Seatpost..Aluminum vs Carbon vs Ti- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Seatpost..Aluminum vs Carbon vs Ti

    I'm starting the parts list for a new build. I've been using Thomson posts on most of my mountain bikes, and a carbon post on my road bike. This build is a steel rigid single speed. The set up will most likely be Exi's or Ignitors, probably tubeless, with pressures in the mid 20's. I guess my question is, can you really feel the difference between a Aluminum, carbon or Ti post, or will the cush of the tires and the big wheels negate the damping features of carbon or Ti.

    Steve

  2. #2
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    In terms of bump absorbtion:

    1) Ti
    2) Carbon
    3) Alu

    I have a new Moots Ti post showing up next week for my full rigid Curtlo (which hopefully shows up next week too). I too will be running Exis to help cushion things out.

    I hear of carbon posts breaking waaaay to much. Aluminum has no give, so titanium it is.



    Quote Originally Posted by cruzthepug
    I'm starting the parts list for a new build. I've been using Thomson posts on most of my mountain bikes, and a carbon post on my road bike. This build is a steel rigid single speed. The set up will most likely be Exi's or Ignitors, probably tubeless, with pressures in the mid 20's. I guess my question is, can you really feel the difference between a Aluminum, carbon or Ti post, or will the cush of the tires and the big wheels negate the damping features of carbon or Ti.

    Steve

  3. #3

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    ti

    I've been using the same AC ti post for 12 years on 3 different hardtails, it's on my Vulture now and it is pretty comfy...

  4. #4
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    Buy whichever you think looks nicest or fits your budget. I remember something from college physics about the propagation of waves, i.e. vibration, varying through different materials... I can see this applying to a seatpost, or frame, or handlebars for that matter, when you are talking about vibration transmitted from riding on gravel roads but this is not bumb absorption. None of these materials are going to compress and absorb a bump. All of these materials will flex to a degree in varying amounts but the design of the product will dictate how much it flexes more than the material it is made of.

  5. #5
    Law
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruzthepug
    I'm starting the parts list for a new build. I've been using Thomson posts on most of my mountain bikes, and a carbon post on my road bike. This build is a steel rigid single speed. The set up will most likely be Exi's or Ignitors, probably tubeless, with pressures in the mid 20's. I guess my question is, can you really feel the difference between a Aluminum, carbon or Ti post, or will the cush of the tires and the big wheels negate the damping features of carbon or Ti.

    Steve
    When I ride SS, I find that I don't sit in the saddle as much as when riding a gearie. So I would just buy the lightest one out there, regardless of material. Comfort is not a concern on SS's to me.

    That being said, I could tell much of a difference between my Thomson posts and an Easton carbon or a Race Face Next Carbon. I haven't ever tried a ti seatpost. Nobody makes one long enough (I would need a 400mm 27.2 in case I am wrong let me know). I would suspect that ti would feel more forgiving than the other two materials.

    I have used ti, carbon, and aluminum seatposts on a Road bike, but with such a short post, it really has never mattered to me what the material of the post is. It all has felt the same.
    my builder: Neil at Cernitz Bike

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Law
    When I ride SS, I find that I don't sit in the saddle as much as when riding a gearie. So I would just buy the lightest one out there, regardless of material. Comfort is not a concern on SS's to me.

    That being said, I could tell much of a difference between my Thomson posts and an Easton carbon or a Race Face Next Carbon. I haven't ever tried a ti seatpost. Nobody makes one long enough (I would need a 400mm 27.2 in case I am wrong let me know). I would suspect that ti would feel more forgiving than the other two materials.

    I have used ti, carbon, and aluminum seatposts on a Road bike, but with such a short post, it really has never mattered to me what the material of the post is. It all has felt the same.
    I have found this post, and looks to be at the top of the list so far. Law it's 400 x 27.2.

    http://www.flyte1.com/soar/janette/s...=AB-SP-MTB-400

    I think it down to either a thomson or Ti. I going for all silver components on this bike, so I guess carbon is out.

