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I have Fuji Absolute 1.9D road bike. Is the seat post on this bike fitted with ashock absorber? I don't think so. If not, would it be worth replacing the original seat post with shock absorbing one?

Thank you

Editor's note: the OP indicated in comments that he has a hybrid bike, mainly traveling on smooth paved roads.

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    I got a shock-absorbing post some years back and I find that it's quite helpful. But it may not be for everyone, as it makes the seat a bit "squishy". May 15, 2016 at 18:55

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Your bike probably does not have a suspension seat post.

They are great for smoothing out small bumps on rough roads, and help with people whose anatomy is not 'cycle hardened'. For less fit riders, you do not need to unload the seat by standing for small bumps, so can make a ride less tiring. They also help soften the blow where you misjudge a bump and its bigger than expected.

However, they also loose some pedalling efficiency due to the changing length of the seat-pedals, so few serious cyclists use them.

Most people love or hate them, not much middle ground. People who love them are usually casual cyclists. I have used one on a MTB hardtail, but ride often enough it makes little difference to me. My wife currently does because she rides rarely, and it helps smooth out the bumps on the hard packed MTB trails she rides.

Should you get one? Only if you ride with padded shorts and still want a bit more comfort. if you try one and like it, as you get more miles under you belt, you may find you don't need it, or even dislike it. It could be worth holding off getting one for a while and giving time for your body to adapt to riding.

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    Thank you, mattnz. I'm male, 65 years old and in fairly good physical condition. I use padded shorts and a padded saddle cover. I use the bike everyday for one hour for aerobic workout. I ride about 20 kilo metres in one hour. I don’t use the bike for travelling to places. Based on the above information, would you like to revise your advice or does it still stand.
    – Ali
    May 16, 2016 at 10:24
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    Good answer. @ali if your rides are on smooth tarmac, then no you won't need one. If you ride on chipseal then it should help smooth the buzz, A road bike shouldn't be going through potholes, but a suspension post will only take the edge off a big hit. I'm also assuming road bike means drop bars and light/sporty, as opposed to a hybrid or commuter rigid MTB style.
    – Criggie
    May 16, 2016 at 11:11
  • Thank you, Criggie. The roads I ride on are fairly smooth with occasional humps (speed breakers). You may call my bike a hybrid for it says in manual that it can be used on off roads with 30 cente. metre drop (whatever that may mean). The handle bar is straight
    – Ali
    May 16, 2016 at 12:00
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    Based on that information, best guess is a suspension post won't make much difference to you. However I could easily be wrong and you won't know unless you try one. Consider a few rides without the padded seat cover - counter intuitive, but notice most riders do not use them (although most serious riders have been through dozens of saddles to find the one that fits 'just right')
    – mattnz
    May 16, 2016 at 20:05
  • I support mattnz advice about riding without the padded cover. The times I used one, I noticed it puts pressure on parts that don't get much pressure when using a padded short on a not so plush saddle, thus causing discomfort in slightly different areas. On a correctly fit saddle, the weight is supposed to be on the ischial tuberosity, two protrusions in the lower part of the pelvic bone, (two spots) as opposed to the whole saddle-body contact area. Also notice how most saddle covers hide the shape of centre cutouts on some saddles (negating the effect they where put there for, I'd say).
    – Jahaziel
    Nov 10, 2021 at 15:28
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I would recommend to get one. They make riding easier on your back and also increase comfort. From my experience it not easy to find good ones that last for a long time. Those I had with air tended to leak it over time. But this was 10 years ago, so maybe newer ones don't have this problem any more. One of the better ones I had, had a parallelogram with rubber bolds in the middle but it was fairly heavy.

