If you’re not familiar with the idea of the setback seatpost, you may have noticed riders sporting a funny bent-looking seatpost and wondered to yourself about the rationale behind the big kink in their seatpost. Setback seatposts can be beneficial in a number of circumstances: if you wish to alter your position above the pedals (and through this the relationship between your knee and the bike’s pedal axle), to allow a short-railed saddle to be moved further backwards than with an inline post, or to shift your weight backwards on the bike for bike-handling purposes. The Thomson Elite is probably the most ubiquitous setback seatpost, so chances are that any weird kinky seatposts you have noticed (whether at audax, cycling festival or trail centre) have been one of these beauts.
The Elite seatpost is incredibly popular for good reason: it is strong, light and looks sexy as hell! The CNC machining process gives the Elite a really beautiful finish as well as making it super strong - 40% stronger than the strongest production seatposts on ultimate strength tests. Despite its mammoth strength, the Elite is surprisingly light (around 201g for the road version and around 228g for the mountain bike version). Another reason for the Elite being a favourite among riders is that it allows you to adjust your saddle to the exact angle you want it (the clamp ‘slides’ rather than ‘ratchets’ between angle adjustments - this is also known as ‘infinite tilt adjustment’). It also has longer than average seat rail grip lengths, which help prevent saddle rails from bending from impact loads.
The design of the Elite goes beyond how it performs in regular use to how it performs in the event of an impact. If a severe impact does occur, the seatpost is designed to bend rather than snap, to give warning in advance that something is up. Additionally, the saddle clamp will spread and flex to protect the rider, saddle and saddle rail if it does experience an impact. If you’re in the market for a setback seatpost with a bit of pizzazz which will be as reliable as the proverbial trusty old steed then you almost need look no further than the Thomson Elite setback seatpost. If you're looking for a more standard straight post configuration, the inline option might be more suitable.
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