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Comfy seatpost: CF or Ti?(28 posts)

Comfy seatpost: CF or Ti?jtolleson
Dec 1, 2001 1:00 PM
Not loving my Am Classic al seatpost with which my bike was built three years ago, clearly having too high a credit limit on my visa, and otherwise looking to indulge in a probably-unnecessary purchase.

I was shopping CF seatposts, but the guy at the LBS says Ti is more comfy (please don't have a frame material debate... I'm asking ONLY for seatpost recommendations).

I'm not a hard core weight-weenie. My goal is comfy centuries at a respectable pace. Comfort over distance is the key, without totally compromising weight or efficiency (ie., no suspension posts, thank you).

I'm looking at the Easton CF and Litespeed ti (it is a ti bike if that matters). Both are comparably priced. Thoughts?
probably unnecessary purchaseStarliner
Dec 1, 2001 1:36 PM
I think the seatpost's contribution to comfort might have been exaggerated by the salesman. It's minimal at best. IMO, whether you choose what's behind curtain #1 or curtain #2 won't make you a winner or loser, just a bit poorer.

For better comfort with your derriere, consider another saddle. Or perhaps shorts with a cushier pad. Maybe even bump up the diameter of your tires (i.e. from 23 to a 25 or 28). But a new seatpost? Hah.
Thanks, but I'm well aware of those factorsjtolleson
Dec 1, 2001 1:59 PM
I've been riding seriously ten years and am quite comfortable with my saddle purchase. I'm just not keen on the al American Classic seat post.

I know it won't make me faster, and that even comfort differences will be incremental. I'm making the purchase. I'm just asking for substantive advice. Thanks for the other wisdom, but those are all things of which I'm well aware.
I'd go carbonDog
Dec 1, 2001 2:46 PM
As you know, it likely won't make a whole lot of differnce. Neither one will actually compress enough when you hit a bump to ever matter. What can distiguish them, though, it how they transmit vibration. Carbon is known to transmit vibration much less than metals, including Ti. I've got a book somewhere that explains it all. Plus, for a given mass, carbon fiber can be much stronger than any metal (at least steel, aluminum, and titanium alloys). I know of no property of Ti that would make it more comfy than carbon.

I have the Colnago carbon on one bike, and the USE Alien carbon on another. Had an Easton carbon before that. They all have worked fine.

why ask???C-40
Dec 1, 2001 2:46 PM
If you've been riding 10 years, you should also realize that a change in seatpost won't enhance comfort by even the smallest amount. We're talking about a short and rigid item here.

In theory CF has better high frequency vibration dampening, but even a whole frame made of the stuff (like mine) doesn't work miracles. No seatpost, except a suspension post, will flex enough to smooth out the bumps.

I'd base my purchase on getting the necessary setback and how well the clamping mechanism worked. Haven't read any great reports on either of the models mentioned. I prefer posts that have one bolt for clamping and another to provide angle adjustment. Thes models make adjusting the saddle angle a lot easier.
Why not?jtolleson
Dec 2, 2001 8:34 AM
I don't understand why I'm getting the third degree asking for input on a component purchase. I thought that's what this board was for. An unnecessary toy? Yeah, probably. But I want to dump the American Classic and buy something trick, which should not be a crime.

So, I'm soliciting feedback on the many options out there. Both material AND clamping mechanisms are an issue for me to think about. And now, I don't expect any magical increase in ride quality (though I was amazed to find that ti rails on my saddle did seem to make a perceptible difference).

A little lighter, a little dampening, a little trick for a bike I haven't done anything to in three seasons. That's all I'm thinking.
I haven't done anything to in three seasons!!!Crankist
Dec 2, 2001 9:48 AM
Why not wash it first? (Just kidding). Teach me that 3 yr. trick!
Mike (3 week limit)
Well, maybe not anything...jtolleson
Dec 2, 2001 10:39 AM
A chain. Tires. And my penchant for flats keeps me changing the periodic innertube. Just got new bartape too! But wash? Nah.

