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USE Sumo Post

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We fitted it and forgot about it

USE have been producing lightweight quality components in the UK for a long time. Seatposts are a bit of a speciality. Their Alien post is certainly one of the lightest on the market and has been used by top pro riders in the Tour de France, like Laurent Jalabert. Problem was it is a complete pain in the posterior to adjust, with two tiny 2.5mm sized Allen headed screws, it was (even for the averagely competent mechanic) a complete headache to adjust. Now although the Alien design is still available, the Sumo is the latest innovative design from the West Sussex based component makers.

The Sumo head is the main change, the new design has a proper man-sized bolt through it and a conical fastening cup on either rail. The 5mm Allen key makes much more sense and it tightens reassuringly. It’s the complete opposite of the Alien headed post, one bolt means simple adjustment of saddle angle and it also means carrying one less allen key. The new head also looks neat up close and the detailing on the machined parts is very nice indeed.

By taking design influence from Bontrager and Race Face USE have created a burly post strong enough for DH mountain biking but light enough for a climber’s bike. The shaft will come in various materials; carbon, aluminium, titanium and a suspension version.

They also have 10mm or 30mm layback versions and there will be one without MTB written on it for road-only riders (we’ll be getting one soon, so they will be available for a Christmas pressie!). However a quick price comparison with other decent quality posts throws up a dilemma:

Easton Carbon: £89.99
Specialized Carbon: £49.99
Campagnolo Record: £89.99
Planet X carbon: £65.99
Thomson (Alloy): £69.95

So it’s cheaper than some good posts and more expensive than others and these are imported brands – and yes, if you shop around, you will get a Campagnolo Record a fair bit cheaper…

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A decent size bolt on the clamp

However the longer post looks like a great option for compact frames and although you won’t need it there are lengths up to 400mm and there are now options in titanium and aluminium. Sizes are limited but a USE shim should solve problems for odd sized frames. Most new road bikes are 27.2mm (or perhaps 31.6mm) these days.

Our test rider reports:

“I’ve hammered this seatpost over the Autumn and ridden through some pretty disgusting weather in the process. It’s held up very well considering the riding it’s had to contend with. I like to do long endurance rides of 100 miles or so and I want something which is going to be light as well as comfortable. Closer inspection of the tube inside the frame shows no marking or scratching on the surface of the carbon (we used a Campagnolo seat clamp to prevent chewing up the vulnerable carbon around the slit in the top of the seatube).

This is the lightest seatpost I’ve ever had on a bike it’s still reassuringly rigid. It also looks good. But the real proof of this seatpost is when I ride my other bikes – my ass feels like its taken a kicking when I’ve ridden my other bike (with a Kalloy alloy post). The other noteworthy point about the post is the clamp. In fairness over the years I’ve never had any real problems with clamps but I know for some it’s a big issue – I can certainly reassure any reader the clamp is solid and secure and was really simple to fit and adjust, even when it’s caked in road dirt”

• Weight: 200g
• Price: £85
• Details: www.use1.com
• tel: +44 (0)1798 344477

RCUK VERDICT



Good:
Looks great, strong and easy to set up. Made in UK.




Bad:
Not a lot – well it would be better if it was a bit cheaper




Overall:
A massive improvement on the Alien. We love the simple design and the overall lightweight. But wait for the ‘roadie’ non-MTB marque version.



adjustment markings

carbon shaft

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