Last updated: August 6, 2021
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If you are not a fan of cycling standing up, a seat post is indispensable. It's even more annoying when the old seat post is broken or rusted and you can no longer adjust the saddle properly. Then you have to get a new one!

But most people have probably never had to replace a seatpost in their lives. So what should you look out for? We explain this in our seat post test 2022 and present nine seat posts that will definitely keep you on the safe side.

The guide also deals with the risks you run when cycling with a broken seatpost and the different types of seatposts available.




Summary

  • Seatposts allow you to adjust the angle and height of your saddle. It also connects the bicycle saddle to the bicycle frame.
  • A basic distinction is made between patent, vario and spring seat posts. For special types of bicycles there are also other special seat post variants.
  • All seat posts are tailored to specific bicycle types and it is therefore important to find the right one in order to experience the ultimate riding experience.

The Best Seatpost: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a seatpost

What problems or safety risks can occur?

To avoid all kinds of safety risks, it is advisable to check the bolts after every 100-300 km of riding, especially in the beginning. Later, it is sufficient to inspect your bike every six months or after 500 km. Even if you don't ride your bike regularly or intensively, a check is never unnecessary.

If you have a fall or other accident, have your bike and seat post checked and replaced if necessary. Even if there are no obvious defects or damage, you can no longer guarantee safe operation.

Very light aluminium or carbon seat posts can break surprisingly quickly. With cheaper companions, the seat post is secured with a normal steel bolt that holds itself in a groove. Sometimes the groove wears out and the bolt turns when it is tightened.

To solve this problem, you should get a new screw. For example, a double Allen screw or an ordinary machine screw with a washer would be good for this.

In addition to problems caused by wear, there can also be safety risks due to incorrect assembly. Often a minimum length that must be inserted into the seat tube is marked by dashes. You should not see this marking when the seat post is installed, otherwise the material will fatigue and you may break above the seat clamp.

Above all, a lowerable seatpost provides safety. The low saddle makes it possible to keep the body's centre of gravity low and to find a stable position.

In the meantime, there are studies that can explain three mechanisms of damage to the seatpost. Three reasons are given:

  • Bolt failure
  • Breakage of the post from the frame
  • Breakage at the seat post tube or post head

This can be caused by many things, for example: clamps that are too tight, incorrectly tightened seat posts or incorrect movements of the saddle that lead to incorrect loading of the bolts.

You should carry out the following steps before each start:

Make sure that your seat post is properly fastened and that nothing has become loose. If you are using a quick-release clamp, make sure it is closed. If it is not, the seat post may rotate while riding and you could be seriously injured.

Sattelstütze

To prevent accidents, check your bike and seat post regularly. Especially after a fall, you should check the seat post for safety. (Photo: Alice Achterhof / unsplash.com)

Are there alternatives to the seat post?

Since a seatpost is absolutely necessary, there is really no alternative. However, as mentioned above, there is the option of deciding against a suspension seatpost and using a patent seatpost instead.

Do you still want to ride your BMX bike off-road? Then you could choose wider tyres instead of a suspension seat post.

What does a seatpost cost?

Seatposts are available in all price ranges - from cheaper models for amateur and hobby riders to professional models, which are definitely in the more expensive price range.

Simple models start at around 10 euros up to around 25 euros, whereby you should pay particular attention to the quality here. For rather infrequent use, these prices can be justified.
Depending on the brand, the prices for seat posts rise into the three-digit range and can be purchased for between 100-600 euros.

Decision: What types of seatposts are there and which one is right for you?

The seatpost allows you to regulate the distance between the handlebars and the seatpost. In addition, the seat post also regulates the pedalling angle from the legs to the pedal. In principle, there are 3 different types of seatposts, and often there are also special shapes:

  • Patent seat post
  • Varios seat post
  • Suspension seat post
  • Special shapes

All these types differ from each other and have individual advantages and disadvantages.

Which seat post you need for your bike depends mainly on the type of your bike. In the following section we will help you to find out which seat post is best suited for you. Of course, everyone has different tastes and attaches importance to different things.

How does the patent seatpost work and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The traditional design, and until the 1990s the only design, was the so-called seat post. It consisted of a piece of steel or aluminium tube with a saddle clamp attached to the tip.