    Steve

  7. #7
    Law
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruzthepug
    I have found this post, and looks to be at the top of the list so far. Law it's 400 x 27.2.

    http://www.flyte1.com/soar/janette/s...=AB-SP-MTB-400

    I think it down to either a thomson or Ti. I going for all silver components on this bike, so I guess carbon is out.

    Steve

    THANK YOU!!!

    I think I will order it soon. I have to wait for my wife to calm down from a recent rash of upgrades on my bikes. It was actually more like a plague of upgrades in her mind. I like the slight layback on it too.
    my builder: Neil at Cernitz Bike

  8. #8
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    I wish I saw that before dropping major bank on the Moots. Oh well...

    Quote Originally Posted by cruzthepug
    I have found this post, and looks to be at the top of the list so far. Law it's 400 x 27.2.

    http://www.flyte1.com/soar/janette/s...=AB-SP-MTB-400

    I think it down to either a thomson or Ti. I going for all silver components on this bike, so I guess carbon is out.

    Steve

  9. #9
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    Moot Ti period
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Better suited to non-aggressive 125# gals named Russell.
    I ride so slow, your Garmin will shut off.

  10. #10
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    Gravity Droppers are only made in aluminum.

    So it's an aluminum post for me.

  11. #11
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruzthepug
    I have found this post, and looks to be at the top of the list so far. Law it's 400 x 27.2.

    http://www.flyte1.com/soar/janette/s...=AB-SP-MTB-400

    I think it down to either a thomson or Ti. I going for all silver components on this bike, so I guess carbon is out.

    Steve
    So should I use Ti Prep on this post in a steel frame?

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    ? Ti prep? Fill me in. If I use a aluminum shim in my steel frame with a Moots post, do I need to do anything special other than put grease on it?

    I have never owned anything titanium


    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    So should I use Ti Prep on this post in a steel frame?

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    anti-seize

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdrunk
    ? Ti prep? Fill me in. If I use a aluminum shim in my steel frame with a Moots post, do I need to do anything special other than put grease on it?

    I have never owned anything titanium
    use copper based anti-seize on ti post and aluminum shim.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by totally_fixxated
    use copper based anti-seize on ti post and aluminum shim.
    OK, how about with no shim? 27.2 seattube/27.2 post

  15. #15
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    To change the subject a bit, I think we have decided Ti makes for the best post. So, with that being said, how about handlebars. Does anyone make a Ti riser? All I ever see are Ti flat bars.

    Steve

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    The Flyte post is a good deal. Be careful though. My friend got one that was under-sized and kept slipping. He had to send it back. I run the Dean ti post. It is @400 mm long and I used to run a Thomson. I can easily tell the difference. My frame has a lot of post showing to allow the post to flex, and it sure does (you can see it). The Dean head looks like a better design than the Flyte. It adjusts with a 5mm allen (Thomson uses a 4mm) so it is easier to work with without having rounding out the heads. I will never go back to an aluminum post on a hardtail.
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  17. #17
    Law
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky
    The Flyte post is a good deal. Be careful though. My friend got one that was under-sized and kept slipping. He had to send it back. I run the Dean ti post. It is @400 mm long and I used to run a Thomson. I can easily tell the difference. My frame has a lot of post showing to allow the post to flex, and it sure does (you can see it). The Dean head looks like a better design than the Flyte. It adjusts with a 5mm allen (Thomson uses a 4mm) so it is easier to work with without having rounding out the heads. I will never go back to an aluminum post on a hardtail.
    Yeah, I wish the Dean had an offset.
    my builder: Neil at Cernitz Bike

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Law
    Yeah, I wish the Dean had an offset.
    Were you looking at offset to keep your position correct or for more "ti flex happiness"?
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdrunk
    ? Ti prep? Fill me in. If I use a aluminum shim in my steel frame with a Moots post, do I need to do anything special other than put grease on it?

    I have never owned anything titanium
    I don't own a whole lot of titanium either, but I recall from several years ago when titanium bottom brackets and hardware were common.that we were always told to use anti-seize on all titanium threads. The purpose was to prevent seizing at the molecular level. I wonder if it applies to the seatpost/seattube interface?

