Dialing in the build of my expedition/bikepacking bike, very excited.
Guys and gals, hello.
I'm infatuated with the idea of bikepacking and expedition riding. For the first time I am making some serious me time and I and going to make this happen.
I have been doing my training, basically started commuting to work every day and grinding gravel and buff XC track on my trusty Karate Monkey. The image below is how my bicycle sits as of right now.
So I got the motor up and running, but now I am realizing that my ride is not quite how I want it to be, basically, my back is taking too much abuse for what I am doing. I've actually gotten re-fitted on this earlier this year, (March 2013 I believe) so I know that it is not the fit, the amount of adjustments over the 3 weeks we were dialing this in... lucky to work in one of the best shops around with a very experienced staff. So I am ready to make a few changes. I have put the handlebar on the back burner for now and I am going to tackle seatpost first. The one I have is awesome and going back on my XC hardtail where I stole if from...
So I need something with more "passive flex". I turn to the experienced bikepackers for this one. I just ordered my new saddle this afternoon, sticking with a model I know and this one has the standard Ti rails.
I have narrowed it down to two seatposts...
Kent Eriksen; 360mmx20mm
Moots; Layback Cinch Post
What do you guys think from experience. If you run either of these have you been overall satisfied with them? Do they really have a "flex" to them?
One last question. The Thomson setback post... does it also have a flex to it? Should I also consider that one?
Just taking a look at my ride, do you have any other suggestions in terms of fitting or accessories, tires, anything like that is greatly appreciated and will be researched to an annoying fault.
I'm no long distance pro, but I'm not convinced that a flexy seatpost is going to do much for you. Now, if you did a Thudbuster or Tricky Dick seatpost, maybe. I test rode one and it did feel more floaty in the back, but those kinds of posts wanted to launch me over the bars if I wasn't watching the trail closely enough. I know one long distance guy who swears by them.
Originally Posted by rufio
I have a Rocksox suspension post, and for me it did nothing except give me knee pain. Basically, the saddle to crank distance changes, which bugged the crap out of my knees. I rode that thing for months trying to dial it in... preload, saddle height, nothing really helped. I just ended up cranking the preload all the way up and treating it like a regular seatpost. I now use it for my kid's Trail-A-Bike because it's easier to get on and off with the QR collar than removing the hitch from the seatpost.
If your looking for compliance don't even think Thomson. They are stiff as hell. I even noticed a big difference when I put one on my dual suspension.
I would add some bar ends. Are you using quality gloves? The seat post thing won't help.
The K.M. is a great bike imo. BUT, I don't know wtf it is about this retro, ride rigid thing I am seeing more often now? As a result, I investigated, researched a ton to "try and get it?". I started MTB'in in the early 90's , steel rigid and it sucked, added a XC-400 F.S.F. when available = much better. These bikes that require suspension corrected rigis forks make even LESS sense to me than designed specific rigid with a fork that has a rake curve and a frame designed around NON suspension corrected.
Urban cross lots to Adventure Touring to Bike Backing.............unless you early 20's young............try a suspension fork and see if your back is not better, along with your wrist,shoulder's and TEETH lol.
Whats a couple pounds SF on a 30# - mountain goat / haul'in/tour bike ? You race'in to set up camp? Enjoy the ride.........
Todays low cost S forks, including coil/oil are WAAAAY better than high cost/quality years ago.
The exception from my limited riding may be fat bike's.........they seem to have enough squish with out for adventure touring / bike packing.
It's a awesome bike. Put a Squish fork on it (any of them.....even a basic/budget...coil/oil.....which has basically no maint.....ideal for adventure touring) At the very least get rid of the notoriously poor riding KM fork and try and find a replacement with a curved rake.
BTW- I would put a MTB rear rack on it too............along with bar ends, and a down tube crud catcher blade.
A guy on a bike
I second the bar ends. For long days in the saddle, extra hand positions help reduce the odds of nerve damage. Good gloves and Ergon grips help too. I cut my bars down a little--super-wide bars make my neck scream when riding for multiple days.
As for the seatpost, I used a Thubuster with my old hardtail. Took a little getting used to, especially when it would kick me in the butt on the rebound. Otherwise, it helped take a bit of the pain out of long days. I ride a FS now though, which I much prefer.
Lightweight bikepacking bags beat panniers, unless you intend to carry a lot of gear. Many great choices out there, but I like Revelate Designs (Revelate Designs LLC). A seat bag, bar bag, frame bag, gas tank, and a couple of feed bags carry the essentials.
Wingnut packs are great for long days, too. They ride nice and low on your back, taking some pressure off of your shoulders and neck.
wtb nanos, revelate bags, bar ends, the most comfortable seat you can find,
Ergon grips and a brooks flyer saddle cured my back pain on my fargo the brooks is better than a thudbuster and a wtb pure v which I use on my fs bikes careful adjustment is also necessary on bars grips and tilt of seat as very small changes can give much different results
ďAn adventure is misery and discomfort, relived in the safety of reminiscence.Ē Marco Polo
Google Velonews seatpost review.
"All in all, if you donít want to get pummeled on high-frequency vibrations as much, avoid zero-setback seatposts and gravitate either toward FSAís K-Force Light SB25 carbon setback post or toward one with some suspension features built into it. If youíre going to be hitting really big bumps, get a Thudbuster. If you canít accept the weight or the looks of the Thudbuster and still want some suspension on big bumps, go for a Ritchey WCS carbon post or a Cannondale SAVE Carbon. If you want a light, stiff post, get the Thomson Masterpiece setback."
My experience: I have a KM and it looks like you have the newer lighter more flexible fork. Besides a seat post saddles make a big difference as stated above. I finally ended up with a SMP Stratos on mine. Long rails that loop across the back rather then enter straight below your sit bones helps distribute force. Even with my Masterpiece seat post (one of the worse in veloews testing!) the saddle plus a big tire (Ardent 2.4) at low pressure (22lbs) makes for a good ride. When I ride with a wider rim, 23mm internal, I drop the pressure to 20 and the ride is better still (I am 135lbs). I ride with the Steel Torsion bar and like the bit if flex I think I receive, use ESI chunky grips, which are awesome, and constantly remind myself to ride "loose". That stops transfering shocks from the bars through my arms to my back and yes a front shock will help too but as long as you don't go too fast a big tire run low ( I use 16-18lbs front) will do you well. Lastly I found lying on a hard floor after a ride helps relax my back and stay away from a soft bed. It allows your hips to sink, puts your low back in an arch, and you wake up with a tight back. A Tight back plus full rigid is asking for trouble. Stretch it, stand up often, and check out that seat post article. For bike packing Surley also makes a frame bag for your bike I believe it is made by Revelate. Use their Pika or bigger bag for a seat bag. I have panniers on another bike and the ride is night and day smoother with out a rack. Those are my thoughts.
Thudbuster and Brooks saddle for me along with a Rockshox Reba. The Reba is bombproof and goes forever between rebuilds. For shorter rides I have a lighter saddle and thompson seatpost. Lighter but sure beats you up! Going back to my thuddy and brooks.
I know the rage is rigid and lightweight but for long days in the saddle I will give up some weight for comfort.
I have a Kent Eriksen Sweetpost and think it offers some flex in addition to looking good and functioning well. It's on my bike packing rig and I love it for long distance rides
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