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VO Grand Cru Seat Post Adds Comfort to LHT

My kids have heard all the stories about how I delivered newspapers when I was 12-years-old. My route was uphill both ways, covered in ice and snow year-round except for those days when eggs were frying on the pavement. And, of course, I was tough enough that I could do it on a single-speed Schwinn without a seat.

I traded my Schwinn for a Surly

John Palmquist checking my bike fit measurements

John Palmquist checking my bike fit measurements

I’m not that tough these days.

I bought a Surly Long Haul Trucker just because it was designed for long distance comfort. I ride with a Brooks Champion Flyer leather saddle because the springs absorb the bumps and road buzz and the leather molds itself to me, not the other way around.

Lance Armstrong is know as Mr. Millimeter because he is very precise in the way his bike is set up. And, it’s true. Once you’ve been riding a lot, you can tell when something is out by a 16th of an inch.

The saddle is one of the three points you contact your bike (saddle, pedals and handlebars) and it’s the place where you can be comfortable OR in agony.

Tilt is important

In addition to saddle height, there’s also how far fore and aft it goes and the tilt of the saddle. Tilt it too far down and you feel like you’re sliding off it. Tilt it too far back and the nose of the saddle digs into places you don’t want it digging.

This seat post uses a single bolt

This seat post uses a single bolt

Most seat tubes (the stem-like thing that the seat attaches to) have only one bolt to control all those adjustments. The up and down piece usually has notches in it. If your preferred angle hits one of those notches, you’re good; if not, you aren’t quite as comfortable as you could be.

Brooks saddles with springs, like mine, are usually ridden slightly nose-high. Mine was close to right using the seat post that came with my LHT, but I read a lot of discussions on the phred list and the Surly group recommending posts that have two bolts and no notches to allow more precise adjustments and that have more “setback.”

Velo Orange’s Grand Cru got high marks

Here’s the official description

These polished two bolt seat posts have a generous 30.2mm of setback, among the longest ever. This is very important for those who ride Brooks saddles which have very little fore-and-aft adjustment due to the short rails.

Velo Orange Grand Cru seat post, long setbackThe VO posts are internally ovalized to reduce weight to 254gms. The adjustment is from the bottom and the two bolt design makes it easy to precisely adjust the seat angle. Also note that the head is integral with the post, not pressed on as on many modern posts. This makes them stronger and lighter. The quality and finish is second to none.

27.2mm only x 300mm. Maximum height (above the min. insert line) is about 23cm.

Grand Cru sure is pretty

The seat post sure was shiny and pretty.

Velo Orange Grand Cru seat post, long setbackYou can see how the two bolts will allow much better precision.

Crank down on the back one to raise the nose; tighten the front one to lower it. Because there are no notches, there are no limits an infinite number of fine adjustments.

Take careful measurements

Measuring the original Surly Long Haul Trucker seat postThe first step in the transition was to not mess up the careful fit I had gotten when I bought the bike.

I wanted to duplicate as closely as possible the old seat height and setback. I would eyeball the tilt and adjust it to feeling.

The actual measurements weren’t important. I was just going for the relative adjustments. I used an old-fashioned wooden folding ruler to nail the distances.

My first pass was pretty close

When I took it out for a spin, I needed to raise the seat by about an eighth of an inch. The fore-aft was OK and the tilt was good right away.

I’m happy with the product and the result.

Brooks Champion Flyer on Velo Orange Grand Cru seat post


6 comments to VO Grand Cru Seat Post Adds Comfort to LHT

  • ToddBS

    I’ll have to look into that. Currently I’m riding just about level, which is comfy but I do feel a slight forward slide. Of course, it could be due to my handlebar height which I feel is too low. I already have a stem riser to take care of that. I just need to get it installed.

    After that, the seat may not need further adjustment, but it’s nice to know about this product.

  • Todd,

    You might try tilting the saddle BACK just a tad. I thought that the springs on the Champion Flyer would compress, effectively raising the nose, but apparently that didn’t happen.

    If you’re lucky enough that your comfortable angle falls into one of the notches, then you’re golden. If not, give the CO Grand Cru a try.

  • gary sherck

    Thanks, Ken. Informative article; now I think I will buy the VO grand cru seat post for my LHT, which has, because of your recommendation, the same Brooks saddle.

  • Gary,

    I’m happy with mine. Let me know if it fits the bill for you.

  • Chuck Harmon

    Interesting review of the Velo Orange seatpost. I have been having a problem wit the one that I purchased for my LHT. The daiameter seems too small. I knew I was in trouble when I inserted it in the seat tube and it dropped like a rock, it did not seem to be hitting the walls of the seat tube at all. Of course that means that it slips and falls during my rides. I have a salsa lip lock seat tube clamp on order to see if that can hold the post better. If not I will see if I can return the post to Velo Orange.

    • Chuck,

      I must not have had any problem with fit with mine or I would have remarked on it. I’ve been using one for going on two years with no issues with it sliding down or needing adjustment.

      Did the stock seatpost fit OK? If it did, compare the size to the VO and see if it’s the same.

      Good luck.