by Rick Schultz
- Wow, this seatpost really works!
- 4 different post diameters with 2 post length options for each post diameter.
- 4 spring combinations offering support for riders weight of 50 lbs. to 250 lbs.
- 2 setback options (12mm, 25mm)
- 0-35mm travel
- Made from 6061 Aluminum
- Stainless Steel hardware
- Only other option to turn a hardtail into a suspension bike is to buy a new one.
- None identified
2.1 (Aluminum): $249 TESTED
3.2 (Carbon): $329
Source: Bike shops, Websites
Features: Replacement springs to handle rider weight from 50 lbs. (22.7 kg) to 250 lbs.
8 (eight) different post diameters and post lengths
How obtained: Sample from KINEKT
Summary: Low cost solution turns hardtail gravel, cross, road, MTB into a suspension bike
Years ago, I bought a semi-custom DEAN carbon-wrapped titanium hardtail. Adding a complete *XTR groupset made it complete. At the time, I used it mainly for trail riding. I also used it as my commuter bike riding back and forth to work. That was when I was younger.
Now, that I am a little older, I don’t seem to be able to absorb all of the little bumps along the trail anymore. The DEAN is a hardtail, so there’s really not a lot of options to soften the ride.
*How I ended up with the XTR groupset is a quick story that I hope won’t get you, the reader too upset. It turns out that the private middle-school that my daughter attended, was also attended by Kozo Shimano’s two daughters. Our daughters never really knew each other since my daughter was into sports and his daughters were into music, dance, etc. During a school event that we both attended, I was able to speak with him and he invited me to stop by Shimano offering me a ‘friendship’ price for the groupset. His generous offer was too good to not take him up on it. And, being XTR, it’s still ‘alive and well’ many years later!
Doing a little research, I found 3 options;
1. Get a new full-suspension mountain bike. But, new XTR level MTB’s are EXPENSIVE, $10,000 to over $12,000.
- I would have to consider SRAM, or
- I would have to move down a step to XT or even further down the rung to SLX and maybe all the way down to DEORE.
After riding XTR, these aren’t really options.
2. Buy a dropper post, but two issues
- quality ones are expensive ($450-$800)
- and they do not come with suspension.
So that leaves this option out as well.
3. Get a suspension seatpost. Doing an initial search showed that there are junk ones ($20-$30), or quality ones ($175-$300). Current recommendations seem to point to Cane Creek and Kinekt. Cane Creek’s $300 seat post can hold more rider weight but gives up on the amount of travel (20mm for the Cane Creek vs 35mm for the Kinekt).
After researching, the Kinekt looks like the best deal out there, especially since you can purchase different springs for different weights as well as to fine-tune. The Kinekt is quality manufactured. This thing is SOLID!
The DEAN had a custom Titanium seatpost, which I had to wrestle out. Comparing the seatposts, weight was the first thing I noticed. Both posts were 400mm. The DEAN Ti MTB seatpost weighs 179g (6.3 oz, 0.39 lbs.), the Kinekt is 563g (19.9 oz, 1.24 lbs.). The Kinekt is 214.5% heavier than the DEAN Ti, but, the main reason for this is that the DEAN MTB was built for light weight, including the seat post, the Kinekt is built as a very durable suspension seatpost and includes steel springs.
After going through their website’s setup procedures, I found that I wanted a little more firmness. It was just a little too bouncy for me. Kinekt added several different springs so that I could fine tune. I quickly and easily swapped out one of the BLACK springs for an ORANGE spring. I watched their how-to video and it was super easy. There are also videos on SETTING-UP and choosing initial springs, ADVANCED TUNING and ADJUSTING PRELOAD, SPRING SWAP OUT, HOW TO CHANGE BUSHINGS and FINE-TUNING by mixing springs. All-in-all, a very useful website.
After inserting the seatpost, it was very easy to install the saddle because
a) the design of the clamp allows plenty of room for the saddle rails
- all you need to do to install a saddle is rotate the saddle 90°, place over the clamp, rotate back straight then tighten. Eazy-peezy.
b) the clamp bolts are at an angle allowing plenty of room for your allen wrench when tightening.
Trying It Out
After setting the preload, I setup the saddle height. Once set, I took it around the block and out onto a local trail. WOW, what a difference this seatpost made! It was almost as if I had a full suspension MTB, it roade that good. Out on the street, it was a cushier ride as well. Much more comfortable.
Summary – Highly Recommended: 5 out of 5 stars!
This seatpost can be used to soften any ‘hard-tail’ bike. Kinekt recommends this seatpost for
- Gravel bikes
- Mountain bikes
- Commuter bikes
- Fat bikes,
- Youth bikes, and even, yes,
- Road bikes!
This is a product I’m keeping.
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Coach Rick Schultz is an avid cyclist who trains, races and coaches in Southern California. Rick is an engineer by trade, and in addition to being a coach, he's a bike fitter and prolific product reviewer. He's the author of Stretching & Core Strengthening for the Cyclist and Bike Fit 101: Your Toolset for a Great Bike Fit in the RBR eBookstore. Check his product reviews website, www.biketestreviews.com, and his coaching site, www.bikefitnesscoaching.com. Click to read Rick's full bio.