Gear Review #2 – Titanium “sweetpost” by Kent Eriksen Cycles
Since purchasing my aluminum frame Salsa Mukluk, I’ve been very happy with the ride overall, but have always felt like I can’t push my seat far enough back, and the ride can be a bit jarring over distance. A new seat (Fizik Aliante VS) helped immensely with making the ride more comfortable, but I was still looking for more.
Then I found the Eriksen “sweetpost” a beautifully hand designed and welded titanium seatpost by renowned bike builder Kent Eriksen Cycles. After reading a few other reviews, I decided the sweetpost was so well received that it was worth spending some money to try it for myself – perhaps it would improve the ride characteristics of my fatbike. If not, at least it would be light, high quality, and would serve the function of holding the seat with a very well designed and easy to adjust clamp.
As it turns out, the titanium Eriksen seatpost offers several positive attributes.
First, it looks amazing. While that alone doesn’t improve the ride, let’s face it, people who buy nice bikes like to have nice bike parts. As soon as you look at the welds, the finish, and the design of teh seatpost clamp, it’s obvious Eriksen seatposts are miles ahead of many, and take a back seat to none. After reading articles and reviews that rave about the Eriksen seatpost, I thought it might be worth buying one for myself.
How about the ride? The aesthetic value alone won’t justify the price of a $200+ seatpost for most riders, so what’s the ride like? I’ve only ridden bikes with steel or aluminum seatposts, so my point of reference are seatposts that do nothing more than hold the seat. They offer little to no value in smoothing the ride or soaking up vibration. Titanium is known for more flex and for absorbing some of the vibration and minor shocks that can otherwise be irritating and wearing, over the course of a distance ride, particularly on a bike that has no suspension (other than the balloon tires of a fatbike).
I had my first ride on the Mukluk with the Eriksen sweetpost this weekend, over the new year’s holiday. In short, it’s amazing. It’s evident build quality and good looks are mirrored by its excellent ride. While not earth-shatteringly different, I felt the ride characteristics to be sufficiently different to improve my ride.
Over a 13 mile trail ride on bumpy terrain, I felt less fatigued, and felt like the aluminum frame of my fatbike was transmitting less shock and “buzz” through the seat. Since the seatpost can be had in straight or layback variants, you can select a seatpost that suits where you want to be positioned over the bike. I chose a layback post, which helps keep me farther back over the rear wheel, exactly where I want to be on a fatbike. Overall, that makes for a better ride.
Last, but not least, the seatpost clamp is the simplest, easiest to adjust, and most secure of any I’ve used. While I’ve always liked my aluminum Thomsen seatpost due to a nice and notoriously strong/secure clamp, the Eriksen (thus far) proves equally secure and is definitely easier to adjust (one bolt only to install the seat, adjust fore/aft and adjust tilt).
With the Eriksen titanium seatpost, you can select length, straight vs. layback position, and clamp color (anodized aluminum caps come in black, blue, red, green and more options). They are truly custom, and the fact that they are handbuilt in the good ole US of A is worth a few extra bucks. Prices (which are detailed at their site here) vary from about $200-250 depending on length, layback, etc.
Check out Kent Eriksen Cycles and consider a titanium “sweetpost” for yourself.
Please be sure to visit the Kent Eriksen Cycles site. Perhaps you’ll even want to buy a bike from them. If not, I’d suggest you at least consider one of their titanium seatposts as an upgrade to your current gear.