02 September 2008

bikefix Exclusive Review: Syntace P6 Carbon seatpost

Syntace is a German bike and component manufacturer with an excellent reputation for making quality bike parts. I first started seeing their bars and stems on the local distributor’s website, but I didn’t know much about them or how to pronounce their name (I’m still not sure). After reading a very positive review about their components in a British mountain bike magazine, I knew I had to try some for myself. As a Maverick rider, I have tried many different seatposts (see Maverick reviews), but I’m always looking for another that accommodates my frames' extremely laid-back seatpost angle. Enter the Syntace P6.

The P6 is a tough looking seatpost, but it is also light at 240grams for the 400mm length (a 330mm 27.2 Thomson Elite comes in at 228g). Syntace use a similar attachment system to Thomson's (and others') posts, with front and rear bolts tightening two clamp pieces. The bottom clamp piece and seatpost top are mating cylinders, allowing the saddle angle to be adjusted by the two bolts.

This seatpost oozes quality, but the best aspect by far is that the bottom clamp piece sports an extra-long cradle for the saddle rail. This adds so much support the saddle that the chances of bending a rail on a “g-out” or other riding event are drastically reduced. I might go so far as to say that one might be able to use XC race saddles on their trail/all-mountain bikes without bending the rails- the company reports that their pro teams have, for the first time ever, reported zero saddle rail breakages while using the P6. The top clamp is somewhat shorter than usual which allows one to slide the seat further back with other posts. Since the lower clamp is extra-long (and can support the saddle in this position), this combination basically gives the rider the ability to run as much setback as they could on many layback seatposts. I don’t know if it is a result of their design or their build quality, but I haven't been able to make my P6 creak and that is worth a lot.

The saddle-clamp assembly has a true 40˚ range of adjustment, which means it should work on almost any type of frame. Another nice touch is that the front of the post has height markings, but they are applied underneath the thick layer of resin- so they don’t wear off. The P6 comes in 4 sizes (34.9, 31.6, 30.9, and 27.2), and the larger diameters are lighter than the smaller versions.

There isn’t much more to say. The P6 gets the job done well and without a fuss. Syntace gets many of it components “VR-3 Downhill rated” which involves testing on some very expensive machines to pass some German governmental standard. While they're not claiming VR-3 certification for the P6 Carbon, it is fatigue and stress tested on the same machine. This all could very well be meaningless, but it looks and sounds impressive and to their credit, they spend an awful lot of energy explaining it on their website. I still don't understand exactly what it all means- maybe I am too impatient to read the translated text carefully, and a perhaps also a bit dumb. I haven’t seen an official MSRP but it is close to $160.00 An aluminum version (if avaiable in the US) should run about $100 and weigh 20g more.

charlie

www.syntace.com

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