Source: Rinsten Spring
Materials: Spring steel, aluminum
Weight: 400 grams
Colors: Gold, Silver, Black
Compatibility: Fits most bicycle seatposts and saddles
Rider weight: Up to 330 pounds (150 kg)
How obtained: Product sample
RBR sponsor: No
Extras: 30-day cash-back guarantee and unconditional lifetime warranty
Innovative Seat Suspension at a Budget Price
Sometimes a new company launches a product, sends a sample, and when I open the box I’m surprised when I see what’s inside. Such was the case with the Rinsten Spring Ultimate Bicycle Shock Absorber that I’m covering here. They just launched it on Kickstarter.
From what Rinsten wrote about the product in their email, I envisioned a typical telescoping seatpost or a post with suspended seat clamp. Over the years there’ve been many designs like this and some are still on the market. For example, Cane Creek’s Thudbuster and Tamer’s posts.
But I wasn’t expecting Rinsten’s simple bent-wire spring suspension. And, because I thought it would be more elaborate, it wasn’t immediately apparent how well it would work.
Road suspension is catching on
Yet, I was intrigued because I think it’s a perfectly timed product that might appeal to some roadies since so many companies are making suspension road bikes now, such as Trek’s Madone with its IsoSpeed decoupler shock absorber and Specialized’s Roubaix with its shock-absorbing Zerts seatpost and Future Shock front end etc. These bikes are proving the concept that with a little suspension to smooth the road, you can ride longer, stronger and even end common pains like numbness in your butt and hands.
Road suspension makes a lot of sense also because roads seem to be only getting rougher, and so many people are heading onto gravel bikes and dirt to explore and escape traffic.
An affordable add-on suspension
The great thing about the Rinsten Spring is that there’s no need to buy a new bike. It fits on most seatposts, is affordable at $50, is super-adjustable and simple to operate. It even comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
How does it work? The Rinsten Spring goes between the seatpost and saddle. You loosen your seatpost’s seat clamp, remove the seat and slip in the Rinsten Spring. Then, just install your saddle onto the Rinsten’s seat clamp.
To find the right amount of suspension for your weight and preferences, you simply loosen the clamp(s) and move the spring along the seatpost’s clamp and/or move the saddle along the spring. By carrying the tools to do this, you can fine-tune the suspension on the road.
What’s ingenious for such a simple design is that the Rinsten Spring provides three directions of suspension. It travels up and down plus it rocks side to side with each pedal stroke. You can see in the photo how the ends of the springs are directly beneath the seat rails. As your weight shifts from side to side during pedaling, the Rinsten Spring drops from side to side.
I’ve had suspension like this in the past (with an Allsop beam suspension; look for a photo on Google images) and I like it, but if you’re not used to the slight rocking sensation, it will probably take some getting used to. But, if you’re looking for more comfort, I’m pretty sure you’ll appreciate it.
I haven’t logged enough miles on the Rinsten to know how durable it is, yet it appears well made and works well. I like that it can easily be swapped between different bikes and is designed for all types from road to mountain to city bikes and cruisers. I think this clever suspension might be the perfect upgrade for some roadies seeking more of a magic-carpet ride. They didn’t mention it, but it seems like Rinsten could make a titanium version to drop the weight a bit.
If you want to try it, check first to be sure that you can lower the seat and create enough clearance between the top of the seatpost and the saddle to accept the Rinsten (about 8cm/3 inches).
Jim Langley is RBR’s Technical Editor. He has been a pro mechanic and cycling writer for more than 40 years. He’s the author of Your Home Bicycle Workshop in the RBR eBookstore. Check out his “cycling aficionado” website at http://www.jimlangley.net, his Q&A blog and updates at Twitter. Jim’s streak of consecutive cycling days has reached more than 8,000. Click to read Jim’s full bio.