  20. #20
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    Moots Ti setback....
    no doubt one of the most comfy posts to have ever graced one of my rides. Got a few Moots goodies a few weeks back - a 380mm setback post and one of their flat bars 25" x 8* for the Desalvo I had built up last summer. Post replaced a thomson and after the last couple of days in Moab taking a break from winter that has had a lot of skiing- WOW, even w/ my lack of saddle time it was very obvious of the increase in comfort while I was feeling that I hadn't sat on a saddle since early November when mother nature buried all of the trails. Helluva lot smoother and the bar had a nice little bit of 'give' as well, the 8* sweep felt good too, now I just need to get the crown race installed on the Pace fork that has been starring at me the last few weeks and I'll be all fired up for spring in the desert.

    yeah its not cheap but hey its a small price to pay for a bit more comfort and its pretty dang light to boot

    cheers from the wasatch

    D

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    So should I use Ti Prep on this post in a steel frame?
    I would say do that. I know that Ti bonds w/ aliminum the easiest, meaning it will could seize up easier, but I would put a little anti-seeze on the post/seatube for good measure. I just ordered one of these posts for my rigid Paragon woooooo. Can't wait.

  22. #22
    jms
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    Who is as important as what it's made of

    This is the first thing I've communicated on any site...so bear with me if I violate some rule of etiquite. It gets so tedious being a paid [I pay them by purchasing the part] R&D test pilot. I've had Ti seatposts, aluminum seatposts, and carbon fiber seatposts by a number of respected maufacturers fail. It just happens sometime. I suggest picking a company that will make it right if something unforseen happens, because life and certainly bicycle parts are imperfect at best.
    Though I don't always use their parts, I believe Thompson makes about the most trouble free durable components. Good luck with your purchase. There seems to be a great deal of vaulble information being offered here.

  23. #23
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by JC2niner
    I would say do that. I know that Ti bonds w/ aliminum the easiest, meaning it will could seize up easier, but I would put a little anti-seeze on the post/seatube for good measure. I just ordered one of these posts for my rigid Paragon woooooo. Can't wait.
    I ordered one too, yee hahh!

    I wonder if I should put some ti-prep between my titanium handlebar and aluminum stem then?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky
    The Flyte post is a good deal. Be careful though. My friend got one that was under-sized and kept slipping. He had to send it back. I run the Dean ti post. It is @400 mm long and I used to run a Thomson. I can easily tell the difference. My frame has a lot of post showing to allow the post to flex, and it sure does (you can see it). The Dean head looks like a better design than the Flyte. It adjusts with a 5mm allen (Thomson uses a 4mm) so it is easier to work with without having rounding out the heads. I will never go back to an aluminum post on a hardtail.
    I noticed in your profile that you're already riding a Ti framed bike. Do you think that putting a Ti post in an aluminum frame would have made such a large difference?

    Just curious as I've wondered about a Ti seatpost for a long time.

  25. #25
    Law
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky
    Were you looking at offset to keep your position correct or for more "ti flex happiness"?
    I need the offset to get my body in the correct pedalling position. Or at least the correct feel that I like. The added Ti flex isn't the issue, maybe a little bit of an extra benefit though.
    my builder: Neil at Cernitz Bike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn595
    I noticed in your profile that you're already riding a Ti framed bike. Do you think that putting a Ti post in an aluminum frame would have made such a large difference?

    Just curious as I've wondered about a Ti seatpost for a long time.
    I went from a Thomson to a Dean on the to bike and I was able to tell a big difference. I think the biggest factor is how much post sticks out of the frame.
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  27. #27
    Nat
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    Can you see what you all did to me??? Booooooooooooo!

    Estimated Ship Date: 3/3/2006
    Order Status: BACKORDER PART

    Message from Flyte: Thank you for the order. Due to a sudden increase in sales of our 400mm Ti seat post, our stock has been depleted over the weekend. Our next shipment of these posts is due in house on March 1st.

  28. #28
    Law
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    Can you see what you all did to me??? Booooooooooooo!

