TLDR: the SRAM Maven Ultimate brakes offer bucket loads in a very usable package. A few…
The Redshift Sports ShockStop Suspension Seatpost RT delivers on the promise of increased comfort and control in a package that works.
- Brand: Redshift Sports
- Product: ShockStop PRO Suspension Seatpost RT
- Price: £329.99
- From: Ison Distribution
- Tested by: David ‘Sanny’ Gould for a year and a bit
- Lightweight (for a suspension seatpost)
- Subtle but effective suspension performance
- Simple and reliable design
- Could it be a bit cheaper please
- Shaving off a bit more weight would be nice
Unlike suspension stems, suspension seatposts never really went away. USE, Rock Shox, Cane Creek: I have been fortunate enough to have ridden them all and to be honest, I rather liked them. Taking the edge off bumps on a hardtail is no bad thing.
However, as dropper posts became de rigeur, you might be forgiven for thinking that suspension posts had had their day.
However, the rise of bikepacking and gravel has seen them enjoy something of a renaissance.
Not every rider wants to drop props on phat trails while rocking to sick beats (or whatever it is the yoof say these days). Having a component that smooths out trail chatter and which can make the ride experience more comfortable for only a small weight penalty is no bad thing.
Throw in less complexity than that which comes with a full suspension frame design at a considerably smaller cost and the potential to be more reliable and user serviceable and you start to see the potential benefits which may accrue.
Having last ridden a suspension seatpost to great success on my Salsa Beargrease Fat Bike several years back, I was intrigued to get acquainted with the new kid on the block, the Redshift Sports ShockStop PRO Suspension Seatpost RT.
Weighing in at approximately 420 grams for the 350mm version I tested (you can save approximately 40 grams by opting for the shorter 280mm version), the PRO RT is the stripped down version of the original ShockStop.
Some 130 grams of weight has been saved by removing some of the custom tune ability of the original. The swappable spring design has been ditched in favour of a simpler elastomer based system. There is no option to adjust preload on the PRO RT while travel has reduced from 35mm to 20mm.
The post comes in a single diameter, 27.2mm, which seems to have been settled on as pretty much the standard for gravel bikes these days. Functionally, an elastomer is employed to take care of suspension duties while the seatpost employs a parallelogram design such that the saddle moves down and back when a bump is encountered. The four pivot points feature hollow axles while the saddle is fixed in place by a two bolt design.
To help keep dirt and filth out of the pivots, there is a very neatly shaped cover at the back which is held in place by a small magnet. It is a small but thoughtful piece of design.
As with the PRO suspension stem, I fitted the seatpost to my DeAnima gravel bike. Taking off the ridiculously light all carbon Deda Superleggero seatpost (less than 180 grams of feathery lightness), I tried not to think about the extra quarter of a kilogram I was adding to my bike. That’s over half a pound in old money! Still, it was in the quest for comfort and if I didn’t like it, I still had my old post to fall back on, albeit figuratively and not literally.
As with the Redshift Sports ShockStop PRO Stem reviewed recently, I tested the seatpost on all manner of road and off road routes.
Compared to the stem, the suspension action is less obvious. Unlike my USE post of old which moved in a vertical plane, I was never conscious of any bob when riding, even on the smoothest of road surfaces when pushing on at speed. The action definitely rests at the subtle end of the scale. It’s only when you experience a larger impact that you discern the down and back motion as the post does its job.
The action is in no way jerky so there is no feeling of being sat atop a giant spring. On cobbles, washboard, roots and singletrack, I definitely felt less battered. I could ride over rough surfaces with a degree of comfort that I never experienced with the Deda seatpost. The instinct to tense up was reduced while my back felt noticeably less stiff after a long ride, whether on road or off.
In terms of adjustability, I must concede that the lack of means to play with preload and spring rate was a non-issue for me. At 80kg, I never felt the need for more or less travel nor wanted for the ability to fine tune it. It just worked. As with the stem, I did a side by side comparison with my mate Gary’s non suspension equipped DeAnima. Jumping between the two, the effectiveness of the seatpost became quickly apparent. There is a very clear increase in comfort which makes for a more enjoyable ride experience. The weight penalty is there but I reckon it is a worthwhile trade off.
The Redshift Sports ShockStop Suspension Seatpost RT may not have the adjustability bells and whistles of its cheaper sibling but in day to day use, none of that matters. It delivers on the promise of increased comfort and control in a package that works in a subtle but effective manner. It has made what to my mind is a seriously comfortable gravel bike even better which is no small achievement. Used in partnership with the PRO stem, it offer all the advantages of suspension in a gravel bike with none of the added complexity and cost of having to buy a new frame or fork. Neither are cheap by any stretch of the imagination but they work and do so effectively. Given the choice between the two, I would opt for the stem in the first instance. For me at least, it edges it in terms of improving comfort, control and speed.