Take the 2-minute tour ×
Bicycles Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who build and repair bicycles, people who train cycling, or commute on bicycles. It's 100% free, no registration required.

As the title states, what are the benefits of a carbon seatpost like this one from MEC?

My research indicates there may be the following pros and cons:

Pros

  • Lighter
  • Supposedly smoother ride

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Possibly more prone to catastrophic failure as compared to aluminium

Is there anything else I'm missing or that I'm completely wrong about?

share|improve this question
3  
You forgot to mention that sexy black color. –  Daniel R Hicks Aug 9 '11 at 0:57
    
They sure look good! –  Soo Wei Tan Aug 9 '11 at 3:41
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

In general, you've hit the high points yourself.

The benefits (and issues) will vary by post model, manufacturer, and design. Carbon fiber is a very versatile material engineering wise.

Storck makes 2 carbon posts, which are externally identical. But one is a comfort post, which focuses solely on smoothing out your ride, and the other focuses on being light and stiff.

While there were issues with catastrophic failures, especially in early models, carbon component design is no longer in its infancy, and you are extremely unlikely to have failure issues if you choose your components and ride in a manner appropriate to the style of bike you own.

share|improve this answer
1  
Not to mention, aluminum can fail catastrophically too. –  Stephen Touset May 6 '13 at 17:00
add comment

I find it hard to imagine you could get a carbon seat post catastrophically fail. (I say that as someone who has broken a Titanium seat rail, a Ti frame in three places, and a Ti stem.

Generally on a very stiff frame, (like Aluminum) getting a carbon front fork, carbon seat post can help absorb some of the harshness of the frame.

share|improve this answer
1  
At a cyclocross race I saw a failed carbon seatpost; broke as he was jumping back onto the bike. Borrowed my needlenose plier multitool to pull the rest out of the seat tube. –  freiheit Aug 9 '11 at 3:01
    
This would be going on a aluminium frame. I do find the ride to be harsh over poor pavement so I'm hoping a carbon seatpost may improve the ride quality. –  Soo Wei Tan Aug 9 '11 at 3:40
    
@freiheit Wild! –  geoffc Aug 9 '11 at 9:56
add comment

I have had one fail, but it was on a second-hand bike and I've no idea what its provenance was. It was sudden, but not catastrophic - I was riding down a 5 mile hill and felt the saddle start to wobble. When I stopped I found the post had cracked in a spiral up its length.

The ride home out of the saddle was hard work, but I'd be far less worried about failure in a seatpost than forks or bars.

share|improve this answer
1  
While interesting, this doesn't entirely answer the question. –  Neil Fein Feb 3 '13 at 6:28
1  
And you thought it was worth coming back after 17 months to make sure I don't leave interesting but incomplete answers again? –  Duncan McGregor Feb 3 '13 at 13:54
    
Duncan, that is the funniest thing I've read in weeks. Well done. :) –  user6841 May 6 '13 at 3:45
    
And you joined just to tell me - thank you! –  Duncan McGregor May 7 '13 at 12:17
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.