There’s alot of blathering in the industry about light, and cheap, and strong, but sometimes we only want to concern ourselves with light and strong. For those still listening, RaceFace claims of offer one of the lightest DH worthy seatpost and saddle combinations on the market – in the form of the Sixc carbon seatpost and Atlas I-Fly Saddle.
The pair will set you back $250, but is the weight savings worth it?
The RaceFace Atlas I-Fly saddle which retails for $100 was purpose built to take a beating and and weighs 168 gms. For all the weight conscious downhillers counting their grams and calories, that’s 12 grams more than claimed.
The saddle is available in every color, so long as you like black. The good news, it’s also available in a railed design. Weight for that model with Ti rails is claimed at 220 grams.
The Sixc seatpost is 350mm long, retails for $140, and is available in 30.9 and 31.6mm post widths. Claimed weight for our 30.9 post was 190 gm, but our post must have snuck in a small sip of beer before getting on the scale and was 7 grams over claimed. The Thomson Masterpiece seatpost which retails for $10 more has a claimed weight of 192 gm.
Between waiting for a few little adapters to get the new downhill bike rolling and the chair lifts being closed for the winter, we’ve been putting our post and saddle combo to good use on the dirt jumper. Just pay no mind to our poor tire choice. We simply forgot to swap the Maxxis Minions off this wheelset, but have since corrected the error.
When cruising, the most striking feature of the Atlas saddle is how damn hard it is. It’s a fairly thin and flat platform, but the plastic unibody construction makes it feel incredibly stiff compared to traditional railed saddle designs. We wouldn’t want to do any all day epics on this saddle, but it’s fine for smashing between the lifts on your downhill bike, or rallying on the streets between spots.
The saddle shape is also spot on for the application, it’s not too long that it feels XC-ish, and not so short that it resembles a dirt jump saddle. The rear portion of the saddle is also narrow enough that it doesn’t impede your ability to get back quickly, and we could easily see the railed version of this saddle being comfortable enough for trail riding.
Like all I-Beam saddles, the fore, aft, and tilt can be adjusted easily via the use of a single hex bolt. We didn’t have a torque wrench handy when we installed the combination, so we clamped everything together using a small multi-tool. What we quickly found was that compact trail tool did not provide enough torque to keep the saddle in place, so we recommend using a hex tool with a longer handle to secure everything tightly.
If you’re on the fence about spending this kind of money on a post and saddle, just remember that RaceFace has some of the best customer service in the industry. In the off chance you break something, they’ll have your back.
The Sixc Seatpost and Atlas I-Fly saddle may be at the top tier of what many downhillers might consider spending, but the combination is incredibly well built, and you simply can’t find anything lighter thats built this tough.