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Suspension stems/seatposts

Old 03-02-20, 01:03 PM
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adamrice
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Suspension stems/seatposts

I've been noticing suspension stems (such as the Redshift) and seatposts have been cropping up in online discussions and reviews lately. Reviews of the Redshift stem seem to be favorable. I'm wondering if anyone has used these for long-distance riding and found they let you put in more hours on the bike more comfortably. Also curious how well the Redshift stem would work with clip-on bars.
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Old 03-02-20, 01:14 PM
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Just me personally. I do not like a suspension seat post. Or at least ones with pivots and actual movement like the Redshift. Under any type of power and/or cadence I can feel the bounce. Even if under an 1/8 inch I can feel it. Any higher setting to limit the noticeable bounce negates any suspension benefit. I'm sure this is a huge YMMV and personal opinion. I could see a potential benefit from a "flexible" post that could help on vibrations but haven't tried one yet.
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Old 03-02-20, 01:22 PM
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I have seen a lot of weird stuff on randonneuring bikes, but I don't think I have ever seen a suspension stem or seat post. Between the two, it seems like more people might be attracted to the seat posts. Aero bars take a lot of weight off of the butt and hands, so that is the accommodation I have seen the most for that purpose
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Old 03-03-20, 04:56 AM
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A friend gave me a bike someone had abandoned, which was a custom made Softride model. The seat is on a long bar cantilevered out from near the headset, and that functions more or less like a suspension seat post; and it has a suspension stem.

I rode it around a bit and did one 200k brevet on it. Bouncing on the saddle didn't bother me much as long as I kept my pedal stroke even, and it quickly taught me to do that. I did not like the suspension stem, which had some play in it, but it was just an annoyance. The worst was that I could not take my weight off my feet, and there was no suspension on the pedals; so my feet took a pounding.

While I'm on the subject of suspension, I also tried an old Moulton. I didn't like it much, but that's another story.

I came to the conclusion that big fat tires are the best form of suspension.
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Old 03-03-20, 06:16 AM
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Iím quite happy with my Thudbuster ST for marathon MTB XC rides.
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Old 03-03-20, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
...I came to the conclusion that big fat tires are the best form of suspension.
+1 on the tire idea.

I toured with a Softride suspension stem for many years since it was part of my Bridgestone MB-1 which became my touring machine. I kept the straight bars but added a pair of Scott aero bars to that. It was an odd combination but fit the bill for the kind of riding I was doing (logging roads in Maine after riding to them from my home in Mass., Quebec 389 from Lab City to Baie Comeau >50% unpaved, etc.)

For the final ride of a series that spanned the continent I swapped out the suspension stem for a rigid one but changed from Schwalbe Marathon Greenguard tires to Compass McClure Pass. The assumption was that supple sidewall tires would serve the place of the suspension stem. I found that to definitely be the case. The sus stem was better adapted to absorbing bigger hits, dropping off curbs, the occasional glancing blow from a babyhead, that kind of thing, but the tires, while not any better in the single hit department were demonstrably superior in cancelling out the road buzz from chipseal, etc.

For randonneuring my advice is forget the suspension and get good tires and run them with lower than max. pressure.

Last edited by hilltowner; 03-03-20 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 03-03-20, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by hilltowner View Post
...
For the final ride of a series that spanned the continent I swapped out the suspension stem for a rigid one but changed from Schwalbe Marathon Greenguard tires to Compass McClure Pass. The assumption was that supple sidewall tires would serve the place of the suspension stem. I found that to definitely be the case. The sus stem was better adapted to absorbing bigger hits, dropping off curbs, the occasional glancing blow from a babyhead, that kind of thing, but the tires, while not any better in the single hit department were demonstrably superior in cancelling out the road buzz from chipseal, etc.
....
I have the plain Marathon tires on my folding bike, 40mm width. I was on a week long van supported trip with ACA in west Texas on a really rough chip seal. First day I had my front tire pressure between about 55 and 60 psi and my hands took a beating and my GPS was starting to act up from the vibration. Second day I dropped my front tire pressure to between 40 and 45 psi, that solved my problem with road vibration on my hands and electronics. And that was still enough pressure to prevent pinch flats. I expected the lower pressure to slow the bike down, but since I have little weight on the front wheel, if there was any extra rolling resistance, it was not noticeable. I did not have any rough ride problems with my rear tire at between 75 and 80 psi, so I kept it pumped up to that level for the week. But I use a Brooks Conquest which is a sprung saddle, the springs offer almost no displacement but do smooth out rough road vibration rather well.

