Customizing a road bike seat post and its effects

Posted at: Mar 15, 2022

Seat post customization has become a standard because it is easy and simple to do, even for beginners of road biking.

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How to Customize Seat Post

The seat post is the part that supports the saddle of a road or hybrid bike. When customizing this part, there are three major points of customization.

  1. material
  2. shape
  3. length

Regardless of how you customize it, when customizing a seat post, you can do it simply by “buying a new seat post and replacing the saddle,” which is a simple and easy customization even for beginners.

Changing the material of the seat post

The standard way to customize the seat post is to change the material.

Most complete bicycles use aluminum or steel seat posts, but by changing to carbon, “weight reduction” and “shock absorption” can be improved.

However, since the weight of the seat post is only a few percent of the total weight of the road bike, it is unlikely to result in a significant weight reduction.

Change the shape

Seat posts come in a surprisingly wide variety of shapes. From the basic circular seat post, to the teardrop-shaped aero seat post, to the seat post with a specially shaped turret that supports the saddle, each company offers a variety of seat posts with their own unique features.

Naturally, the shape and diameter of the seat post must be able to fit into the frame, so you can’t do everything you want.

Change the length

One customization to do as part of weight reduction is to change the length. In most cases, this is done by cutting away (physically reducing) the excess length of the seat post to reduce weight.

When changing the length of the seat post, keep in mind that each product has a “minimum length” that must be left.

What are the benefits of customizing the seat post?

Weight reduction

Most cases of seat post customization will be for weight reduction purposes.

Unless you are using a very heavy seat post, it is difficult to reduce the weight by a few hundred grams, but it is a surprisingly popular weight reduction customization because it can be done with a simple “just change the saddle and put it in the frame” process.

Vibration absorption

Road bikes and other sports bikes do not have much cushioning in the saddle, so vibrations from the road surface are transmitted directly to the buttocks. On long rides, continuous exposure to vibration can cause soreness in the buttocks.

By using a vibration-absorbing carbon seat post, this can be somewhat reduced. However, in terms of vibration absorption performance of the road bike as a whole, tires, wheels, and frame account for most of the vibration, so not much effect can be expected.

Aero Effect

Instead of a regular circle seat post, an aero seat post with a teardrop shape can be used to achieve an aero effect. However, the aero effect is not something that can be enhanced by a single part, but is something that is built into the road bike as a whole, so you will not experience the aero effect nearly as much if you only change the seat post to aero.

If you want to easily obtain the aero effect, wearing a cycle jersey of the correct size may have a better aero effect.

Easy customization. But not very effective.

As we have seen, while seat post customization has the advantage of being one of the easiest road bike customizations for beginners with no knowledge, it also has the disadvantage of being less effective.

In terms of weight reduction, it is more effective to reduce the weight of weight-related parts such as holes and cranks, and no significant effect can be expected in terms of aero effect or vibration absorption.

Nevertheless, if you are a beginner customizing a road bike for the first time, it is a surprisingly satisfying customization in the sense that you get the experience of being able to customize it yourself.

It is common for seatposts to cost more than $100 for expensive products as well, but be sure to consider the cost-effectiveness and compare the cosmetics with the customization of other parts before implementing it.

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