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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 11-22-15, 04:23 PM   #1
jnbrown
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Looking for feedback on suspension posts

My wife expressed some interest in a suspension post after we went for a bike fit and they brought up the subject.
We have gotten by without one for 4 years on our Calfee using a Specialized Pave seatpost which probably provides some small level of absorption.
I am a bit skeptical about it but willing to explore it. The posts I would be most interested in are the Ergon CF3 and Specialized Cobl Goblr.
Seems like the Specialized might provide more travel, but the movement seems to be mostly towards the rear of the seat, while with the Ergon seems the whole saddle would move. There is about 5.25 inches from the seat tube clamp to the saddle rails, I am not sure if this is enough for the Ergon to do its thing. Thanks for any input. The bike fit did help a lot, moved the bars back about 1.5" and the seat forward some. This also allowed switching the bars from 42cm to 40cm.

Just found on the Ergon web site that the minimum extension is 156mm, so almost an inch longer than what we have currently.

Last edited by jnbrown; 11-22-15 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 11-22-15, 05:34 PM   #2
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Looking for feedback on suspension posts

Suspension seat post adds weight and complexity.

It also comes at an aesthetic and efficiency price.

So if your current set up works why would you want a suspension seat post?
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Old 11-22-15, 05:48 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Suspension seat post adds weight and complexity.

It also comes at an aesthetic and efficiency price.

So if your current set up works why would you want a suspension seat post?
i agree, it is interesting, when we had our fit the fitter suggested a suspension seatpost also. He has a Cannondale tandem, that might be the reason.

We don't use one and my stoker does not want or feel like she needs one. We also have a Calfee Tetra.

here is a link to info on suspension posts. Seatposts: Overlooked Yet Critical For Your Comfort | CyclingAbout
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Old 11-22-15, 06:12 PM   #4
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We had one originally on our T50, and my wife decided she preferred not to have. So now we don't.
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Old 11-22-15, 07:50 PM   #5
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Well my position is we should just leave as is, but I was really wrong when it came to fit and that caused my wife years of unnecessary discomfort.
On our previous tandem which was an aluminum Santana we had a Thudbuster and if I had to guess our current set up is less bumpy.
It is hard for me tell if the discomfort she feels from riding is due to excessive bumps being on the back of a tandem or just normal for being on a bike for 3-4 hours.
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Old 11-22-15, 08:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DubT View Post
i agree, it is interesting, when we had our fit the fitter suggested a suspension seatpost also. He has a Cannondale tandem, that might be the reason.

We don't use one and my stoker does not want or feel like she needs one. We also have a Calfee Tetra.

here is a link to info on suspension posts. Seatposts: Overlooked Yet Critical For Your Comfort | CyclingAbout
That is an interesting link. It is showing the S-Works seat post has more damping than a Thudbuster. The S-Works looks similar to the Pave we have and is also mentioned in the link. Another one that looks interesting but not mentioned is the Niner RDO.
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Old 11-22-15, 09:09 PM   #7
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The carbon Specialized Goblr post is very nice. My wife loves it. Yes it costs money, but my wife loves it. Endit. It's also light. Unlike many suspension posts, there's no bouncing, no power robbing, no extra weight, well a tiny bit compared to a straight carbon post, but not much. Depends on how you are about gram counting.
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Old 11-22-15, 09:33 PM   #8
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The carbon Specialized Goblr post is very nice. My wife loves it. Yes it costs money, but my wife loves it. Endit. It's also light. Unlike many suspension posts, there's no bouncing, no power robbing, no extra weight, well a tiny bit compared to a straight carbon post, but not much. Depends on how you are about gram counting.
Thanks for feedback. If I had to pick one right now that would probably be it because it would fit in the space we have and it visibly looks like it does something rather than just a straight carbon post that claims to flex.
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Old 11-22-15, 11:10 PM   #9
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My wife also loves the cobble goblr. With the caveat be carefull about fitting to to seat set back. We barely made it with seat all the way forward.
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Old 11-22-15, 11:54 PM   #10
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My wife also loves the cobble goblr. With the caveat be carefull about fitting to to seat set back. We barely made it with seat all the way forward.
I have read a lot of discussions about the set back on this post and how some people couldn't use it.
Its supposed to be 25mm and our current post is 21mm. It looks like there is about 10mm of seat rail left so in theory it should work.
Not sure if having the seat all the way forward would affect the performance but sounds like its working for you.
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Old 11-23-15, 12:34 AM   #11
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We've used the Thudbuster on our Co-Motion, and the Specialized GOBL-R on our Calfee Tetra. The Thudbuster has a lot of travel but we couln't find the right elastomer (out of 3 firmness) that was compliant and stable during high cadence (80-90 rpm+) efforts. The GOBL-R was lighter than the Thudbuster, and didn't ounce. However, it just didn't have enough travel to absorb the occasional bump or rough payment over the course of a fast century ride.

