USE Alien Titanium seat post
Price: £110 for natural finish 350mm post. £95 for natural 270mm.
Phone: 01798 344477
Four months of XC day(boy) rides. Fitted expressly to ease back pain suffered over four hours in the saddle on a super-stiff Klien Attitude hardtail.
Build and design
USE’s Alien seat clamp system is innovative, no-one can argue with that. The are four elements: a CNC machined head; two lower clamps; an upper clamp; and a pair of slender allen bolts, which shouldn’t actually take much, if any, load at all, used to pull the thing together. Bolted, front to back, the upper and lower halves of the clamp are drawn over a radius until the seat rail is secured in place. The head is epoxy-bonded into a titanium tube, available in two lengths. The only draw back of the Alien head, in terms of application at least, is that the clamp can only seats with rails up to 7mm. This meant that our beloved Specialized Body Geometry saddle had to be shelved.
There’s absolutely no question that the titanium post is considerably more comfortable than the aluminium one that it replaced. Gone are the shooting pains that plagued me after four hours in the saddle. Comfort is in part down to the natural compliance of the titanium, but not entirely. USE recommend that you use an undersize post and one of their seat post shims. Our test bike has a 30.9 seat-tube so we fitted a 27.2 and a shim. The nylon shims, £5.99 each, allow the post room to flex inside the seat-tube as well as above the frame.
While we’ve not had so much as a creak out of ours, despite being crashed a few times, a glance through the BIKEmagic consumer reviews shows that some of you have had problems with breaking Alien clamps. Clearly the Alien system has been designed to save weight. If you’re into bustin’ phat air then look for something a little stronger ;-).
If you’re looking for a super-light XC post with a little extra comfort and excellent ground feedback then this is the boy. If you’re into heavy landings, want to run a saddle with beefy rails, or haven’t got much dosh then give this a wide berth.