U.S.E Alien Ti or Carbon seat posts for MTB- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    U.S.E Alien Ti or Carbon seat posts for MTB

    Has anyone used the Ti or Carbon USE seatpost for aggressive XC riding? They seem to mention MTB titles on their website, but that could just be marketing.

    Anyone have real experience with these?

    I know the Sumo version will do MTB, but I was looking for something with a little setback
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  2. #2
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    i do

    The carbon version. Had it for more then 2 years. no problems at all. Stripped 1 bolt. U.S.E sent me replacement bolts (instantly). Top notch customer service.
    One drawback to it, the saddle position is hard to adjust. Takes quite a bit of fiddling with. Not very convenient.

  3. #3
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    Thanks,
    I'm not sure if I am going with the Ti or Carbon yet. I'm leaning more towards the Ti. But avail of a 27.2 around 300 mm will be a factor.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  4. #4
    meow, meow.
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    I've been running USE Sumo Ti 27.2 x 350 mm on my Cove for a year now. The Sumo clamp *does* have a little setback (around 6 or 8mm). The post weighs ~200g (it can be lightened with a Ti bolt by http://www.tibolts.co.uk) and is very clean looking. Doesn't give any trouble, holds up damn fine. I deliberately chose Sumo over the Alien clamp back when I was looking for a post.

    But... if I was to choose the post all over again for the same dimensions, I would have picked Thomson Masterpiece (193g initially and there's more weight to shave off it with Ti bolts than off USE Sumo).

  5. #5
    I love Pisgah
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    Been on the carbon since 02. Been thrashed, crashed, raced, 12 hour solo'd, etc ever since on 3 diff XC race bikes to date. Most always run at near full extension. Its fairly scar'd up where the shim to the XTC dug into it pretty bad a couple seasons ago. Good post thats still going currently on a compact roadie(still needs the 350mm length). Light and holds the saddle good once adjusted right. Its the adjusting thing that s@cks with this design. Meaning, the pain with USE posts is when you swap or adjust the saddle. Big pain in the arse.

    My 2 best posts currently is a 31.6 Extralite UL ''The Post' and 31.6 Thomson Masterpiece(added SRP Thomson kit ti bolts). Both excellent posts.
    "I've breathed the mtn air, man" Johnny Cash

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    . . . if you wanna rock and roll (ac/dc)

  6. #6
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    All of the standard Aliens and SUMO posts are 10mm setback.

    We find the Alien Cyclops single bolt clamp much easier to adjust than the old two bolt style clamps. However, with either style, when the fitting instructions are followed and bolts torqued to spec they work well.

    The SUMO Carbon for MTB is a bit beefier than Alien Carbon and not much more weight savings between Alien and SUMO.

  7. #7
    T33
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    I'm no pro, but a great friend of mine is. And I asked him about some CF handlebars and CF seat posts, and he told me this...

    He was out riding with a buddy, his friend made a simple mistake going downhill and smashed his front wheel into a tree/log/whatever. The guy was leaning back behind his seat on the downhill, his body pushed forward on the impact and snapped the seat off at the seatpost, shoving the broken end of half of the seatpost still attached into the bike into his stomach.

    The guy survived after multiple stitches. Doesn't sound fun.

    I'm an Industrial Designer, and just speaking from my knowledge of materials (not that I'm crazy experienced on the bike yet), I would never want CF on my mountain bike. Road bike, sure. Too sketchy for me.

  8. #8
    That's right....
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    Quote Originally Posted by T33
    I'm an Industrial Designer, and just speaking from my knowledge of materials (not that I'm crazy experienced on the bike yet), I would never want CF on my mountain bike. Road bike, sure. Too sketchy for me.

    it's called a freak accident.

  9. #9
    T33
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    Freak accident? Maybe.

    Heavy weight objects traveling down a hill at a decent speed, dodging solid objects like trees and rocks.

    The wheels on my car are alloy, not carbon fiber.

    For racing, CF is a great idea. Risk vs weight loss for racing, sure. For Joe, No.

  10. #10
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    So...what do you design?
    Carbon fiber gets used in 8000hp top fuel dragster, formula 1 cars, MotoGP motorcycles...and I design stuff for off road motorcycles with it.
    And the new air bus jet plane uses more carbon fiber in 1 plane that the entire bike industry uses in a year.Plane fuselage take a LOT of stress...I don't see them dropping out of the sky.
    Yes....anything can and will break. Nothing lasts forever. And using the the wrong product for the wrong application leads to early failure

  11. #11
    T33
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    All the examples you mentioned are for Racing. Risk understood to save weight.
    For jets, if they crash- everyone dies. Simple as that.
    As long as the design and material meets or exceeds the G force rating implied by FAA regulations, everything is great. Of course, lighter is better for propelling a massive man-made object through the air in excess of Mach 1 or Mach 2.
    I've designed carbon fiber airplane seats for a major private jet company (50 million dollar luxury jets) - and the engineers plainly said, "if the plane goes down, who cares about the material, they're dead, all of them."

    Again, CF is great for when you're willing to take risks to save weight (aka Racing, as mentioned.)
    CF is even great for the biker who is a bit more 'extreme' (for lack of a better word) and willing to take a bit of risk in order to have more fun, have a lighter bike, etc, etc, etc.

