Specialized Command Post BlackLite Review

Components Pro Reviews

Measured Specs (125mm travel):

  • Command Post weight – 499.5 grams
  • Remote w/cable/housing weight – 69.1 grams
  • Total weight – 568.6 grams
  • Insertion length – 233 mm (9.2″)
  • Stanchion length – 129mm (5.1″)

Impressions
Being a mechanical system, it has no need for regular maintenance for functionality, it’s reliable, and has great long-term durability. It is still a complex piece of engineering within the CP, but the lack of a finicky hydraulic based system, with the interaction of dampers, oil, seals, and bushings greatly alleviates problems. The CP uses an activation lever (worked via the remote), which pulls on an internal cable, and releases tension on a collet, so the post is free to move. When tension is released, the collet locks into any of the three different slots, which correspond with the Power, Cruiser and Descender positions. An air spring returns the post upwards, and its force or rebound speed is adjustable by varying the air pressure. The collet has a very solid feel, and its outward pressure and tight tolerances help keep the slop and wiggle to a minimum.

The CP didn’t have any stichion issues, and it slid up and down smoothly, with very little slop felt in the saddle. Compared to hydraulic systems, it did have a more mechanical and clunky feel when it locked into the collet, but I liked how quickly it could be moved between positions, especially the top and bottom locations. The only rare maintenance I have performed is an occasional dab of some Slick Honey lubricant on the stanchion, and keeping the saddle clamp bolt tightened to spec, and checking the air pressure. The seat clamp has been creak and squeak free, and it didn’t move if the bolt was clamped down properly with the proper torque. I made sure the bolt had Blue Loctite applied, and was cranked down hard, else it would loosen, and with the single pivot design, it would put the saddle in some awkward positions when it would happen.

Using the CP system is quite easy, press and hold the remote lever, and either weight the saddle into the lower positions, or unweight, and let it pop up to the desired location, and then release. Some mild weight on the saddle is all it takes to control the downward movement, and the Descender mode is effortless to locate since it stops solidly at the bottom, but the Cruiser or middle spot is trickier to find. Extending the saddle to the top Power mode is simple since it pops upwards to its maximum stop, while the Cruiser takes some slight weighting to control its location. I do admit that the middle position can sometimes be indistinct and hard to locate, especially on the way up, and it takes some practice to learn the sweet spot. The upward return speed can be controlled by adjusting the air pressure (20-40 psi) at the Schrader valve located on the bottom of the seatpost. I have used the infinite adjustable seatposts, and I have found that the CP three positions work just fine, although putting the other posts in the Cruiser range is easier, since there isn’t a notch to have to locate.

The middle Cruiser position was quite handy, and was useful in technical spots and climbs, as it gave you more maneuverability and stability. In addition, it worked well on downhills if the slope wasn’t too steep, letting you keep the saddle out of the way, and your center of gravity low. Any time it got steep and deep, or in really ugly terrain, the Descender mode was used, since it allowed maximum movement without any saddle interference, and you could remain seated with a low centering. The lower spot was tedious to try in pedal in, since it put some awkward pressure on the knee. I really liked how fast the stroke was on the post, and it moved where it was needed lighting quick, with no stichion issues. On occasion, I would hit the remote accidentally when I was trying to shift, and vice versa, due to there close proximity to each other, giving me a somewhat awkward moment. The quick-release for the remote system was pretty sweet, and with a simple couple of moves, the cable could be disconnected from the post, which made cleaning the bike, changing parts or swapping the post to another bike very handy.

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • Alain says:

    Not sure how SP can claim this to be 100g lighter than previous model when they list 500/530/545g (75/100/125mm size) and the previous model MTBR review is 525.2g (100mm) ! I have last version and like it a lot, but it’s a lot heavier than gravity dropper (even though it uses air shock rather than a spring) or the jopplin (which I do not like as the head wiggle and I need to be fully up and locked as being off a bit will eventually hurt my knees

  • Steve Moss says:

    Bought a BlackLite in April. Worked great until the first of Sept. when it started to leak air.Took over 6 weeks to get it back from the shop. Lots of excuses from the shop about Specialized as to why it took so long. Had only two rides on it and it just shot right out the top. Total failure. Now at the end of Oct., still no seat post back from Specialized. Not very happy about this Very Poor Service.

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