Review – KINEKT Suspension Seatpost and Suspension Stem

KINEKT 2.1 Suspension Seatpost Review
I must admit I was sceptical; a suspension seat post has always been something I associate with leisure bikes—too similar to a pogo stick for your saddle. Yet, the KINEKT 2.1 Suspension Seatpost and KINEKT Suspension Stem have both proven to be excellent additions to a gravel bike...

Review – KINEKT 2.1 Suspension Seatpost

As I took the KINEKT 2.1 Suspension Seatpost from its packaging, I was a little disparaging about its weight—561 grams for the 350 mm post; it felt like a lead weight compared to the Ritchey WCS Zero Seatpost that it replaced (230 grams). Could this extra weight burden really be worth it?

The seatpost was quick and simple to set up: slotting into the frame with a shim and accommodating both round and oval saddle rails. The 2.1 KINEKT seatpost comes in various weight brackets, and they arrive with the correct spring for your selected weight; however, there are also heavier/lighter springs within the box if you need to change the load level at some point in the future.

I set the pre-load tension to #1, adjusted the saddle height to account for the 1-2 cm of inbuilt suspension sag, and headed out onto the trails…

The sensation of riding a gravel bike with effectively rear suspension took a little time to become accustomed to. I say effectively rear suspension because having a suspension seatpost creates improved comfort compared to a rigid seatpost (35 mm of suspension travel), but it does not deliver the increased traction that you would find with a proper suspension bike—because it does not push the rear wheel down into the trail in the same way. I confess, the first feeling was one of having an under-inflated tyre; it felt squidgy and bouncy. Yet, the more I ride with the KINEKT seatpost, and the harder I push it, the more I enjoy it…

The improvement in comfort is undeniable. Your seat bones are no longer pulverised as you hammer down those rutted and rock-strewn trails; instead, you can feel the vibrations absorbed and the bumps smoothed out. Over the course of a six-hour ride, the reduction in fatigue is huge.

I found with the KINEKT seatpost fitted I could ride challenging trail sections with more confidence and at a higher speed than with a rigid seatpost; you quite literally have the feeling of being suspended above the trail, with the bike moving beneath you.

When you do return to smoother trails or tarmac, there is surprisingly little 'bob' on the KINEKT seatpost; you still feel efficient and smooth in the saddle.

Don't get me wrong—this will not turn your gravel bike or hardtail mountain bike into a rear suspension machine; but it will reduce the fatigue and strain placed on your back and backside when you take on rough off-road adventures. It is an upgrade that I certainly plan to keep on my gravel bike going forwards.

KINEKT 2.1 Suspension Seatpost Review

Review – KINEKT Suspension Stem

On the front end, the KINEKT Suspension Stem promises to supply comfort and cushioning for your hands, just as the seatpost does for your back and behind.

Predictably similar to the Suspension Seatpost, the KINEKT Suspension Stem is a notable weight: 467 grams for the 90 mm length version—350 grams heavier than the stem it replaced.

For the weight, this stem offers 15–20 mm of travel, and comes with the choice of three different spring compression rates; it could supply the comfort of a suspension fork without the maintenance, weight, and complex fitting required in a fork upgrade. 

Out on the trails, you quickly forget the extra weight, and the reduction in vibrations and small bumps is notable—your hands and wrists feel less jarred as you thunder down off-road tracks. 

The KINEKT Suspension Stem moves in a vertical plane, much like a suspension fork. This setup means the cockpit position does not extend outwards as the springs compress—this is far better for keeping a consistent riding position and maintaining control in high force scenarios such as heavy braking. 

After riding with the KINEKT Suspension Stem for several rides, I honestly could not decide whether it was a worthwhile upgrade, for me. It does an excellent job of smoothing the trail surface and reducing fatigue in your hands and wrists; but I was less enthusiastic about the amount of movement on the bars in situations like grunting up a steep climb in a small gear, or hitting large drops as you head down rutted descents.

My suggestion would be that is you are riding fast and flowing gravel tracks, then the KINEKT Suspension Stem would be a superb comfort enhancer and certainly a lot lighter than fitting a suspension fork; however, if you are riding steep and rough singletrack then you may find the handlebar bob and sudden movement a bit disconcerting. 

Summary: great for Gravel, perhaps not so good for GravelPLUS!

KINEKT Suspension Stem Review

Disclaimer: KINEKT UK provided Life In The Saddle with the seatpost and stem for test and review


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