    It's not a 'safe' material for mountain biking. Not that it will climb out of your closet and cut your throat in the middle of the night, but during a serious crash, guess what - it's going to break, and potentially stab soft tissue.

    Mountain biking is finding the ways to avoid 1 million freak accidents at every moment. The better you get, the less likely you are to injure yourself in the endless amount of ways possible.

    CF can and should be used by some riders. Every person is different.

    The risk should be understood, that is all.

  12. #12
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    Be brave , my little Buckeroo...be brave.
    Yup...risks...life is full of them.
    People fall in bathtubs and die all the time.
    People should know the risks

    BTW...I broke a Thompson aluminum post in a crash. I got stitches...lived to tell about it.
    So...is aluminum "not safe"?
    What is a designer's choice of material?
    Last edited by the mayor; 05-02-2008 at 10:23 AM.

  13. #13
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    If carbon is so bad, why does Easton warranty their carbon bars for lifetime and Al for 5 yrs?
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  14. #14
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    Yeah! What he said!
    Seriously....carbon isn't for everybody. then again ,either is alum or steel or ti or unobtanium.
    I have broken almost everything....that is riding and racing.Some stuff broke installing ( sometimes my fault, sometimes because it was junk). Some stuff broke while just riding along. Some died in crashes. And some stuff just out lived itself.
    See my reply to the carbon post below

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by T33
    The guy was leaning back behind his seat on the downhill, his body pushed forward on the impact and snapped the seat off at the seatpost, shoving the broken end of half of the seatpost still attached into the bike into his stomach.

    The guy survived after multiple stitches. Doesn't sound fun.
    Would it be more fun if the post hadn't sheared and your friend suffered some of the other injuries likely to be caused by jamming a saddle into his stomach with that kind of force? Sounds like he traded a few stiches and a broken post for an internal injury and invasive surgery.

    Ride safe, ride a CF post. Its a crumple zone for your junk.

  16. #16
    T33
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    "Seriously....carbon isn't for everybody. then again ,either is alum or steel or ti or unobtanium."

    That's all I'm saying. Without risks, life is boring. Pick and choose your risks. We're not all professional extreme sport athletes like some are, and we're also not all hiding inside afraid from catching a thrill outside like some are. You should just know the risks with carbon. Some truly think it's "indestructible", which is not the case.

    Know the risks, and then be comfortable with that decision.

    I'm not knocking any of you who uses CF. It's easily one of my top 5 favorite materials for use in design. CF on my bike is just not for me, but then again, some of the risks I take aren't for everyone either.

    Dig it.

    now get out and go for a wild ride.

  17. #17
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    Please read the statements on the thomson website why they don't offer carbon seatpost. OK, the real reason is: they don't have capacities for making them; but the reason they provide is absolutely true: A seatpost is clamped in a certain area, often by a quick release (which means uncertainty about torque on the clamp bolt). This kind of load is the worst for carbon composites. I'd take a masterpiece no matter what, or in your case the Ti version.
    Handlebars are a totally different story, since clamping takes place only in a certain area that has been designed for that.

  18. #18
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    I saw one broken

    At the LBS a guy I don't know came in with an Alien carbon post broken in half mid shaft, not at the clamp. The facts I know: post was a week old and the guy was 140 lbs on a road bike with no other damage. Claimed he was just riding down the street? That was when they first came out but cured me of wanting one, I'm bigger and offroad.

  19. #19
    wanna dance?
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    I rode a 25.0 alien carbon post, shimmed, in an OCLV frame for 4 years. While the frame it was in eventually cracked, the post was fine.

    Don't wrench your skewer down like a mongoloid cretin, and clean the seattube out with a rag when putting the post back in the frame, and you'll be fine. Things you should be doing with any post anyway.

    Sand in the tube and over-torquing are the biggest post breakers there are.

  20. #20
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    Been MTB biking since 1989. Only post I have ever broke was carbon. I have had and have a lot of posts. I run carbon posts on both my road bikes (Campy Chorus). I'd never trust a carbon post on my MTB again - not cause of a break risk - even though this sucked. But cause of the slip, slip, slip. No wonder makers are extending the seat tube on carbon frames...

    Thomson make the best posts ever. Thanks Thomson.

    I like Carbon bars for their damping. I have four sets (3 x FSA, 1 x Token). I hate them cause their clearcoat scratches too easily. I have broken one carbon bar, I have never broken a steel or alu bar (I have many more KM's on these metals). The carbon bar break was my fault cause - well sort of - cause my brake lever clamp made a cut cause I clamped to hard, this is where it failed.

    Oh, I have also had one fork lower problem (a carbon lower - leak not fail) - fixed in warranty, and had two frames fail on warranty - one was steel, the other was bonded carbon (Trek). Both were fixed - the steely was a Scott - I was running the first Marzocchi on a frame designed before suspension was usual (they did sell the same frame with the early Scott unicrown fork though). Trek gave me a new frame - no questions asked. Actually BIG wrap to Trek. I purchased in one country, claimed warranty in another, on a four year old frame. They stood by their warranty.

    So I have reached this MTB conclusion.....

    Good for carbon.... bars, cranks, levers, cages.

    Bad for carbon... POSTS, frames (they just are not light enough to make sense or show enough design change/benefit to make sense).

    Not sure yet.... Rims.

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