British company USE’s T-bar seatpost head isn’t the easiest to work with but the rest of this post just about makes the faff worthwhile.
The slide-through cross piece, loose cradle and twin T-bar saddle ‘hooks’ design has been making cack-handed mountain bikers turn the air blue since the early Nineties. Once you’ve got it all together though, it’s actually the most secure and easily adjustable seat clamp USE produce. It’s also their cheapest post by far and lighter than the company's top-end XCR model.
You still get the same mechanical giblets, plus access to all of USE’s upgrade springs, shim kits and spares. This makes useful long-term life a reasonable expectation if you clean and service it regularly. Don’t over-tighten the bolts though, as you risk cracking the mounting hardware. Again spares are available, but not on a moor in the middle of nowhere.
The inline (as opposed to layback) clamp naturally sits you more centrally over the shaft, which means less shearing force stopping it moving. Cue a comﬁer feel whatever spring set you use, and more of the available travel actually being used much more of the time. It also means less leverage on the inevitable rock and rotation of the shaft, and thus longer life.
You may have to tape or grease your saddle rails (and the shaft/cradle join) to combat creak and squeak in use, particularly with titanium rails. Having a bike position that works with an inline post is also crucial too. However, with a price half that of the XCR and a performance that’s better in several areas, USE’s old timer is the best post in its range.