: )
Calm downStarliner
Dec 2, 2001 11:57 AM
Nobody's accusing you of committing a crime by wanting to buy another seatpost for no special reason other than you just want to. In fact, the responses are pretty civil and attempt to be helpful, based upon the information you gave in your original post. I suppose your mention of comfort as an objective was confusing, for most of the responses(including my own) addressed that issue.
Whoa Nellie!jtolleson
Dec 2, 2001 1:20 PM
Didn't realize I wasn't calm...
probably unnecessary purchasemerckx56
Dec 1, 2001 3:01 PM
you're a dink! carbon will ride better than alu. any day of the week. i know because i've ridden syncros posts for years and just got a carbon syncros. even on the steel bike, there is an appreciable difference. ti or carbon? go carbon!
no-cost solution to damp vibrationheloise
Dec 1, 2001 4:09 PM
Don't laugh, but if vibration is a problem, take an old inner tube and cut out a few pieces to be used as gaskets between the seatpost clamp and the seat rails. Wrap rubber around rails, reclamp seat tightly, and you're in business.
re: Comfy seatpost: CF or Ti?zzz
Dec 1, 2001 5:45 PM
Since you know there are just fractional differences here and also seem to be looking for an excuse to use some of that credit limit.go for the carbon. Treat yourself to the aesthetic appeal if nothing else. Just make sure your satisfied with the seat clamping mechanism.
Here's another angle:look271
Dec 1, 2001 5:57 PM
Buy the Cf just for the looks. People will see it and immediately know it's CF; buy the Ti and they may think that it's just plain old AL.
No difference in comfortDMoore
Dec 1, 2001 6:47 PM
I've had the AmClassic Al as well as Ti posts; WR Compositi carbon, DuraAce Al, Litespeed Ti, Chorus Al, Record Al, Ti and Carbon posts. No difference in ride with any of them. Only seatpost that ever made a difference was a Corima carbon, which swayed visibly from side to side when pedaling. It didn't break but I got rid of it because I was convinced it was going to.

My bikes have about 6" of exposed seat post, a fair amount for a conventional road bike. Maybe the seatpost would make a difference on a compact frame, but on a standard frame it just doesn't.

If you want to change the bike's comfort level, look at saddle, tire size and tire pressure. The seat post won't make a difference. If you just want a new post (been there, obviously) fine, just don't buy it for the wrong reason.
Thanks Peoplejtolleson
Dec 2, 2001 8:38 AM
CF seems to be carrying the day here, if for no other reasons than groovy aesthetics (which seems like a perfectly valid factor to my shallow mind!).

If anyone likes one manufacturer over another (esp. clamping wise), speak up!!

The U.S.E. Alien seems appealing because of its microgram weight and though some folks have expressed paranoia about breaking, as a female rider I'm not too heavy or abusive on the thing.
Thanks Peopletr
Dec 2, 2001 9:06 AM
You don't want a ti seatpost on a ti frame (that is a problem), you want to use carbon on the ti frame. The ti seat post can bond to the ti frame i believe.
Bonding mythKerry Irons
Dec 3, 2001 4:11 AM
The key word is "can". Al can bond to steel too, but it never does if you apply grease on installation and repeat the application every year or so. Same goes for Ti in Ti. Not a worry except to those who refuse to maintain their equipment.
How do you clamp your bike into a workstand? I went forbill
Dec 2, 2001 9:27 AM
ti, because I trusted it more in the clamp.
I've got a carbon on my other bike, but I clamp that one on the downtube or toptube (straight-guage ti -- no problems).
I agree that trick is trick and get what makes you giggle. I don't believe, however, that the difference is worth a plugged nickel in comfort. You felt a difference in the ti seat rails because the load is applied, you know, this way instead of that way. (I don't know the terms -- but I do know that ti is a lot easier to bend than it is to compress, as are all of these materials).
You seem to want carbon; go for it. I don't know how some of these fit into a stand, though.
Thanks Peoplejtolleson
Dec 2, 2001 9:45 AM
You know, I had heard that thing about ti seatposts seizing in ti frames, now that you mention it.
Alien clampingDog
Dec 2, 2001 10:00 AM
The Alien clamping mechanism can be a nightmare. Once you get the saddle installed and adjusted, it's fine, but getting there is tough. It has two extremely thin, long screws that pull three sections together than grab the rails. Those three sections slide along the top of the post, and getting everything tight and in the right place is not easy. Plus, once you get it tight, you darn near have to disassemble the thing to readjust. The clamp sort of sticks together, and merely loosening the screws won't allow it to move in the small amounts you might need to make small changes.

