Steel Seat Posts?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Steel Seat Posts?

    A while ago I read having an aluminum seet post on a steel frame sacreligious. If you are a believer, did you like the reto look, or the ride? I looked on several sites and cant find steel seat posts.

  2. #2
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    you just overkilled me

  3. #3
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    A steel seatpost is much less stiff than an aluminum one in my opinion. They are great for taking the harshness out of an aluminum frame, or for complementing the resilient ride of a steel frame.

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    The only post that I have that isn't aluminum is made of titanium. All my bikes are steel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker
    The only post that I have that isn't aluminum is made of titanium. All my bikes are steel.
    Is that because you prefer aluminum, or because steel posts are nearly impossible to find? Considering your choice of frames, I suspect it is because steel posts are rare.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by forwardcomponents
    Is that because you prefer aluminum, or because steel posts are nearly impossible to find? Considering your choice of frames, I suspect it is because steel posts are rare.
    Because steel posts would be heavy and be priced similarily to lighter aluminum posts. The seatpost doesn't have too much of an effect on ride quality. I can see that my Moots post flexes more than my Thomson's, but I don't feel it. If you could make butted steel posts with a maximum insertion, you might have something. Then they can be thicker where they lever against the frame and clamp and thinner out of the frame to give it some flex. It would also be beneficial to somehow ovalize the butts to give it strength without losing the compliance.

  7. #7
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    i would ask foshizzle. he has more posts than anyone. he must know which one is the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker
    Because steel posts would be heavy and be priced similarily to lighter aluminum posts. The seatpost doesn't have too much of an effect on ride quality. I can see that my Moots post flexes more than my Thomson's, but I don't feel it. If you could make butted steel posts with a maximum insertion, you might have something. Then they can be thicker where they lever against the frame and clamp and thinner out of the frame to give it some flex. It would also be beneficial to somehow ovalize the butts to give it strength without losing the compliance.
    Actually steel seatposts are not necessarily heavier than aluminum ones. If they are made from thin walled tubing, they are just as light and just as strong. I recently made a seatpost out of straight guage 25.4mm 4130, and it ended up being almost identical in weight to a Thomson of equivalent diameter and length. I used Thomson hardware to make it a fair contest. As far as price goes, it could be made and sold for the same as a Thomson or Syncros.

  9. #9
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    I see lots and lots of steel seat posts every time i go to walmart.........
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  10. #10
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    Engin Cycles makes a seatpost out of Renyolds 953. Really a good looking post. On the flip side it's expensive. A ti post (according to current offerings) is lighter, and more available.

    forwardcomponents, if there was a steel seat post similar in price and weight to a Thomson, I would have two of them. Make one in 27.2 and I'll buy it. I imagine that would be echoed by a number of people.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ae111black
    I see lots and lots of steel seat posts every time i go to walmart.........
    A 27.2mm Thomson, 330mm long weighs 241 grams, according to the Thomson website.

    A 27.2mm Shimano XTR(SP-M910), 330mm long weighs 213 grams, according to the official Weight Weenies listings.

    The steel seatpost is actually lighter. You won't find either of these seatposts at Walmart.

    The same is true for stems. I have weighed old school welded steel stems(ahead style, not quill), and compared them to Thomson stems of equal size. The weight difference was miniscule. Aluminum does not automatically mean lighter.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by forwardcomponents
    A 27.2mm Thomson, 330mm long weighs 241 grams, according to the Thomson website.

    A 27.2mm Shimano XTR(SP-M910), 330mm long weighs 213 grams, according to the official Weight Weenies listings.

    The steel seatpost is actually lighter. You won't find either of these seatposts at Walmart.

    The same is true for stems. I have weighed old school welded steel stems(ahead style, not quill), and compared them to Thomson stems of equal size. The weight difference was miniscule. Aluminum does not automatically mean lighter.
    Google just told me that the M910 was a later aluminum version. The original M900 was steel but weighed 270g

    That said, a strong steel post with a bit of give to it in a similar price range to a Thomson would be really cool, even it if it did weigh a bit more. I would love a Ti post for my hardtail but will probably never put that much money into a seatpost.

  13. #13
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    Of course aluminum doesn't automatically mean lighter, but typically it means both lighter and cheaper. Finding barely lighter stems, and custom, personal seatposts that are lighter than production offerings is hardly a trend. Either way, like I said, if it was offered, and the only major difference was material, I would go for it. The only steel seat post I know of is as expensive as a Ti seat post.

  14. #14
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    Try Atomlab's website. Steel. Short though.
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    I've got the steel Shimano XTR post but I don't use it on my steel bike because I was thinking that over time it could rust tight. I rarely adjust my seat height.

