Gear Review: is pain-free cycling possible?

The good folks at Cirrus Cycles let me demo their new BodyfloatTM seat post for my recent 50-mi. ride in the Tour de Whatcom (see last post). The seatpost is a parallelogram-shaped suspension system that completely absorbs road vibrations. Truth, it looks kinda clunky:

Bodyfloat seatpost

But it took 10 minutes on this thing to be won over.

Before I get my geek on about this piece of kit, let me tell you I am not associated with BodyfloatTM, and I don’t get any compensation for raving about this, but I wish I did because maybe then I could afford to buy the thing.

Here’s why I loved it: 90% of the Tour de Whatcom roads are surfaced with chip seal (groan), but only my shoulders knew about it, because zero vibration came through my saddle. Suspension isn’t just for mountain bikes, folks. Why should road cyclists just clench our jaws and accept that pain and vibration fatigue are part of the sport?

Let me put it like this. 150 years ago the west was won by caravans of people traveling in covered wagons. Those wagons were mounted on giant wooden wheels banded with iron. Put yourself there for a moment: feel the jostling, the potholes, every root and rock. Your back is killing you, right? The Oregon Trail was not paved, folks. Now imagine the revolution of RUBBER. Who would ever use an iron-banded wooden wheel when you could travel on the plush comfort of air-filled rubber?

Same story for this seatpost. At one point a fellow rider was drafting behind me and said “Holy crap! I can actually see your bike moving, and you’re…NOT.” YES, that is exactly what was happening.

Not only did it absorb road vibration, small potholes, roots, etc., it actually cornered better and improved my balance. It made me notice inefficient pedal strokes, because I would start to bounce on the springs when climbing a big hill and pumping too hard on the downstroke. Once I evened out the “cycle” with a strong upstroke, it was a smooth ride, and a much more efficient use of energy.

So was the ride pain-free? Not entirely. My shoulders and neck were pretty sore, but my lower back and butt felt great. I’m hoping to see a Bodyfloat stem for my handlebars next…

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One thought on “Gear Review: is pain-free cycling possible?

  1. Pingback: Winners be damned: a cyclist embraces mediocrity | baD.I.N.K.adink

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