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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this is not a directly singlespeed related question.

I can't help but wonder. I have a layback XTR chromoly seatpost from the mid nineties. It has suffered endless abuse, and is still my favorite seatpost after many years of riding. Aluminum ones do not compare-they are so stiff. The steel one is springy and comfortable.

There are titanium ones around, but no steel. Why?
 

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I think with the growing market of 29er SSs and hardtails, there might be a market opening for steel posts - I know I wouldn't even consider an aluminum seatpost for such a bike. Carbon suits weight weenies and/or those who embrace the throw-away culture; titanium is pricey. So yeah, I think there's a market opening for steel posts. Salsa should make one out of 4130 or OX Platinum and put it on their El Mariachi build.
 

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eccentricbottombracket said:
I know this is not a directly singlespeed related question.

I can't help but wonder. I have a layback XTR chromoly seatpost from the mid nineties. It has suffered endless abuse, and is still my favorite seatpost after many years of riding. Aluminum ones do not compare-they are so stiff. The steel one is springy and comfortable.

There are titanium ones around, but no steel. Why?
For the same reason there are few Ti posts: Limited tubing diameters. Much easier and cheaper to make aluminum posts in the vast number of diameters needed.
 

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My 27.2 aluminium layback Salsa post is nice and flexy at 10" extension. I had a steel XT post once - whatever I did it slipped in my steel frame, was heavy as anything and not at all flexy!
 

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Sparticus said:
I would not consider a carbon post... I've seen shattered carbon fiber. Do people worry about this? Maybe I'm being a Chicken Little.

--Sparty
ouch. you're not alone - something about shattered carbon fibre and proximity to my backside makes me scaredy too. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Somebody should bring back the steel seatpost.

Aluminum does not rust, as somebody pointed out, but it does corrode and bond to the frame. Stainless steel certainly will not rust, and I doubt very much that it would bond to any frame. I find the rust explanation a bit weak. After all, people buy steel frames, and they certainly rust. My steel seatpost has no rust, and I never maintain it. There is no place for water to collect.

Its true, as Shiggy points out, that aluminum is easy to manufacture, being soft. Tools speeds can be maximized, and tool life is extended. Important considerations to manufacturers. But 4130 steel is not that tough to work with. It is not nearly as difficult as titanium, and people still make titanium seatposts. As for variety of tube sizes, large manufacturers can have tubing drawn to any diameter, aluminum or steel.

As for durability, I don't remember hearing horror stories about steel seatpost failures from the 1990's. They worked as well as any other seatposts, and were just as light. There is no reason why a seatpost from Reynold's 853 or Tange Prestige, or True Temper OX would not be as good as or better than anything out there, including Thomson or Syncros.

It is very strange that there are no steel seatposts.
 

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eccentricbottombracket said:
Aluminum does not rust, as somebody pointed out, but it does corrode and bond to the frame. Stainless steel certainly will not rust, and I doubt very much that it would bond to any frame. I find the rust explanation a bit weak. After all, people buy steel frames, and they certainly rust. My steel seatpost has no rust, and I never maintain it. There is no place for water to collect.

Its true, as Shiggy points out, that aluminum is easy to manufacture, being soft. Tools speeds can be maximized, and tool life is extended. Important considerations to manufacturers. But 4130 steel is not that tough to work with. It is not nearly as difficult as titanium, and people still make titanium seatposts. As for variety of tube sizes, large manufacturers can have tubing drawn to any diameter, aluminum or steel.

As for durability, I don't remember hearing horror stories about steel seatpost failures from the 1990's. They worked as well as any other seatposts, and were just as light. There is no reason why a seatpost from Reynold's 853 or Tange Prestige, or True Temper OX would not be as good as or better than anything out there, including Thomson or Syncros.

It is very strange that there are no steel seatposts.
There is still the diameter issue. Just try finding a Ti post in a size other than 27.2.

It is not so much that aluminum is soft but that the required wall thickness of the material (and other properties) makes it pretty much ideal for the application.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
shiggy said:
It is not so much that aluminum is soft but that the required wall thickness of the material (and other properties) makes it pretty much ideal for the application.
I think that between aluminum, steel, titanium, and carbon fiber, the variety of wall thicknesses, diameters, and material properties offer a variety of suitable solutions to the same problem. The same is true for aluminum, steel, titanium, and carbon fiber frames. A vast selection of these frames are available in the marketplace, but not seatposts.
 

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You can get steel BMX seatposts up to 27.2 easily, but they are on the heavy side. Most are Chromed for rust protection. They are also made to accept a larger diameter seat rail.

eccentricbottombracket said:
Stainless steel certainly will not rust, and I doubt very much that it would bond to any frame. I find the rust explanation a bit weak....
SS tends to gall easily. I have fond memories of steel seatposts rusted into steel frames, but they were easier to remove than aluminium seatpost corroded into steel frames...

eccentricbottombracket said:
... 4130 steel is not that tough to work with. It is not nearly as difficult as titanium...
Ti is actually a lot easier to machine than steel, you just need to maintain a sharp tool bit. Drawing tubes takes longer though, as you have to anneal between draws.
 
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