Dash Cycles Custom Seatpost
Dec 14, 2012
article & images by Nick Salazar
Some people just don't know when to quit. Fortunately for the triathlon world, the guys at Dash Cycles fit that description. The Dash guys are responsible for my favorite line of tri saddles, beginning with the extraordinary Tri.7 and following up with the TT.9, and my new go-to Stage.9 saddles. And now they're introducing a radical new take on all their saddles, marrying an aero seatpost to a custom, patented saddle clamp unit that will affix only to special saddles they've made specifically for this design. Essentially, they've made an aero seatpost-saddle combo that is incredibly light, but still maintains adjustability. The total weight for a complete seatpost, clamp, and saddle (everything shown in these pictures) is an incredible 170g. For comparison, my Shiv seatpost (which is among the lighter triathlon seatposts) comes in at 230g, WITHOUT a saddle. Once you factor that in, this Dash combo can save you close to a POUND of weight compared to a traditional saddle/seatpost combo. But that's not where the innovation stops.
Their novel system involves a minimal bit of custom clamping hardware, with three little set screws that take care of saddle adjustment. These three screws allow for independent adjustment of saddle tilt (center screw) and saddle setback (forward and rearward screws). The combination is an incredibly minimal, elegant solution that not only maintains Dash's reputation for incredibly light weight products, but actually improves the functionality of your bike. How often have you wanted to change just one aspect of your saddle's position (tilt OR setback)? It's often a difficult task to accomplish when everything adjusts together. By making the adjustments independent, this Dash combo lets you dial in your fit with greater ease and greater precision.
Dash is making a variety of different seatposts, with the goal of attaining a fairly broad range of compatibility. The one pictured here is an S3 seatpost. They are planning on a P-series post (for the Cervelo P2, P3, and P4), as well as a Specialized Shiv seatpost (for the Shiv Tri), and they plan to expand their post lineup as widely as possible.
And it's not just the seatpost that has been modified; the saddle is also a custom construction that fits with the special hardware. There are no traditional rails on these saddles, because they aren't needed. There's a little slot where the custom mount grips the saddle, and despite its very minimal construction, the mechanical rigidity is comparable to a traditional saddle. This thing is solid. And the lack of rails makes the whole structure incredibly svelte. There's much less for the wind to see here than on a traditional saddle/clamp combo.
The drawback, of course, is that this solution more or less marries you to the Dash universe. That is, since these saddles don't have traditional rails, you can't put them on a different bike unless you get another custom Dash seatpost. However, since Dash plans to have a comprehensive library of compatible seatposts, this complaint may just boil down to a matter of the cost of a new post.
I can't show you the internals of this particular unit, because it's a prototype, and Dash wasn't totally happy with the internal cosmetic aspects of it. However, I'll be snagging a Shiv-compatible post for my Shiv Pro build, and I'll show you the complete breakdown at that point. For now, enjoy the gallery. You can find Dash product exclusively through the Dash Cycles website.