    Irrational? Probably. I think I'll try it to see if it helps the ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn
    Google just told me that the M910 was a later aluminum version. The original M900 was steel but weighed 270g

    That said, a strong steel post with a bit of give to it in a similar price range to a Thomson would be really cool, even it if it did weigh a bit more. I would love a Ti post for my hardtail but will probably never put that much money into a seatpost.
    My mistake. I had forgotten that there was also an aluminum version of the XTR post.

    My XTR steel seatpost ( I just weighed it) weighs more like 255 grams, but it is only 300mm long. It is possible that a 330mm version might weigh close to 265 grams or even 270 grams. Compared to the Thomson at 241 grams, There is not a great difference. Less than thirty grams. The Thomson is about ten percent less than the Shimano. Not a huge advantage.

    We should be comparing the posts alone, without hardware, since that is really the focus of the comparison. They both have aluminum hardware, after all. The Shimano XTR M900 has different hardware than the Thomson as well. If we removed all hardware, we might find that the two seatpost tubes alone are very similar in weight.

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    i havent ridden steel but cant imagine there to be anything in it. a seatpost is not far off being vertical on a bike and i dont think youd get any noticeable ride benefit as the shock will travel vertically through the post. its more like compressing the material than flexing it, like in the stays

  18. #18
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    It isn't anywhere close to vertical. 73d STA leads to being 17d away from vertical.

    30 grams is significant. That's an ounce. 1/16 of a pound.

    What was the wall thickness of your 4130 post? I can make a worthless post out of 4130 and say that it's straight gauge and lighter by using a super thin tubing. Also, 25.4 diameter is a pretty unrealistic diameter. But a 330mm 25.4 weighs 256 grams according to Thomson's site.

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    i will reiterate; a seatpost is quite far off being horizontal

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    Forks are just as vertical and the difference between steel, cf, ti and alu is noticable. I know, I know, its not exactly the same thing because of more front/back forces on a fork.

    I will never understand why some people hold fast to their assumptions without either trying something for themselves or at least trusting the experiences of many other people who have. I myself have never used a carbon or ti post, but based on hearing so many people describe a noticeable difference, esp with longer posts and more offset posts, I have no trouble believing there must be something to it.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by the loop
    i will reiterate; a seatpost is quite far off being horizontal
    I can visible see the flex in my Ti post when I weight it. You're right though, it is further from horizontal than from vertical, and thus more compressive on the back side of the post, but unlike stays, it has much more room for elongation on the other side. I think a better comparison is a fork. The angles are somewhat similar (forks are less vertical, but contains two beams). We've all noticed flex in a fork and the compliance is noticeable better with a carbon fork vs. a standard steel fork. And a high end steel fork is more complaint than a standard fork. I think a good "standard" fork for comparison would be a Surly or a Dimension. But since I brought high end steel fork into it again, I just want to reiterate my point that a steel seatpost can be made with a better ride and at least a similar weight to an aluminum at the cost of some versatility by utilizing a butted tube with the butt just above where it clamps into the frame. It is probably easier and perhaps wiser (the aforementioned corrosion issue) to just go with Ti.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn
    I will never understand why some people hold fast to their assumptions without either trying something for themselves or at least trusting the experiences of many other people who have. I myself have never used a carbon or ti post, but based on hearing so many people describe a noticeable difference, esp with longer posts and more offset posts, I have no trouble believing there must be something to it.
    Let's give all these people the benefit of the doubt. Okay, maybe there are more "forgiving" or "softer" seatposts. So what? I certainly could care less since I am going to stand up or at least get off the saddle rather than take an impact to my nether regions. (And that goes double for riding my single speed since I am rarely in the saddle anyway).

    So given that, I have to wonder if there is any advantage to a steel seatpost that would make me ditch my Thomson for it. I can't think of any so far.

  23. #23
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    fair replys! i will have to have a go when i get chance..

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29
    Let's give all these people the benefit of the doubt. Okay, maybe there are more "forgiving" or "softer" seatposts. So what? I certainly could care less since I am going to stand up or at least get off the saddle rather than take an impact to my nether regions. (And that goes double for riding my single speed since I am rarely in the saddle anyway).

    So given that, I have to wonder if there is any advantage to a steel seatpost that would make me ditch my Thomson for it. I can't think of any so far.
    I agree to a point. For us SSers it really doesn't matter at all. I've been riding for a little while now with my saddle in full-on DJ mode because I just don't need it given how I've been riding my trails on my SS bike.

    But... I think you are missing the point, because it isn't about impacts, its about chatter. Same way that carbon bars and carbon forks don't soak up impacts, they smooth out the ride. On a geared bike the best position for putting down consistent power is usually seated with a tall saddle (except powering up a short hill out of the saddle and that kind of thing). Smoothing out the bumps and chatter on your behind suddenly becomes much more important when you're riding a hardtail
    Last edited by boomn; 06-08-2009 at 04:41 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker
    It isn't anywhere close to vertical. 73d STA leads to being 17d away from vertical.

