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Wise Carbon Fiber Upgrade?

June 10, 2014
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Q: What carbon fiber upgrade gives me the best bang for my bucks?
Kevin, who wants some bling on a budget

A: Go for a seatpost. The weight you save is high up on the bike, so you feel it more as you maneuver the bike and lean it from side to side. Additionally, if you ride a hardtail, the right carbon seatpost will bring newfound comfort to your bike. We say “right” because there is a lot of variance between different carbon designs in terms of intentional flex for comfort. Niner’s RDO seatpost received a five-star rating from us because of just this property. Its ability to slightly deflect and help absorb bumps on the trail while in the saddle is impressive. Of course, if you ride a dual-suspension bike, you can go for a cheaper (and more harsh-riding) post, because it doesn’t matter since the suspension is eating up any bumps your seatpost would take care of.

The next part we would upgrade would be the handlebars, and then the stem for pretty much the same reason. Carbon fiber has damping properties that standard aluminum parts just don’t have. While the seatpost will take out the jarring when seated, a handlebar and stem combination will help cut down on vibrations being translated through your hands and arms.

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