    Estimated Ship Date: 3/3/2006
    Order Status: BACKORDER PART

    Message from Flyte: Thank you for the order. Due to a sudden increase in sales of our 400mm Ti seat post, our stock has been depleted over the weekend. Our next shipment of these posts is due in house on March 1st.

    BASTARDS! I was going to order today too. Oh well my Thomson works great anyway.
    my builder: Neil at Cernitz Bike

  29. #29
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    I have a Cane Creek ST Thudbuster on my GF Rig and a Moots laid back ti on my GF Paragon. Both offer some level of suspension but the Moots is simply WONDERFUL. I went from a 6" travel FS bike to a hardtail 29'er and I don't miss the suspension AT ALL! The big tires coupled with the titanium post make this one smooth riding hardtail. I never would have believed an aluminum bike could ride so well. I think the post has a lot to do with it. I can see and feel the post move when I bounce around on it. I also have an old American Classic ti post that was on my GF Rig. It's a nice post but has nowhere near the smooth feel of the Moots laid back post. It was definitely worth the expense. It's a major pain to get it installed but well worth the effort. Until I can afford a Moots frame I'll always be riding a Moots laid back post.

    Carbon is nice and light but when it breaks (and it will) it's catastrophic. The Thomson aluminum post is a quality piece but lacks the sweet ride quality of titanium. The Cane Creek ST is high quality as well and the company offers unsurpassed customer service. I just prefer the NO MAINTENANCE of the Moots. You shouldn't need to service a freakin seatpost. For my money it's always ti.

  30. #30
    Law
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn595
    I noticed in your profile that you're already riding a Ti framed bike. Do you think that putting a Ti post in an aluminum frame would have made such a large difference?

    Just curious as I've wondered about a Ti seatpost for a long time.
    Maybe, personally, I just wanted to try it. Actually I am pretty happy with the feel of my bike when riding seated. I am just a problem with always wanting to tinker and since I haven't ever tried a ti post it would have been a cheaper way to do it.

    I wouldn't ride an aluminum frame and aluminum post. It is a little jarring for me. I ran a carbon post with the last aluminum frame i had and it helped a bit. I suspect a ti post would be nice w/ an aluminum frame
    my builder: Neil at Cernitz Bike

  31. #31
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    Flyte Ti post

    I was on there site less than 2 weeks ago looking at their ti post. At that time I could have sworn it only came in 330mm length.

    Anyway, I am hoping that those of you who have ordered one will share your thoughts on them when you get a chance. I'm sure everyone would like to know how well the seat and clamp interface together, and how you think it rides.

    Thanks.

  32. #32
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    you just helped me...

    Quote Originally Posted by Schultz29
    I have a Cane Creek ST Thudbuster on my GF Rig and a Moots laid back ti on my GF Paragon. Both offer some level of suspension but the Moots is simply WONDERFUL. I went from a 6" travel FS bike to a hardtail 29'er and I don't miss the suspension AT ALL! The big tires coupled with the titanium post make this one smooth riding hardtail. I never would have believed an aluminum bike could ride so well. I think the post has a lot to do with it. I can see and feel the post move when I bounce around on it. I also have an old American Classic ti post that was on my GF Rig. It's a nice post but has nowhere near the smooth feel of the Moots laid back post. It was definitely worth the expense. It's a major pain to get it installed but well worth the effort. Until I can afford a Moots frame I'll always be riding a Moots laid back post.

    Carbon is nice and light but when it breaks (and it will) it's catastrophic. The Thomson aluminum post is a quality piece but lacks the sweet ride quality of titanium. The Cane Creek ST is high quality as well and the company offers unsurpassed customer service. I just prefer the NO MAINTENANCE of the Moots. You shouldn't need to service a freakin seatpost. For my money it's always ti.
    pick my next post!.
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  33. #33
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    Get the Moots! The only thing you'll regret is the high cost but you'll forget that after a ride or two. The seat clamp is a little tricky to get installed but it's not that big a deal. It has the highest chi factor and best ride of any post available. I'm a Clyde too at around 225. A ti post will bend before it breaks but a carbon will snap off immediately! I've broken one carbon bar already and don't like the thought of shards composite fiber shoved into my privates. My old American Classic ti post has had a slight bend in it for years but has never gotten worse. I believe the Moots is higher quality construction than the AC so I don't expect any bending. The Moots is one of the few posts that has a welded head clamp so it should be a little studier than most ti posts. If you're a Clyde doing heinous drops you might consider something else. If you're a an aggressive XC Clyde I wouldn't sweat it.