    30 grams is significant. That's an ounce. 1/16 of a pound.

    What was the wall thickness of your 4130 post? I can make a worthless post out of 4130 and say that it's straight gauge and lighter by using a super thin tubing. Also, 25.4 diameter is a pretty unrealistic diameter. But a 330mm 25.4 weighs 256 grams according to Thomson's site.
    The 4130 post has 0.035" walls. I have measured a few steel seatposts recently and found that this is typical. The XTR has 0.028" walls, but is only 300mm long. I have no idea what tubing it is made from.

    25.4mm tubing is not very practical for a seatpost, as you suggest. I just used that size because I had some available. I will use 27.2mm for a serious prototype.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29
    Let's give all these people the benefit of the doubt. Okay, maybe there are more "forgiving" or "softer" seatposts. So what? I certainly could care less since I am going to stand up or at least get off the saddle rather than take an impact to my nether regions. (And that goes double for riding my single speed since I am rarely in the saddle anyway).

    So given that, I have to wonder if there is any advantage to a steel seatpost that would make me ditch my Thomson for it. I can't think of any so far.
    I don't think anyone is expecting a solid seatpost to absorb the impact from a large rock, roots, or a drop. The benefit would be expected on the relatively smoother sections of the trail, where most people are seated. I highlight trail because it's still typically going to be less smooth than a road.

    I thought it was obvious, but the point is no one is assuming or hoping for a magical change in ride quality while standing, they're looking for a change while seated.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowsCast
    I don't think anyone is expecting a solid seatpost to absorb the impact from a large rock, roots, or a drop. The benefit would be expected on the relatively smoother sections of the trail, where most people are seated. I highlight trail because it's still typically going to be less smooth than a road.

    I thought it was obvious, but the point is no one is assuming or hoping for a magical change in ride quality while standing, they're looking for a change while seated.
    Exactly. Just like a steel frame, a steel seatpost soaks up the trail chatter by flexing. Steel and titanium have an almost infinite fatigue life when used within their limitations.

    Anyone who has alternated between a steel and an aluminum frame can attest to the difference in ride characteristics. One is not necessarily better than the other, but there is a qualitative difference.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by forwardcomponents
    A steel seatpost is much less stiff than an aluminum one in my opinion...
    I don't quite agree with this, an aluminium tube of the same diameter as a steel, of similar weight and strength, is typically less stiff, or more flexy. It is a material property. The extra stiffness of aluminium frames comes from using larger diameter tubes, which you can do without any weight gain because of aluminium's lower density, which results in a larger wall thickness that can still resist crumpling.

    Aluminum seat posts bend significantly when you put your ass on it - as do similar steel & Ti posts.

    Old bikes with steel seatposts were often 25.4mm. Most currently aluminium seatposts are 27.2mm, which probably puts it around the same performance.

    There are a lot of steel BMX seatpost, which are extremely stiff (and usually heavy)

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsdoable
    I don't quite agree with this, an aluminium tube of the same diameter as a steel, of similar weight and strength, is typically less stiff, or more flexy. It is a material property. The extra stiffness of aluminium frames comes from using larger diameter tubes, which you can do without any weight gain because of aluminium's lower density, which results in a larger wall thickness that can still resist crumpling.

    Aluminum seat posts bend significantly when you put your ass on it - as do similar steel & Ti posts.

    Old bikes with steel seatposts were often 25.4mm. Most currently aluminium seatposts are 27.2mm, which probably puts it around the same performance.

    There are a lot of steel BMX seatpost, which are extremely stiff (and usually heavy)
    Aluminum posts of the same diameter tend to have much thicker walls. This is how they achieve the same strength as steel posts of similar outside diameter. I find that these thicker walls make the post less resilient.

  30. #30
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    Thomson does not make steel posts. End of story.

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  31. #31
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    I am very likely going to buy a Ti post unless a carbon one really impresses me before then. I am after the nicer ride for my SS...yes, I said SS, unless you never sit down on your singlespeed or you have a nice, young spine, then the bennies of some give over the typical Thomson type post is significant.

    I do have a steel post sitting around, a one-off proto in 30.8mm i think. I would buy a nice butted steel post if one were around, had some give to it, and was priced below the Ti stuff.

    Likely all posts will give at some point or another, especially if they are extended far enough, but some of them are better at it then others. Contrary to what has been said, vertical...horiz...blah blah...it does make a difference.
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  32. #32
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    I'd definitely consider a steel post for my Zaskar SS if one were priced competively; also, I'd consider shimming it if necessary (but not 25.4 to 27.2).

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