How to Buy a Suspension Seatpost on eBay

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How to Buy a Suspension Seatpost on eBay

Seatposts are the bicycle components that connect the saddle to the bike. Using a suspension seatpost reduces vibration and keeps the saddle secure. These seatposts provide a much more comfortable ride than standard models, and can encourage longer cycling sessions. Suspension seatposts are also beneficial to people who have recently suffered a back injury, as the saddle moves up and down with the bike, whilst keeping the cyclist straight.

There are plenty of websites and specialist stores that stock this type of seatpost, but it is advised to search for one using eBay. The site’s large database of sellers can result in a better choice at a better price. The following guide shall examine the key information needed to make a successful purchase, and how to use eBay to find an appropriate model.

Bicycle Seatposts

The seatpost is the metal tube that extends up from the bike and attaches to the saddle. New and expensive bikes use clamps to attach the seatpost to the seat rail. Older and inexpensive bikes use a slide that attaches to a clamp that is separate from the seat rail. Be sure to check how the seatpost will connect before making a purchase. 

Seatpost Materials

Bicycle components are predominately made from steel, carbon, titanium or aluminium. Suspension seatposts are made from one of these four, and each material has its own benefits and disadvantages. Some time should be spent thinking about which material would be most suitable for the seatpost.

Steel

Steel is a popular material to use in the manufacturing of bikes, due to its strength and durability. A steel seatpost will have a long lifetime providing the bike is not involved in any impacts or collisions. However, steel is also the heaviest of the four materials to use and therefore is not suitable if the bike is used for speed. Steel is also susceptible to rusting and requires adequate servicing to stop it from becoming damaged by bad weather conditions. Steel suspension seatposts are available at inexpensive prices, with the lowest starting from less than fifteen pounds.

Carbon

Carbon is probably the most sought after material for bike manufacturing today. The manufacturing process involves layering sheets of carbon fibre before moulding, and this results in a very strong part. Manufactures who use carbon often suggest that the material has an indefinite lifetime, once it is regularly serviced. The lightness of the material means that this is the number one choice for road and racing bikes, and carbon bikes and components are using by professional cyclists all across the world. Carbon suspension seatposts are the most expensive option, with prices starting at over one hundred pounds.

Titanium

Titanium is known for its flexible qualities as well as its extensive vibration dampening. This material is extremely resilient to scratching and buffing, and it will take a strong impact to visually defect it. It is heavier than carbon, although not as heavy as steel. Therefore titanium is most suited for off road and mountain biking. Prices for titanium suspension seatposts start at around ninety pounds.

Aluminium

Aluminium and aluminium alloys are the most commonly used materials in bicycle manufacturing today. It also the least costly of the four to produce and is readily available to manufactures. Aluminium components are extremely light, making them suitable for use in racing and road bikes. This material is highly resistant to rust making aluminium components also ideal for use in wet weather. However, aluminium is not as strong as the other three and works best when alloyed with another material. Aluminium suspension seatposts are very economical and can be purchased for as low as twenty pounds.

Seatpost Sizing

It is important to make sure that the seatpost will fit into the bike. Using a seatpost that is a different size to the frame can permanently damage the frame, requiring professional help to fix.

  • Seatposts are not measured by the length of the post, but instead by the diameter. These measurements are in millimetres and they need to be precise.
  • The majority of seatposts will have the diameter engraved or stamped into the post somewhere so check for this first.
  • If the post is without a diameter reading then measure it using an engineering callipers. Try to avoid using rulers as they may give an inaccurate reading.
  • The standard sizing for new high quality bicycles is 27.2 mm, and on mountain bikes it is 27.4 mm and up. Mountain bikes require bigger posts for extra strength.

Why Choose a Suspension Seatpost?

There are a number of different seatpost available to buy, including plain posts, integrated posts and pivotal posts. Suspension seatposts use springs and elastomers to allow up and down movement, and for reducing shock and absorbing vibration. An elastomer is a polymer with high elasticity.

  • Ideal for use on rough terrain or if the rider has any sort if back injury.
  • Also ideal for use in competitive racing and marathon cycling.
  • Provides more comfort and better control over long distances.
  • Suspension posts eliminate the shock and impact that would normally be absorbed by the body.
  • Lessens the stress on the bicycle frame and distributes the rider’s weight more evenly throughout the bike.  

Telescoping and Linkage Seatposts

Suspension seatpost are available in one of two options. These are the telescoping seatpost and the linkage seatpost. Suspension posts usually come with a preload adjustment, which is used to ensure the post, can handle the riders’ weight without snapping. The preload adjustment will cause the suspension to act only when the bike is rode over rough terrain. A highly sensitive seatpost will damage the frame and make the ride extremely uncomfortable.

Telescoping

Telescoping seatposts consists of an inner and outer tube that contains either an elastomer or a coiled spring to provide suspension. Telescoping seatposts allow for low profiles making them very suitable for road and racing bikes. However, the actual design of the post can lead to wear and tear if used excessively. Changing the elastomer or spring is relatively easy. Depending on the material, these can be bought at very reasonable prices with the lowest starting from ten pounds. Rockshox are popular among telescopic seatpost users.

Linkage

A linkage seatpost uses a parallelogram system that contains an elastomer. These types of posts can withstand wear and tear, making them ideal for mountain bikes. Changing the elastomer can be very difficult, but it does not break very easily. Linkage seatposts are far more expensive than telescoping models, and prices start at around one hundred pounds. Two of the best-known linkage seatposts are the Crane Creek Thudbuster and the Tamer USA Pivot Plus

Buyers may find that their desired suspension seatpost does not fit into their bicycle frame. This can be fixed by using a seatpost shim. The shim allows the post to be safely attached to the frame, even if the post is a few millimetres thinner than what is needed. Seatpost shims for sale can be found here.

Seatpost Maintenance

  • It is important to regularly service the seatpost. This will keep it free from damage and ensure that it is always safely connected.
  • Seatposts should be removed from the frame and cleaned. A small amount of grease should be applied before refitting the post. This prevents the post from stiffening.
  • Removing and refitting the seatpost will keep the clamps from stiffening.
  • It is not advised to grease carbon seatposts. Instead, buyers should search for specifically made carbon pastes.

Conclusion

Suspension seatposts are worthwhile investments that greatly benefit both the rider and the bike. Suspensions posts absorb shock and impact that can be encountered when cycling rough terrain. The seatposts also help people with back injuries, and can help prolong cycling sessions. Buyers should spend some time thinking about the material most suitable for their bike, and the type of suspension seatpost that would work best for them.

Use eBay to search for suspension seatposts, as the site offers better value and selection that cannot be found anywhere else. However, be diligent in searching, and never buy from a seller who has received a high number of negative comments. For more information about an item, don’t be afraid to contact the seller.

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