The USE Alien seat post turned up the other day and I managed to get a picture of it this afternoon. Tommorow I might even get one in focus. The clamp design (which I’ll take a shot of later – I took a shot today but the batteries ran out) is pretty unique in that it clamps the post in place by sort opposing mechanical forces, rather than a clamping action – which probably doesn’t make sense to you. The cradles at the front and rear are pushed inwards thanks to tw0 bolts which run through them, and they then clamp the saddle in place as they push the saddle rails against the carrier in the centre, which in turn locks the saddle in place at the right angle. It all seems very secure but the whole thing seems to have been designed to be very lightweight, rather than easy to use. At least with USEs old seatpost design, altering the saddle angle was simple. This one requires a lot of spannering (or 2.5mm allenkeying actually) to loosen it off, then adjust the angle, then clamp back up VERY TIGHT as it says in the leaflet that comes with it. The whole thing looks secure enough and strong, and at least comes in proper sizes and doesn’t need bodging (sorry, shimming) into place. I’m sure as soon as I get it properly adjusted it’ll be fine. Seatposts inevitably are a bit fiddly to get set up and then are left alone. You want a seatpost to stay tight whatever you do. Anyhow, it’s on the bike now, and we’ll see how it beds in.
UPDATE: A few good rides on the post and things are pretty much as we left them. The post hasn’t budged at all, not even any bedding in or creaking, which is pretty impressive. You can’t really ask more for a seatpost than that. Happily I must have got it in about the right place to start with so I didn’t have to fiddle with it, but it’s staying there, isn’t making a racket and that can’t be bad. More news as it occurs, but this one looks like it could be real performer. Associated links: www.use1.com
UPDATE: No change at all actually. Inspite of dire warnings on the packet about checking the bolts and tightening up as things bed in, we’ve left the post alone and it’s still perfect. No creaks, no slippage. Apologies for our sceptisism, but this one’s great. The only thing we would stress is that inspite of what you might think at first look, this isn’t a post with layback. It mounts the saddle pretty much where the old USE in line posts did. It just does
it in a more elegant way and also gives more room for saddle adjustment.Light and effective.