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  1. #1
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    Suspension seatposts: Thudbuster vs. Extra Bike II

    Hi everyone,

    I would appreciate your input on the following:

    I would like to my upgrade my rigid seatpost to a suspension one. I understand that there are only two high-end solutions, these being the Thudbuster by Cane Creek (LT/ST) and the Extra Bike II by Airwings (pricing is approximately the same). I am also upgrading my saddle to the Prolink Light Gel Flow because of the elastomer inserts (and my big bum).

    I understand most people are familiar with the Thudbuster, but what about the Airwings product? Are there any inherent problems to telescopic designs? Which one is best?

    My mileage is rather mixed throughout the year, ranging from tarmac (on semis) to moderate XC riding (on IRCs). I would like something to filter bumps when at the mountain and vibration when on the road but not as compromising as a FS bike. My concern about the Thudbuster LT is the potential rebound kick some people have mentioned in their reviews, which to me defeats the purpose of buying this product.

    Finally, assuming I opt for the Thudbuster, will the ST cover my suspension needs and how does it compare to the LT? Is it worth the money?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    40 & Fast
    Reputation: hiredgun's Avatar
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    Sorry that I cannot help with your question.

    I would like to add to your question in hopes that someone answering your question can answer mine at the same time.

    I have never tried a sus seatpost (I ride fs).

    I always wondered how much the sus action of the seat post would mess with your pedalling. It seems to me that having your seat move up and down while you pedal would rob you of pedaling strength as your knees compensate for changes in seat height while simutaneausly trying to transfering power to the pedals.
    Ride hard, Drag the broken pieces back, Share lusty tales of adventure & Tell everyone, " I almost stuck the landing".

  3. #3
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    Suspension posts that telescope up/down really mess up your ride. Pedals change distance constantly. They also bind and swivel, controllable with a quality product but not entirely gone either.

    Thudbuster keeps distance constant by falling back. I don't notice the post moving when riding, you almost feel it isn't there. Until you take it off and realize how stupendously harsh the cracks going up your spine are! Needless to say it's an impressive amount of comfort for a seatpost that your body immediately accepts as normal and protests loudly when deprived.

    Over harsher bumps it can pop you out of your seat a little. Nothing major. But you expect this and compensate much like expecting bumps on a hardtail. You wouldn't ride up a seven inch curb just sitting on your saddle right? Well you can go over such stuff with the Thudbuster seated and just "catch" yourself on the way up. It's way less leffort which = longer rides.

    If a bump catches you off guard you're way better off on the Thud than not.

    If you're looking for something to make boulders disappear then get a DH setup with as much travel as your wallet can muster. The thudbuster is only for comfort. Your hardtail is still bouncing around back there and needs body english to control. You may decide this doesn't cut it and bite the FS bullet. You will be riding faster smoother and longer thought just with the Thud alone since it eliminates all the little crap which wears you out and messes up your lines.

    For $99 I say it offers a worthwhile amount of plush. And no, the $30 posts I tried are not even close. Nothing is worse than absorbing the bump and then running out of travel at the end of stroke sending another crack up your spine!

  4. #4
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    I tried telescopic posts...

    They help a little. The TB LT works well. You have to ride it a couple of times to find the size bumps it works on. You have to get off the saddle for the big ones or you will get launched. You can also mix and match the bumpers(different colors/different weights) to get the right feel for you. once you ride it a couple of times, you get the hang of it. I got it for my HT, because of lower back pain on real long rides and the fact that I've been riding a FS and tend to sit more. The Thudbuster LT helps .
    [size=4]Don[/size]

  5. #5
    I endorse self propulsion
    Reputation: biggsmoothe's Avatar
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    yep, i also endorse the thudbuster LT. so long as you don't look at it as a replacement for rear suspension, b/c that's not what it is. it essentially makes the seat feel "softer". it won't help your traction or make you go faster, but your lower back with thank you at the end of the ride. one thing i've found regarding the TB LT, is to add about 10 - 15 pounds to your weight when picking which elastic polymers to use. also, you can tighten the bolt that holds the elastic polymers which is kind of like setting the "sag". i've found doing those 2 things helps to minimize bouncing.
    "Pops trippin', he want me to ask for my bike back. You know I wouldn't trip."