Today, this variation is hardly used because it has been superseded by the patent saddle post. The designation of this type serves to distinguish it from the term saddle post. This type is more stable and lighter than the seat post with a clamp. In the patent seat post, the tube and the clamp form one unit. This is to achieve a more robust connection between the saddle and the seat post.

Advantages
  • More robust relationship between saddle and seat post
  • Simple attachment
Disadvantages
  • With faster and more dynamic riding, less high security
  • Secured with only one bolt

The seat post is secured to the saddle with only one Allen screw. With this you can easily and quickly adjust the saddle angle. Some of the patent seat posts have an oval or teardrop shape, which were introduced due to the low air resistance.

The standard models are usually round. Well suited for city cyclists. If you're wondering why it's called a patent seatpost, here's an insider: this shape goes back to a patent of the Laprade company.

How does the Varios seatpost work and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The big advantage of this type is that you can adjust the height while riding. You operate a lever or a knob within easy reach. The weight on the saddle pushes it down, without weight the saddle moves up. You will certainly know this from office chairs.

Advantages
  • Height adjustment while riding
  • Practical for fast
  • speeds
Disadvantages
  • Distracted by adjusting

To achieve an optimal and active riding style on the downhill, you have to work a lot with your body. With a high saddle position, the saddle restricts the freedom of movement of the legs enormously. So you have to try to move the body backwards. This version is especially suitable for mountain bikes.

How does the suspension seatpost work and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Besides wide tyres as an alternative, suspension seatposts are a simple and inexpensive option for a lot of comfort. The big plus, and actually the goal of this type, is comfort. You will be able to ride much more comfortably and without pain. The saddle should be placed a little higher to compensate for the compression.

Advantages
  • Comfort
  • Better grip
  • Suspension leads to better energy use
  • Higher price range - good quality
Disadvantages
  • Distance between pedal and saddle changes visibility
  • More frequent maintenance
  • Cheap price range - poor material and safety risk

In addition to comfort, this option also improves the grip of your bike. That's why trekking, touring and road bikes are the preferred use of this seatpost. The disadvantage is that the distance between the saddle and the pedals changes. The spring also increases the number of moving parts that need to be maintained or replaced.

You should also note that there are two types: the telescopic seat post and the parallelogram seat post. The main differences between these types are design and cost.

What special types are there and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

In addition to the types mentioned above, there are also special seat posts. You have to decide for yourself whether they are suitable and appealing to you. In any case, they are worth mentioning.

There are the integrated seat posts, which we would like to mention right at the beginning: Beautiful does not equal practical and sensible. It certainly looks elegant, but it is not necessarily an advantage. Not only the transport problems have to be considered, but also whether you decide to sell it later, because then you are limited by the non-adjustable seat height.

Another special type is the seat post with micro-adjustment. With this type, the mechanism works with two screws, so that when one screw is loosened and the other tightened, the angle is adjusted in slow steps.

Important to note if you are a cyclist: this particular type of bike has a special and horizontal seat post because the construction of the bike is also different.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate seat posts

In the following text we would like to show you how you can compare and evaluate seat posts based on individual factors. This may help you to make a better decision about the right product.

In a nutshell:

  • Ease of cleaning
  • Size / Weight
  • Material
  • Suspension
  • Extra features
  • Design

In the following paragraphs, we would like to explain these factors in more detail so that you know what they mean.

Federsattelstütze Pro schwarz

When buying a seat post, there are various purchase criteria that you should take into account.

Ease of cleaning

In order to avoid serious damage and safety risks, it is important to maintain the seat post regularly and properly and, of course, to mount it correctly beforehand. Therefore, it is especially important to choose a seat post that is simple and easy to clean/assemble.

With a little manual skill and a clear instruction manual, most seatposts are easy to install. If you look at product reviews, you can see that most customers confirm easy assembly.

When cleaning a seat post, there are clear rules that you should follow in order to maintain your seat post accurately. You can find tips on how to clean your seat post above under the category "Advice".

Size / Weight

Important to consider before buying a seat post: Often seatposts are weight-dependent. Some models or brands are designed for a specific weight class. The saddle and seatpost should offer comfort above all, so an important criterion is the possibility of adjusting them to your own body weight or an existing presetting.

Each seat post also has an article weight, which does not necessarily have to play a role in the purchase. However, it is important that it is specified.

