Author Topic: Soliciting Suspension seatpost recommendations  (Read 13908 times)

jags

  • Guest
Re: Soliciting Suspension seatpost recommendations
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2013, 07:40:24 PM »
Those Photos are stunning Dan and they also tell a tale,you should not be cycling on roads (if you could call it a road )like that so might be better of with an extra pair of walking boots.
think about it how often would you be on that kind of terrane not long i suspect. your arse will thank you for walking. ;)

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7483
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Soliciting Suspension seatpost recommendations
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2013, 09:14:06 PM »
Quote
...how often would you be on that kind of terrane...
Hi Jags! Except for overseas tours, I always start from and return to my own front door, so there's a fair number of paved-road miles before I get to the rough stuff. Once there however, I ride it for 12-17 hours/day. This ballast is the relatively good stuff, improved for the logging trucks and machinery with the large, loose rock providing good drainage for rains to prevent slides. Soon after that, things take a turn for the unimproved with big rocks, roots, and potholes and such.

That ballast rock is large and it is sharp and it tends to roll a bit under my tires, so I can't always stand on the pedals as I'd like (see sample pic below). That is what has me thinking "sus-post" at present.

A lot of the roads have been carved out of the mountainsides by Cat tractor (usually D8s whose elevated drive cogs reduce track wear), and aren't made to common road standards. Things get really steep on the access roads to potential timber sales that will eventually be logged. I can usually climb up grades as much as 21% with the Rohloff's 15in low, but anything beyond that I push. I can go down steeper grades, but I have to use my 'bar tops and interrupter levers to keep my weight well back to prevent endos (see more pics below; my new camera has a level-shot indicator so I can accurately gauge slopes). On steep downhills I have to sit down rather than post, and that's where a sus-post would help comfort over the course of a long day atop the saddle on really rough roads. Contorting myself into a long, low, and rearward posture kinks my neck upward for the duration of a rough downhill and I can feel it afterwards.
Quote
...you should not be cycling on roads (if you could call it a road )like that so might be better of with an extra pair of walking boots.
Aw, jags! What fun would that be?  ;D

All the best,

Dan. (...who wouldn't mind a little spring in his ride)
« Last Edit: October 19, 2013, 11:52:59 PM by Danneaux »

jags

  • Guest
Re: Soliciting Suspension seatpost recommendations
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2013, 10:38:51 PM »
Ha Dan boy your good friend Anto would be walking up those hills that i can surly guarantee  ;D ;D

crazytraveler

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 111
    • The Crazy Travel
Re: Soliciting Suspension seatpost recommendations
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2014, 01:02:48 PM »
Did you get the Cane Creek Thudbuster LT in the end? How is it in combination with a Brooks saddle?
Cycling around the world on a Thorn Nomad!
http://en.thecrazytravel.com/

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7483
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Soliciting Suspension seatpost recommendations
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2014, 07:33:01 PM »
Yes CT, the Thudbuster LT works beautifully with my Brooks B.17 on the Nomad Mk2. So did the ST, but did not have enough travel for my needs on really rough roads.

I may fit an ST under the B.17 Champion Special saddle on my other rando bike. The ride has always been harsh at the rear, the Champion Special saddle is made of extra-thick leather, and the ST will still fit nicely in the limited clearance available on this bicycle, which has a horizontal top tube.

Others may have differing experiences, but I've found both flavors of Thudbuster to be nicely compatible with my Brooks B.17s.

Best,

Dan.

crazytraveler

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 111
    • The Crazy Travel
Re: Soliciting Suspension seatpost recommendations
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2014, 10:35:19 PM »
Yes CT, the Thudbuster LT works beautifully with my Brooks B.17 on the Nomad Mk2. So did the ST, but did not have enough travel for my needs on really rough roads.

I may fit an ST under the B.17 Champion Special saddle on my other rando bike. The ride has always been harsh at the rear, the Champion Special saddle is made of extra-thick leather, and the ST will still fit nicely in the limited clearance available on this bicycle, which has a horizontal top tube.

Others may have differing experiences, but I've found both flavors of Thudbuster to be nicely compatible with my Brooks B.17s.

Best,

Dan.

Thanks Dan!

But better the LT, right?

I am considering getting it for Asian roads... When the road/path is bad I basically just ride standing over the bicycle, but if the road is all day bad...  :D

Which kind of maintenance does it require? Any parts to change after X Km?
Cycling around the world on a Thorn Nomad!
http://en.thecrazytravel.com/

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7483
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Soliciting Suspension seatpost recommendations
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2014, 03:39:37 AM »
Hi CT!

