For all those all-mountain jockeys out there confused about what adjustable seat post to get, this is for you. Now I’ve been riding adjustables for a few years, and I’m embarrassed to say, I’ve spent a boat load of money on several different versions. Hopefully you won’t have to go down the same path. Before I continue let me make clear I am not sponsored by any company or manufacture so this is a non-biased opinion.
Adjustable seatposts have been around now for many years. Only in the last few years have they become mainstream and widely used with more companies jumping on the bandwagon. This is largely due to the advances in longer travel bikes, which to some degree have changed the type of terrain we are now able to ride.
Many of the issues with adjustables are only now starting to be addressed, which is why companies have not been able to have the same kind of market penetration as say hydraulic disc brakes. Let’s take a look at just a few of these issues.
– Saddle Movement and Stiction: Creating a seal tight enough to avoid saddle side-to-side play but loose enough to avoid stiction, which prevents the post from raising and lowering smoothly.
– Weight vs Strength: Creating a post strong enough but without the weight penalty for today’s weight conscious bike culture.
– Quality vs Price: Manufacturing a quality product yet reasonably affordable to consumers.
Now, I dare to say that while many strides have been made in the right direction by manufacturers, not one has reached the perfect balance between these issues.
Let’s take a look at three seat post models I’ve owned.
The KS 900r was a big disappointment for me so when the KS 950r came out I had hoped some of the issues were addressed. However, the new version quickly became an even bigger disappointment. Some of the noticeable changes made were; stronger stanchion coding, thinner and lighter, new seat post clamp, and it sported a new remote lever and cable. I was very surprised when, after only one week of use, the post developed about an inch of bounce. It was as if you were sitting on an air bag and every time you went over a log or small drop the post moved up and down. What made it even worse is that Kind Shocks (a foreign company) has only one person responsible for servicing the US market. Many emails and calls have been sent to no avail. Also, the seat post had a much improved side-to-side play but it was still noticeable.
The Joplin 4r did not inspire confidence from the start. First off…the missing inch was very noticeable on my rides. Although it looked very nice I was apprehensive about the construction. If you tightened the seat clamp to much the post would not return. The other issue was again, the side-to-side play, very noticeable. One other minor thing I also found just a bit annoying was how the post would extend if you picked the bike up by the saddle.
After six weeks as a new owner of the Reverb I must say I am impressed. My only complaints at this point is that the remote cable comes to long and the remote only ships right handed. If you need the left remote it will have to be purchased separately. As far as the side-to-side movement plaguing all the others seems to be a non-issue with the Reverb. Watch my video review at the end of this post for more details.
You can see I’ve been disappointed quite a bit. The three models we looked at here are all the latest on the market at the time of this writing. One other issue with all three of these seat post is the price point. Though the prices are starting to come down as more companies, like Rock Shox and soon Fox Shox, start to compete for market share they are still very expensive.
So has Rock Shox succeeded in building the “Holy Grail” of adjustable seat post? It sure seems like it… but it’s still to early in the game to tell. I will do a follow-up blog post after six months of use to let you know.
For those thinking dropping this amount of money on seat posts is insane….you are right. However, once you go adjustable there is no going back…. but that’s a whole new discussion I will cover on another blog post.
Click this link for a review update: Link