant feature for cycling on smoother ground is damping, which is the rate at which a seatpost moves through repeated bumps. If a seatpost can reduce the road buzz going through your bike, that means that the seatpost is effective in dampening vibrations.

Are Ebike Suspension Seatposts Practical?

Suspension seatposts are a terrific way to make your eBike ride more pleasant and smooth. A seat post is also a great way to add a little rear suspension to your eBike for a low cost. To change your existing seatpost and make it a tad more comfortable, suspension seatposts employ a coil spring or an air spring system and elastomer bumpers. Before purchasing a suspension seatpost, you have to measure the diameter and length of your current seatpost.

The diameter of most seatposts is marked on the seatpost, but you may need to remove it from the bike to see it. It's possible that the length will be mentioned as well, but you'll have to measure it yourself. Because you might not be able to buy the same diameter suspension seatpost, you'll have to buy a shim that fits both your seat tube (external portion of the shim) and the suspension post diameter (interior part of the shim).

Your local bike shop can help you choose and install the best seatpost for your needs, if you are unsure about your abilities to install the seatpost yourself.

Why Shouldn't I Buy a Seatpost Suspension for my MTB?

Everybody wants comfort, so would there be a reason not to install a suspension seatpost on your mountain bike? Here are a few things to think about:

The addition of a suspension seatpost may raise the saddle's minimum height, which may be a concern for very small riders. Many bike owners claim that a suspension seatpost is unnecessary after making a few modest tweaks to their riding technique. Anticipate for any bumps ahead, when going through a bump, flex your elbows a bit and use your legs' strength to lift yourself off the saddle. This will become second nature after some practice and will make a bumpy trip much more bearable.

Some people may feel that riding their bike with the factory seatpost is more comfortable. You'll have to figure this out for yourself through trial and error. Any bicycle dealer can help you figure out what will work best for you.

Conclusion

Suspension seatposts are the most effective approach to increase your ride quality and comfort. Although they can be an investment, a suspension seatpost means you won't be afraid to get on your bike and ride along gravel roads any longer.

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