If you struggle for comfort on longer rides then adding a bit of give – bigger tyres, softer frame, comfier saddle – is always going to be on your mind. You might not have considered actual suspension but the 20mm of compliance offered up by the Cane Creek eeSilk seatpost is a revelation on long rides. Okay, £300 is some wedge for a seatpost, but it's a beautiful and functional thing that makes a real difference.
- Pros: Feel the comfort! See the engineering! Tune it to your weight!
- Cons: Pretty expensive, needed careful setting up to avoid slipping
Cane Creek has been making parallelogram linkage suspension seatposts for donkey's years. Back in the days when a full suspension mountain bike was a rare and special thing (and didn't work very well anyway) the Thudbuster was the go-to suspension seatpost for giving your rear a bit of a rest over the rough stuff. I have one in my shed that's at least 15 years old, and it's still made, in short- and long-travel incarnations.
Cane Creek has tried to distance the eeSilk from the Thudbuster because the latter is a mountain bike product (that's due a big revival in the gravel scene, if you ask me), but the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree: it's the same concept, scaled down so it looks acceptable on a road bike and offering a sensible 20mm of travel for that usage.
Cane Creek has done a lot of work on the weight by slimming down the mechanism and using titanium hardware. At under 300g it's barely any heavier than a standard alloy seatpost, and you're only giving away 130g to something really light like the Deda Superleggera.
The post is 27.2mm diameter; it comes with a shim for 31.6mm seat tubes and two extra elastomers, one harder and one softer than the stock one fitted. There are extra-soft and extra-hard ones if you're under 50kg or over 113kg, but the standard kit will cover nearly everyone.
Atop the seatpost was my cheap, old, scuffed Charge Spoon saddle which I know is a nigh-on perfect fit for my bum. The seat clamp uses a twin-bolt design with one bolt at the rear and one under the saddle. Clamps like this are a bit of a faff to set up the first time, especially with a saddle without a cutout as the front bolt is hard to access and you need to tighten it using the knurled wheel at the top. On the flipside, once they're set up they hardly ever need any adjustment and – in my experience – never work loose.
I very rarely suffer from saddle soreness, and the Spoon is the most comfortable saddle I own, so I wasn't expecting to have any major trouble there. What I do have issues with is my back. After suffering a succession of prolapsed discs a few years back I generally start to struggle on longer rides as I get more tired and fail to anticipate the lumps and bumps as well. All those shocks shooting up the spine take their toll in the end, and last time I completed a 400km ride I was pretty beaten up.
It's fair to say that the eeSilk, in that regard, was a revelation. The movement is subtle enough that you don't notice it during normal pedalling at all. Hit a pothole, though, and there's sufficient travel to dissipate the shock of the hit so it doesn't go straight through you. You're never bouncing around or noticeably moving up and down, it's just the perfect amount of travel to keep you comfortable for hours and hours and hours.
Although 20mm of travel might not sound like much, if I swapped out my 28mm tyres for some 48mm ones I'd expect to notice an immediate difference. It's the same here. When I climbed off the bike after 600km, my back actually felt better than when I'd started, and that's never a thing.
I mostly used the stock elastomer during testing; I'm at the higher end of the weight range for that, but the harder one felt too stiff by comparison. They are noticeably different in their feel.
There's a little bit of side to side play in the linkage which is noticeable if you jiggle the saddle about, but isn't when you're riding. The one major issue I did have with the seatpost on my 600km was that it slipped in use, meaning I had to adjust it a number of times along the way. A combination of the fact that I was shimming it, I'd liberally greased it beforehand, and a slightly under-par seatpost clamp on the Kinesis combined to make it impossible to tighten up enough to keep it in place. The plus side of all this in-ride fiddling was that I actually found that my most comfortable seatpost position was about 1cm lower than I normally have it.
I spoke to the chaps at Cane Creek and they recommended turning the shim through 180 degrees – so the slit is opposite the one in the seatpost rather than lining up with it – and using some carbon grip paste on the junction. Those two hacks, as well as a beefier seatpost clamp from the seatpost clamp drawer, seem to have sorted things now, and the extra shim I made from a Coke can in the Worcester branch of Pret a Manger has gone in the bin. If your frame takes a 27.2mm seatpost then things will probably be a lot simpler for you.
The eeSilk seatpost retails for £299; you can pick it up for quite a bit less online. Obviously that's a lot of money to pay for a seatpost, but it does a remarkable job of keeping you comfortable. If you're looking to remain in the saddle for a long time, or you struggle with saddle or back discomfort on rides of any length, it's well worth taking a look at. The two obvious rivals for your hard-earned cash are the Specialized CGR and the Canyon VCLS; both offer a similar claimed amount of travel. They're both carbon seatposts and a bit lighter than the eeSilk. Neither are tuneable for rider weight, and the two-part design of the VCLS post means you can't shove a Di2 battery inside it. The eeSilk is the most expensive of the three, but it's a lovely thing, and beautifully engineered.
Watch Cane Creek's video of the seatpost here.
Beautifully engineered suspension seatpost that's a real boon on longer rides
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Cane Creek eeSilk suspension seatpost
Size tested: 27.2 x 350mm
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?
Cane Creek says:
Ride longer, ride farther with the eeSilk premium suspension seatpost from Cane Creek. At 295 grams the eeSilk Post is comparable in weight to traditional rigid performance seatposts while offering 20mm of vertical compliance improving control on rough surfaces and reducing fatigue on long rides.
Born in the mountains of Western North Carolina.
eeSilk Post comes only in 27.2mm diameter. Cane Creek offers a wide variety of seatpost shims to accommodate virtually any round seat tube larger than 27.2mm up to 31.8mm. Be sure to order the necessary shim for proper fitment if required.
eeSilk is Di2 battery compatible.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From Cane Creek:
POST Forged aluminum w/ machined finish
LINKAGE CNC machined aluminum
PIVOTS Hard anodized aluminum axles IGUS Bushings/titanium bolts
ELASTOMERS Five elastomer spring rates available (#5 elastomer comes pre-installed from factory, #3 and #7 come inside the box. #1 and #9 elastomers sold separately)
WEIGHT 295 grams
MAX. RIDER WEIGHT 330 lbs.
Fantastic bump-soaking performance without any noticeable effect on pedalling; needs careful setting up to avoid slipping.
There are moving parts but my Thudbuster has done 15 years, so I'm not expecting any major issues.
Not quite as light as the carbon suspension seatposts on the market, but still good.
Okay, it's pretty expensive, and the most expensive of the main options you have. It's a lovely thing though, and your bum comfort may be priceless to you.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Really well. It's a revelation in terms of long-ride comfort.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Does its job, nicely engineered, tuneable to rider weight.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Expensive, needs careful setting up if using the shim.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's more expensive than the Canyon/Ergon and Specialized carbon posts that are the obvious direct competitors.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Excellent long-distance performance, greatly enhanced on-bike comfort. It's expensive, and it needs to be set up carefully to avoid slippage if you're using a shim.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
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, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.