As to which is "better"...it depends on available clearance and intended use. For me, the greater travel of the LT was better for using the Nomad unladen on rough logging roads and cross-country. I have greatest need for it when riding the bike unladen. With a load, the ride smooths out very nicely...but the TBLT makes it nicer for me all 'round.

I'm fortunate my Nomad (and my fit on it) allows plenty of clearance for the LT. Be sure to check the measurements on the Thudbuster website before buying.

For your intended use, the greater travel of the LT sounds most ideal. I really don't have to stand for bumps very often at all now I use the TBLT. James' experience earlier in this thread mirrors mine.

TB have a pivot rebuild kit, spare elastomers, and replacement tension bolt. I suppose if I were going to be away for an extended period in remote areas, I'd take all those though it is unlikely I'd need them. Maintenance is generally down to occasionally oiling the pivots. I think the neoprene dust cover is the key to sealing out dust and moisture and will greatly aid service life/reduce maintenance. A spare tension bolt would keep the lot together and ridable in the very unlikely event the original broke.

Beyond the cover and occasional oiling, mine has yet to require any service or show wear. However, anytime you introduce something with moving parts, there is the potential for problems. A rigid post will be the least risk/hassle,  but I found the TBLT well worth it for me in terms of unladen ride comfort and reduced fatigue. So far, it has been one of my most useful accessories. By the way, I ride with a 45 back angle. I found the stock elastomer ideal for my needs and didn't even need to adjust tension or preload, just use it as delivered. As with so many things, individual experience is bound to differ, but so far there has been no downside for me when used with my Brooks B.17. With my fast, light, smooth cadence I've noticed no bobbing. It can be a problem to fitting some clamp-on underseat bags, but the bags can usually be modified pretty easily. I'm currently using straps on my Ortlieb but intend to mill a new bracket from aluminum billet so I can mount the bag solidly to a wider part of the saddle rails and still clear the post linkage.

All the best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2014, 03:43:18 AM by Danneaux »

crazytraveler

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 111
    • The Crazy Travel
Re: Soliciting Suspension seatpost recommendations
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2014, 08:08:36 PM »
Hi CT!

As to which is "better"...it depends on available clearance and intended use. For me, the greater travel of the LT was better for using the Nomad unladen on rough logging roads and cross-country. I have greatest need for it when riding the bike unladen. With a load, the ride smooths out very nicely...but the TBLT makes it nicer for me all 'round.

I'm fortunate my Nomad (and my fit on it) allows plenty of clearance for the LT. Be sure to check the measurements on the Thudbuster website before buying.

For your intended use, the greater travel of the LT sounds most ideal. I really don't have to stand for bumps very often at all now I use the TBLT. James' experience earlier in this thread mirrors mine.

TB have a pivot rebuild kit, spare elastomers, and replacement tension bolt. I suppose if I were going to be away for an extended period in remote areas, I'd take all those though it is unlikely I'd need them. Maintenance is generally down to occasionally oiling the pivots. I think the neoprene dust cover is the key to sealing out dust and moisture and will greatly aid service life/reduce maintenance. A spare tension bolt would keep the lot together and ridable in the very unlikely event the original broke.

Beyond the cover and occasional oiling, mine has yet to require any service or show wear. However, anytime you introduce something with moving parts, there is the potential for problems. A rigid post will be the least risk/hassle,  but I found the TBLT well worth it for me in terms of unladen ride comfort and reduced fatigue. So far, it has been one of my most useful accessories. By the way, I ride with a 45 back angle. I found the stock elastomer ideal for my needs and didn't even need to adjust tension or preload, just use it as delivered. As with so many things, individual experience is bound to differ, but so far there has been no downside for me when used with my Brooks B.17. With my fast, light, smooth cadence I've noticed no bobbing. It can be a problem to fitting some clamp-on underseat bags, but the bags can usually be modified pretty easily. I'm currently using straps on my Ortlieb but intend to mill a new bracket from aluminum billet so I can mount the bag solidly to a wider part of the saddle rails and still clear the post linkage.

All the best,

Dan.

Thank you very much for the advice! ;-)
Cycling around the world on a Thorn Nomad!
http://en.thecrazytravel.com/

AndyE

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 148
Re: Soliciting Suspension seatpost recommendations
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2016, 09:43:40 PM »
Hi Dan, nearly two years since your last post on this subject, how is the TBLT performing?

