Thursday, February 26, 2009

GamJams Review: Seatposts and Saddles

My perfect seatpost would be:
a. The adjust-ability, sturdiness and strength of a Thomson
b. The bling of a Bontrager XXX Lite
c. The lightness of an AX - Europa Carbon Seatpost (85g)
d. The setback of a Ritchey WCS

Since that seatpost doesn't exist, I'll make do with what I have. On my road bike I have a Specialized Pave Seatpost that came on my S-Works Cross frameset. Besides the funky (gimmicky) insert in the post, the seatpost compliments a carbon bike. Ride-wise feels no different than high end aluminum (Ritchey WCS or Thomson) or other carbon seatposts (Bonty XXX Lite) that I have. I don't recall if the adjustment was an issue when I set up over 2 years ago either (man I hope that post isn't stuck in the tube).
The cross bike, 29er and fixie have a Thomson. All are straight except the one on the cross with a setback. Thomsons are made to be on anything off-road. The tilt-adjustment is a no-brainer and superior than any other seatpost I've used. And it's strong without being an anchor. My 27.2/250 weighs in at an acceptable 220g (claimed). The only downside of the post is the minimal setback (offset). It is limited to 15mm compared to a Ritchey WCS with an offset of 25mm.
The other seatpost that I have is a Bontrager XXX Lite. It's basically a straight seatpost with up to 5mm offset. It's nice on the eyes and the one bolt adjustment works great. I have this on my TT bike because I needed a long (400mm) non-setback post on my compact-framed TT bike and it's what my LBS had at the time. The carbon does take the chatter out of my aluminum TT bike making that "Hour of Pain", well in my case, an Hour plus, a little more bearable.

Saddles are so personal. My road bikes and cross bike have Fizik Arione on them. It fits and doesn't cause numbness. It has long rails so you can push it forward for TTs or set it back for climbing. (Check out Floyd Landis' ToC setup).
I also used a Specialized Toupe on my old road bike and now resides on my fixie. After an initial break in period of my sitbones, it felt fine up to a ride of 1.5 hours. 2 hours in the saddle would be painful. It's light and looks good especially in white.
The TT rig has a cheapo Forte/Performance Brand T1 saddle. For $40 and a padded nose it works.


Pete said...

If you can't get enough setback on a Thommie Masterpiece, try a Moots, AlphaQ Prolight, Reynolds Ouzo Pro, or (Shimano) Pro Vibe.

None will get close to the AX products, but that should be expected.

Liz Schleeper said...

Nice review. As for W-burg road loop, the closed road is due to damaged asphalt at the bottom of a hill. It is completely rideable for bikes (and even for cars but I guess it tips the scale of some road standards) but since it's blocked off, the police do monitor it. I do not know when there are plans to repair it. There is another even better loop (I think) that is 52 miles. Check out the bikebeat website and click on the map for 52 mile JRVS ride.