A Year in the Life of a Maverick Seatpost – a Rider’s Honest Review

21 02 2009

This is a long term test report of the Maverick adjustable seat post that Ming’s been running on his Attack Trail for the last 14 months.

For those of you who don’t know what the post does, it is basically a seat post you can raise and lower on-the-fly without having to stop to get off and fiddle with the seat clamp. To lower all you have to do is pull the lever under the seat with your bodyweight on the seat and the seat drops. You can lower the seat in any size increment from 1mm to all the way down to its maximum compression of about 3.5 inches. Too raise the seat, simply stand up on the pedals and pull the lever and the seat rises just like an office chair. It takes a bit of getting used too, planning ahead slightly to allow for taking one hand off the bars to get to the lever, but after a while it becomes second nature.

The seat post also comes with the option of a remote bar mounted lever which does add to the cost and also the “plumbing” on the bars. I had also heard that the remote lever was susceptible to the British weather and mud causing it to seize up. For that reason I stuck with the cheaper, lever under the seat option.

So what’s it like?

This seatpost has transformed my riding. I run it at full extension for maximum XC pedal efficiency but when I hit a bit of singletrack I drop the seat around an inch for a lower C-of G for easier direction changes and foot out antics. Big drop off or downhill coming up; drop the seat all the way to allow lots of room for hanging off the back and once its back to that long climb just raise the seat to max for full pedal stroke.

Instead of “faffing” about stopping and adjusting the seat height before and after technical sections the ride now flows smoothly from one section into the next. There are fewer “oh shiii” moments on downhills as you can position your body weight exactly where you want it without a high seat hindering your actions.

Maintenance and Problems

Maintenance involves a once in the summer strip, which entails unscrewing the top cap and a 10mm nut inside the tube and then pulling the post out of its seat tube. The only special tool required is a deep reach 10mm socket or normal socket with an extension. The post just requires wiping down and then regreasing. Just be a little careful as thick grease will slow the rise rate of the post. Once reassembled the seat will require a few raise and lowers to prime it and bleed any sponginess out of it.

Winter is another matter; especially if you don’t run a rear mudguard. The post’s drop rate slows as mud and moisture get flung up onto the stanchion and with every raise and lower make their way into the internals. I’d recommend a once a month strip in the winter boggy months to keep the post operating normally. It only takes 10 minutes so it is not that much of a bind.

The post has a degree of slop/twist in the horizontal plane even from new that looks disconcerting. It is not noticeable whilst riding the bike though and does not seem to have got any worse over the year. There is no rocking or tilt in the slider mechanism just this sideways motion.

The major problem with the post is the seat clamp design. It is a cup/cone system that suffers from wear. This manifests itself in the seat tilting if it suffers a heavy backside hit from a drop off or jump which then requires you to get off and readjust the seat. Once this starts to occur no amount of stripping or cleaning will sort the problem out. I ordered a new cup and cone assembly from Maverick (for which they charged me £25!) as the problem is due to the soft alloy cones and their associated clamps wearing which then allows the tilting issue to start, which then gets progressively worse.

I’m not the only person that this has happened too and it does seem to be a common problem, so much so that the Crank Brothers Joplin post (design licensed/sold to Crank Bros from Maverick) has a new clamp design on the 27.9mm post. Unfortunately this new clamp design cannot be retrofitted.

Overall

It is not an XC/weight weenies product but for an “all mountain” or “enduro” class MTB this type of post is definitely a worthwhile upgrade. I would buy another on-the-fly adjustable post, just not the current Maverick/Crank Bros one. It makes for a smoother, flowing more enjoyable ride. However the Maverick post is not with out issues and is definitely a first generation product.

More posts are coming on the market and a work colleague has been using over the last few months the new Pure Racing i900 post. He is so far very pleased with it. It is devoid of slop and has a more rugged seat clamp design. Whilst the action is a bit more mechanical it feels more solidly built. The only problem so far is the weak £ and dealers jacking up the price from the first batch because of its popularity.

Ming

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