The calm before the storm.
The calm before the storm.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been on a Goldilocks-like search for a seatpost that was just right. Some posts had plenty of offset, but were difficult to adjust. Others could be easily adjusted, but their tolerances were inconsistent. Frustrated with seatposts that were lacking in one way or another, I decided to try the Tall & Handsome seatpost from Paul Component Engineering.
Unlike most forged alloy seatposts, the Tall & Handsome’s shaft and head are machined from two separate pieces of 2024 aluminum alloy. The offset, two-bolt head is bonded and screwed into the precision-ground shaft. While this may not result in the lightest post on the market (the T&H weighs 320g), my digital calipers revealed a consistent 27.2mm diameter over the usable length of the shaft.
The two-bolt clamp can be adjusted to +/- 7.5°. The clamp’s two bolts sit on spherical washers, which allows the hardware to self-align with the clamp/cradle assembly. Setting my saddle’s angle was a breeze, and once it was dialed-in, the clamp remained secure (and silent) over bumpy dirt roads and trails.
Riders who are looking for additional setback will be well served by the Tall & Handsome’s 26mm offset. An added benefit of the dual, separate upper clamps is that the effective setback is increased by another couple of millimeters (while the 40mm lower clamp still offers plenty of rail support).
Paul Component Engineering offers the Tall & Handsome only in 27.2m diameter (length is 360mm). Suggested retail price is $112 for black or silver anodized finishes, and the polished silver version sells for $118.
Last May, I posted a one-year review of Shimano’s Dura-Ace SM-BB7900 bottom bracket. Since then, that original bottom bracket has accumulated an additional 2500-3000 miles. It’s been ridden in rain and snow, and seen plenty of hard, off-pavement use. And just like the previous twelve months, I employed a maintenance program that basically amounted to complete and utter neglect.
Eventually, curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to check the bottom bracket’s seals and bearings. Pulling the Vaya’s cranks revealed very little dirt on the external seals (and no uneven wear patterns). After a quick wipe-down, I checked the bearings for signs of play or roughness. To my amazement, I wasn’t able to detect any indication that dirt or water had infiltrated either bearing. By contrast, a comparably priced external bottom bracket from another company became contaminated by water and dirt (and was devoid of lube) in ten months and less than 1000 miles of use.
If my original Dura-Ace bottom bracket lasts another year, it will have cost me just under $1 per-month. And based on the past two years’ performance, I wouldn’t be surprised if it kept going for at least another couple of years.