Pro Discover Seat Post: Getting Rolling – by Guitar Ted
With the advent of gravel riding, it seemed that a new effort was being made to look at how components could be designed to help reduce the amount and kinds of vibrations that reach the rider. Vibrations which researchers have shown can degrade performance, and in worst case scenarios, cause physical damage. Suspension stems, seat posts, saddle designs, and even going as far as wheels- All these and more things are being looked at to reduce, or eliminate, these detrimental forces.
Seat posts have been one of the main focuses in this effort to bring comfort to riders. We did a seat post shoot out several years ago on my old site, “Gravel Grinder News“, back in 2014, and now we still see more seat post designs coming out. Things like the Cirrus Cycles “Body Float“, (now Kinekt ), which we reviewed, (and yes- we have also tried the newer design), and of course, the new Redshift Sports ShockStop post, which we will be giving you our thoughts on as well very soon.
What It Is: The PRO brand Discover Seat Post is another post that seeks to give your backside a break on the crushed rock and dirt roads out there. However; you’d hardly know this from reading the website for this product. In fact, at first glance you’d be forgiven if you missed that this was a carbon post, but it isn’t just carbon. Note the little mention “With Use Of Dyneema“. This mysterious term is not immediately made clear at all, so it looks like some weird marketing term, and nothing special, but this is the key to this post. It’s reason for being a “big deal” is all about the Dyneema fabric that is woven into the carbon structure which makes up the seat post. Without this feature, this is pretty much just another 27.2mm X 400mm post.
So, just what is Dyneema anyway?
Well, you may have heard about ultra-lightweight bikepacking bags, tents, and gear which use this name and this fiber in their products. It is considered the world’s strongest fiber, and it is marvelously lightweight, but we are not talking about bikepacking bags. We’re talking about hybridized carbon fiber. The advantages listed on the site about Dyneema used in carbon fiber applications has these features listed:
- Less vibration – Dyneema® absorbs energy whereas pure carbon transmits it
- More ductile – Carbon with Dyneema® is more ductile and can be shatterproof, whereas pure carbon shatters under excessive impact
- Lighter – Carbon with Dyneema® is lighter than pure carbon, without compromising performance
The Dyneema fabric woven into the carbon fiber for the PRO Discover Seat Post doesn’t show outwardly, however, a certain aspect of designing with Dyneema which allows the use of thicker walled structures to gain strength, yet retain the quality of lighter weight, does show up if you know where to look. That would be at the butt end of the post, which is unusually thick-walled. It gives the appearance of a post that should be heavy and stiff, but through the use of Dyneema, it is neither of these things. The weight of the post sent to us is 218 grams. Keeping in mind that the clamping plates are aluminum and the hardware to fasten the seat rails is steel, this is fairly remarkable. By the way, we received both 7mm clamp plates and the larger 8mm clamp plates for saddles with carbon fiber rails. The PRO Discover Seat Post has a 20mm offset as well. There is no zero offset offered at this time. MSRP on the post is $299.00USD.
First Impressions: The operative words when dealing with most any of PRO brand’s components is “subtle elegance“. Branding is there, but muted. Anodization of the aluminum parts is deep, and rich looking. Fit and finish is top level. The only give away that anything is different here is the Dyneema brand on the lower part of the shaft, and that gets inserted into your frame. Talk about understatement.
The post was obviously light in the hand, and the clamp, the ubiquitous cylindrical head with two side plates which clamp into the center part of the head via one bolt, is reminiscent of many that you may be familiar with. However; this one is really easy to use due to a spring which is forcing the two plates outward, equally, when you loosen the fixing bolt. There is a generous amount of travel to the plates on the bolt allowing you to easily insert seat rails into their proper position. The spring allows easy two-handed installation and the rotation of the plates is easily accomplished to level your saddle. No fussing with sticky, unmovable side plates here. I mounted a WTB Volt and had it locked down and leveled within five minutes.
The post has a generous 400mm length so it should work with any gravel bike, even ones with severely sloping top tubes. I installed the post and WTB saddle on the Noble Bikes GX5 test mule set up with the Shimano GRX components we have on review. With Winter being in full swing here, I haven’t had a good, proper ride with the post yet, but my expectation is that it should be smooth and relieve me of much of the chatter experienced on crushed rock roads here in the Mid-West. In fact, reports I have read from other sources say that this post deflects 10mm. I don’t know about that, but a short test ride hitting every cracked spot in the street, potholes, and when riding through the dirt alleyways around the neighborhood revealed that yes- there is something going on here.
So Far….. The PRO Discover Seat Post promises a smoother ride. It certainly has the light weight thing dialed. The post looks stately and unassuming but hidden within its carbon fiber is the hope of vibration reduction with the Dyneema fabric. Stay tuned for the final post where I hope to have figured out how well this feature works for the gravel and back road rider. I also will be looking into how this post compares to the Redshift Sports ShockStop post. Is the extra weight of that suspension post worth it, or is the PRO Discover post going to be “close enough“?
Note: PRO sent over the PRO Discover Seat Post at no charge to Riding Gravel for test and review. We are not being paid nor bribed for this review and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.