I purchased a Cane Creek Thudbuster ST (short travel) seatpost several weeks ago, and completed a 100k gravel grinder with it last weekend, so I thought I’d write a review for anyone else considering using a Thudbuster seatpost for gravel grinding, or just in general.
The reason I wanted to buy a Thudbuster in the first place is that I am signed up for the Dirty Kanza 200, a 200 mile gravel grinder in the Flint Hills of Kansas. For such a long distance, I figured that a suspension seatpost would be worth the slight weight penalty because of the additional comfort. I am riding a stiff carbon Orbea Terra TLT cyclocross bike. I don’t want to beat myself to death, and I figured that this was a good way to help make riding more comfortable for longer distances.
The first thing I noticed when I installed the Thudbuster is that you don’t really notice it at all when you are riding on smooth pavement, which is a good thing. I was worried that I would feel it bobbing up and down and that it would feel inefficient and lame. But you can feel the difference when you go over rough pavement, speed bumps, potholes, etc. I wouldn’t say that I could actually feel the seatpost moving as much as I would just notice that I was able to remain seated and keep pedaling without any real discomfort in situations where I would typically have to hover over the seat.
The seatpost comes in the box with three different elastomer things, designed for varying weights of the rider. The one preinstalled was for riders between 140 and 190 pounds, which was correct for me. They also have one for lighter riders, and one for heavier riders, with a 250 pound limit for the post.
When you attach a seat to the seatpost, there is one bolt in the back that tightens with an allen wrench, and another one in the front that turns with a thumbwheel. By adjusting them both in combination, you can get the seat level or to your personal preference pretty quickly and easily. It only took me a few minutes to get my saddle attached to the seatpost and adjusted.
The Thudbuster ST weighs around 450 grams, which is about a 200 gram penalty compared to my previous rigid carbon seatpost. But let me tell you that it’s a 200 gram penalty worth paying.
When riding on gravel roads, it made an amazing difference when it comes to comfort level. Specifically, the thing that impressed me the most was the ability to stay seated and keep pedaling over a few washboard sections on the course. Smaller ruts and small potholes that you would typically have to stand up or hover over were also easy for the Thudbuster ST to handle.
I am happy that I spent the money on this seatpost, and I recommend it for gravel grinder riding. I might even keep it on for the cyclocross season for a few races to see how it does with that. I think it would also be a good choice if you were riding a hardtail mountain bike, and you just wanted to take the edge off some of the bumps along the way.
I haven’t had mine long enough to know how well it will hold up over time, but I’ve seen some blog posts like these that tell me I probably won’t have any trouble with it. I’m typically easy on equipment in general.
The seatpost is pictured without a bag so that you can get a better view of it. I ride it with a standard seat bag though, and the bag goes on fine and stays on fine. The travel of the post doesn’t seem to cause any issues or problems with the bag.