carbon-fiber-suspension-seat-post1Fraunhofer, a systems and technology development company, designed this carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) bladed seatpost as an alternative to spring-type suspension seatposts found on recreational bicycles and a few racers’ bikes.

The main drawback to the normal suspension post design is weight and, from my experience, eventual lateral and rotational play that develops.  With the as-yet-unnamed carbon fiber post from Fraunhofer’s chemical technology branch, there are no moving parts, shims, bushings or springs, just two carbon blades that flex to provide 10-15mm of deflection (travel), just enough to take the edge off without feeling mushy.

“A hardtail mountain bike with this new kind of CFRP seat post rides as if it were a full suspension bike,” says triathlon world champion Daniel Unger after a test drive.  We think it could make all those fully rigid singlespeed race bikes slightly more bearable.

The design won a Eurobike Award last month in Germany, and now the company is working on a mass-production version that would be affordable to most riders.  Assuming the UCI doesn’t freak about about the potential technological advantage something like this could provide on races like the Giro and others with cobblestones, I imagine some pros would give it a shot.

What do you think?