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    I had a 220lb-ish beginner level rider/employee snap a Moots post. My pal Soufian wasn't hurt and Moots warranteed us a new post, but you know, if you're a big gorilla take note. Those Moots posts are barely there.
    Last edited by evilbike; 02-13-2006 at 03:55 PM. Reason: Atrocious typing

  35. #35
    Law
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    Quote Originally Posted by evilbike
    I had a 220lb-ish beginner level rider/employee snap a Moots post. My pal Soufian wasn't hurt and Moots warranteed us a new post, but you know, if you're a big gorilla take note. Those Moots posts are barely there.

    Hmmm....220lbs is big, but not I would think it should take that weight. Seriously, he had to be doin more than 'just riding along'
    my builder: Neil at Cernitz Bike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Law
    Hmmm....220lbs is big, but not I would think it should take that weight. Seriously, he had to be doin more than 'just riding along'
    He rode through a swoopy ditch (his description). I imagine he g'ed out into the saddle and kerpow. Like I said, he was a beginner rider. I think he had quite a bit of post exposed as well, if I remember correctly.

    I'm laughing remembering this guy. Teenager, huge, Moroccan, spent money like crazy, always left guns&ammo magazines behind the counter of the shop, and he always said that if I went to Morocco he and his buddies could get me "cheap motel rooms and lots of women."

  37. #37
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    I've found that wood makes for a vastly superior seatpost than any of the above mentioned materials. Old growth burr oak is preferable, but if you're in a pinch and oak is out of season, I've heard that fire hardened hickory is an above average substitute. Some people will try to sell you on the weight savings of pine or poplar, but beware....they're weak wooded seat posts prone to disasterous failure. One of my buddies went the cheap route and took a 25.7mm pine splinter in the manhole. The doctors had to order special instruments in from Sweden to remove it. It wasn't pretty.

    For those with deep pockets, I'd recommend going with a Brazilian Bubinga post. Unfortunately, the rich, reddish color will grey with time and miles, but the resiliency of these posts is amazing. Due to anti-deforestation trade restrictions, they're illegal in 32 countries, but you can get them on the black market through web resellers throughout southern asia. It may seem like a gamble, but believe me, it's worth it. I've had the same bubinga post for the last 13 years. It's been through four bikes, 9 countries, and even survived a car vs. carport incident back in 2000. They're expensive, but absolutely bombproof. As a precaution, it's a good idea to wash it down with Thompsons Water seal once a year, especially if you do a lot of mud riding, but it really is more of a cosmetic measure than anything.

    Hope that helps.

  38. #38
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    Check out this link:

    http://www.lhthomson.com/carbon_seatpost.htm

    - Chris

  39. #39
    Law
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky 7
    I've found that wood makes for a vastly superior seatpost than any of the above mentioned materials. Old growth burr oak is preferable, but if you're in a pinch and oak is out of season, I've heard that fire hardened hickory is an above average substitute. Some people will try to sell you on the weight savings of pine or poplar, but beware....they're weak wooded seat posts prone to disasterous failure. One of my buddies went the cheap route and took a 25.7mm pine splinter in the manhole. The doctors had to order special instruments in from Sweden to remove it. It wasn't pretty.

    For those with deep pockets, I'd recommend going with a Brazilian Bubinga post. Unfortunately, the rich, reddish color will grey with time and miles, but the resiliency of these posts is amazing. Due to anti-deforestation trade restrictions, they're illegal in 32 countries, but you can get them on the black market through web resellers throughout southern asia. It may seem like a gamble, but believe me, it's worth it. I've had the same bubinga post for the last 13 years. It's been through four bikes, 9 countries, and even survived a car vs. carport incident back in 2000. They're expensive, but absolutely bombproof. As a precaution, it's a good idea to wash it down with Thompsons Water seal once a year, especially if you do a lot of mud riding, but it really is more of a cosmetic measure than anything.