Bottom line, I usually run the front tire at about 75 to 80 percent of the rear pressure, but in this case it was roughly 55 percent which worked out well.
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Old 03-04-20, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I was on a week long van supported trip with ACA in west Texas on a really rough chip seal.
Yeah. I know that chip seal well. I refer to it as "boulder seal."
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Old 03-04-20, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
Yeah. I know that chip seal well. I refer to it as "boulder seal."
Is it worse than the expansion crevasses in eastern Colorado?
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Old 03-04-20, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Is it worse than the expansion crevasses in eastern Colorado?
I haven't had the pleasure yet, but I'll be sure to pack some pitons and climbing rope when I do.
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Old 03-05-20, 10:58 AM
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I have a Kinekt (aka Bodyfloat) sus post. I freaking love it.

I've previously ridden the Thudbuster, Moxey, Tamer, White Brothers, and a few other sus posts.

Also spent a *lot* of time on long layback ti posts.

Nothing works as well as the Kinekt. So active it even smoothes out rough chip seal -- but only for your body, not for your hands.
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Old 03-08-20, 07:39 AM
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That's all great, but it appears from your website that you are mainly a mountain biker, and there is one picture of a road bike in your gallery. With a non suspension seat post.
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Old 03-08-20, 07:46 AM
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My experience was a total dislike though I'd assume like anything bike related the tech has gotten a lot better with time. I found on really hard hits the seatpost would move but the muscles in my leg were already tight trying to turn the cranks and the sudden change in weight made my knee hurt. My only suspension stem experience was 20 years ago and on a mtb and the motion of that stem could make it feel like I was being launched over the bars at times. Might work better with a road bike but might not be fun with the deeper then you realized pothole on a gravel road.
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Old 03-08-20, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
That's all great, but it appears from your website that you are mainly a mountain biker, and there is one picture of a road bike in your gallery. With a non suspension seat post.

Do you always paint with this narrow of a brush?

Some people have lives outside of their online persona. I'm one of them. I ride a great diversity of surfaces, depending on the month, the week, the day.
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Old 03-09-20, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by BWB View Post
Do you always paint with this narrow of a brush?

Some people have lives outside of their online persona. I'm one of them. I ride a great diversity of surfaces, depending on the month, the week, the day.
The OP painted narrowly when he asked his specific question.
Although he didn't explicitly say, I am pretty sure he's asking about suspension post use for long distance road riding.
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Old 03-09-20, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by BWB View Post
Do you always paint with this narrow of a brush?
Sir, this is Arby's

This is the long distance forum. So mostly road riding, but also things like TransVirginia or Great Divide. Mountain bike forum is one down and gravel forum is ^ that way. I went and looked at the bikes from the Great Divide race, and very few of them had suspension seat posts https://bikepacking.com/bikes/tour-divide-rigs-2019/ Couple of thudbusters and one I didn't recognize.
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Old 03-09-20, 08:26 AM
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I use a sprung Brooks saddle for brevets, but I would not say that is a form of suspension, it only moves a few mm when you hit a sizeable bump. But it is nice on rough chip seal pavement, it cuts some of the vibration and road buzz.

I has been my general observation that more folding bike riders want a suspension post like the Thudbuster than mountain bikers because mountain bikers often use a full suspension bike, negating any reason for even more suspension. The smaller wheels common on a folding bike can make potholes and other big bumps much more harsh than the larger wheels on most road bikes.
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Old 03-09-20, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
The OP painted narrowly when he asked his specific question.
Although he didn't explicitly say, I am pretty sure he's asking about suspension post use for long distance road riding.

I'm a bit confused how to respond. You initially state that the OP painted narrowly, then you immediately follow with the recognition that you don't know what the explicit question was.

