German brand NC-17 have come up with something a bit different in saddle rail clamp design. At its heart is an aluminium cylinder with grooves that the saddle rails pop into. They’re secured in place by a pair of aluminium jaws and a transverse 4mm Allen bolt.
You can feed the assembled jaws and bolt through the cylinder and tighten them in place – no need to juggle odd bits of metal and bolts. Once that’s done, you can adjust the saddle angle, which is done by means of a worm gear underneath.
Winding the adjuster with a 5mm hex key tilts the saddle up and down, with a pinch bolt to lock it in place. An engraved scale shows you where you are. It works well, although having to use two different sized hex keys is a minor annoyance and you can’t help thinking that it’s all a degree of overkill for an adjustment that most people make rarely.
The MasterStick isn't the lightest seatpost available – nor the most forgiving on rough terrain – but the extra secure clamp is a worthy feature for heavier riders. You’ll also find a long, numbered height scale on the shaft of the post and engraved trimming marks with the amount of weight they’ll save written next to them.
Also consider: NC-17 Empire S-Pro, £55. Same materials as the MasterStick but with a simpler, conventional two-bolt head.