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Let the good times roll.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had several weeks worth of ride time on my Command Post now, and I figure it's a good time for that review I promised. Here it goes. Overall, I am very pleased with my adjustable seatpost. For my riding style, I think it's the best upgrade I've ever made. Not only does it save time at the top and bottom of long sustained climbs, it lets me push harder in rolling XC terrain. I can keep the saddle up whenever I'm pedalling, then drop it to pump through a fast section or pick my way through technical rock gardens.


A few specific comments...
Performance: The first Post I got had some problems with the internals. That got fixed, and now it works very well. There is no noticeable play. The action up/down is smooth. I've heard complaints about the seatpost clamp spinning, but I haven't experienced that yet. If anything, I've had the opposite issue (which I don't mind at all). Changing the saddle angle takes a lot of force even when the clamp is loosened. I guess that carbon assembly paste is doing a good job! I'm a fan of the 3 predefined height positions, although I realize that won't be to everyone's tastes. I prefer the predictability of always having my saddle in one of 3 heights. Also, the saddle is mechanically locked in place. Picking the bike up by the saddle won't make the seatpost extend.


Survivability: This, is one of the main reasons I got a Command Post instead of one of its competitors. Even in a worst case scenario with blown seals, damaged internals and a snapped cable, the seatpost can still be operated. It won't be smooth and it won't pop up automatically, but it will still be adjustable. I think that's really neat. It means the chances of being in the middle of a ride with the seatpost stuck in the up or down position are very slim. That would mean a truly catastrophic problem that probably wouldn't be repairable at all...


Maintenance: The internal problems I had were mostly because the guy I bought my post from did a crappy job of maintenance (and a convincing job of lying...). Any quality bike part will fail eventually if its abused. I don't plan to follow his example, so I expect to get many years of trouble free performance. Overhauls are very simple, and instructions are available from Decline's online backissues. It took me less than 30 minutes to pull my post apart and reassemble it when I was trying to figure out why it wasn't working right. Roitine maintenance to clean the internals and change grease doesn't need any special tools. Changing the seals needs a small tool that can be bought from Specialized. And that's all the post needs to keep it healthy and working well.


Cable routing: Most bikes still don't have provisions from dropper posts. I've found that Jagwire stick-on cable guides work well. Mine are stll on after more than a month of mud, snow, and ice. For my frame, a few under the top tube and a zip tie on the seattube did the trick to keep the cable in check.


Complaints: So there's a lot to like here, but nothing is perfect. The most obvious issue is how forcefully the seatpost pops up. Everyone who has played with my bike has noticed this right away. The return speed can be adjusted by how much air is put in the seatpost, but even the minimum amount of air has the saddle shooting up like a rocket taking off for Mars. This can be very uncomfortable, especially for men, if you're in the wrong place when the saddle is raised! My way of dealing with that is to only release the saddle when my body weight is on it so it can't spring up freely.

The other problem is with the cable. Maintaining the proper tension is absolutely critical. To little, and the seatpost won't release when the lever is pressed. Too much, and the seatpost will pop up by itself without warning. The fast return speed I just mentioned makes it even worse. Because of this, I think it's best to check tension every other ride if not more often. Cable actuation also means all the maintenance issues that derailluers have. The cable and housing will need to be replaced every couple of months to keep things nice and smooth.


A comparison with the Reverb: In my search, I pretty much narrowed it down to either a Command Post or a Reverb. I've spent some time on both now, and I really think both are fine products. Prices and build quality are pretty similar. Weight is similar. Overall performance is similar. Which one to get depends on a rider's priorities. For me, the Command Post's survivability in crashes is important. That and the 3 fixed positions are why I made my choice. The Reverb's advantages are a controllable return rate (which can be made pretty slow if desired), infinite positions, and no cable maintenance. Anyone who wants those features will be better off with the Reverb IMO.

I hope to see more pics of Missions with dropper posts in the future. I already saw one with a Reverb :).
 

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NIce write up. The Jag wire is mandatory for it to operate properly on the Mission (and maybe others). I'm glad that you recommended it to me. The issue I had with the seat coming up on its own was due to the cable flopping about and pulling itself in really bumpy stuff. You can control the rise rate if you go below the specs, but sometimes you have to pull it up manually to the top position. The three positions to me is a winner over everyone else. I'm a big fan of consistently knowing where the seat is, and the newer Command Post has even more travel than mine I believe. Bonus!
 

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Let the good times roll.
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1,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, the new Command Post has an option for longer travel. It also has a redesigned lever, which is nicer to use. I had a chance to get one, but decided to save some $$ and get a used post. I don't regret it at all. I'll probably upgrade the lever eventually if the one I have now ever breaks in a wreck.

I'd be hesitant to get the Fox post until it's been rider-tested for at least several months. Almost every post on the market had some kind of problem in its first year.
 
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