Andy
Doncaster in deepest South of Yorkshire

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7483
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Soliciting Suspension seatpost recommendations
« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2016, 10:30:19 PM »
Quote
Hi Dan, nearly two years since your last post on this subject, how is the TBLT performing?
Despite pretty extensive use on rough logging roads, the Thudbuster LT (Long Travel) seatpost is almost indistinguishable from new in terms of function. There is now a barely discernible amount of lateral play compared to new, but this is only detectable when I manually (and gently) twist the saddle...it is not even enough to elicit a "click". I surely can't feel it while riding.

I do oil the pivots periodically with a Teflon-based lube and I do use the dust cover. I believe both those things are contributors to long life. I also take care not to reef (twist with force) on the saddle, which could place undue lateral torque on the bushings and pivot pins.

I did have an initial problem with a maddening click, wrote Cane Creek/Thudbuster about it, showed I had tried all their suggestions and detailed additional things I had tried -- a pretty exhaustive list. They figured it was a bad pivot/bushing and sent me a replacement under warranty with the tool to install it. A 30-second job to replace, the new bushing (it only required one) did the trick and the 'post has been quiet ever since.

Very pleased, very happy.

I have Thudbuster ST (Short Travel) seatposts on two of my randonneur bikes and have also been happy with them. It is horses for courses, really. The LT requires a good bit of room between the seatpost binder bolt and the saddle rails, so it would not fit the rando bikes with their horizontal top tubes. The ST posts fit fine, and do their job in that capacity -- smoothing out things like expansion joints and chip-seal over long 300-400km days in the saddle; I return home less fatigued. The ST posts use a single rubber puck. I found despite Cane Creek's/Thudbuster's warnings and recommendations, my positioning on the bike did not place enough weight on the saddle to activate the Medium puck indicated by my weight. I switched to a Soft puck and all works as intended with no bottoming-out.

The LT on the Nomad has much more travel and is much more tunable due to the ability to mix-match elastomers in the stack. The recommended Medium elastomer stack proved fine for me on the Nomad. The longer travel is most appropriate for my use on rough roads, goat tracks, logging roads, and poor gravel roads. I still post (stand) on the biggest bumps, as the rebound from the seatpost could be problematic in those situations. This is a nice feature of suspension seatposts -- you can lock them out at any time by simply standing on the pedals.

The LT differs from the ST by stacking the elastomers on a long bolt, held by a nylock nut and some washers. I have decided it is a potential long-term wear item and there have been isolated reports of this bolt breaking, primarily because a) the users did not occasionally grease the elastomer stack where the bolt passes through, causing wear on the bolt shaft and b) Some bolts were apparently a bit brittle and failed under rebound. I figured it would be a Wise Thing to order and carry a spare for my tours in the back-of-beyond. The bolt, nut, and washer weigh very little and are small so it is no bother. This caution does not affect the ST model which uses the rubber puck instead of stacked elastomers.

One additional word of possible caution: I am a spinner, someone who pedals with a fast, light ("hummingbird") low-torque cadence in round circles. As a result, I have no problem with these seatposts "bobbing" while under drive. However, I think that could potentially be a problem for "mashers" -- people who pedal with a high-torque, low-speed cadence and a pronounced power stroke on every revolution of the crank.

All the best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2016, 05:30:50 PM by Danneaux »

AndyE

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 148
Re: Soliciting Suspension seatpost recommendations
« Reply #25 on: September 05, 2016, 07:39:43 AM »
Thanks Dan, as usual your 10c has a $1.95 value ;D.

Andy
Doncaster in deepest South of Yorkshire

julio

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 243
Re: Soliciting Suspension seatpost recommendations
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2018, 02:49:26 PM »
Hi Dan ! 

I think about to add a suspension seatpost, the most confortable, reliable seems to be the Cane Creek Thudbuster LT but i have a doubt if it will be fine for me...

Because, my Nomad have a long top tube (565L), even if currently i feel confortable, i think with the Thudbuster LT each time damping movement, i move a little further from the handlebars..

Is it right Dan ? Do you think it will be a real problem ?

Maybe is there a counterpart ? from the family of telescopic suspension seat post ? ..

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7483
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Soliciting Suspension seatpost recommendations
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2018, 05:50:37 PM »
Hi Julien!