During the NWTR 2015, we took advantage of the Cirrus Bodyfloat demo. I was pretty skeptical but the twin-spring design (one for preload and one for dampening) was not bouncy and was much more effective than the GOBL-R. Along with the majority of teams who did the demo, we bought the Bodyfloat on the spot.

Although the Bodyfloat is heavier than the GOBL-R, we think that we ride faster because I don't have to ease up over rough payment and small bumps. Even when I can't avoid the occasional big bump, my stoker doesn't get a painful hit. She can feel the the saddle move, but it doesn't hurt! So we gladly accept the slight weight penalty for the plusher ride and higher speed. The Bodyfloat is well made and the springs are un-affected by cold weather. It was an easy decision to sell the GOBL-R.
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Old 11-23-15, 03:10 AM   #12
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What is with the liking/need for suspension seat posts on tandems? They are rarely used on single bikes which ride harder than tandems.
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Old 11-23-15, 06:25 AM   #13
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What is with the liking/need for suspension seat posts on tandems? They are rarely used on single bikes which ride harder than tandems.
On a single bike, and as a captain, we can see imperfections in the road coming and slightly unweight the seat. The stoker doesn't always enjoy this same warning and can be firmly planted on the seat when the bike hits rough pavement.

We use the CGR (Cobl Gobl'r) seatpost on our Cannondale and my wife appreciates it quite a bit over the previous Easton carbon post. It won't eliminate the jarring when I accidentally hit a pothole, but it makes rough pavement much more tolerable.
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Old 11-23-15, 09:06 AM   #14
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On a single bike, and as a captain, we can see imperfections in the road coming and slightly unweight the seat. The stoker doesn't always enjoy this same warning and can be firmly planted on the seat when the bike hits rough pavement.
This point may not be obvious unless you switch roles and ride as a stoker. I did a short ride as a stoker and it was nerve-wracking. Unfortunately, the captain can't always warn about every bump or ripple. Without a suspension post, even minor road imperfections can be uncomfortable after long distance.

We noticed that some stokers use thickly padded saddle to reduce road shock or ride shorter routes (less than 50 miles). Since we prefer racing saddles and century rides, it's a worthwhile compromise to use a suspension post and save weight elsewhere on the tandem.
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Old 11-23-15, 10:34 AM   #15
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My wife tried a Thudbuster LT, but it bounced a lot when we pedaled. Now she has a cheap spring-loaded seat post similar to THIS one from Performance. I preloaded it so it has almost no bounce when we're pedaling, but it moves when we hit a bump.

As others have noted, stokers can't see the road that is directly ahead, so even with a considerate captain they feel every bump.

If I were to ask about removing the suspension seat post, I would get something like "...when you pry it out of my cold, dead fingers..." or, "...sure, if you want to ride alone..."
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Old 11-23-15, 11:18 AM   #16
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We have a Specialized CG-R on our Co-Motion Speedster. We rode without it for some time but there were still a few times, especially on rougher roads, when it was clear that a little relief would be appreciated. After a longer ride on some roads made up more of patches than continuous pavement, it was clear that the CG-R is on the bike to stay.

So, initially skeptical and fully prepared to return the CG-R, we're keeping it.
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Old 11-23-15, 11:34 AM   #17
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Have a look at BodyFloat
Home | Cirrus Cycles | Bodyfloat | Isolation Seat Post | Suspension Seatpost System
We have one tandem with a Thudbuster and another with a BodyFloat. While I'm not the stoker so I can't speak for their suspension capabilities, I am the 'wrench' and know the BodyFloat is infinitely more adjustable (different springs, preload).
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Old 11-23-15, 12:03 PM   #18
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What is with the liking/need for suspension seat posts on tandems? They are rarely used on single bikes which ride harder than tandems.
I wondered that, too. In response to a stiffness thread over on the 41, I went out and tested the stiffness on all my bikes. I did this by putting the near pedal in the 6 o'clock position, grabbing the bar and saddle, leaning the bike away from me and pushing hard on the pedal with one foot. It's very easy to observe how stiff a frame is. My stiffest BB by far was the stoker BB on my steel CoMo. That rear triangle is like concrete. Easy to see why a stoker needs some relief. My CAAD9, which always beats me up a bit, was very flexible in comparison.
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Old 11-23-15, 12:21 PM   #19
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After reading through the responses and doing some research I think the Body Float is worth considering.
It is 290g heavier than the Gobl-R, but that is about the weight of 10 oz of water so it doesn't bother me much if it going make my stoker's ride smoother.
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Old 11-23-15, 12:53 PM   #20
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My stoker used the basic (can't remember brand) suspension post on the KHS we rode for a decade. It was helpful. Now that we are on a recumbent and are both on comfy seats, I still call out (or try to avoid) rough spots and briefly stop pedaling, which she appreciates. Only on a full suspension Fat Bike 'Bent Tandem (does that exist?) would rough stuff not be an issue.
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Old 11-24-15, 12:01 AM   #21
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Here's a quick comparison of the Cirrus Bodyfloat and the specialized COBL-R seatpost

