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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #1 
I once purchased a Thudbuster seat post for an old hybrid road bike which was my first venture into gravel riding several years ago. I wasn't impressed with it's performance. The travel was too short to do anything about big bumps; and I didn't notice much improvement over smaller bumps and irregularities. Now, a few years later, I'm riding mostly on unpaved roads, on a true gravel bike, with 40mm gravel tires at 35/30 PSI. The wider tires at lower pressure, along with a custom steel frame designed for my body and more upright gravel riding, have gone a long way towards improving my comfort off pavement. None the less, as my dirt mileage has increased, I've noticed an increasing level of saddle and lower back discomfort that I associate with riding on rougher surfaces. Recently I've seen several new shock absorbing seat post designs that use mechanical linkages and metal springs to provide  greater travel and adjustability to shock seat posts. They look impressive on some of the videos I've seen. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has actual experience with any of these new designs. There are also some innovative carbon posts around that also claim to significantly reduce shock. While these carbon posts lack the travel and adjustability of the spring loaded models, they are much lighter weight, and easier to setup. Please contribute anything you know --- my back and backside can use some relief!
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Volsung

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Reply with quote  #2 
I only have experience with Thudbusters (terrible) and Specialized CGR (not great) in the suspension seatpost category.  For rigid seatposts I can tell the difference between a cheap carbon one and a Thomson Elite, but I can't tell the difference between a cheap carbon and my super expensive Eriksen Ti or the CGR.

What are you running now?
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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Volsung
I only have experience with Thudbusters (terrible) and Specialized CGR (not great) in the suspension seatpost category.  For rigid seatposts I can tell the difference between a cheap carbon one and a Thomson Elite, but I can't tell the difference between a cheap carbon and my super expensive Eriksen Ti or the CGR.

What are you running now?

Thomson Masterpiece with a setback - 25mm I think. It's a great alloy post. About the same weight or less than many carbon posts. Very easy to install and adjust. Like you, I didn't like the Thudbuster. Although I'm finding increased mileage on unpaved roads and trails is taking a toll on my lower back, and other sensitive parts. I did try a Specialized Carbon post that was rated high for shock absorption in a VeloNews review; but it was difficult to install because of a recessed clamp bolt; and I didn't really notice any improvement. Did you see this video: http://www.gravelcyclist.com/bicycle-tech/video-photo-feature-redshift-sports-shockstop-seatpost-sea-otter-2018/
At least visually, that Redshift system looks impressive.
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stud.beefpile

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Reply with quote  #4 
Based on your statement, I can't tell whether you've had a bike fit performed or not. . .If your bike isn't "comfortable" before the suspension seatpost, I'm not certain if it will be after. . .

Once I got my cockpit/fit dialed in, that's where the benefit of a suspension seatpost really made me a believer. . .

I have experience with both the LT and ST Thudbusters and the Kinenkt BodyFloat.

I hated the rubber band sensation of the Thudbusters.  They just kind of swayed back and forth over undulations in the road or track.  I sold both of them, and went back to Thomson setback posts for a time. . .

Then, I purchased a BodyFloat a couple of years back, and it is the bees knees.  I've moved it around between a Surly Cross-Check, Salsa Fargo, and Surly Big Dummy.  For me, it makes the biggest difference on the Fargo.  I run my 29er (2.25F, 2.1R) tires on the Fargo tubeless with around 30-35 psi, and between the volume of those and the BodyFloat, I call it my Gravel Cadillac.  I can ride hands free on (Kansas) gravel on it for a mile at a time if the road is decent-ish and the gravel is consistent. 

To me, it made the least difference on the Cross-Check, just because it seemed like it had to do too much of the work. . .The shorter wheelbase and skinnier tires and stiffer road wheels seemed to transmit more of the vibration directly to the seatpost. . .It helped, but not like on the Fargo. . .

I exercise our dogs (and myself) with the Big Dummy, and the BodyFloat is really nice on it, also. . .You'd think with it being a longtail and wide tires that it would be like a plush leaf spring, but the length of it can have it vibrating all over the place on chunky gravel roads (like the one we live on).  It really helps smooth out its ride and makes it more controllable when you're riding freshly-laid loose gravel (with two leashed dogs attempting to chase the rabbit sprinting out of a fencerow).

I'm in for the new RedShift suspension seatpost (Kickstarter), but for my money, the BodyFloats and a gravel geometry bike frame are tough to beat. . .