Your question is a good one and one I had asked myself as well. I use my size 590M Nomad with drop handebars. Despite the longer "Medium" (M) top tube, I find I can achieve the same position as my other drop-bar bikes by fitting compact drop 'bars with less forward reach and also a shorter reach (60mm) stem. I've found no detriment in handling or steering in my use. However, like you I was initially concerned about anything that could increase my reach to the handlebars because it was just right with my setup and I didn't want longer. So far, all has been well. I will explain why below:

The Thudbuster LT (ST also) is a parallelogram design, so the distance between saddle-top and bottom bracket remains pretty constant as the clamp declines down-and-rearward under bumps.

While this keeps saddle height effectively constant (but does change effective distance behind the bottom bracket in a dynamic fashion as you hit bumps), it does allow for a change in effective top tube length. I use the word "effective" because it is a dynamic process. The top tube doesn't actually change length but it feels a little like it because the saddle moves rearward a little as it moved down. That's a key point: It moves "a little" and only while responding to a bump, the distance it moves depends on the size of the bump.

The thing is, the Thudbuster 'posts in my actual use do not have the full travel promised -- they bottom out against the rising-rate of the compressed elastomer stack or rubber puck (depending on LT or ST model) before full travel can be reached. The designer and Cane Creek confirmed this with me in correspondence. This means the difference in reach to the handlebars throughout its travel at at the extremes is also less than you would think.

On various bikes in my fleet, I have two LTs and two STs. Despite my best efforts using things like tearable tape at the limits and so on, I have not been able to accurately measure the actual travel on my 'posts, so I cannot give you any accurate figures. In one test, I mounted a thin wooden dowel on my rear rack to measure where the travel extremes should have been, rode the bike on a rough road and found the markers undisturbed, so I know travel was something less than that. Mounting a camera to the rear rack and taking video it appears the travel on all the seatposts is less than the full stated range, but I'm not sure how much less because it is so hard to measure in practice.

This I do know: the ST (Short Travel) Thudbusters are ideal for my randonneur-road touring bikes in terms of taking the edge off rough chip-sealed pavement and concrete expansion joints and do a lot for making me feel more comfortable on long road rides. The longer the ride, the less fatigued I feel at the end and this really shows up on rides of 300-400km/day. However, the short-travel posts really do nothing for me on things like sharp frost-heaves, deep potholes and roots that have sharply bulged a paved surface. I have to use the same care in those circumstances as I would with a rigid seatpost. Hit something like that hard and you'll know it!

In contrast, the LT (Long Travel) Thudbusters work much better at damping much larger bumps than those mentioned above because it has more travel. I use mine on rough gravel and ballasted logging roads, though potholes and over root- and frost-heaves and they really help in that regard, making a noticeable difference and greatly reducing the number of times when I would otherwise stand to ease the road shock transmitted from the rear wheel up through my neck.

A couple things to keep in mind regarding my use and generally:
1) All my bikes have drop handlebars and I prefer setting my bikes up so I have a 45 back angle. Because of this, I place less body weight on the THudbusters than I would if sitting more upright. Because the 'posts are supporting less weight, I have found I need to go with a softer elastomer stack or rubber buck than my weight alone would indicate. Otherwise, the recommended durometer is just too stiff to get much benefit. This is a huge factor in how much actual travel I get from these parallelogram suspension seatposts. If your bike is setup so you're sitting much more upright, then you'll also get more travel, both downward and rearward.

2) Thudbusters don't mean you can or should remain seated over all bumps! I still post (stand up on the pedals) when I expect a big hit and this avoids any recoil effect where it might feel as if the 'post is launching me. It doesn't take long to learn what size bumps can be ridden seated and which require a quick standup.

3) I would much prefer to fit the LT model to all my bikes as it is more tunable (elastomer stack vs single molded rubber puck) and has a greater range of shock absorption. However, the limiting factor is the space available. The longer travel requires longer link-arms and not all my bikes have the clearance to allow this. That's why the road bikes (with horizontal top tubes) get the ST models; they simply have no room to fit the LT version unless the saddle were raised too high to be comfortable for me.

3) The Thudbuster pivots are highly polished stainless steel tubes riding in bronze bushings. This is appropriate for fretting loads. It also means the pivots should be lubed periodically and kept clean to reduce wear. I ordered the fitted neoprene sleeves for all my Thudbusters when I got them, fitted them at installation, and have found the pivots stay really clean with much longer lubrication intervals than if the posts were open (compared to the experience of friends who left theirs open) -- a bit like fitting a Hebie Chainglider vs an open chain.

