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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of slowly building a bike. I need to wait for my periodic standby shifts to provide me with money outside of the regular budget. I don't have a huge amount of money to work with but I'm not going bargain basement here either. I do, however, have a lot of time on my hands to debate over the tiniest of details. I've got the vast majority of the pieces planned but I'm having an issue with the seatpost.

What's prompting this is a tiny bit of insanity on my part. I'll fully admit it! There's a part of me that would like the seatpost to match the stem and the handlebars. But based on the stem and handlebar I'm fairly keen on, I'm less than thrilled with the seatpost options.

To give you a bit about me, I've been riding for about 3.5 years now. I don't race and I have zero intention of doing so. I'm a bit taller and a bit skinnier than your average American. I ride to escape, to stress relieve. I'm more interested in long distances like centuries. There's a guy at my church that rides across Nevada as part of a charity event. ~675 miles over 6 days. I would love to be able to join in with that in the next few years.

To cut to the chase, how much of a difference does the material, manufacturer, style, etc. make?

In other words, are seatposts close enough to each other that a schlub like me won't notice so by all means appeal to your vanity? Or are they the most vital component and you should dedicate the rest of your life obtaining the One, True, All-Encompasing Seatpost to Rule Them All? Or is there something a bit in-between? E.g. anything alu are basically the same but if you go CF then you should only get this brand, or CF is only for weight so save your money and get alu, etc., etc. And then there's the saddle attachment point: is the post material less important than the 1 bolt vs. 2 bolt vs. dilithium crystal actuator vs. etc...? :mad2:

For my specific needs, the frame takes 27.2mm.

And yes, I'm trying to avoid mentioning brands to prevent an additional layer of holy war comments obscuring the semi-general theory I'm asking with this thread. But if it's necessary I can provide.

Thanks,
 

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To cut to the chase, how much of a difference does the material, manufacturer, style, etc. make?
It really depends if you're comparing apples to apples. A decent to high end post isn't going to have a noticeable difference from one brand or material to another. But compared to a cheapo alu post that weighs as much as a boat anchor, yes.

And then there's the saddle attachment point: is the post material less important than the 1 bolt vs. 2 bolt vs. dilithium crystal actuator vs. etc...? :mad2:
Probably the most important. You want a clamp that is nice and secure and doesn't slip. And one that's easy to adjust. There's good and bad versions in both 1 & 2 bolt.
 

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As far as matching goes, I didn't match my seatpost to my bars/stem when I built up my current road bike. Seatpost is a matching one from the frame brand I got. Bars/Stem are from a popular known brand for these items. Doesn't bother me in the least.
 

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I put up with a 3T seatpost for years just so it would match the rest of the bike. So glad I finally got rid of that piece of crap.

There's a wide variety of seatpost clamps. The ones that clamp with a side to side pressure are terrible in comparison to those that clamp the top and bottoms of the rails. Also the ones that take up a lot of saddle rail to clamp suck vs. the ones with more compact clamping points.

Some like the Ergon C3 offer real deal comfort, while others like the Specialized Cobbler Gobbler just look like they do but actually don't.

I would not choose a seatpost just to match ever again. There's much more that's important about it that should outweigh the matchy matchy.
 

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I agree with what everyone else is saying. A cheap seat post is going to weigh a lot more than a more expensive post. Carbon versus aluminum -- doubt you'd tell any difference. Carbon bars -- yes. Post and stem -- no. The important things, past not buying a cheap boat anchor, are the clamp mechanism (you want something easily adjustable) and set back (depends on the geometry of your frame).

You're doing the right thing by gradually acquiring parts and getting exactly what you want. I get almost all my stuff from a UK outfit called Ribble Cycles (Buy Road Bikes & Parts at Ribble Cycles | Online Bike Shop). They have the best deals with no shipping cost (if you spend $100 or something like that), no taxes, and I've never been charged import duty either.
 

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I've had good luck with layback 27.2 aluminum posts. I swapped one for a titanium post (same rather long exposed length, same layback) on my HT MTB, and I can't honestly say there's much of a difference. I still ended up buying a FS MTB. Ha. On my road bike, I have a 30.9 aluminum post with maybe 6" of exposed post, and it's fine. I also had a bike with a carbon 27.2. No real difference, and if it matters to you, it was heavier than the others. Tires and pressures matter more than anything when it comes to comfort. I'd just stick to one of the big, established brands.

When it comes to seat clamps, the only one I've had issue with is a 1-bolt through the bottom on a layback. It slipped/rotated backwards quite a bit. I have an Enve side bolt on that titanium post, and it's fine. It's more finnicky than the standard two bolt clamp that you'll find on most posts though.

I usually match post/bar/stem (no real reason other than it looks good together), but I just ordered a non-matching bar for my road bike. It does match the fork though, so I guess I'm still OK.
 

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I use a vintage famous Italian aluminum aero seatpost whenever possible. I've used several types of seat posts and I've found only a secure clamp makes any difference. I use the Italian seatpost because it's beautiful.
 

