I have got a KH24 and I am thinking about puting a Cane Creek thudbuster on it. What are the pros and cons of having a suspension seatpost on a muni?
Pros: ??? Not too many. You don’t usually land on the seat when dropping. It might help a little bit on MUni rides if there are some minor bumps. If you land a drop and are sitting, it will probably bounce you of the saddle.
Cons: heavier, expensive, not exactly needed… someone else may continue.
The effective distance between the seat and hub will vary constantly.
I’d invest in an air saddle rather than a suspension post. I’m amazed at how much better I feel after a ride since I installed my air saddle on my MUni
They aren’t designed to take the twisting forces that the rider applies while unicycling
I have suspension posts on two of my MUnis. Perhaps I am better qualified to comment than people who don’t have any.
One is a Thudbuster Uni-Pivot on my carbon MUni. It was a great post but they don’t make it any more. The name was very cool by the way! I think the newer Thudbuster products are better than the Uni-Pivot though, and don’t have a twisting problem.
Other advantage to the Thudbusters I’m familiar with, they don’t have mechanisms going to the bottom of the post, like telescoping posts do. No length problems.
My other suspension post is this one:
At $25, you can hardly go wrong. Drawback of this and similar posts is that the mechanism takes up the whole post. You can’t just cut off the bottom on this one, because that’s where the preload screw is. I cut off half the threading to take away about 3/8", but my seat is still a little high for the rough stuff. However, the post has held up fine, and it works.
The amount of benefit you get from a suspension post depends on your type of riding. If you’re doing trials, you don’t really sit down that much, and suspension would just be extra weight. I guess it boils down to how much sitting down you do. Suspension would probably be really good for road riding, if you can get it to work with your Coker or other road machine.
My Pyramid post paid for itself in one day at Moab. The harder the riding surface, the more you’re going to appreciate it. Moab is solid rock. On the Sacramento area trails, the dirt is pretty soft and pliable in the winter, when it’s damp, but it’s very hard during the summer months when it doesn’t rain. Suspension matters more then.
So you should consider suspension only with a comfy seat. The seat is going to matter more no matter what your type of riding. But you can still improve the ride with a little suspension. The more aggressive your riding is, the less you’ll get out of it. For example if you ride very challenging terrain with lots of drops and hopping, you don’t use the suspension. But if you do lots of seated cruising, that’s when you use it.
The Cane Creek Thudbuster is an excellent design, and does not seem to be susceptible to the twisting forces of unicycling. It does add extra weight to the cycle, and you have to make sure you have enough clearance for it to fit.
The last thing to consider is how cool it will make your unicycle look. Mountain bikers ask us about suspension all the time. My main suspension is my 3" tire, but the post helps too. Do I really need it? Mostly no, except for on slickrock. But I leave it on there because it adds “zoot” to my unicycle. (Plus I don’t have an alternative one I like at the moment, but that’s another story)
JC and the rest,
I’m mainly a road rider. I am not planning to get a suspension post any time soon, but I have a few questions none the less. Does the variable distance between the seat and cranks affect your riding at all? I would think that it wouldn’t after a bit of practice.
If it came down to getting a suspension post or brake set, what should I get? I have a 26er with 127’s. A lot of the riding I do is on hills, all of it on road. The roads here aren’t all that well taken care of so there are a lot of ruts. A lot of the time I don’t even see the imperfections in the road.
Thanks for all the info. You guys have been a big help.
It never affected me. You don’t want your suspension too squishy, because it’ll just bottom out when you really need it. The idea is that it only really moves when you hit bumps & things. The two posts I have compress slightly when you sit on them, but don’t go up more than 1/4" or less when you stand up. This is not noticeable to me.
If you’re unsure of what to start with, try the Pyramid. You’ll need a rail adapter on your seat, but I think this may be true for any of these posts. The Pyramid or Rock Shox will only work if you have enough room for all that post. These posts cannot be shortened wihtout compromising their usefulness. When measuring the 350mm, remember to include the height of the rail adapter.
If you don’t have room for one of those, you can go all the way and try the Thudbuster. I think it would be excellent for road riding, and you can control the amount of preload (squishiness) with some kind of included adjustment. The fact that the seat moves rearward as it goes down is not a big deal, this just means the frame will move fractionally forward as you go downward. Even if your seat handle is attached to your frame instead of the seat, it should not be a big deal.
Just make sure you have enough room to fit the mechanism above your seat clamp. Be advised you may not have any extra exposed seatpost to attach things to.
Daino, my wife and I are coming to Maui in Feb. Do you ever get over there? Know of any good trails? There’s a chance I might bring a unicycle if there are.
Great to hear you are coming! I wish I could tell you if there are any good riding spots, but I don’t honestly know. My guess would be yes because there are some nice hiking trails. If you have brake on you Coker, you might try the Haleakala decent, but I doubt you would bring a Coker with you. I don’t know of any specific trails or areas to ride, but there are plenty of hiking and MTB books around. You might want to pick one up on Amazon before coming down.
Are you going to straight to Maui, or are you going to be spending time on Oahu? If you do come to Oahu, I’d like to meet up.
We’re getting off the subject but…
For those not familiar, the Mt. Haleakala descent on Maui (http://www.bikemaui.com/) is an awesome way to coast 36 miles, almost nonstop. A must-do for any cyclist going to Maui. We did it last time we were there, in 1999.
I can’t imagine it being that fun on a unicycle though, especially without brakes! But I’m more a MUni than a road guy. 36 miles with a 10,000’ descent is perfect for something that coasts. For that I’ll use a bike, thanks very much! I highly recommend this ride to anyone thinking of going to Maui.
I’ll have to look up trails there if I decide to lug along a MUni…