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Bicycle Tips
I’m always trying new equipment. I pay for it except when noted. If it’s an improvement over what’s on the bike it sticks. If not it’s immediately relegated to a box in my favorite bike shop where it joins other used equipment that’s given to UNH cycling team members. Here are the first in an ongoing series of product reviews.

Easton EC-90 Carbon Seat Post

Plus—Lightweight, cool looking and supposed to absorb shock.

Minus—Expensive with a Mickey Mouse clamping system.

The only thing that goes wrong with a seat post is it fails to hold the seat in place.  That’s what happened to the Easton.  The clamping mechanism is a design throwback to pot metal clamps found on cheap bikes. 

The clamp consists of a top and bottom piece into which the seat rails fit and are held firm by a single bolt tightened from the bottom.  It’s easy to adjust with interlocking grooves molded into the carbon fiber and there are enough detents to make it possible to find just the right saddle position.  But if there’s the slightest amount of wear this system fails and can never be tightened again. 

Mine failed on a ride with a loud crack sending the seat pointing to the center of the earth. I’m usually easy on equipment but this was a partial mea culpa as I was sitting too heavily around a corner and hit a small bump that should have been no problem. It was enough to do this post in. 

I carry Allen wrenches on a ride and with careful retightening to avoid snapping the bolt, and sitting gingerly, I was able to ride it home.  Past experience with this clamping system didn’t deter me from trying to rescue my investment once home.  I over tightened it with absolutely no concern about snapping the bolt. On a test ride it went south within a quarter mile.

For a high tech company Easton is using a clamping system from the dark ages. They can and have to do better. It’ll teach me not to be blinded by hi-tech and take a closer look.  By now you’d think I know enough to do that. 


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