Sunday, September 2, 2007

Maverick Speedball R seatpost: get one!

I recently put a Maverick Speedball R on my Reign. After only one ride, I can't imagine not having one of these on my all-mountain bike! This thing simply rocks! I chose the Speedball over a Gravity Dropper for two reasons:

  • The infinite adjustability within the range of travel.  The Gravity Dropper has two settings, drop 1" or drop 3".
  • The more polished/refined design.
Now, the Gravity Dropper may be your only choice depending on your seatpost/seat tube size, because the Mavericks only come in 30.9 and one other larger size I believe, whereas the Gravity Droppers can be had in 27.2, etc.  

What I found, as others told me, is that once you install one of these and ride with it, you will use it a lot!  And indeed I did.  The first ride I had it on was the Middle Fork trail in Oakridge, OR.  This is a trail that is over 30 miles of rolling singletrack.  There is a lot of variation.  The first section for example has a lot of switchbacks (descending), and I dropped the post down all the way for these super tight switches.  Much of the rest of the trail has a lot of medium-level technical stuff (roots, creek crossings, tight turns through trees, etc.).  I love being able to drop my post just a little bit for a lot of this, as I'm 6'2" and being able to simply drop my center of gravity, and get a bit more wiggle room while remaining seated makes the bike perform a lot better.  The Speedball made this so convenient: no stopping to drop the post (or before the Speedball, in many cases I wouldn't have stopped), and then the ability to be right back to full seatpost height when needed.  

I can't say it enough, the convenience factor, of not having to get off your bike, but being able to adjust your post height is just huge, and you will find you use it a lot.

To really drive home how much I like this post, consider this: I am looking at a new full suspension bike (I want a 29er FS, now that I am completely sold on 29ers).  The Speedball is so key to me, that it may directly determine which bike I buy!  Right now I think I'll go either with the new Specialized Stumpjumper FSR SJ 29er, or a  Niner Rip 9.  The Sumpjumper has a 30.9 seatpost size, and would allow me to just move my Speedball over.  The Rip 9 uses a 31.6 which happens to be the other Speedball size.  Phew!  I had thought I would rule out the Rip 9, because my Niner MCR 9 has a 27.2 seatpost and I thought that the Rip 9 would as well, but luckily it does not.  But, that drives the point home - I almost ruled out a bike based on the seatpost size because I wouldn't be able to run a Speedball!  

The Speedball (and the Gravity Dropper) are very expensive in terms of a seatpost ($250 for the remote versions, which you should definitely get - don't even bother with the non-remote versions), but 100% worth it.  This has to be the best accessory I've come across in a long time.

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