Specialized Command Post Review

Components Pro Reviews

Impressions
Using the system is quite easy, just press and hold the lever, and either weight the saddle into the lower positions, or unweight, and let it pop up to the desired location, and then release. Lowering the saddle is extremely easy for the Descender mode since it stops solidly at the bottom, but the Cruiser spot is trickier to find, and does take some practice. Just some mild weight on the saddle is all it takes to control the downward movement. Extending the saddle to the Power mode is simple since it pops upwards to the maximum stop, while the Cruiser takes some slight weighting to control its location. It takes some practice to learn the sweet spot for the Cruiser, but it becomes second nature pretty quickly, and can even be controlled in rough terrain or when moving around on the bike. I have used the infinite adjustable seatposts, and I have found that the 3 positions works just fine, although putting the other posts in the Cruiser range is easier, since there isn’t a notch to have to locate.

cp_height_1

What I like about the CP is its simplicity. Being a mechanical system, it has no need for regular maintenance for functionality, it’s reliable, and has great long term durability. The CP didn’t have any stiction issues, and it slid up and down along smoothly, with very little slop felt in the saddle.

It is still a complex piece of engineering within the CP, but the lack of a finicky hydraulic based system, with 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.

cp_schem

The only maintenance I have performed is an occasional dab of some Slick Honey lubricant on the stanchion, and keeping the saddle clamp bolt well lubbed. I checked the air pressure, a number of times, and it never varied. The seat clamp has been creak and squeak free, and it didn’t move if the bolt was clamped down properly. The rough anti-slip zone on the post insertion area helped it from slipping lower, but it would oddly rotate on rare occasions.

cp_head

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 where the slope wasn’t as 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, or you could remain seated with a low centering. 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.

Next » Bottom Line

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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  • Ecogeek says:

    Looks good. Thanks for review. But can’t wait to see the review of the new SRAM Reverb that’s just released. Looks even better imo. http://www.sram.com/rockshox/products/reverb

  • francois says:

    It’s great to see more choices in this very important category. Is there a clear winner so far?

  • Jay says:

    I had, and returned, two of these posts, eventually getting a full refund. Both would rotate in technical terrain. Like the reviewer, I initially thought the rotation was at the clamp, so I marked it with a paint pen. In fact, the rotation was internal. The seat is capable of swiveling under pressure. I had the seat turn 90 degrees in technical terrain, very nearly causing a crash. It takes force to turn the seat, so it only happens when you really need the seat to stay straight. Both posts went back to Specialized, and they denied it could happen even after I demonstrated the flaw to my Specialized dealer. I wanted to keep the post, since it was otherwise excellent, but Specialized did not care to fix it. The warranty replacement had the same flaw, so my LBS just gave me my money back. Good shop support, bad manufacturer support. As a result, I am riding an old telescoping post. Very poor outcome.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Sorry to hear about that, I will keep an eye on mine.

  • Waterat says:

    I have not heard of any of the adjustable seatposts not having some sort of problems.
    Still I have run a Gravity Dropper for 4 years and could not imagine riding without it. Whoever comes up with a reliable one will corner the market.

  • The Bear says:

    i have i had a similar experience with this post to Jay.
    bought this post in late 2009 didn’t ride it till spring 2010, rode it twice and post kept sticking in up position. eventually when i managed to get it to stay down it would fire into my balls when hitting rough stuff. wasn’t a cable tension issue. it wouldn’t hold air in the chamber. sent back to specialized who stated that i had broken it through misuse buy landing on it heavy. i rode this on xc trails without any drop off or jumping.
    i used to work as a specialized retailer and i have seen quite a few of these being sent back though my shop. ultimately i had to spend £55 on the service cost specialized charged me to fix this, there warranty is a joke. DONT BUY THIS POST, i cannot stress this enough, lot of others have posted on the net with the same issues. that speaks for its self; specialized you need to wake up and do some testing before putting and expensive product to market!

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Sorry to hear that, I am now testing the 5 inch version, and like the 4 inch one, I have never had any issues, and I ride ugly technical terrain with lots of ledges, drops, and some jumps tossed in.

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