Quick test: Specialized Command Post

I got a few rides on Specialized’s new remotely adjustable seatpost, which I was sorry to relinquish.

Just the facts
– The Command Post comes in 30.9mm diameter. It comes stock on high-end Enduro SLs. It is now available as an aftermarket upgrade.

– It has three heights: full height, 35mm down and 100mm down. Seated pedaling, all-mountain ripping and full-on braaap.

– The post uses an air spring to return the post to max height.

– The locking system is mechanical, rather than hydraulic as in the Crank Brothers/Maverick design.

– The lever mounts to your bar. I mounted mine between my left grip and front shifter. The lever is apparently available in right and left versions. The right version is pictured.

– Price is in the Speedball zone, around $300.

Perspective: I’ve done a lot of riding with Gravity Dropper and Maverick Speedball seatposts. My Gravity Dropper is in a box. I have Speedballs on my Stumpjumper and Enduro, and I love them. The Maverick Speedball design is now sold by Crank Brothers.

How it works
Unlike the infinitely adjustable Crank Brothers/Maverick, the Command Post has three distinct heights.

If the post is all the way up and you push the lever for an instant and sit on the seat, the post drops to 35mm. If you’re at 35mm and you push and sit again, it drops all the way down to 100mm. To drop all the way from full height to the bottom, hold the lever down through the 35mm point.

If the post is all the way down and you push the lever for an instant and unweight the seat, the post raises to 35mm. If you’re at 35mm and you push and unweight again, it raises to full height. To raise from the bottom to full height, push the lever and unweight through the 35mm point.

What is great
This is the best handlebar lever out there. The lever comes down in front of your grip, so you can push it with your thumb just like a shift lever. No more changing your grip to adjust your seatpost. Slick.

With other top-mounted lever designs — Gravity Dropper, Maverick — I can’t make adjustments when I’m fully pinned Super D race style. I’m too busy hanging on and getting the job done. Caveat: A torn ligament and a dislocation have made my thumbs worthless and weak.

The three established heights make adjustments quick and brainless. This design greatly reduces the mental bandwidth you devote to your seat height. No more wondering how high your seat is. No more fishing around for your “ideal” height. Just dab the button and get back to work.

100mm is low! That’s low enough for some serious DH/freeride braaap.

Potential drawbacks
If you’re used to pedaling at full seat height, 35mm will seem pretty low. My Speedball and I spend a lot of time rocking Boulder’s semi-technical-but-pedally trails at about 20mm. (Remember, the Lee Likes Bikes International Super D Standard seat height is 5/8 inches or 16mm …)

But 35mm works well, especially on technical terrain. You’ll get used to it.

For the post to work correctly, the air pressure has to be correct. My prototype test model lost air regularly. Easy fix with a shock pump.

Update: The issue has been fixed on current models, and there’s a kit to fix old ones. If you have an issue, Specialized or your Specialized dealer will take care of you.

To sum it up
Awesome lever. Smart function. If you don’t insist on infinite adjustment — and your frame takes a 30.9mm post — the Command Post could be your next big upgrade.

Know more. Have more fun!

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8 replies
  1. Scott says:

    Hey Lee, the Speedball R/Joplin R lever is universal, meaning it can be mounted at any angle (top, bottom, wherever) and the lever can be activated from any angle (pushed, pulled, whatever).

    I personally like the infinite range of the Speedball. I have it set so full height is road/fast XC, but normally ride trails about 1/2″ down. Then again I sometimes ride lower depending on the trail or how I feel that day, etc.

    I found a few years ago that my rides have always been sensitive to seat height and it could mean the difference between cleaning things the 1st time or having to repeat. Was hard to put my finger on it, but then sometimes I was just too lazy or stubborn and wouldn’t stop to adjust anyway, especially when riding with others.

    Speedball R was a luxe upgrade, but it’s been a great ASSet. I use it all of the time for fine-tuning height and often for big drops, making endos much less likely.

  2. Ed says:

    Lee, I was stoked to see you in the new Bike Magazine rocking the pump track.
    These adjustable seat posts will be standard on all trail bike in 4 years.
    I just swapped my Speedball R for the new KS 900i post, no side to side and more travel.

  3. Karmen says:

    I just started riding with a Command Post this Spring. I really like it. I prefer the set points so I know where my seat is going to be when I change it and can have consistency.

  4. Pete says:

    you said your gravity dropper is in a box? do you prefer the speedball?? I leaning towards getting a GD becuase it can drop 4″ as opposed to 3″. What did you find better about the speedballs, if thats the case?? thanx

  5. leelikesbikes says:

    My Gravity Dropper was awesome until I loaned my bike to a kid and he washed it upside down and filled the GD mechanism with dirt. I’ve rebuild the unit, and it works, but it’s super finicky when it comes to cleanliness and spring pre-load.

    I found the Speedball easier, more polished and more consistent.

    BUT: The Gravity Dropper is a good product, and it fits all frames. Keep it clean.

  6. Tjaard says:

    I was going to say the opposite:
    The Gravity Dropper is very serviceable, since it’s a mechanical lock and a coil spring, pure nuts ‘n bolts, less valve stuff.
    Unlike the Speedball you can pull up on the seat in the down position, Speed ball has to be bled after that.
    The GD has a very solid saddle clamp (allthough it did seize in place once), the Speedballs have had issues with slipping/creaking saddle clamps, but I hear the new version of the Joplin is supposed to address that.

    I just gave my GD to a deserving friend and got a Command Post, we’ll see how it does.

    -GD is the only one that comes in 27.2 and in 410 mm length.
    -Speedball and Command Post are much easier to operate than the GD.
    – Command Post ships with a LEFT hand lever, I don’t know why.
    – I like fixed positions better, I sometimes even wonder whether I’m in the 1″ drop or more down on my GD.
    -I would like 20 or 25 mm better than 35 for the ‘carving’ position, and I’m tall, I think for short folks 35 might be a bit much
    – The GD is a straight post, the Joplin and Command Post have set-back but can be run reversed(I think, never tried on the J.), so much more saddle adjustment there.
    – The ‘carving’ position is even more usefull than the full drop if your trails are not to steep.
    – Get one of them, it’s the best thing since front suspension!

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