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The Kinekt 2.1 Aluminium Seatpost is a spring-loaded suspension seatpost that makes a welcome addition for your gravel or adventure bike. It takes a bit of playing about with to get it set up, but once done it is effective – as long as you don't mind the weight increase.
I've watched the whole gravel thing with amazement over the last few years, and though I might have been in the 'aren't they just glorified cyclo-cross bikes with a good dose of clever marketing?' camp initially, after riding a variety of manufacturers' takes on the whole thing I've learnt to love the bikes.
I like things as they are now, though: tyre clearances roomy enough for plenty of grip and comfort, while maintaining that buzz of a rigid frame and fork. I don't want to see suspension forks on this type of bike – I'm happy for my wrists and knees to do the work. If you're going long distance, though, or your pain threshold is diminishing with age, then a little bit of help is acceptable...
The Kinekt 2.1 suspension seatpost uses two springs and a parallelogram style design, which gives about 35mm of vertical travel, but what I really like about it is that it's hugely adjustable.
First off, in the box you get a range of springs with differing damping rates to reflect your weight. From there you can adjust the pre-load of the spring so you can control the start level of the compression when you are sat on the saddle.
Swapping the springs over is a relatively simple affair, as is tweaking the pre-load – all you'll need are some hex keys.
I like a firm ride on whatever bike I'm riding, and with the pre-load set to 0 or 1 I found things a little too springy. I don't want to be bobbing around as if I have a slow puncture in the rear tyre.
With a bit of trial and error I found that level 3 gave me the best sort of feel. I'd carry on riding as normal, taking my weight mostly off the saddle for the big hits, while the post would take out the lower level stuff from small undulations, giving huge dividends over long rides.
Having a lot of movement in the post allows you to whack potholes or clout tree roots, but you need to remember that you aren't on a full-susser here. Just because you aren't feeling the whacks doesn't mean your frame and the rear wheel aren't taking some abuse.
The Kinekt post gives around 12mm of set back and that isn't affected when the saddle moves up and down. Once you've set the post height to allow for a bit of sag it's pretty much fit and forget.
Kinekt offers the 2.1 in a range of options: diameters of 25.4, 27.2, 30.9 and 31.6mm, and a choice of two lengths, 350mm and 420mm. There is also a carbon fibre option in 27.2mm and 330mm or 380mm lengths.
Weight is obviously a factor compared to a standard post. This 27.2mm x 420mm is 614g! That said, the bikes I used it on would all get away with the shorter 350mm, which according to the Kinekt charts would save 38g, so around 532g. That's not bad for a suspension post. The Cane Creek ST G4 post is 545g (£169.99) and the Redshift ShockStop is also 545g and costs £229.99, a tenner less than the Kinetic.
The Redshift offers the same amount of travel, and when it comes to value and craftsmanship the two are very similar. The Cane Creek uses an elastomer rather than a spring, but you get 50mm of travel and a huge weight limit of 150kg. The Redshift's limit is 110kg, while the Kinekt is available with springs for weights up to 145kg.
As you can see from all of this, the Kinekt 2.1 is competitive in terms of weight and performance. If you are happy with the weight increase over a standard post and want some more comfort then I'd say go for it. It works well and I like how adjustable it is – tiny tweaks on the pre-load bolt make for noticeable differences. It's at the pricier end of the scale, but at the end of a gravel epic, it'll be worth the investment.
Offers a decent amount of travel and highly adjustable, but it ain't cheap
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Kinekt 2.1 Aluminium Suspension Seatpost
Size tested: 420mm
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?
Kinekt says, "The KINEKT aluminum 2.1 Seatpost is now sleeker than ever. With more pre-load capability, KINEKT effectively isolates your body from surface vibrations and impacts. This isolation improves comfort, control, and confidence, which ultimately leads to a more enjoyable ride.
"All posts come with two extra springs so you can mix and match, creating a custom experience. Please note, our spring color has changed a bit. All springs are now grey with a colored stripe corresponding the specific size. "
The customisation means that this is a seatpost you can tweak to your own personal tastes.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Setback: 12 mm
Travel Range: 0 - 35 mm
Primary Material: Aircraft Grade 6061 AL
Hardware: Stainless Steel
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It is very adjustable, which really allows it to be set up exactly how you want it.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Small increments of adjustability.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Weighty compared to a standard post.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's similar in price to the RedShift, but the Cane Creek undercuts it by a large amount.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, for long rides out on the gravel rather than shorter ones.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
If you are happy to deal with the weight of a suspension seatpost (they are all pretty similar) then this one offers loads of adjustability. Price-wise, it loses out to the Cane Creek, but overall it's very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for road.cc, off-road.cc and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!