Thursday, December 24, 2015

Cobble Gobbler -- 1

And for the single best gear purchase of 2015:  the Specialized CG-R "Cobble Gobbler" seatpost.

Here it is on some random bike, not my own.
It is not overstating things to say this seatpost redefines long-distance cycling.

On the Focus prior to the start of the Natchez Trace 444.
It turns any bike into a plush ride without adding serious weight and without looking like it belongs on a hybrid.

I have two -- one mounted on the Focus, for long-distance performance-oriented riding, and one mounted on the Salsa, for commuting and, I hope, touring applications.  Sam, I know, is riding at least one.

Salsa Colossal with Cobble Gobbler.
Sam with the Cobble Gobbler on the Habanero on a road that looks like it could stand to use some cobbles gobbled.
Specialized advertises 18mm of travel and touts the single-bolt attachment.  There is about 25mm setback, perfect for most road-bike applications.  Bike Radar reports 260g weight; that's about 60g more than the standard for high-end carbon setback posts in 27.2mm diameter.  (For example, the Easton EC-90 is listed at 200g.) 

The one-bolt attachment system with rails that clamp in from the side is a real advantage over the industry standard -- clamping down from above -- which I can only explain by subpar materials being used in components in past decades.  (My theory:  subpar materials require more robust design; a fixed platform with a top-clamp seems likely to be a stronger design ceteris paribus.)  Other makers do use a one-bolt attachment approach, frequently on proprietary seatposts like the aero posts on a Cervelo.

I've noticed three things about the Cobble Gobbler. 

  1. One is that it is more comfortable.  Duh.  That's the point.  
  2. Two is that it seems to reduce fatigue.  If, as many say about compression garments, constant micro-control of vibrations is a tiring endeavor, reducing vibrations through the seatpost should rest your muscles while riding.  
  3. Three is that it seems to enhance bike control on technical roads, like a pot-holed descent.  Like any shock-absorbtion system, helping to keep your weight planted firmly on the road rather than bouncing with every bump should have that effect.
Use model:  the Cobble Gobbler almost totally eliminates the variable of back-end discomfort on long rides. 

300 miles in and still sitting.  That's a new experience.
 Not totally.  But as close as I can imagine its doing.

The Cobble Gobbler is so good that even at $200 a pop, I have two.  It is so good that when I sit on the Neuvation or the Gunnar, two long-time favorites in my bike lineup with their standard seatposts (Thomson Elite in one case; Deda carbon seatpost in the other), I am struck by just how harsh is the ride. 

It's so good that I now define my future bike purchases by whether the frame takes a 27.2mm post.  For example, the beautiful Specialized Venge, which tempts me not just a little as a replacement for the Focus, is out because of its proprietary post.  Note to Specialized: fit the Cobble Gobbler technology on the Venge post and I'll be sold.

The Specialized CG-R seatpost is my favorite new piece of gear for 2015, hands down.  It's highly recommended. 


Unknown said...

One day I may own a bike that can accept a standard, round seatpost, but today is not that day. I figure the bladed seatpost is worth 50 miles or so in a 24-hour race, and I won't hear different.

Max said...

At least. Important to have priorities. And a quality saddle to fill in the gaps.