Wednesday, September 12, 2012 9.00am
By Guy Kesteven, What Mountain Bike
We’ve been running an I Beam saddle and post on at least one of our long termers ever since they ﬁrst appeared. Providing seating duties on acarbon hardtail we’re using more aggressively every ride, this one is probably the best showcase we’ve ever had for the uniquely-railed I Beam system.
At under 150g for the I-Fly saddle and well under 200g for the post (now we’ve cut its carbon shaft down to remove any excess length), it’s an incredibly light setup. It’s also far cheaper than the conventional titanium or carbon-railed saddle and carbon post combo we’d have to use to compete otherwise.
Masses of fore and aft adjustment from the single bolt and centre-rail clamp means huge potential to play around with effective seat angle and top tube length on our Whyte 29C – a bike we’re constantly swapping stems and forks on.
This is even more of a contrast with the super-light competition, which often use inline saddle clamps and saddle rails with a very restricted clamping area.
Unlike most hyper-light seating systems you don’t have to ride I Beams like you’re on a road bike. Over the past decade we’ve cartwheeled the poor things end over end through rocks, crushed our bits on them off drops, crunched them through compressions and never had one move, sheer off or otherwise skipped beat.
The downside is that the I-Fly isn’t forgiving on pampered arses and will rattle your tackle over rough terrain. But chances are if you’re after a lightweight saddle setup you’ll have a bifﬁn’s bridge (Google it) like leather anyway, in which case you’ll be absolutely ﬁne cracking out epic after epic on it with just the occasional spritz of surgical spirit on your spuds [Yikes - Ed].
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.
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