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I use a vintage famous Italian aluminum aero seatpost whenever possible. I've used several types of seat posts and I've found only a secure clamp makes any difference. I use the Italian seatpost because it's beautiful.
this.

campy aluminum.

polished to a mirror finish.
 

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this.

campy aluminum.

polished to a mirror finish.
Another vote. The Campy C Record aero post. The clamp can be fussy, it is probably a little heavier (never measured, don't want to know) but it is gorgeous and I'm a sucker for one.

As I get older, for some reason, aesthetics have become more important to me, and I try to get my components to match and make the bike look good. Part of that lies in my interest in vintage bikes and once you decide to hop on one, weight concerns get bumped down the list. Comfort is still important though.

I wouldn't agonize over it if you feel strongly about a certain post. Keep an eye out for a good deal and if it makes you feel good about the bike, then that's a win. If it doesn't work out as well as you planned, then sell it and try another.
 

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An old aluminum Campagnolo is a fine seat post, but Nitto seat posts are also damn fine posts and much easier to source. Shimano also mades a good seat post, and if you can find one Sun Tour posts were quite nice also.

I have Campagnolo, Shimano and Nitto posts, and there ain't no flies on any of them.

I do recommend a two bolt design, whichever brand you decide. A two bolt clamp can be a bit finicky to set up but are worth the bother, IMO. A single bolt clamp will be indexed so as not to slip once set, and this is the drawback. You may or may not, get the saddle just where you want it depending where your ideal position falls within the indexing parameters. The two bolt clamps are able to be fine tuned to quite a degree. Loosen one bolt and tighten the other and the nose dips or rises as much or little as you want.

I can adjust my saddle so that I can ride comfortably with a single bolt clamp but the nose will tilt up more than I prefer. A two bolt clamp will put the saddle were I want it with no compromise.

A good seat post, single or two bolt clamp, will hold the saddle secure once set so no worries there, either way.

Which ever clamp you decide on, I would recommend Nitto, probably the nicest aluminum post being made today. But if you want to scour the bay You won't go wrong with a Campagnolo aluminum post, but they can get mighty pricey for NOS and a lot of the second hand ones can be quite scored up.

All the posts I'm talking about here are setback posts of about 23-25mm's. For a non setback post probably a Thomson.
 

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Thomson (no "p") is my go to.

Re campy aero era: I really liked the old american classic Ti with the micro adjust thing.

I also have a Niner RDO carbon post on my cx/gravel bike. Very happy with it on that bike. I can tell a difference between it and the thomson it replaced.
 

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For me, seat post choice is driven by geometry (big set back vs. normal set back v. no set back), clamp design, and (yes) aesthetics.

Set Back: I'm a normal set back guy. If I am going to run an old school Brooks saddle, I might pop for a seat post with a bit more set back. Brooks saddles do not have as much adjustment range on the rails, and I like mine set back a bit.

Seat Clamp: I'm 200+ lbs, so I prefer a two bolt design.

Aesthetics: polished aluminum for me.

Ones I like -

Classic Campagnolo two bolt is always a good choice. There were a number of knock offs that were also pretty good - Zeus made a two bolt post that some thought was actually better than the Campy post (heresy!). I have a Japanese SR post that is a Campy copy - it is okay. One caveat with an older seat post is that the distance between seat rails used to vary back in the day and an old seatpost might not be compatible with a modern seat. My SR post doesn't play well with some seats.

Nitto: the S83 is my go-to post. Two bolt. Light-ish. Beautiful. Reasonably priced. They have other, higher end posts that are works of art. I am a Nitto fan.

Velo Orange: I picked up a two bolt post from Velo Orange. The clamp doesn't inspire confidence, but it certainly is cheap.
 

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All my bikes have Thomson seat posts. :) No worries breaking from my fart arse. I matched the black one on my road bike to a nice black syntace stem. No cf for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you very much all. This was the kind of information I was hoping for. It's greatly going to narrow my efforts moving forward.

On to specifics I won't be going for the matching components. Especially after MMsRepBike's comment. My search really pushed me towards the 3T Ergonova Pro bars. The 3T stem to match didn't raise any flags so on the list it went. But the seatposts didn't wow me.

From all your posts I'm now starting to lean towards Thomson but I've got a couple of months to settle things as I look at Nitto and some of the others.
 

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All my bikes have Thomson seat posts. :) No worries breaking from my fart arse. I matched the black one on my road bike to a nice black syntace stem. No cf for me.
Funny you should mention that. The only seat post I've ever cracked was a Thomson Elite, but it was I suspect from riding my cross bike down a trail that was meant for a mountain bike.
 

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The knock off ebay post resembling a Canyon seatpost so far seems like a good copy, but have not used it enough to know about strength and longevity.
 

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Like folks said before, you can't go wrong with a Thomson. A good alternative would be a Syntace P6. You can get a nice matching Syntace stem too. I've used older Shimano DA seatposts, but I prefer Nitto; the seat clamp is easier to adjust. I think a lot of people here like the Easton EA/EC 70 or 90 posts.
 
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