CANE CREEK THUDBUSTER ST SUSPENSION SEATPOST

460g £179.99

Cane Creek Thudbuster ST (Short Travel) is the road biased incarnation of the marque’s long serving bouncy post. Available in a refreshingly variety of sizes, it’s perfect for contemporary and older mid to high-end frame sets alike; and available in a wealth of diameters from 25.4 to 33.9. 460g may well induce an attack of the vapours amongst some readers but then it’s for cyclo-cross, rough stuff and tandem stokers - not pared to the essentials TT builds.

Materials and standards of construction are very high quality, with ready spares availability. CNC machined 6061 aluminium runs throughout, gloss black anodising tends to tire faster than silver but this is only likely to be an issue for perpetual fidgets, or frames with poorly reamed seat-tubes.

Mechanically, the parallelogram head employs CNC machined aluminium pivots and sintered brass bushings that rock against a square elastomer block under load. In common with its long travel counterpart, these are supplied in different densities according to rider weight. 

250lb is the absolute limit but whereas synthetics are dyed different colours for easy identification, the ST’s natural rubber units have a firmness rating (between 1 and 9) inscribed on the right hand side. 

1 denotes extra soft, 9 extra hard, catering for riders between 40 and 114 kilos. Suffice to say our 5 (medium) was absolutely bang on for this 72 kilo tester. Unlike traditional elastomer designs, this is about as involved as set-up gets. 

That said; the system will compress slightly under load, so pop the post 15mm or so higher than usual and take a quick spin round the block to confirm saddle height’s correct. 

Coming from titanium and carbon/composites I was initially conscious of the 200 or so gram weight penalty but this pretty much evaporates with an SQR type saddlebag en tow and lighter riders can also tether trailer/tagalong hitches without undue fear of failure.

Talking of luggage, the increased girth can strain some wedge packs’ Velcro straps, causing their premature failure. This wasn’t a problem with the Zefal pictured but worth checking yours will fit comfortably.

 

Owner involvement is limited to keeping moving parts clean, lightly lubed and treating the elastomer to sporadic licks of synthetic polymer friendly grease. Those shunning mudguards during the wetter months should invest in a neoprene shock cover, protecting moving parts from being ravaged by ruinous grit and ingress.

   

Alternating between my cyclo-cross and training bikes, damping is extremely subtle; more apparent than willowy carbon/ti fare, yet worlds apart from the power sapping pogo-stick tendencies common to sub £50 models. 40 mile mixed terrain jollies induced a compliant nature to my aluminium tubed cyclo-crosser, leaving me feeling decidedly fresher come journey’s end whereas it simply accentuated my winter trainer’s supple steel zing.

 

However, while short travel designs iron out washboard surfaces, they favour riders with sympathetic out-of-the-saddle stances when tackling deeper ruts/demanding terrain. Sitting like the proverbial bag of spuds will induce pronounced discomfort all round; although tandem stokers will be delighted to note its 33mm of travel compensates handsomely for unexpected jolts typical of dirt roads, farm tracks and rural backwaters.

Michael Stenning

Verdict: Nicely engineered, short travel post offering excellent damping without compromising rider power or adding undue heft.

 

www.extrauk.co.uk

 

PUBLISHED DECEMBER 2016

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