Simple Tips To Choose a Mountain Bike Extended Seat Post
A mountain bike seat post extension gives the rider freedom to adjust the seat levels and the ability to improve comfort and efficiency. When off-road riding, for instance, you'll need to have your saddle high enough to allow for efficient pedaling. But when riding on technical terrain or steep descents, you'll need the saddle low enough for more control to move your body weight around and a mountain bike extended seat post can give you that adaptability.
A mountain bike extended seat post varies in diameter from 21.15 mm to 35 mm. It can also vary in length from 75 mm to 400 mm. The setback of a mountain bike seat post can measure up to 45 mm. Consider the material of the seat post, the diameter, the length, and the setback angle to determine if the extended seat post fits the frame and improves riding comfort.
There are many factors to consider when choosing an adjusted seat post for your mountain bike. The first and the most important is the material of the post itself. Most seat posts are typically made of titanium, carbon fiber, or aluminum alloy. Titanium seat posts like these are lightweight and can provide a softer ride. However, they can be pricey.
Aluminum alloy seat posts like this are more affordable than titanium ones and are easier to install. However, aluminum alloy provides a rougher ride than other seat post materials. Carbon fiber is the most expensive material for seat posts and it provides the lightest and softest rides. However, they require extra care during installation and maintenance. Read our article comparing carbon mountain bikes vs. aluminum to learn more about the pros and cons of these two popular frame types.
Consider the size of the seat post including the diameter and length. The diameter of the seat tube where the seat post mounts varies from bicycle to bicycle and you need to get the correct diameter for your bike frame. The most common diameter is 27.2mm, but there are other sizes between 21.15 and 35mm like this model.
The length of the seat post is also important. The seat post length ranges from 75mm to more than 400mm. Make sure to choose the length of the post according to your needs. A seat post that is too short can affect your ability to maintain control of the handlebars, while a seat post that is too long will affect your posture and comfort. Read our article about mountain bike seat post length for an in-depth look at how seat tube height alters the safety and feel of a bike.
The last thing you need to consider is the setback angle. This refers to the bend in the upper section of the seat post. You might need a seat post extender if your seat is placed too far forward with a straight post. Generally, setbacks vary from frame to frame and they measure up to 45mm.
In this article, we provide a complete guide for choosing a mountain bike extended seat post to help you find one that suits your needs best.
You might also be interested in learning whether or not a road bike and a mountain bike seat post are the same. Be sure to read our related article to find out more.
What Is a Bicycle Seat Post Extender?
A bicycle seat post is a metal tube or extension that connects the bike frame to the bike saddle. Other names of seat posts include seat pin, saddle pole, saddle pin, or saddle pillar. The seat post extender is adjustable to suit every cyclist's needs and ensures comfort, stability, and efficiency. You need the correct saddle height to prevent straining your lower back (which happens if the saddle is too low). You’ll need to adjust saddle height for different types of riding and terrain.
A bicycle seat post extender is a metal extension that can be added to the seat post to raise the height of the seat.
Mountain bike seat posts are available in different types, materials, and sizes. Some of the common types of seat posts include the plain type, the aeropost like this, the suspension like this, and the dropper like this. The most common materials are titanium, carbon fiber, or aluminum alloy, which you can choose from according to your needs.
Seat posts are designed to support your weight and maintain the right angle for your ride. That's why you need to choose a durable material for your seat post that suits your weight. According to this article by Rei.com, they can prevent nagging pains in your thighs, back, and calves that result from riding with the wrong seat height because you can adjust the saddle height.
Generally, the higher your seat is, the faster you can go and the more energy you can save. Your legs strain when riding with a low saddle because your knees are bent awkwardly. As our article about mountain bike reach calculation explains, riding with good posture not only improves your speed and efficiency but also prevents acute injuries.
Reasons You May Need a Bicycle Seat Post Extender
Although many cyclists underestimate the importance of a seat post extender, it can play a crucial role in the comfort and efficiency of the ride. What you might not know is that using a seat post extender can protect you from common back and body pain that results from riding with an unstable saddle height, save you energy by making pedaling more efficient, and provide enough leg room for taller riders to keep the knees in a comfortable position.
Purchase a mountain bike extended seat post to reduce bending forward as a tall rider, improve pedaling efficiency, maintain a better knee position, ensure better handling, and save energy.
