There is no need to convince anyone about the benefits of the adjustable seatpost nowadays. Just a few years ago to have such an invention seemed rather whimsy. Today, the market is full of dropper posts both from the great big and renown companies [Rock Shox, Fox, X-Fusion, Specialized, Giant, Crank Brothers] as well as from smaller producers [Kind Shock, Thomson or non-existent Blacx]. However, there is also some room for very small entities such as German Vecnum or Swiss Yep Components.
Yep Components is a small company that was created by the former Formula 1 driver - Adrea Chiesa who, among others, is now a commentator of Grand Prix for Swiss television. Andrea is also a cycling enthusiast, so he decided to contribute to the sport he loves in the a form of adjustable seatpost.
Yep Components Uptimizer ST 155mm
• travel: 125mm / 155mm infinite travel
• system: hydraulic, air spring
• actuation: fixed external cable (ST) or internal cable routing (HC)
• material: aluminium 7075 -T6
• diameter: 30.9mm i 31.6mm
• length: 375mm / 405mm / 435mm
• weight: 500 / 570g
• head: symmetrical zero offset, 2 bolts clamp design
• MSRP: €360
Yep currently offers two models: Uptimizer ST [external cable routing with actuation mechanism fixed at the collar] and Uptimizer HC [internal or so-called stealth cable routing]. Seatposts, just like most of the offerings today, have pneumo-hydraulic system that allows you to set the height of the saddle anywhere within two offered travels [125mm and 155mm]. Seatposts and are controlled through the joystick-style remote, similar to that offered in the old Crank Brothers Joplin or currently in the X-Fusion Hilo. Both dropper posts from Yep Components are available in two diameters: 30.9mm and 31.6mm; as well as two different lengths: 375mm [125mm version] and 435mm [155mm version].
The Uptimizer post has been designed to operate at lower pressure [130/180 PSI] in comparison with other products on the market that are pumped up to 250 PSI. Lower pressure is better for the seals and prolongs the life of the system. Seals come from Swiss producer Angst & Pfister; grease and oil is supplied by Swiss company Motorex and from German specialist in the field of low friction come the maintenance-free IGUS iglidur® bushings.
The seatpost execution is just stunning! Ttere is CNC machining everywhere with a lot of attention to details – quality at its best. Under the sealed aluminum CNC-carved lid adorned with the flag of Switzerland and cleverly mounted using the O-ring you can find the actuation system. At the end of the regular shifter cable there is a bolt-on steel cable stop which can be quickly installed or removed from the hook acting as the lock lever. Such an arrangement allows for the very quick way to disconnect the cable and lets you remove the seatpost from the frame for the service, transport of bicycle or alien attack... The aforementioned lever/hook is connected through a steel cable to a activator rocker at the bottom of the seatpost which directly acts on the hydraulic valve locking the seat at desired height. In the stealth version with internal cable routing [Uptimizer HC] the cable is attached directly to this activator rocker, eliminating additional moving parts.
A quick way of disconnecting the cable from the seatpost
The mechanism that opens/closes the hydraulic valve at the bottom of the post
The lower tube is hard anodized in a distinctive golden color [Renthal bars come to mind]. An additional advantage is the rough surface [result of the shot peening process] which improves friction eliminating the risk of the seatpost rotation in the frame and allowing to reduce clamping force.
The top tube is anodized black and you will not find any roughness here. The saddle is mounted in a two-bolt clamp allowing for precise seat angle adjustment. In addition, symmetrical design of the clamp [without any offset] means that you can rotate the seatpost 180 degrees and install it in the frame the way you prefer [with the cable in front or back].
Symmetrical clamp lets you rotate the post 180°
Under the upper part of the clamp there is a sealed screw/cap and underneath you will find the air valve. After screwing in the red adapter [included] we can adjust the air pressure with a regular shock pump. Adding more pressure makes the seat going up faster. Interestingly enough, higher pressure also reduces the problem of pulling out the seatpost when lifting the bike by the saddle. Do not pump too much air though because then you have to put a lot of effort to lower the seat. I decided to conduct some experiment and measure how the pressure increases when the seat travels down. The seatpost with 155mm of travel has the output pressure of 130 PSI [in the upper position] which rises to 200 PSI [in the lowest position]. Please, take into consideration this 70 PSI increase when setting the air pressure.
In the clamp you will find the cap...
...underneath there is an air valve...
...after screwing in the red adapter we can adjust the air pressure.
Nominal air pressure at extended position: 130 PSI
Air pressure at the lowest position: 200 PSI
The remote was designed to be operated with the index finger...
...or with the thumb.
Yep seatposts are operated through the joystick-style remote. Theoretically, this allows to install the remote anywhere, at any angle. Mounting clamp of the remote has an open design so it can be pressed in and tightened with a screw without removing the grips, shifters, etc. In bikes without a front derailleur and shifters there should be no problem with the installation of the joystick on the left side of the handlebar. The intention of the designers was to operate the remote with your index finger [pictured above]. Andrea says that it allows you to grip the handlebar better since the thumb does not wander in search of the remote, especially if it is mounted above the bar. Of course, the remote can be also operated with the thumb which illustrates the picture above.
In my opinion shifter has one major drawback: its specific design limits the compatibility with some shifters and brake levers. If you still use front and rear the derailleur and have shifters on both sides of the bar or, God forbid, have an additional suspension remote, the optimal and ergonomic installation of all controls becomes problematic or even impossible. I know Yep is working on a new, more compact remote that should solve this problem.
The remote can be mounted this way...
...or this way...
... but other remotes work well too :-)
Seatpost has no noticeable play neither lateral or vertical. You need relatively small movement of the remote to lower or raise the saddle and stop at any height within 125mm or 155mm of travel. Like in other hydraulic systems we can control the speed of seatpost by how far we push the remote. However, even if you press the remote as far as it goes your family jewels are safe because the movement of the seatpost is damped and saddle gently reaches its highest position.
On every bike forum you will find the question: Which seatpost is the best? The answer is simple: the reliable one! In my opinion this is the most important advantage of the adjustable seatpost. Unfortunately, it is impossible to talk about reliability after a few rides and only months of use and abuse will tell if the seatpost will continue to work with the precision of a Swiss watch.
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