4) Fitting a saddle to a Thudbuster is not so straightforward as with a conventional rigid 'post, so if you are switching, I would recommend taking careful measurements of...
a) The usual difference in height from bottom bracket center to saddle rails along the seatpost centerline.
b) Distance between steerer center and saddle nose.
c) Distance between underside of saddle at nose and top tube.
...so you can duplicate your position on the Thudbuster. Installation is fussy because there are two bolts to clamp the saddle rails. The forward one is fitted with a ring to serve as a thumbscrew. You first get that as tight as you can with finger pressure, then torque the rear bolt to spec with an allen key bit. Trouble is, as that rear bolt is torqued, the saddle tips rearward, so your initial adjustments will likely need to be redone a couple of times to get the saddle where it was on your old rigid 'post.

5) When you first sit on the saddle, your body weight will compress the elastomer stack or rubber puck, causing it to settle ("sag") and decline down-and-rearward a little. This can be addressed in one, the other, or a mixture of two ways: Either set the seatpost height a little higher than with a rigid 'post or set the saddle nose forward a little more than with a rigid 'post.

I chose the latter, pushing my saddle forward 4-5mm to serve as a preload for my body weight. Thinking about it more closely, I think this is a partial answer to your question, Julien: If your bike were setup like mine and with similar weight-elastomer settings, you could expect an increase in static reach at rest of about 4-5mm - easily compensated for by moving the saddle forward by that amount to put it back the same. Any increase in reach due to travel could be figured as a rising rate calculation (based on the compression curve of the damping medium, whether elastomer stack or rubber puck). I just went out to the garage where my Nomad is parked and draped my chest over the saddle, loading it with more and more of my body weight. I would =guess= I managed to achieve about 1cm of rearward travel and 1cm of downward travel total under as much load as I could apply to simulate a really big bump. That would total 2cm of travel, but only 1cm rearward and then only momentarily at close to full effective travel.
Quote
Is it right Dan ? Do you think it will be a real problem ?
I really don't think it will be a big problem in actual use, but it will depend on variables like your body weight, how upright you choose to sit, how close you are to not reaching the handlebars, how big a bumps you expect to hit while seated and the specific elastomer durometer you fit in the stack.
Quote
Maybe is there a counterpart ? from the family of telescopic suspension seat post ? ..
I haven't gotten along with telescopic seatposts to date, finding they tend to stick to some extent at points throughout their travel and work less freely and my knees don't tolerate the difference in effective saddle height so well as with a parallelogram design. That said, there are other parallelogram seatposts on the market and they work very nicely as options to choosing a Thudbuster. I went the Thudbuster route because it is widely distributed and replacement parts are available for when/if they wear out, unlike some others and there is good warranty coverage. I had to make use of this on one LT model when I made a warranty claim for a clicking pivot. After I described the steps I'd taken to isolate and try to address the problem, Cane Creek promptly sent me a replacement pivot and the tool to fit it, all free of charge. Terrific service. My other three posts have so far been problem-free.

Hopefully, something in the above will prove helpful to you.

All the best,

Dan.

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7483
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Soliciting Suspension seatpost recommendations
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2018, 07:09:10 PM »
A little addendum to the above...

If you get the elastomers setup properly, you really won't feel the Thudbuster "working" as you normally ride along. It just feels like the bumps aren't as sharp. Yes, you can deliberately induce some suspension action if you try (it is kind of fun to sometimes do so and feels like a little kid's spring-framed hobby horse), but normally it just feels (to me) like you had fitted tires with much larger cross-section filled with less air...but without changing the ride of the bike.

Keep in mind I'm a spinner who pedals at a fast, light, round high-rev "hummingbird" cadence and so I don't feel any bobbing when I pedal. Things might be different if you "mash" the pedals with a hard, cyclic up-down stroke.

Best,

Dan.

julio

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 243
Re: Soliciting Suspension seatpost recommendations
« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2018, 01:00:07 AM »
Super detailed answer.. lovely Dan 😑

There is this one, it seems a good compromise with 5cm of clearance, available for long travel model : http://byschulz.com/komponenten/sitzkomfort/parallel-gefederte-sattelstuetze-g2/

Or this one but only 3,5 cm of clearance : https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/redshiftsports/shockstop-seatpost-add-suspension-to-your-bike
« Last Edit: August 12, 2018, 01:28:43 PM by julio »