Seat post extenders also improve handling. According to this article from the Physician and Sports Medicine Journal correctly fitting your bike to your body can prevent many common injuries.
Here are the reasons for possibly needing a bicycle seat post extender:
Reason 1. Reduce Bending Forward As a Tall Rider
For taller riders, an extended seat post can be the best choice for comfort during long rides. Taller riders usually need extra leg space when riding to enable them to stay in control and keep their feet stable on the pedals. That's why the seat they use needs to be compatible with their height and leg length.
Using a low saddle will force taller riders to bend forward and increase pressure on their neck and back. The right extended seat post reduces bending forward and ensures a comfortable ride. To figure out how to choose the right mountain bike saddle height, check out our tips and tricks.
Reason 2. Improve Pedaling Efficiency
When you're riding with a high saddle, your knees become correctly positioned over the pedals. This will make it much easier to maintain your speed regardless of the type of terrain you're riding. That's why an extended seat post like this one is a great choice for mountain bikers. It helps the cyclist to maintain a high cadence since the number of pedaling revolutions per minute will be greater and easier to maintain when riding on rough terrain.
Reason 3. Ensure a Better Knee Position
Riding with a high saddle keeps the cyclist's legs extended properly and prevents the knees from bending awkwardly while pedaling. When your knees are straightened and kept in a comfortable position, pressure on the knees is reduced and in turn, this protects muscles and joints from injury. Not only that but with this knee position you can have better control and movement.
Reason 4. Maintain Better Handling
Another reason why you might need to use an extended seat post is to keep control of the bike. When you are riding with a high seat, your gravity center becomes elevated and this makes it easier for you to control your bike. On the contrary, riding with a lower body position will keep your body too settled in. This will make handling much more difficult compared to the higher position. Legs that feel over-bent and cramped get tired sooner, which will drain your energy faster and force you to cut your ride short.
Reason 5. Save Your Energy
Mountain biking requires large energy expenditure so making adjustments to your bike that reduce energy output means you can ride for longer. When you ride with a low saddle, you will be riding in a position where your body is resisting the wind and reducing drag, which will, in turn, slow you down and drain your energy.
A high bike saddle gives you more speed while saving your energy as the energy you exert drives you forward instead of resisting the wind with your back flat and close to the handlebars. This is known as the aerodynamic advantage, which is explained in this excerpt from High-Tech Cycling.
Similarly, you might find interest in our quick guide to mountain bike seat replacement. If so, be sure to check out our related article for more information.
Tips to Fit an Extended Seat Post on a Mountain Bike
To have the best experience with an extended seat post, you need to make sure that you choose one that fits. Factors to consider when choosing your seat post vary. Consider the compatibility of the seat post with your bike seat and keep in mind that seat posts come with a weight limit that needs to be compatible with the cyclist's weight. Also, consider the length of the post.
To fit an extended seat post, ensure that it is compatible with the mountain bike seat and the seat tube. Next, consider the seat post weight limit and length.
Follow these tips when fitting an extended seat post:
Tip 1. Ensure That the Extended Seat Post is Compatible With the Mountain Bike Seat
One of the most important factors to consider when fitting an extended seat post on a mountain bike is to ensure that the post is compatible with the bike's seat tube. The seat post must correspond to the internal diameter of the seat tube that it’s mounted on. This is to keep the post fitted perfectly in place and avoid loosening and sliding problems. Our article about how to fix a mountain bike seat that keeps sliding down explains how to rectify this common problem.
Most mountain bike frames fit with either a 27.2mm seat tube, referred to as the standard size post, or with 30.9 or 31.6mm, known as oversize posts. Although the narrower, standard size is more comfortable when riding on rough terrain, the oversized post is also great because it adds stiffness and strength to transfer resistance. A 27.2mm can fit into a frame that takes a larger post but you need to use a shim like this one to adjust it.
Tip 2. Consider the Seat Post Weight Limit and Length
The seat post is one of the parts of the bike that supports the majority of the cyclist's weight. Seat posts are designed with certain weight limits that need to be compatible with the weight of the cyclist for durability. A seat post needs to be able to withstand the weight and at the same time maintain an appropriate angle for the ride. When the seat post weight limit is compatible with the weight of the cyclist, this helps to cut weight and add suspension to reduce vibration.
