- USE Sumo seatpost
- £59.99 – £129.99
USE has been making seatposts for ever and a day. They’ve always had a reputation for light weight, but some riders have found them a little fragile. The Alien design is particularly intolerant of any degree of hamfistedness in installation, and while it’s been redesigned USE has decided that it would be a good idea to offer a more robust post alongside the ultralight Alien.
The Sumo is the result. The bottom end holds no particular surprises – it’s a tube, available in a choice of aluminium, titanium or carbon fibre, in 300 or 400mm lengths and a range of sizes. The available sizes vary depending on which material you go for, but the common ones are covered along with the odd weirdy size like 30.9mm. Our test post is a 31.6mm diameter, 300mm aluminium unit. USE has a wide range of shims to handle any sizes that you can’t get a post to fit directly into.
The top end is where the newness is. The clamp is an all-new design, based around a barrel-shaped head with tapered cylindrical (or truncated conical, to be more strictly accurate) ends. The rail clamps sit over the ends of the barrel, and a 5mm bolt goes through the whole lot to hold it in place. It actually works on essentially the same principle as the Alien head, with the parts of the clamp wedging in place on the tapers and thus taking the loads off the bolt. But there’s more surface area, a more torque-resistant bolt that’ll take a more usable size of tool and less fiddling. The design also offers plenty of adjustability – there are no splines or end stops, so if you’ve got a bike with a weirdly-angled seat tube the Sumo will happily cope.
The two bits are bonded together, which is traditionally a weak spot in seatposts – the posts with the best reputation for strength have a one-piece shaft and clamp. But that’s not to say that a two-piece post can’t be adequately strong. We’ve got quite a lot of miles on this one and it’s been rock-solid – no shifting, no noise, no problem. We’re not going to pretend that there’s any magical difference in feel between this and any other 31.6mm diameter aluminium tube – if you want a bit of give take a look at the carbon or Ti options.
Positives: Lots of adjustability, robust clamp, clean looks, choose your material, still pretty light
Negatives: Made of two pieces, relies on shims for some sizes, quite pricey
Verdict: The Sumo is a perfectly good seatpost, but it’s operating in a market packed to the gunwhales with perfectly good seatposts. The USP is the clamp, which is simple, robust and has plenty of adjustability. We don’t think it’s the best post you can get for the money, but it’s pretty damn good.