I don't either. So I answered broadly: The Kinekt works better than anything else I've used.
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Old 03-09-20, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by BWB View Post
I'm a bit confused how to respond. You initially state that the OP painted narrowly, then you immediately follow with the recognition that you don't know what the explicit question was.

I don't either. So I answered broadly: The Kinekt works better than anything else I've used.
As I said, I'm pretty sure. Very few questions posed in this forum are in the context of off road unless said so explicitly.

Have you used a suspension seatpost on your road bike? If so, did it seem to make a difference? I have been eyeing the Kinekt. For it to be helpful on the road, it would have to be responsive to small bumps - the kind you don't post out of the saddle for. But I am worried about it bobbing too much in normal pedaling.
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Old 03-09-20, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
As I said, I'm pretty sure. Very few questions posed in this forum are in the context of off road unless said so explicitly.

Have you used a suspension seatpost on your road bike? If so, did it seem to make a difference? I have been eyeing the Kinekt. For it to be helpful on the road, it would have to be responsive to small bumps - the kind you don't post out of the saddle for. But I am worried about it bobbing too much in normal pedaling.
Fair enough.

My last true skinny-tired road bike was a Moots softtail. That design is stictionless, meaning always moving, such that it erases or at least severely mutes small bumps.

My current road bike has much bigger tires run at much lower pressures, and I don't ride it much on pavement: I'm too terrified to get squished by inattentive drivers. So I ride it on bike paths, abandoned rail grades, occasional gravel and even more occasional light trail. And for all of my commutes. I have the Kinekt on this bike. It is at least as small-bump sensitive as the Moots system, but with more travel thus more isolation from medium hits, too.

Bob -- as you put it -- is a valid concern with any suspension system. Kinekt gives good info on how to tune the vast majority of it out. And you also adapt -- learn how to smooth out your stroke, accelerations, etc...

They aren't for everyone. No *one* product or solution is. I wouldn't enjoy riding as much as I do, and hence wouldn't ride as much as I do, if I didn't have one.
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Old 03-09-20, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
Sir, this is Arby's

Um...?
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Old 03-09-20, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
A friend gave me a bike someone had abandoned, which was a custom made Softride model.

I came to the conclusion that big fat tires are the best form of suspension.

I always lusted after a Softride beam bike, but never spent substantial time on one to know if it was really what I needed.

Agreed on tires -- big and squishy at some reasonable middling pressure.
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Old 03-09-20, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
This is the long distance forum. So mostly road riding, but also things like TransVirginia or Great Divide. Mountain bike forum is one down and gravel forum is ^ that way. I went and looked at the bikes from the Great Divide race, and very few of them had suspension seat posts Couple of thudbusters and one I didn't recognize.

I created the Great Divide Race. ITT'ed the Colorado section in 2001. ITT'ed (but DNF'ed) the whole route in 2003. Tried again and won the (inaugural) mass start event in '04. I'm quite familiar with what it is and is not.

You seem to be suggesting (I could certainly be misunderstanding) that long distance is different from gravel, and also different from mountain. I suspect you're aware that people are riding long on both of those surfaces as well?

I suspect you're also aware that in order to cover lots of ground on something like the Great Divide Route, you're primarily riding on gravel and pavement. So although it is billed as a 'mountain bike route', it is anything but mountain biking. Hence the preponderance of drop bars, aero bars, and gravel bikes.

I need one more post to be able to share a link, so I'll be right back with that...
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Old 03-09-20, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I went and looked at the bikes from the Great Divide race, and very few of them had suspension seat posts https://bikepacking.com/bikes/tour-divide-rigs-2019/ Couple of thudbusters and one I didn't recognize.

I've detailed the evolution of the 'ideal divide bike' -- from my perspective -- here.

If I were going to race it again, and if I couldn't ride a softtail like the Moots YBB, I'd emphatically be riding a Kinekt/Bodyfloat post.
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Old 03-09-20, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by BWB View Post
I always lusted after a Softride beam bike, but never spent substantial time on one to know if it was really what I needed.

Agreed on tires -- big and squishy at some reasonable middling pressure.
Well, if you want one, send me a message.
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