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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