  6. #6
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    Agreed with biggsmoothe. Go one set of rubbers softer than your weight suggests and tighten up the preload screw to keep from bobbing/bouncing.

  7. #7
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    Let me clear out some things for you:

    By investing in a suspension seat-post – together with a comfy saddle – my intention is to increase the comfort of my ride and compensate for my hard tail without the price and weight penalty of a FS.

    Therefore, the scope of this topic is to examine the purposefulness of the Thudbuster; how it works and functions; its strengths and weaknesses and how well it meets the manufacturer’s promises.

    At the moment I am unsure about having enough room for the LT – I might I have to reconsider my riding position. So, how does the ST compare to the LT? Any users out there who have ridden both?

    Also, the Extra Bike II by Airwings is a very high-end telescopic suspension seat-post with very advanced technology (similarly priced to the Thud), so in my opinion it shouldn’t be overlooked. Unfortunately though, there are not many people using it, or at least there are no reviews of this product so I am a bit reluctant about it.

    Thanks.

  8. #8
    Girt by sea.
    Reputation: Kalgrm's Avatar
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    Can't help with a comparision between the ST and the LT. I own the LT and love it.

    The fact that few people are using and reviewing the telescoping post should be a big hint for you, adding weight to Deme Moore's post which tells you they aren't up to scratch. Look at the percentage of positive reviews on Thudbusters and compare that with all other telescoping brands - they simply don't work, regardless of how much you pay for them.

    I suggest you forget the telescoping posts and make a choice between the LT and the ST. I recommend the LT, although if you can't fit it on your bike because there is not enough room between the seat and the frame, you're pretty well stuck with the ST version.

    Cheers,
    Graeme
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  9. #9
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    I'm looking for a great, reliable, lightweight suspension seatpost too. So it sounds like the thudbuster ST is a worthwhile investment for a hardtail XC bike? That is what I'm about to go with...
    J-Bro

  10. #10
    On MTBR hiatus :(
    Reputation: Speedub.Nate's Avatar
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    I wrote a LT vs. ST comparison that you can read here: Thudbuster ST - Better Than the Real Thing?

    Two very diffent posts, each good in its own particular way, depending on what you're looking for.

    I *will* credit the LT with absolutely lifting my wife's enjoyment of riding to a higher level, and played a major role in keeping her in the saddle longer. More miles = stronger rider = more fun on a bike.

    Rock Shox and USE both offered high-end telescopic seat posts, and neither was competitive with the Thud. The angle of the seat tube and resulting motion of a telescopic seat post is at odds with the upward motion of the rear axle and the downward / slightly rearward force exerted by the rider. A parallelogram design addresses this nearly perfectly.

    And to those that claim no performance benefit, I counter with this: It's correct that a suspension post is no substitue for a quality full suspension frame. It is still necessary to stand on larger hits or in rough terrain, or else be subjected to being "launched" by the post's rebound on an out-of-control bike, or worse, breaking the post.

    But on fast, mild terrain, i.e. some washboards, small rocks, etc., with the Thud LT it is possible to stay seated longer. Where with a rigid post, the rider would be bucked from the bike in such terrain, with the Thud LT, the rear end is allowed to follow this terrain more closely without upsetting or ejecting the rider.

    The whole frame becomes the "swingarm" pivoting around some imaginary forward piont, so obviously there is a higher unsprung weight, and again, not a perfect substitution for a fully suspended rig. But it does allow an noteworthy increase in performance in a narrow set of cicumstances.

    speedub.nate
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  11. #11
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    Thanks for your contribution everyone. I'll research the telescopic offerings a bit more, since I don't think I have the space required for the LT, and then decide. If I buy myself a Thud, I'll update this thread with a full product review.

  12. #12
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    One more note

    Quote Originally Posted by decipher
    Thanks for your contribution everyone. I'll research the telescopic offerings a bit more, since I don't think I have the space required for the LT, and then decide. If I buy myself a Thud, I'll update this thread with a full product review.
    I'm 5'7" with about 29-30 in. inseam and I have a 16 in frame with 1.25 in. of post showing below the LT suspension. 50 mm of travel on the other posts is hardly noticeable and bottoms out easily. It's better than nothing of course. I was able to cut off a big portion of the TB(thus making it lighter). The telescopic posts need the whole thing in the bike. Good luck!
    [size=4]Don[/size]

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