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Should I upgrade to a lightweight carbon seatpost?

lightweight carbon seatpost

If you are considering upgrading your seatpost and wondering whether to spend the extra money on carbon fibre then there are two key questions you’ll want to think about to help you decide.

Do carbon seatposts make a difference to performance?

Carbon seatposts start off life as a plastic called polyacrylonitrile before going through a chemical process. During the process these plastic fibres are heated at 1000-3000°C in a pressurised furnace causing the non-carbon atoms to break down. The carbon atoms that stay start bonding tightly in crystals along the fibres of the plastic.

These bonds are what give carbon its ridiculous strength. A carbon seatpost is five-times stronger than steel and twice as stiff. This is perfect for a cyclist. Because the stiffness of the seatpost means the power you put through your pedals isn’t wasted. You reap the rewards of your effort.

The second big benefit you’ll get from a carbon seatpost is the weight. Carbon seatposts are ultra lightweight. For example, our lightweight carbon seatpost comes in at 200g. This means you’re saving about 150g in weight on a regular alloy seatpost. That’s a big margin in cycling terms.

There’s also road noise absorption to consider. There is plenty of research out there (see e.g. Zhong Yan et al, 2019) on the damping properties of carbon fibre. Build a seatpost out of carbon and you’ve got the perfect bike component for soaking up noise vibrations from the road making your ride smoother and more comfortable. And we all know this is what counts over longer distances. If you’re trying to cycle your first 100km, 200km or even planning to tour over a couple of days, a lightweight carbon seatpost will make a big difference.

Is a carbon seatpost really worth it?

So we’ve established that carbon makes a difference. But is a carbon seatpost really worth it? If you are like us and are cycling on a budget then this is the key question.

Short answer. Yes. Longer answer: it depends on how much you spend because like with everything there are diminishing returns. This is at the heart of our cycling philosophy and why we are so focussed on perfecting the balance between weight, quality and affordability.

Say you have a typical, regular alloy seatpost that costs £30 and weighs 350g. Upgrading to carbon can make a big difference. For example, for an extra £50 you can get our lightweight carbon seatpost saving you 150g. That’s about a 3g saving for every £1 spent.

But spend more and you won't get the same return on investment. The absolute lightest seatposts out there weigh 100g but cost upward of £500. So you end up only saving 0.5g for every £1 spent. Quite often you end up just paying extra for branding when you would be better off investing it elsewhere.

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If you're after the very best lightweight bike parts you're in the right place. Ultra light carbon handlebars, seatposts, stem, pedals, waxed chains etc all rigorously tested by us and a small team of cyclists. Click here to see more.


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