Also, I'd recommend taking a hex key that fits on the first few rides. I apparently did not get mine tight enough the first time, and on a long climb I realized that my saddle was getting further and further rearward. I had no key that fit with me, as they are unusually tiny. Luckily, I stopped at a gas station up in the mountains, and a guy found one that fit. Problem with tightening sufficiently is that you might be paranoid to tighten a lot, as the screws are so small.

If you are a "set it and forget it" sort of rider, it might do. If you change things, or saddles, all the time, I'd recommend against it.

By contrast, the Easton, even if heavier, is very easy to adjust. It has a bolt head on each side that loosens easily, and then the entire clamp can be easily moved. It's quite a bit stouter than the Alien, too.

same problem hereCT1
Dec 2, 2001 6:01 PM
It took me quite a while to get this puppy dialed in AND fixed so it didn't move. I learned the hard way that the clamp needs to be retightened many times as it "seats-in" under load.

A nice piece of h/w but maybe just a bit to trick for their own good.

good rides JohnG
Dec 2, 2001 3:17 PM
My wife has me convinced that, despite the cost, it is the fabric and style that are important in her clothing purchases. Do you mean it isn't? They are mostly Italian designers..does that count?

Let us know what you purchase...
re: Comfy seatpost: CF or Ti?litespeedcat
Dec 2, 2001 9:20 AM
Go cf! Get a Look ergo post. More adjustment fore and aft. Allows you to clamp on the "sweet spot" in the rails. Graduatied along the shaft for easy reference to seat height.
Hey J.Sintesi
Dec 2, 2001 4:55 PM
For what it's worth. Went from Ultegra post to U.S.E carbon. I think it is truly (but only slightly) more comfortable. Honestly negligable. It cost WAY too much but then again, one less thing to think about. Get the upgrade, talk yourself into the benefits and ENJOY THE LIFESTYLE!! :) If you ain't obsessing or upgrading you ain't cycling.
re: Comfy seatpost: CF or Ti?Little Pooter
Dec 2, 2001 6:02 PM
I have used 2 Eastons (one warranty replacement)on my MTB and it was garbage. Too many problems to list (slippage, creaking clamp, CF crushing at the seat clamp and finally the head came loose from the shaft. This was all on an XC bike. I wouldn't touch one. On the road, I switched from a basic Kalloy to a CF Titec MTB post on my Giant Compact frame and it was certainly noticable. Much more damping.
Hope that helps.
for MTB maybeEminem
Dec 3, 2001 8:35 AM
but for a road bike (unless compact design) it wont make a darn bit of difference. not enough of it hanging out.
The Envelope, Please!jtolleson
Dec 3, 2001 12:02 PM
Drum roll . . . .

And the winner is, Easton CF. Via a retailer who sells em' on eBay, it was only $60, so if it doesn't make any difference, it'll at least look cool, I won't have broken the bank, and I'll feel like I've done something new to the bike (other than the new bar tape).

Given that I don't get my cast off for 3 more weeks, I guess I won't be reporting back on ride feel 'til sometime in January.