You need to consider the length of the post. Seat posts vary in length, and you need to determine whether a shorter seat post or a higher one is required. It is important to know that although short posts are lightweight, they are less adjustable compared to higher ones. Higher seat posts allow for more height options for different riders’ preferences.
Seat Post Extender Examples and Their Compatibility
|Mountain Bike Extended Seat Post||What Seat Is It Compatible With?||Size||Maximum Weight Capacity||Approximate Price|
|Mountain Bike Seat Post||27.2mm seat tube||Diameter: 27.2mm |
|Maximum of 440lbs||~$50|
|Kzee Mountain Bike Seatpost 30.9mm||30.9mm seat tube||Diameter: 30.9 |
|Maximum of 240lbs||~$85|
|Dnm Suspension Mountain & Road Bike Bicycle Seatpost||31.6mm seat tube||Diameter: 31.6mm |
Length: 350 mm
|176 to 220lbs||~$130|
You may also find interest in learning more about mountain bike saddle rail size. If so, be sure to read our related article for more information. Additionally, learning whether or not bike saddles are universal might be useful. So be sure to take a look at that article as well for additional information.
How Do I Know If a Seatpost Extender Is the Wrong Size?
One of the major problems that cyclists face when trying to fit a seat post is that they get the wrong size seat post extender. However, to avoid facing later problems with a wrong size seat post, you can check some of the following signs that tell if you have the wrong size seat post.
A seat post extender is the wrong size if the seat post is too loose and slides down into the seat tube, or if it needs to be forced into the tube. A seat post extender is the correct size if it fits snuggly into the seat post tube.
These are the tell-tale signs that a seatpost extender is the wrong size:
Sign 1. The Seatpost Is Loose
When the seat post is compatible in size with the seat tube, it fits perfectly. A wrong size seat post can result in a loose fit because of the reduced friction between the seat post and seat tube.
Although you might think that a little difference in size might be fine, even a difference of one millimeter can cause your seat post to loosen and slip. That's why if your seat post is loose, this is a sign that you have a smaller seat post than your seat tube diameter, as this article from Surly Bikes explains.
Sign 2. The Seatpost Needs to Be Forced Into the Tube
As we mentioned before, a compatible seat post is supposed to fit perfectly in the seat tube but it’s more important that it fits smoothly. If you have the right seat post size, mounting it to the seat tube shouldn't be so hard that you need to force it into the tube. If you have to pound your seat post into the seat tube with a mallet, then you probably have the wrong size post for your bike.
Common Types of Mountain Bike Seat Posts
There are a variety of seat post types available on the market that you can choose from. Your choice will be determined by other factors like where you will be riding and your choice of saddle.
The most common types of mountain bike seat posts are dropper seat posts, aero seat posts, and suspension seat posts.
Read our tricks for choosing a mountain bike saddle to learn more about the various options that are available.
Type 1. Dropper Seat Post
Dropper seat posts are the most common type of seat posts that can be used on a mountain bike. This design of seat posts can be conveniently adjusted while riding, with a lever or a switch on the handlebar, which makes controlling it easy. With the use of the lever, the cyclist can lower or raise the saddle quickly and later return it to its normal position.
Dropper seat posts use either a hydraulically damped air or coil spring with a cable that provides hydraulic or electric movement. Our guide to mountain bike seat dropper repair explains what to do if your dropper post doesn’t work properly.
Type 2. Aero Seat Post
Aero seat posts are designed to position the rider so that air channels more efficiently to limit the resistance that slows the cyclist down, which in turn grants the best aerodynamic advantage. Aero seat posts are the best way to improve the aerodynamics of your bike. The design of aero seat posts, like this one, makes it easy to lift your bike with one hand. However, if your frame is not compatible with aero seat posts, you can opt for the round versions offered by some brands with an aerodynamic shape, but you have to make sure that the aero post fits properly on the frame.
Type 3. Suspension Bicycle Seat Post
Suspension seat posts are another common type of seat post that can be moved up and down with a telescoping or parallelogram mechanism like this one. This type of seat post is designed to make rides smoother and to protect your back from getting sore. This is because the design incorporates a spring, an elastomer or compressed air, and often a damper to insulate against bumps. One problem with suspension seat posts is that they are available with fewer diameters so you'll probably need a shim like this to mount them.