By Jason Miles
In the world of mountain biking, some components appear and make so much sense that soon everyone seems to have one. Game-changers. Disc brakes, lock-on grips, dropper posts – that sort of thing. Seemingly an equal number of new things arrive and just as quickly fade into obscurity due to varying levels of ugliness/pointlessness/rubbishness.
Some other mountain biking products, however, seem to have always been there, they’ve never been fashionable for long (if at all) but there’s always been a proportion of riders who’d never be without such things. Suspension seatposts are a good example – the basic idea is to improve comfort by providing a small amount of cushioning for the rider’s bottom or more importantly, his or her lower back. The idea makes a lot of sense – how many people ride a full suspension bike because they’ve got back trouble? How many riders would be happy on an often-cheaper and easier-to-maintain hardtail if only it was more comfortable? Quite a lot I reckon.
USE are still manufacturing suspension seatposts, in fact they’re still developing them. This is the latest Vybe seatpost that features the easy-to-use and easy-to-adjust Sumo clamp which offers a full range of tilt and 10mm of layback.
Different spring rates are available to suit the weight of the rider and there’s a preload screw at the bottom of the post for further tuning.
Once fitted (set a little bit higher up to compensate for the small amount of sag when you sit on it), you can hardly tell that it’s a ‘special’ seatpost at all. Apart from a thinner stanchion at the top of the post you’d never really notice.
At 455 grams (400mm, 31.6mm) the Vybe is around twice the weight as the regular USE aluminium seatpost, which for a seatpost is quite a lot but still much less than a load of pivots, bearings and a rear shock. As well as this size it’s also available in 27.2 and 30.9mm sizes.
In use, it’s surprisingly ‘normal’ and not weird at all. Maybe some riders will think it feels like a flat rear tyre for the first couple of minutes but once you get going it’s all very inconspicuous. You can’t feel it moving up and down at all. It’s a bit like that other unfashionable mountain biking item, the soft tail frame, in fact.
You still need to stand for big bumps but you soon realise that the seatpost is constantly ‘taking the edge’ off all the smaller and medium-sized bumps in the trail, allowing you to remain seated for longer, reducing fatigue overall on your legs, back and nether regions. This should in theory allow you to ride faster for longer and recover from a big ride more quickly. While these benefits aren’t easy to quantify unless you suffer on long rides, chances are that if you’ve got a bad back, you want to sit down more or you simply want to be more comfortable this could be the seatpost for you.
|Product:||Vybe Suspension Seatpost|
|Tested:||by Jason Miles for|