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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 05-21-09, 11:28 AM   #1
Little Darwin
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How About Seat Posts for an Uber-Clyde?

I am curious if any any of my heavier friends here has had issues with seat posts.

I weigh about 340 pounds (and dropping) and I am building up a mountain bike from a frame that came with a seat post... It is a Dirt Research model, and the seat post (as with many mountain bikes) will extend quite a bit from the seat tube.

But in looking at the seat post, it seems to be constructed of fairly thin material, It seems slightly thinner than frame tubing. It is very light, so perhaps either Chromoly or aluminum alloy??? It is painted black, so I can't easily tell.

I don't know if it is just my old fashioned sense of what a seat post should be like (from back in the 70's), but I seem to recall that seat posts used to be either steel, or much thicker aluminum alloy.

With the emphasis for all bicycle parts being low weight... Should I be hesitant to ride such a seat post?

If I should get something beefier, how should I choose a seat post that I could be confident of holding my weight?

Or am I being too paranoid? I definitely don't want to end up sitting on a jagged half seat post at some point.
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Old 05-21-09, 11:43 AM   #2
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Sorry, no experience in this weight range. I would look perhaps for a mountainbike downhill or jumping equipment if in doubt?
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Old 05-21-09, 11:49 AM   #3
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Go with a Thompson Seatpost. It's a bit on the pricey side, but our members have had a lot of good experiences with using them. They are machined from a single billet of aluminum and are by far the strongest seatpost on the market.
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Old 05-21-09, 12:01 PM   #4
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What Tom said ^ ^ ^

According to their website available in lengths up to 410mm depending on the diameter that you need. While I've never had a seatpost bend or break on me (although I'm at the lower end of the clyde pool, having started at around 240#), I have had trouble with seatposts slipping in the past, so remember to check that every so often. If its slipping, look for a beefier seatpost clamp (I've had zero problems with my seatpost slipping with the stock constrictor clamp on my surly lht)
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Old 05-21-09, 02:00 PM   #5
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+1 Thomson(no p if you're doing a search for them). They come with the Clyde Seal/Head Nod of Approval.
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Old 05-21-09, 02:16 PM   #6
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my buddie has bent or broken every seatpost he has owned. hes not heavy but he is just an animal with his bikes. i guess it depends on what you are doing with your MTB. are you just riding it on smooth trails or using it for the road or some heavy duty off road riding. for most occations the thomson post will work great. i was still 290 - 300 when i bought a thomson for my MTB and i am not nice to it and it works fine.

If your my buddie who breaks everything then i have a good solution for you. it adds a few pounds but my buddie bought a solid piece of round bar and either used epoxy or JB weld to bond it. has not had a problems since
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Old 05-21-09, 03:09 PM   #7
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thompson has held up just fine under my 300# hard tail 29er riding girth...

if you want to go a bit cheaper (and stronger?) look at the titec el norte... has titec knock rating so if you kill it they replace it no questions asked (or so i've read)
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Old 05-21-09, 05:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
I am curious if any any of my heavier friends here has had issues with seat posts.

I weigh about 340 pounds (and dropping) and I am building up a mountain bike from a frame that came with a seat post... It is a Dirt Research model, and the seat post (as with many mountain bikes) will extend quite a bit from the seat tube.

But in looking at the seat post, it seems to be constructed of fairly thin material, It seems slightly thinner than frame tubing. It is very light, so perhaps either Chromoly or aluminum alloy??? It is painted black, so I can't easily tell.

I don't know if it is just my old fashioned sense of what a seat post should be like (from back in the 70's), but I seem to recall that seat posts used to be either steel, or much thicker aluminum alloy.

With the emphasis for all bicycle parts being low weight... Should I be hesitant to ride such a seat post?

If I should get something beefier, how should I choose a seat post that I could be confident of holding my weight?

Or am I being too paranoid? I definitely don't want to end up sitting on a jagged half seat post at some point.
Seat posts are made out of 3 possible materials:

1) Mild steel, very thick, usually chromed, can outweigh a CF bicycle frame.
2) Aluminum alloy, usually painted black, not always as thick as you might think it should be, light weight, works well.
3) Carbon Fibre reinforced plastic, usually solid, light weight, black, but not always painted black.

One of the most important things is to unload the seat over moderate to large bumps, this uses the riders legs as shock absorbers, it takes a lot of strain off the rear wheel and the seat post.

