Redshift Shock Stop Seatpost: Checkpoint – by MG
Suspension seatposts are a concept most riders can get behind in theory, but in reality, many riders are skeptical on their usefulness. After the runaway success of its Shock Stop suspension stem, Redshift Sports set out to change riders’ perceptions of what a suspension post could be.
The result is the new Shock Stop seatpost, which Guitar Ted, Grannygear and I have been testing on our respective bikes since late-December. Today, I’ll give you an update on our testing, but if you haven’t already, check out Guitar Ted’s “Getting Rolling” post for specifications, weight and pricing.
As Guitar Ted noted in his introductory post, our positive experience with the Shock Stop stem gave us high expectations for the performance of the Shock Stop seatpost. Fortunately, Redshift Sports didn’t disappoint. They took the time they needed to refine the design considerably from the prototypes they first showed at Sea Otter 2018.
The production Shock Stop seatpost has a traditional two-bolt seat head instead of the one-bolt head on the prototype. On one hand, the two-bolt seat head makes saddle installation a bit more complicated than with the one-bolt seat head. On the other hand, the two-bolt version is undoubtedly more robust, and it’s also easier to make small saddle angle adjustments with.
As Guitar Ted noted, the angle of the seat head bolts makes adjustment a bit more challenging. I found that using a T-handle hex wrench on the front bolt and an L-bend hex wrench on the rear bolt made adjustments easier. Depending on the multitool you carry, on the road adjustments may or may not be possible. Check your tool before your ride, or simply carry a full-size 4mm L-bend wrench on rides until your position is dialed.
On the Road
In short, the Shock Stop seatpost is impressive. It virtually erases small- and mid-sized bumps and doesn’t bob excessively on smoother surfaces. The stock spring is stiff enough to not bottom noticeably under my 170 pound weight. Adding the secondary spring makes the post work equally well for riders in the 200+ pound range.
The travel path of the Shock Stop post is different than the Kinekt post from Cirrus Cycles. Where the Kinekt post is designed to travel in a more vertical plane, the Shock Stop travels back and down as it compresses. The travel is more vertical than a Cane Creek Thudbuster, but moves back horizontally more than the Kinekt post, particularly in the early travel.
While at first I was skeptical, over time I’ve come to realize I prefer the Shock Stop’s travel path, and the way it works over bumps. It really erases bumps and vibration, and is progressive enough later in the travel to prevent hard bottoming. In my opinion, that’s an improvement compared to the more linear spring rate of the Kinekt post.
I also like the way the saddle moves forward slightly under hard pedaling efforts with the Shock Stop post. Since the post is at 15-20% sag when you’re seated, the saddle moves up and forward as you pedal harder. I found this to be perfect for attacking climbs, and it’s come to be one of my favorite aspects of riding the Shock Stop post.
Throughout more than three months on the Shock Stop post, the pivots are completely smooth and free of play. We’ll let you know if that changes, but to-date our test posts have been completely trouble-free. They simply work, and that’s a beautiful thing.
What’s not to love?
While I didn’t have a problem with the weight of the Shock Stop post, not everyone will be thrilled basically doubling their seatpost weight compared to a quality rigid model. That said, I haven’t ridden a rigid post that delivers anywhere near the quantity or quality of shock absorption the Shock Stop post offers.
The only suspension post that’s significantly lighter is the Cane Creek eeSilk, and it comes with some trade-offs for the lighter weight. The Cane Creek post has shorter travel and an elastomer spring, which stiffens considerably in colder weather. I also found that I prefer the travel path of the Redshift post, when compared back to back.
Also, while I have no trouble going back and forth from the Shock Stop post to my other bikes with rigid posts, I know of some folks who don’t make the transition as easily. For riders with one primary bike, it’s not as much of a potential issue as it is for those with multiple bikes in their quiver, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless.
For my riding style, I’d love to be able to slide the saddle forward just a couple millimeters more than I can with the current seat head. For most riders, this won’t be an issue, but I prefer a more forward saddle position. Saddle choice can help here, but ideally the seat head would allow for more forward adjustment.
The Verdict… for now
The Shock Stop seatpost is going to be a game changer for a lot of riders. It will definitely be my seatpost choice on long rides, as it absolutely eats up the cumulative bumps that cause pain in my back, shoulders and neck. I tried the Shock Stop post on four different bikes and it improved the ride quality of each significantly. That’s impressive.
Learn more about the Shock Stop post on the Redshift Sports website.
Note: Redshift Sports sent out the Shock Stop seatposts to RidingGravel.com at no charge for test and review. We are not being bribed, nor paid for this review and will give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.