Telescopic seatpost for MTB. Worth?
If you have been practicing MTB for some time or have started to document yourself seriously to buy your first mountain bike, I am convinced that you have already heard of the telescopic seatpost. What is it? What is it for? Is there really that much difference when going down between a conventional bicycle and one with telescopic seatpost?
These and other doubts take hold of cyclists who want to invest in the purchase or improvement of a MTB. Given this situation, it is time to contextualize and assess to what extent the installation of a seatpost of this type is worthwhile.
What is a telescopic seatpost and what is it for?
As you can imagine, telescopic has nothing to do with astronomy. A bicycle seatpost It is simply a conventional looking seat post that incorporates a movement system to regulate the length of the route.
Through a lever generally located on the handlebar, the rider can decide at all times how high he wants to carry the saddle. With a telescopic seatpost you can lower the seat or raise it depending on the characteristics of the route. The system recovers in just a few tenths of a second the original position.
The great utility of the telescopic seatpost comes in more technical and steep descents. Point where the saddle accustoms us to bother and where we have to lean our body back to better control the bike.
Advantages of the telescopic seatpost
-Security: with a telescopic seatpost you can lower the center of gravity and this implies having more freedom of movement and therefore also more security. With a telescopic seatpost you will face the technical areas more calmly and you will not have to constantly worry about the saddle.
Forget about snagging and balancing on the bike. A telescopic seat post as such does not ensure you go down faster, but it is safer. It is an accessory that began to be used in the world of downhill and that over time has also ended up being installed in the XC (Cross Country).
-Versatility: a bicycle equipped with a telescopic seat post is more versatile. You can face any type of tour with guarantees and without any extra modification. You can go up steeper slopes and go down steeper slopes just playing with the height of the seat post. If you are not one of the most technical and have a hard time going downhill, a telescopic seat post can save you a lot of trouble.
-Comfort: Undoubtedly, a telescopic seat post brings a plus of comfort to the cyclist. With the passing of the hours we lose energy, but also part of our technical capacity on the descents. A seatpost of this type is the definitive solution to go more comfortable and safer. With it you will not have to carry an allen key on top to raise and lower the saddle depending on the point of the route where you are. Such an investment equals an investment in comfort.
Disadvantages of the telescopic seatpost
-Price: Obviously a telescopic seatpost has its cost and this is much higher than that of a conventional seatpost. Even if You can find them from around 100 euros, it is easy for a quality one to exceed 200. If you have some margin in the budget it is one of the most interesting improvements you can do on a MTB. You will never regret making an investment in safety and comfort.
-Weight: the installation of a telescopic involves a increase in total weight of the bicycle. Although the manufacturers are working on the lightness of their materials, it is still a heavier component than the conventional one. The weight is not very significant, so if you are not obese of the weight, this should not be an aspect to consider.
-Maintenance: Although some of them require little maintenance and are increasingly offered with better finishes, the reality is that a telescopic seatpost requires minimal periodic maintenance. This implies having to go through the workshop and therefore an associated extra cost.
Types of telescopic seatposts and opinion
There are several types of telescopic seatposts and like all cycling components, their price will vary depending on the range and quality of the product.
Generally, the differences between the different types come when identifying the way to operate the mechanism.
The cheapest seatposts are those that have the actuator or button located on the seatpost itself. It is the simplest system and also one of the least effective. As little as you can I would not recommend its assembly.
Second, we find those with the actuator on the handlebar. Within this typology we differentiate 3 models.
Those that have external wiring, those that have internal wiring and those that work by wireless transmission. The latter are the newest, lightest and therefore also the most expensive. They usually also include a mechanical button on the seatpost to activate the system in case of interference and battery failure.
My recommendation is clear. If you have some freedom of budget, a telescopic seatpost is one of the best investments you can make on your MTB. At the end of the day, you will be investing in your safety and unless you are a true “downhiller” the telescopic seat post will help you to get down more calm and comfortable. If you are lucky enough to try a bike with a telescopic seatpost on technical terrain, you will quickly realize that what I am saying is not nonsense.