    Hope that helps.

    Thanks, if I ever need to know which seatpost to use sans saddle I look you up
    Wouldn't want those splinters you talk about.

    But I think the chances are slim that I will. (but a la Seinfeld, "not that there is anything wrong with that!")
    my builder: Neil at Cernitz Bike

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    Flyte ti post experience

    I've been riding a Flyte ti post for about 18 months (was Airborne post back when I bought it). It's my first and only ti post, so I have nothing to compare it to against other ti posts. Definitely more compliant than alu or carbon. I was running it on a GF alu frame with shim until recently and had no problems with siezing. The seat clamp is a bit tricky, but I think it's similar to the Moots clamp so no worse there. I think it's a great post for the money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky
    I went from a Thomson to a Dean on the to bike and I was able to tell a big difference. I think the biggest factor is how much post sticks out of the frame.
    Thanks for all the info guys. Sounds like I could benefit from a Ti post because I'm running the smallest size Kona frame I can - a 17 - and have a good deal of post showing because of this.

    I'm really interested in the Dean post because it comes in 27.0 and because I don't need or want the setback. The trick is I'd want it painted black. I know Ti is really cool looking and all but I have a red and black color scheme going on my bike that I really like and don't want to mess it up with a non-black post.

  42. #42
    Law
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn595
    Thanks for all the info guys. Sounds like I could benefit from a Ti post because I'm running the smallest size Kona frame I can - a 17 - and have a good deal of post showing because of this.

    I'm really interested in the Dean post because it comes in 27.0 and because I don't need or want the setback. The trick is I'd want it painted black. I know Ti is really cool looking and all but I have a red and black color scheme going on my bike that I really like and don't want to mess it up with a non-black post.
    Paint is a bad idea. It wont last and it will add to the diameter of the post a bit causing immediate flaking I bet. Maybe figure out exactly how deep you need the post inserted, and then mask it off at that point. Then paint it. That would be the only way I could see doing it. To bad you can anno it black. Or maybe you can, I dunno.
    my builder: Neil at Cernitz Bike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Law
    Paint is a bad idea. It wont last and it will add to the diameter of the post a bit causing immediate flaking I bet. Maybe figure out exactly how deep you need the post inserted, and then mask it off at that point. Then paint it. That would be the only way I could see doing it. To bad you can anno it black. Or maybe you can, I dunno.
    I was hoping the primer and paint wouldn't add that much to the diameter but I bet you're right. I've worked in a body shop and on a pad printing press so I feel pretty good that with good surface treatment, the right primer - paint combo, and some time under a heatlamp afterward I could make the paint stick.

    Anno would could but I bet that would really add to the cost of the post. I'm already thinking I'm a couple months out from a Ti post as it is. My next upgrade will probably be ghetto tubeless as it's a relatively thing to try.

  44. #44
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    I have been riding the Airbourne (Flyte) Ti post for 4 years. First thing to do is get rid of POS stainless cap screws on the seat clamp and replace them with grade 12.8 from the hardware store. The SS cap screws will bind and break if you tighten them down hard. I have my seat slid all the way back and had to get these REAL tight to keep the seat from tilting during a ride. Put a ton of anti-seize on the bolts and they will tighten up nice and smooth. I just replace them every 6 months or so to make sure they don't get rusty.

    A tip for getting the saddle in the clamp which can be a PITA - Slide a piece of metal in the gap of the post part of the clamp. Then put the bolts in from the backside and use them to pry open the clamp to get the saddle rails into the clamp.

    After 3 years of use on my HT, I did notice that the post was starting to balloon out right above my seatpost clamp. I just lowered my post about 1 cm so the center of the bulge was under the clamp and rode it like that for a couple of ride and then raised it and it was back to normal.

    These post are scary thin and light, but mine hasn't broke yet and I am 195-210 lbs depending on the season.

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