I’ve ridden hardtail mountain bikes for ten years and have gotten used to bumpy rides on off-road trails. However, after spending a lot of time this past winter on my Surly Necromancer Pugsley I got spoiled by the smooth ride it gives (4″ wide tires with low tire pressure make for an incredibly smooth ride). Two weeks ago I rode a really rough trail with my Gary Fisher Big Sur 26″ hardtail mountain bike and as soon as I got home I started looking for some way to get a smoother ride. After a few hours of research I decided the Cane Creek Thudbuster Short Travel Seatpost would provide the relief I was looking for—and after my first ride with it I know I had made the right choice.
Many mountain bikes come with a telescoping suspension seatpost and when you hit a bump the saddle moves up and down—you still feel every bump, but the shock is dampened enough to make your ride tolerable. The Cane Creek Thudbuster is an advanced technology seatpost that uses a single urethane elastomer to absorb bumps and road vibration. After using the Thudbuster on several rides I can tell you it works perfectly for its intended use.
You will need about 4.5 inches of the space between your seat tube clamp and your saddle rails in order for the Thudbuster to fit on your bike. The post of the Thudbuster is made of forged aluminum and the pivots have stainless steel axles with bronze impregnated Teflon coated steel bushings. The elastomers are made of urethane. This seatpost is good for riders up to 250 pounds—anything over that and you are out of luck.
When you install the Thudbuster you need to allow for a bit of “sag”, i.e., once you sit on the saddle the Thudbuster will move down a bit (maybe up to an inch, depending on your weight). Therefore, you need to move your saddle up higher than you normally would. As a rule of thumb, if you adjust a saddle and the front of your knees hurt it means your saddle is too low—if the back of your knees hurt then your saddle is too high.
One of the concerns I had about the Thudbuster before I bought was whether it would work with a seat bag. As you will notice in the photograph above, I was able to use a large Topeak Wedge Drybag Saddle Bag without any problem.
Depending on the diameter of your seatpost the Thudbuster weighs between 454 and 474 grams. While this is probably a little heavier than your current seatpost, I couldn’t tell any difference in weight while riding. On the other hand, the ride was so smooth I was actually able to ride faster than before.
The main market for the Thudbuster owners of hardtail mountain bikes who want an easy upgrade for a smoother ride. However, this seatpost can also be useful for tandem bikes, folding bikes, comfort bikes, and the road bikes used by distance cyclists. If you are not sure what size seatpost you have on your bike, just remove it and look just below the “Minimum Insert” line and you should see the size listed. If you can’t read the size on the seatpost, you can either use a set of calipers to measure the post or just take it to your local bike shop and they can measure it for you.
The Cane Creek Thudbuster ST Seatpost retails for around $160 and is available in eight different sizes (25.4, 26.8, 27.0, 27.2, 27.2xl, 30.9, 31.6 and 33.9mm). Cane Creek seatposts are warranted against defects in materials or workmanship for one year from the date of purchase (applies to original owner only).
If you ride more aggressive trails Cane Creek also sells a Long Travel Thudbuster Seatpost, but I have not had the opportunity to try one so I have no opinion on the functionality of it at this time.