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Sports-Pictorial.com
 

 

USE ALIEN CARBON SEATPOSTS

By Gary K. (Army Cycling Union - www.armycycling.co.uk)

 

USE, a British company, produces a fine range of seatposts and components in a variety of materials. The two flagship models are the carbon aliens, named because the saddle attachment bracket looks like an alien's head!

 

USE Carbon Alien

USE Carbon Aero Alien

 

The carbons come in two different shapes - a normal round post and an aero shaped post for the wind cheating people among us! The posts also come in a two diameters to suit different frame models; 25.0mm and 27.2mm and different lengths (270 and 350mm for the round alien and small/med or med/large for the aero).

 

USE recommend that the posts are used with a shim to protect the carbon structure from the join with the frame, so if you have a 27.2mm seat tube on your machine, you should get the 25.0mm post and the 27.2mm shim adaptor. The shim is very lightweight and costs about 5 extra.

The posts themselves are very lightweight, the 270mm standard post being possibly the lightest on the market at present at 129 grammes.

How can they make them so light? Well, carbon fibre is very strong when making tubular designs, so they can afford to use the minimum of material, compression moulded into the strongest structure. The key to the lightness of these posts are the saddle attachment brackets. They are like nothing you have eyes on before!

They consist of three parts, a floating centre section and two other brackets that are an interference fit front and rear on the curved head of the post fitting. They are all held together by two small diameter screws that run through the three pieces, pulling them together against the curved part of the top of the post head.

 

Setting up the saddle on the post. Not easy believe me. Because the front and back parts are an interference fit, they don't move on the curved head of the post easily. To adjust the saddle tilt, the whole assembly has to be dismantled, reset and screwed together again. This may take five or six or more attempts, depending on your technical expertise! Once the saddle is set and the two screws are tightened, you should check and recheck them for tightness after your first few rides, as they settle in and will become loose.

Care is to be taken when tightening the screws. Because they are a very small diameter they can easily strip the threads in the forward bracket. They require a 2.5mm allen key to secure them!

When all has settled down and you have checked the screws a few times for slackening, that is that. All you have to worry about now is cleaning the thing! To save weight from the alien's head, sections have been machined away to leave stepped recesses. These gather any mud thrown up by the back wheel and nicely store it. A fine brush is needed to get into these awkward places.

Another thing to watch out for is what saddle you are trying to fit to the post. If the rails are not round, as on the Specialized body geometry saddles (they are ovalised), then you will not be able to fit them to the post bracket. The clearance between the bracket parts is close enough for a round saddle rail anyway, so check your saddle before you commit to buying this post.

 

 Overall, looks are very good. The post will set off most top end bikes well so long as you have the time and know how to set the thing up first. Remember to use the shim to protect the carbon from damage from the frame and crushing. Graphics on the post are subtle and cool. Thin white lettering on the carbon background. Nice!

Specifications

Use Carbon Alien

Lengths 270 and 350mm

Diameters 25.0 and 27.2mm (shim recommended)

Weight Approximately 129 grammes (manufacturers spec)

Colour Satin black

Cost Approximately 75.00 / $100.00

USE Carbon Aero Alien

Lengths Small/Medium and Medium/Large

Diameters 25.0 and 27.2mm (shim recommended)

Weight Approximately 172 and 195 grammes (manufacturers spec)

Colour Satin natural carbon weave

Cost 125.00 and 135.00 / $168.00 and $182.00 depending on size

 

Contact information:

Ultimate Sports Engineering (USE)

UNITS 6 & 7 HAMPERS COMMON IND. EST., PETWORTH,

West Sussex, GU28 9NN United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 1798 344477

Fax: +44 (0) 1798 344499

SALES@USE1.CO.UK

http://www.use1.com

 
 
 
 
 

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