Material Weight range
Aluminium 200-500 g
Steel From 500 g
Carbon Under 100-300 g

Most props have a length of 350 mm. For the diameter, there are usually three different options to choose from:

  • 25.4 mm
  • 27.2 mm
  • 31.6 mm

A new trend has led to more and more people buying "oversized". Mountain bike riders in particular are getting longer seatposts to provide more stability for their bike. Anything over 27.2 mm is considered "oversized".

Material

Seatposts are available in aluminium, steel or carbon reinforced plastic. You will notice the difference especially during maintenance.

Carbon models have to be maintained in a special way. See our "Trivia" section for some tips on how to clean your seatposts correctly.

Parallelogramm-Federung einer Sattelstütze

Parallelogram suspension is the only visible suspension on seatposts.

Suspension

Suspension seatposts often have no visible springs (exception: parallelogram suspension) because they are built inside.

Did you know that you should grease the suspension once a year?

This prevents friction inside. Solvent-free oil is best for this.

When buying a suspension seat post, the suspension travel is always specified. A longer suspension travel allows for compensation of road unevenness, but causes a high centre of gravity of the vehicle. The shorter the spring travel, the stiffer the springs must be. In most cases, the spring travel is between 30-50mm.

Design

The design of a seat post is not insignificant. It often plays a major role when buying a bicycle. This criterion in particular is decisive for many people, but it depends on taste. Some like it plain and simple, others want it more sophisticated and flashy.

The design can essentially be divided into two elements:

  • Colour
  • Shape

Most seatposts come in black and silver. If you prefer something more colourful, there is the option of colour combinations - black with shades of colour in it. Completely coloured models are very rare. Often these seatposts are custom-made and in the cheaper price range. In this case, pay particular attention to the quality.

As far as shape is concerned, seatposts differ according to their type. As we mentioned above, there are three current types (patent, spring and variable seatpost).

Saddle posts tend to be plainer and consist only of a tube with a clamp. The vario seat post is similar to the patent seat post, but it has a lever attached to it that can be used to adjust the height while riding.

Sattelstütze

When buying a seatpost, there are various purchase criteria that should be taken into account. (Photo: Alexander Andrews / unsplash.com)

Extra features

Are you still unsure and have two or more seatposts at "number 1"? Then check whether one seatpost stands out positively from the others.

There is also the option of buying seatposts with integrated LED light systems. These ensure more safety in road traffic. A product with this would be, for example, the premium seat post from Hikari Bike. This brand also offers LED lights for the handlebars.

Have you ever had your seatpost stolen and are tired of buying a new one? Then buy a seat post with the appropriate anti-theft protection.

Facts worth knowing about seatposts

How long have seatposts been around?

People have been pedalling since about the 19th century, and they needed a seatpost to do so. As we mentioned above, the traditional design, the seat post, dominated the market until the 1990s. This was then replaced by the patent seatpost.

As bicycle models also changed from time to time, the types of seat posts also evolved.

How do I mount and adjust a seat post?

In order to avoid the aforementioned safety risks, correct assembly is indispensable. There are often instruction manuals that, if explained in an understandable way, also help.

To begin with, the seat post is inserted into the seat tube and fixed there. The diameter of these two parts should match. The seat clamp with bolt or quick-release is used to fix the seat post. Quick-releases are mainly used on MTBs because they lower the saddle on steep slopes to prevent falls.

The disadvantage of this type is that it is not protected against theft and it is easy to steal both the saddle and the seat post. But here, too, there are possibilities for protection, for example in the form of screws.

The seat post allows you to set the optimum seat height. To achieve this, you should get into a normal sitting position as a cyclist, place the heel of one leg on the lower pedal and keep the hip straight. The leg should now be able to be fully extended.

It is often helpful to lower the saddle a little, as this gives you a more secure feeling when starting and dismounting. However, this does not save energy.

How do I clean the seat post properly?

Maintaining a seat post is not difficult. Once set to the correct height, it is then rarely removed. Dirt from the ground can cause the seat post to become stuck. But you can easily avoid this:

  1. Always remove the seat post when servicing your bicycle. My tip for this is to mark your previously set height with insulating tape.
  2. Re-grease it and mount it again.

Carbon seatposts must never be greased! With carbon seat posts it is sufficient to spray/grease the frame and the post with a silicone spray or carbon paste. Suitable pastes are available, for example, from "Dynamic" or "Pedros". Aluminium seat posts are best cleaned with an oily cloth.

Image source: Pixabay.com / PIRO4D

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