COBL-R
-all carbon construction.
-designed for cross and gravel single bikes.
-only available in 27.2 diamter and 350mm length.
-weight is approx 200g.
-suspension travel is 7-8mm.
-suspension path is an arc (back and down).
-price is $200.

Bodyfloat
-aluminum suspension linkage with aluminum, titanium or carbon post.
-intended for tandems and single bikes.
-27.2 or 31.6mm diameter. Length in 350mm or 420mm.
-actual weight is 420g on my digital scale for our 350mm carbon post.
-suspension travel is 6-32mm (1/4" to 1-1/4")
-suspension path is vertical.
-price is $250 (aluminum) to $420 (titanium).

Turning the Allen bolt will make Bodyfloat plush or firm, but there is still full travel. There are 4 choice of springs (orange, black, purple, white) for children to heavy adults. Since each post requires 2 springs, you may use a mix of springs (black + purple) to get a specific ride. The Bodyfloat will feel like a rigid post on smooth pavement, but will smoothly absorb a big hit or rough pavement. Charlie Heggam will gladly answer setup questions.
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Old 11-24-15, 10:11 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by mtseymour View Post
Here's a quick comparison of the Cirrus Bodyfloat and the specialized COBL-R seatpost

COBL-R
-all carbon construction.
-designed for cross and gravel single bikes.
-only available in 27.2 diamter and 350mm length.
-weight is approx 200g.
-suspension travel is 7-8mm.
-suspension path is an arc (back and down).
-price is $200.

Bodyfloat
-aluminum suspension linkage with aluminum, titanium or carbon post.
-intended for tandems and single bikes.
-27.2 or 31.6mm diameter. Length in 350mm or 420mm.
-actual weight is 420g on my digital scale for our 350mm carbon post.
-suspension travel is 6-32mm (1/4" to 1-1/4")
-suspension path is vertical.
-price is $250 (aluminum) to $420 (titanium).

Turning the Allen bolt will make Bodyfloat plush or firm, but there is still full travel. There are 4 choice of springs (orange, black, purple, white) for children to heavy adults. Since each post requires 2 springs, you may use a mix of springs (black + purple) to get a specific ride. The Bodyfloat will feel like a rigid post on smooth pavement, but will smoothly absorb a big hit or rough pavement. Charlie Heggam will gladly answer setup questions.
I have been in contact with Charlie and he has been very helpful. I am going to try to arrange a test ride at a local dealer.
The Body Float now seems like the best option to me. I also asked Mike Moore at Calfee and he agreed.
I will probably go with the Aluminum post since it costs $150 less than carbon and only weighs only 65g more.
Also it would be better for the clamp I use to attach our rack when we use it.
Thanks for making me aware of Body Float and its benefits.
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Old 11-24-15, 12:47 PM   #23
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BTW, we have always used a thudbuster but its preload isn't quite right for my wife's weight.
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Old 11-24-15, 02:00 PM   #24
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I have been in contact with Charlie and he has been very helpful. I am going to try to arrange a test ride at a local dealer.
The Body Float now seems like the best option to me. I also asked Mike Moore at Calfee and he agreed.
I will probably go with the Aluminum post since it costs $150 less than carbon and only weighs only 65g more.
Also it would be better for the clamp I use to attach our rack when we use it.
Thanks for making me aware of Body Float and its benefits.
A test ride will allow you to do an A/B comparison and reach your own conclusion. I was skeptical about the Bodyfloat until we did the demo at the NWTR. I think that Cirrus should offer 30-day money back guarantee because it's a safe bet that very few post will be returned.

I also heard that Calfee likes the Bodyfloat. My understanding is that the new softail Calfee Manta now uses the Cirrus springs rather than elastomers. The springs should make the rear travel more supple and consistent in all weather.
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Old 11-24-15, 02:12 PM   #25
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So if your current set up works why would you want a suspension seat post?
That's what the op is trying to determine. Derp.
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