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  • Sounds like you're talking about air-sprung posts. I don't follow this type of tech, but I know that Cane Creek offers an elastomer-based post and Redshift has one with steel springs. I think the post you referenced that you liked is probably designed like the Cane Creek post. Those posts are tuned to take the edge off on gravel. You may not have noticed, but the OP commented he is mainly on smooth roads (I just added this info to the question text). So, I still think the posts aren't likely to be relevant to the OP, but good answer nonetheless.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Nov 11, 2021 at 1:13
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One area of cycling where suspension posts are highly beneficial is tandem bicycles. Specifically, at the stoker's (rear cyclist) position.

Stoker has much harder time seeing and predicting bumps in upcoming path when compared to the captain (the forward cyclist). No amount of captain's feedback (oral warnings about upcoming obstacles) can compensate for being unable to directly see road ahead you.

This difference results in much more bumps reaching the stoker's body, leading to higher fatigue and less pleasant ride. Where a captain would instinctively stand up on pedals to soak an upcoming bump, a stoker would get hit in the butt.

Because of this, a suspension post (regardless of its construction) is beneficial to the stoker.

Let's generalize a bit.

Any sort of suspension designed for filtering low-frequency obstacles (such as pot holes, branches, kerbs) is beneficial when you cannot easily avoid them, e.g. in the aforementioned position, or riding trail, riding at night, or steering a low-maneuverable vehicle (cargo bike). Otherwise, it is just easier to avoid obstacles, and it is always safer to avoid them than just to rely on suspension to always save your ass.

High-frequency input (e.g. small irregularities of pavement or gravel) you cannot easily avoid. That is where different kind of suspension comes to play. Traditionally, it is pneumatic tires.

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I used to have a bike with suspension seat post a long time ago. I removed it and installed a non-suspension post after about a year of riding.

The problem with suspension posts are several:

  • They gradually loosen sideways, so that the saddle doesn't always point forwards but can point slightly to the left or right. Thus, you need to replace a suspension seat post often with a new seat post due to developing looseness, if riding the bike a lot. In contrast, a good aluminum seat post will last for more kilometers than a typical car engine lasts. So they're not a low maintenance item.
  • If you increase the fraction of your weight that is on pedals and decrease the fraction of your weight that is on the saddle (such as when pedaling hard or riding on bumpy ground), the saddle goes up. Then your saddle height just became incorrect, too high.
  • If you decrease the fraction of your weight that is on pedals and increase the fraction of your weight that is on the saddle (such as when pedaling very lightly), the saddle goes down. Then your saddle height just became incorrect, too low.
  • Also during very heavy pedaling seated, the suspension effect can rob a measurable fraction of your power output.

My current approach is to just unload the saddle and put my weight on the pedals if the road is bumpy. If the road is very bumpy, I also ensure there's a very large gap between the saddle and my butt (so I'm standing on the pedals), so I can do the suspension with my legs.

For a non-active casual rider who finds it uncomfortable to carry all of the body weight on the legs on bumpy ground, suspension seat posts might be useful. If the bike sees less than 5000 km in its lifetime, suspension seatpost wear is not a concern.

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  • Point 1 sounds odd. Are you talking about the post rotating inside the seat tube? Wouldn't that be just tighten the clamp down more, or maybe use a beer can shim if your frame's ST diameter is out of tolerance? I have a hard time accepting that this propensity is an inherent property of suspension posts.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Nov 12, 2021 at 18:51
  • @WeiwenNg Referring to wear inside the post that results in the moving stanchion having some wiggle room. On some posts, this can be eliminated by tightening the plastic bushing the post slides on.
    – MaplePanda
    Nov 12, 2021 at 20:01
  • @MaplePanda Good point. However, is that an issue of poor tolerances or poor design causing excessive wear? The OP implies that this as an inherent property of suspension posts.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Nov 12, 2021 at 20:53
  • @WeiwenNg Assuming a cheap post (not a $200 Thudbuster), it’s both. However, the bushing is usually adjustable, much like the chuck on a drill. Not sure why Juhist’s aren’t. And either way, it’s really not an issue; most dropper posts have a little wiggle and those are widely used.
    – MaplePanda
    Nov 12, 2021 at 23:56

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