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cajoe64

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Reply with quote  #5 
I use the Thudbuster ST on my gravel bike and have been happy with it once I realized I needed a softer elastomer than their chart indicates - for my weight.  I'm a big guy (255lbs/116kg), and was using the #9 elastomer from the start.  Once I went to the #7, I could really tell the difference.  I also know a guy who rides a BodyFloat and swears by it.  I don't know anyone who has gotten Redshift's product yet.
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trippertim

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Reply with quote  #6 
Another vote for the Body Float. I've been running one on my gravel bike for 4 years. I actually found that when I switched to my Ti Hardtail 29er with a rigid post that even with 2.2" tires in the 22-24psi range I was standing more than on the gravel bike bike to reduce vibration. Love the Body Float enough to buy a 2nd one for the wife.
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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks to all the posters to this thread. I do agree that proper bike fitting is the first step to comfort. I may need another fit session, but in my case, I've had so many over the years as a racer, and recently when designing my custom frame, that I think my recent problems aren't a bike fit issue. I was pleased to see several thumbs up on Kinext Body Float. I'll probably order one to check it out. If it doesn't work out on my gravel bike, I can always user on my 20+ year old Cannondale Tandem as a stoker post.
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Volsung

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Reply with quote  #8 

According to an old compliance chart, Masterpieces weren't bad (unlike Elites) but the 16mm setback will be hard to replicate if it's required for your fit.  Niner RDO has a 16mm option if that's your jam and it gets great reviews.  http://www.ninerbikes.com/rdoseatpost the green is on sale for half off.

 

I have yet to read a bad review on the body float. 

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owly

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stud.beefpile


I'm in for the new RedShift suspension seatpost (Kickstarter), . . .

 

Would like to hear what interests you about the Redshift post after your BodyFloat experience.
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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #10 
I'm about to order the Body Float. My morning weight fluctuates between 145 and 148 lbs. the recommended spring configurations on the Body Float web site Light --- up to 150, Medium -- over 150. With clothing and breakfast my weight is usually in low 150's. I'm guessing that I should order Medium. Any advice from experienced users? 
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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Volsung

According to an old compliance chart, Masterpieces weren't bad (unlike Elites) but the 16mm setback will be hard to replicate if it's required for your fit.  Niner RDO has a 16mm option if that's your jam and it gets great reviews.  http://www.ninerbikes.com/rdoseatpost the green is on sale for half off.

 

I have yet to read a bad review on the body float. 


My new bike frame was specifically designed with a 25mm offset in the seatpost. Frankly, as a practical matter, I've ridden Thomson Elites with zero offset, and the Masterpiece with 25 mm. I couldn't tell the difference in the way the saddle feels under me when riding. I can however, tell the difference between saddles. No matter which saddle I try, I always seem to come back to the Selle Italia Flite. Apparently, I'm not alone in my preference. Selle Italia has been making, and trying to update this saddle since 1990. Like me, many folks still prefer the old version.
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Volsung

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Reply with quote  #12 
Oh cool. I didn't think Thomson ever got around to releasing their 25mm offset posts.
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simplemind

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trippertim
Another vote for the Body Float. I've been running one on my gravel bike for 4 years. I actually found that when I switched to my Ti Hardtail 29er with a rigid post that even with 2.2" tires in the 22-24psi range I was standing more than on the gravel bike bike to reduce vibration. Love the Body Float enough to buy a 2nd one for the wife.


For those with the BF, what is the weight of the post?  Looked at the site, but it didn't see the weight, which might mean it's heavy as hell! [wink]
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stud.beefpile

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Reply with quote  #14 
I don't have a scale, and the posts come in different lengths and diameters. . . And some folks (not me) will cut down their seatposts, too. . .

I think the review on Riding Gravel has a weight. . . For me, its functionality outweighs the small weight penalty it offers. Racers and weight weenies may not be interested (although Alison Tetrick is rocking suspension for DK200 again this year, and Ted King did last year), but I think the majority of non-competitive or non-professional gravel riders would appreciate the comfort a BodyFloat offers.
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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #15 
Here are spec's for the B F from Kinekt: http://cirruscycles.com/faqs/

According to Kinekt, they weigh about 250 gm more than a standard alloy post of the same length and diameter. If you spend $80 more for the carbon version, you shave off about 60gm. Keep in mind that 250 gm is about 9 oz, 60 gm is about 2 oz. The bottom line- no pun intended - is that if the B F significantly improves comfort, for most of us, the increased weight is insignificant.
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