The hardest thing on a seat post is for a rider to stay firm on the saddle no matter how rough the road. For this kind of rider, the chromed steel post is probably best, with the solid aluminum Thompson coming a close second. This kind of rider can have post problems, even well below Clyde weights. The key problems are the continual post slippage problem, and post breakage.
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Old 05-21-09, 07:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
The hardest thing on a seat post is for a rider to stay firm on the saddle no matter how rough the road. For this kind of rider, the chromed steel post is probably best, with the solid aluminum Thompson coming a close second. This kind of rider can have post problems, even well below Clyde weights. The key problems are the continual post slippage problem, and post breakage.
I definitely get out of the saddle when I see the rough stuff coming, and I am not looking to do any hard core off roading, just mild trails at the most.

So between your comments and others, I think I will get s Thomson (or perhaps a Titec) and call it good... and I won't worry too much about other seat posts that I may already have on hand, as far as doing the job as long as I don't abuse the equipment.
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Old 05-22-09, 04:21 AM   #10
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I'm 330-340#. I've been on a Thomson Elite for 3 years/10,000 now. No problems!
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Old 05-22-09, 04:23 AM   #11
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They come with the Clyde Seal/Head Nod of Approval.
We need to come up with a stamp/seal for this!
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Old 05-22-09, 07:47 AM   #12
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The one thing for me, because my budget is so light right now, is that if I'm not having a problem, Im not going to spend money to fix said non-existant problem.

I have a Fuji Absolute 4.0, and it came with the stock Fuji Micro Adjust Aluminum and I haven't been the least bit worried about the seat post. I just feel like all the other components are going to have problems before a relatively short and well shaped piece of aluminum. Even one holding my 324# rear.
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Old 05-22-09, 02:20 PM   #13
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The OP is in a different situation, as his seatpost is extended far out and because of his weight.
For this situation a heavy duty seatpost might be worthwhile - it is sure to be stressed quite heavily. Dedicated MTB downhill seatposts are available from lots of brands (Azonic, Race Face, Titec, ....) all of them offer seatposts which get the job done for hard core downhill freaks. There is a big cult made about Thompson seatposts - be my guest if somebody wants to pay double and triple, only for the name.

If your seatpost is not this stressed, simply because it is not extended very far, there is really no reason to worry!


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The one thing for me, because my budget is so light right now, is that if I'm not having a problem, Im not going to spend money to fix said non-existant problem.

I have a Fuji Absolute 4.0, and it came with the stock Fuji Micro Adjust Aluminum and I haven't been the least bit worried about the seat post. I just feel like all the other components are going to have problems before a relatively short and well shaped piece of aluminum. Even one holding my 324# rear.
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Old 05-22-09, 02:36 PM   #14
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The OP is in a different situation, as his seatpost is extended far out and because of his weight.

On my first bike I had to have 12-14" of post exposed because the frame was too small. My stock post snapped off after about 9 months. My Thomson is still in one piece. I have no experience with MTB posts, so I can't comment on that.

I'm not a cult member, but someone who lived through a seat post snapping off mid-ride and paid the extra $ to (hopefully) never have to experience that again.
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Old 05-22-09, 03:31 PM   #15
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And as the OP, I would probably not have been concerned about my seat post if it had come installed, I just know my frame and seatpost seem to have been designed for light weight, and since it is not assembled was curious...

I have a couple of other bikes I ride, and am not concerned at all about their posts, and have never even looked at them. They are ridden exclusively on the road and bike paths however.

For the trail rider, I did find a good price for the Titec on Ebay, so I will be giving it a try. Just for peace of mind.

I also notice someone selling a Thomson offset in the "For Sale" forum that I was tempted to get... but for half the price, I think the Titec will do fine. I am not worried about a few extra grams.
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Old 05-22-09, 05:26 PM   #16
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I also notice someone selling a Thomson offset in the "For Sale" forum that I was tempted to get... but for half the price, I think the Titec will do fine. I am not worried about a few extra grams.


I was recommending the Thomson Elite, not the 'offset.'

I don't think a 340# Clyde gives a flip about how many grams his seatpost weighs,I know I don't.
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Old 05-22-09, 06:01 PM   #17
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I was recommending the Thomson Elite, not the 'offset.'

I don't think a 340# Clyde gives a flip about how many grams his seatpost weighs,I know I don't.
Even at half my weight I wouldn't care about the weight of the seatpost. In fact, on my Giant Sedona, I have the suspension seatpost cranked down so that the suspension doesn't move... If I cared about weight, I would have to swap that out for sure.
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Old 05-22-09, 08:23 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
They come with the Clyde Seal/Head Nod of Approval.
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We need to come up with a stamp/seal for this!

Like this?
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Old 05-23-09, 07:35 PM   #19
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Thomson for me, and I was 375 at one point now 290 and never an issue.
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