Crank Brothers Joplin R seatpost £190

The ultimate all-mountain post?

BikeRadar score 3/5

This height-adjustable seatpost is extremely useful when it works, but it’s turning out to need lots of preventative maintenance, and weight-weenies won’t be happy with the extra grams.

This is Crank Brothers’ prettied-up version of the Maverick Speedball seatpost, with with anodised clamps and a knurled seal retainer. It lets you change saddle height at the flick of a switch, either on the bar or under the saddle depending on which version you go for.

When it works, the Joplin seatpost is a fantastic addition to any bike that’s likely to be hammered down technical descents on a ride.

Push/pull the cunning remote release lever on the bars and your weight will squish your seat down by as much as three inches, improving your downhill/technical confidence.

Get to the bottom, stand up, then pop the lever again and it moves back to perfect pedalling height. No faffing with collars or Allen keys.

If you plump for the non-remote version, you grab the lever under the saddle. It does involve removing a hand from the bars to drop the saddle, but for busy bikes it’s a tidier option, and cheaper too. It turns out to be easier than it looks: reach down, flip the lever, return to bar. The operation is slick and consistent in dry conditions.

We’re prepared to swallow the immediate downsides: the 532g weight and sideways wobble of the saddle from the new 30.9mm and 31.6mm sizes. What’s still in doubt, though, is reliability.

Ours is running okay with only one stripdown in three months, but others haven’t been so lucky. The answer seems to be fanatical cleanliness and regular servicing, but even with a warranty it’s not a fit-and-forget component.

Basic servicing is easy – and you must do this fairly regularly in order to keep it working smoothly – but for a full strip, oil change and repressurise you’re best off returning it to your local shop.

Worth a look if you want to fly the drops and storm the climbs without stopping, and you don’t mind adding a large wedge of weight or servicing time.

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