Syntace P6 Carbon HiFlex seatpost, Vector Carbon handlebar and Megaforce 2 stem Review

Components Pro Reviews

Syntace had a few new tidbits they announced at the 2011 Interbike and Eurobike shows, and I’ve been testing them over the last couple of months. The two new trick components are the Syntace P6 Carbon HiFlex seatpost and Megaforce 2 stem. The carbon post has an interesting layup which provides some fore-and-aft flex, but side to side stiffness, while the lightweight yet stiff DH/AM stem has a rectangular shape and low stack height, and is offered in 30mm to 80mm lengths. Syntace backs up their excellent products with an outstanding 10 year warranty on all material and manufacturing defects, as long as their installed and used per their owner’s manual.

P6 Carbon HiFlex
The Syntace P6 Carbon HiFlex seatpost uses a full carbon tube that is bonded to a 7075 aluminum cold forged 3D alloy head, which has a two-bolt micro adjustment system for the clamp. The carbon tube layup orients its flex longitudinally along the bike frame axis, instead of out towards the sides, by their specific combination of uni-directional and load-orientated fibers, and offers a sturdy yet resilient ride, with excellent damping. The innovative adjustment system utilizes a short 30mm upper clamp, and a long 53mm bottom one, allowing for a great deal of saddles rearward positioning, and the extended lower length supports fragile titanium and carbon rails. The two-bolt’s are pivoted and are situated symmetrical in the direction of force, and give infinite micro-adjustability. The bolts are easy to access and adjust, and can be cranked down with a stout 8 Nm of force, and the system allows a useful 30° pivot range. The post is available in diameters of 34.9mm, 31.6mm, 30.9mm, and 27.2mm and 300mm and 400mm lengths, and an optional 480mm for 34.9mm. It comes in black, and retails for $274, and weighs in around 220 grams.

Impressions
The P6 Carbon HiFlex is a gorgeous post, with the atypical Germanic industrial ascetics, that has a solid feel in the hands. I squirted a bit of my trusty LPS-1 greaseless lube onto the shaft to make insertion easier and to prevent any sticking issues, and placed the post into my Ibis Mojo HD and clamped it down. I loosened the head bolts about halfway out, and jammed the fat SMP saddle rails into the clamp, without much effort, which is usually not the case with most systems. I alternated tightening the bolts until I got the horizontal angle close to my personal requirements, and gave the saddle some taps to move it rearward, and then tightened everything up to the correct torque specifications. I really liked how simple it was to get the saddle tilted, and that the bolts were located in a spot in which a hex wrench didn’t interfere with the post’s tube. The system was bombproof, stout and very stable, and the beefy bolts could easily be cranked down to a massive 8 Nm, and I never had anything slip, loosen or squeak on me. Even after multiple months of use, it has remained quiet, and my regular adjustment of its height has barely shown any scratches or wear marks on the tube’s surface, which is a great testament to the post’s toughness.

The post offered a very interesting ride, and depending on which way the post was loaded it offered a plush or stiff response. When seated in the saddle jamming down through rough terrain, the post gave a resilient and softened feel, with superb damping, and while pushed off axis for steering and control, the ride was stable and stiff. The characteristics were easily perceived on a 6-inch suspension bike, and it removed the harsh edge off things, and give the impression of the silkiness that titanium can provide. When you cranked the saddle hard on its side, and wanted precision and control, for technical maneuvers and railing through turns, the seatpost provided an ample amount of stoutness and stiffness. Depending on how you worked the saddle, the seatpost connected you to the bike with excellent damping and micro-suspension and ride feel, or precise laser-like control. The post went through extensive FEM (finite-element method) and brutal testing, including being subjected to their torturous VR-3 machine, highlighting its toughness and strength and high-quality standards.

Measured spec (31.6mm x 400mm):

  • weight – 210.8 grams
  • length (rail to bottom) – 401mm

The excellent two-bolt micro adjustment system, its silky or stiff ride depending on load direction, along with its extensive testing, make the Syntace P6 Carbon HiFlex a superb and rugged seatpost.

Pros:

  • Excellent two-bolt micro adjustment system
  • Superb damping and micro absorption when loaded longitudinally
  • Stiff and precise when loaded on the side
  • Tough and strong
  • Long lower support and short upper – stable, great for fragile rails and gives maximum fore and aft tuning

Cons:

  • Expensive

Overall Rating: 4.5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

Specs:

  • MSRP – $274
  • Visit the Syntace P6 Carbon seatpost website
  • Weights – Ø 34.9 mm – 232 g (480 mm), Ø 34.9 mm – 219 g (400 mm), Ø 31.6 mm – 214 g (400 mm), Ø 30.9 mm – 213 g (400 mm), Ø 27.2 mm – 226 g (400 mm)
  • Diameter – Ø 27.2 mm, Ø 30.9 mm, Ø 31.6 mm and Ø 34.9 mm
  • Available Length – 300 mm, 400 mm and 480 mm
  • Minimum insert tube – 90 mm (120 mm at Ø 34.9)
  • Material – Carbon fiber/ Aluminum
  • Color – Carbon/ Raceblack


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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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