TOUR 12/2018

By hook or crook

With meticulous precision

The seat post test in this issue is a joint project of TOUR and Dirk Zedler’s institute for bicycle technology and safety. The founder and boss of the multi-award winning medium sized company took the opportunity to lend a hand with the tests in his institute. Zedler is not only an industry-wide tireless fighter for safe bicycles, but has also been an enthusiastic road racer for decades who wants to know for himself the products that render his hobby safer. (...)

The perfect road bike seat post should be light, comfortable and above all endurable. Our extensive endurance test identifies the all-rounders among the nine retrofitting seat posts made of carbon.

The perfect road bike seat post should be light, comfortable and above all endurable. Our extensive endurance test identifies the all-rounders among the nine retrofitting seat posts made of carbon.

Although simple at first sight, it is not an easy task. A seat post should hold the saddle permanently and safe in an easily adjustable position and apart from that not make its presence felt in the course of a road racer’s life. This does not always succeed: Many cyclists are worked up with complicated seat clamps or posts sliding gradually into the frame tube. However, you can also expect more from the part. A light post can render the bike up to 200 grams lighter - and much more comfortable; besides tyre and saddle it is the most important component that is likely to bounce. And here we are with the major reasons to buy another seat post. More comfort and less weight are reasonable objectives, whereas both of them do not have to exclude one another. Light seat posts are often also relatively comfortable. Lightweight construction however always means a minimum of material, and a bouncing seat post must be flexible. The question whether extremely lightweight seat posts are likely to withstand the loads permanently arises inevitably. Because the cyclist’s weight is yet the least the seat post clamped into the frame must withstand. Four times the cyclist’s weight may act on the saddle at short term, for example when riding through a pothole. And every cyclist knows that this does not only happen once in a life. A good seat post must withstand these changing loads permanently. If it breaks suddenly, a fall and serious injuries are almost inevitable. Nine seat posts were therefore not only weighed by us including measurement of their comfort, a long, hard seat post life was simulated on the test stand in addition. And just to mention it in advance: The results are partly alarming.

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Author: Jens Klötzer
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