Tom Ritchey has been making nice bits and bobs for bikes (as well as whole bikes) for a good long while now, and he knows his way around a seatpost all right. The WCS Carbon Link Flexlogic seatpost combines a low weight with compliance, claimed to make your ride more comfortable. The price is high, mind.
- Pros: Light, adds a degree more comfort to your bike, scale is useful to get right saddle height
- Cons: A bit fiddly to fit, expensive, scale could be clearer
The Flexlogic is likely to appeal if you want to add a little comfort to your bike without adding any weight. Sure, if you're not fussed about weight then there are some alternatives that are likely to give a more significant addition of cush, but for your best bike you might not want to add a few hundred grams of weight.
Ritchey claims that its Flexlogic seatpost is "15% more vertically compliant", a frustratingly non-specific piece of marketing if ever I heard one. Assuming that is relative to a generic seatpost which wasn't designed for comfort then 15% is actually quite a small margin of improvement.
As it's impossible to ride the exact same bumps from one ride to the next, all I can give you is my subjective impression, which is that it did indeed offer a modest improvement in comfort when compared to the standard aluminium post that it replaced. It's hard to quantify, but it might be of a similar order to the effect of dropping 20psi in your tyres, with the obvious proviso that only your bum (not your hands or feet) will feel the difference. There's certainly not enough to really take the sting out of a pothole or bump that snuck up on you, but just a gentle damping effect that takes some of the road buzz out before it reaches your butt.
The compliance is apparently due to the FlexLogic carbon layup in the seatpost, based (Ritchey tells us) upon an arrangement developed for Pro Tour team bikes from Stevens, Canyon and Scott. One of the best things about carbon fibre for a designer is the ability to tweak stiffness depending on how you orientate the fibres in the layup. I don't know the details of what the Flexlogic layup is when it's at home, and you can't see any indication through the resin, but if I had to guess I'd say that there may be fewer fibres orientated vertically at the front and back of the seatpost. I'm just guessing, mind.
In parallel with this seatpost, I've been testing the Canyon VCLS2.0 post, which is a very different affair. The bump-absorption of the Canyon post is massively more noticeable than here, thanks to the leaf-spring arrangement. It is heavier, though, and even more expensive.
I had initially assumed that the top of the seatpost, where it thins signifiantly, was the part that gave the flex. In fact, this part is what allows the Flexlogic post to be used with three types of saddle mounting. It includes a clamp for standard saddle rails (round or oval), but you can also use it to hold Ritchey Vector Evo and Selle Italia MonoLink saddles. How many riders actually have those other types of saddle? Not that many that I know, but if you do (or if you're still trying to find your perfect perch), you'll certainly appreciate the, erm, flexibility.
This Ritchey seatpost is available in a range of sizes: 350x27.2, 400x27.2, 400x30.9 and 400x31.6. I tested it in a 27.2mm diameter, and I would expect a little less flex in the larger diameters. It has a 15mm setback and you can flip the clamp parts around at the back to gain an additional 10mm of fore-aft range.
I only used it with conventional saddles, and it did a good job of holding them firmly in place once everything was correctly torqued up. As a consequence of the fact that it can be used with different types of saddle, the attachment of a standard one is slightly more fiddly than it might be – there are four separate metal parts and two bolts, and I found it quite easy to drop one or other of these small pieces on the garage floor while fitting a saddle. Of course, unless you're a journo or a pro mechanic, you probably don't fit saddles or seatposts that frequently, so it's not a major concern.
If you use a seatpack under your saddle then you might want to check that it plays nicely with this seatpost. I found that seatpacks which strap onto the saddle rails tended to rub on the rearward nub of the head of this seatpost. Consequently, I swapped to a pack that clips onto the saddle (Fizik and Prologo make these, among others), which was fine.
At this elevated price point, refinements such as the scale on the rear of the Flexlogic post are expected. You've got to get pretty close to read what the numbers say here, mind – a larger font might have been an improvement.
I think a typical buyer for something like this would be someone who wants to make their bike a bit more comfy without adding too much weight. If you climb off your bike after a couple of hours and your bum is really sore, this would help, right? Well, yes, to some extent. My advice is that you should set out initially to find padded shorts and a saddle that suit you, as these will have a greater effect on riding comfort. Once you've done that, and perhaps looked at the largest tyres you can fit in your frame, this would be a logical next step.
We've reviewed a bunch of seatposts recently (see the link below), so how does Ritchey's offering measure up? If you're looking for a lightweight post that can add a little comfort to your bike, I'd suggest that this is a leading contender, provided that the price isn't an issue.
I specced this post on my bike for exactly those reasons, coupled with the fact that the upgrade cost in Rose's bike-configuring site at the time was somehow only £9 over the standard seatpost. Full price is £187, although it is available if you shop around for around £150. That is still quite a chunk of cash, so you may not want to dig that deep.
If weight-saving is your prime objective, we liked Reilly's excellent-value Vector post a lot, although that is an inline post. If your goal is primarily to add a bit of compliance for rougher surfaces, arguably the leading contender is the Canyon VCLS2.0 post. We'll have a review of that coming up soon.
Low weight, moderate cush – a high end carbon post to make your best bike slightly more comfortable
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Ritchey WCS Carbon Link Flexlogic Carbon Seatpost
Size tested: 350x27.2mm
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Ritchey says: "The Ritchey two-bolt post reinvented - lighter, more compliant and more versatile than ever. Patented LINK clamp works with all standard saddle rail designs as well as Ritchey Vector Evo™ and Selle Italia MonoLink™ saddles with separate adapter. LINK Carbon Posts use FlexLogic carbon layup developed for Pro Tour team bikes from Stevens, Canyon and Scott - 15% more vertically compliant with no loss of lateral or torsional stiffness. 15mm of offset and a reversible clamp allows for an additional 10mm of fore/aft saddle adjustment."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Monocoque Carbon Construction
Diameters: 27.2, 30.9, 31.6mm
Reversible clamp allows for an additional 10mm of fore-aft saddle adjustment
Lengths: 350, 400mm
Matte UD finish
Claimed: 181g (27.2x300)
If you only need it to hold a standard-railed saddle then the clamp mechanism is perhaps unnecessarily fiddly.
Held my saddle without an issue. Can be used with a range of saddle mounts.
I've run one of these on my best bike for two years with no issues.
Weight is comparable to the lightest posts we've tested.
An improvement over a bog-standard post, but the bump-softening capability is limited.
Pretty high-end pricing... if you're chasing grams then it may be a price you're happy to pay.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Did most stuff pretty well. It's a little more fiddly to fit than some posts. There is some vibration damping although it won't do a lot over bumps.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Low weight, some vibration damping.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
A bit fiddly to fit.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's towards the upper end of the range. Not as high as the Enve post, but it's also among the lightest posts we've tested.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? I did.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's an expensive post, but among the comfort-enhancing posts this is one of the very lightest. The ability to fit different types of saddle rail may only be of minority interest, but there's a lot to like here once you've come to terms with the price.
About the tester
I usually ride: On-one Bish Bash Bosh My best bike is: Rose X-Lite CRS
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Jez spends his days making robots that drive cars but is happiest when on two wheels. His roots are in mountain biking but he spends more time nowadays on the road, occasionally racing but more often just riding.