So you are at the point when you think you need an adjustable seat post? Good thinking if you ride technical trails and want to make your ride safer. One seat post on the market this year is a 2012 Specialized Command Post “Blacklite”. It’s lighter than any of its competitors and offers some unique features. Last year’s model didn’t meet user’s expectations and received mediocre reviews, so Specialized engineers gathered around their design table and came out with the new Blacklite seat post that is supposed to address all the issues and provide something unique that the others don’t have. They differentiated their product by providing two features their competitors don’t have:
1. Instead of having fully adjustable range, Blacklite has three predefined positions. Full up, full down and in the middle. Specialized claim that it is better for the rider to be able to ride in the same known position.
2. They added a valve that allows it to increase or decrease air pressure inside the seat post, thus allowing the user to choose fast the the seat should go back up.
I took a 3 hour ride on the bike equipped with this seat post and here are my observations.
Side play, one of the biggest problems of adjustable seat posts is side play. Specialized Blacklite has no side play, which is excellent.
Remote Action, was good although you need to depress the lever quite a lot to get the post moving. Remote clamp was well positioned and well designed but I wish you could activate it by shorter range movement.
Seat-post Movement, was somewhat problematic. In order to make the post go down, you need to push the remote lever but then you will also have to give a decent push (jump) on the saddle to disengage the seat from its upper lock position. I found it very annoying. I’ve seen a similar problem on other seat posts but it usually happens only once in the morning and it doesn’t repeat itself afterwards. In order to make things better, I tried to decrease the air pressure in the seat-post but it didn’t solve the problem. The second issue I had was to lock it into the mid position. You need to get used to the fact that after you give the seat a push and it will go down further then the middle position and then will go up to lock in the middle. I didn’t find this to be very user unfriendly. The third issue I had is that twice during the ride the seat slipped down without engaging the lever. I must admit that it didn’t repeat itself afterwards but it can indicate a future problem waiting to happen.
In Summary: As much as I love Specialized products, I think they need to rethink the three predefined seat heights concept. It limits the usable range and created locking points that prevent smooth action. I praise their efforts in creating the lightest seat post on the market, although they are very close in weight to others. I also love the fact that they chose a simple wire activation design versus unnecessary hydraulic activation like the Rockshox Reverb. Every time I hear people talking or writing about bleeding their seat-posts it makes me laugh. Would I buy the Blacklite? As much as I love it’s black look – probably not. I still think products like KS-I950/900 are superior. Good luck Specialized for next year’s model.