What's the difference between going downhill with a low or high seat?
The answer to this question is very simple: greater safety and control over your bike in tough situations.
More and more mountain bikes come with a dropper post as either standard or optional equipment, and more and more cyclists are choosing to update their beloved MTB with one of these “fancy seatposts” to take advantage of all it has to offer.
There are tons of dropper post options available on the market to choose form, all high-tech, which means they have levers and remote controls on the handlebars, complex hydraulic systems (and even springs) or extensive wiring. In numbers, this represents an increase in weight as compared to a normal seatpost and a fairly substantial investment, besides requiring complex routine maintenance for your beloved bike.
With the Enduro boom in recent years, their use has spread to other disciplines, and both XC World Cup and Downhill Mountain Biking riders have even used dropper posts in official competitions. For more than five years now, at Orbea we have firmly believed in our ability to create a product that offers the same benefits as a “fancy post,” but one that is light, simple and much cheaper. With this idea in mind, our engineers got to work to create the Orbea Digit Seatpost.
To operate it, open the quick clamp, raise or lower the seatpost and close it again. It's that easy. In just five seconds, we go from having a cumbersome, clumsy mountain bike to a real mountain bike capable of descending any slope we want, with maximum safety and control.
Do you really notice the difference downhill on a low seat?
Simply put, yes. But we're still going to explain why we can descend more safely on a seat that is lower than normal.
The main advantage is that our rear will not hit the seat when the going gets tough and the slope gets steeper, especially if the trail has a few bumps along the way. With the seat raised (this should be understood as the normal height we usually use to pedal our bike), the distance between the seat and our body is minimal, even if we stand up from the seat. Any contact between this and our rear will cause us to lose control, possibly even sending us flying up over the handlebars.
This is one of the most common types of falls on a bike, and it is why Orbea recommends, one, that you never go downhill while sitting on the seat of your mountain bike, and two, that you choose a dropper post that allows you to raise and lower the seat easily before each difficult descent.
Having the seat in a lower position also gives us a greater range of movement on our bike, allowing us to bend our arms and legs better to absorb the shock of uneven terrain, and to move our body on the bike more comfortably to follow curves or make small jumps.
That popular advice to “sit back” when things get difficult will be much easier when the seat is down. At this point, we should stress that it is not necessary to “sit back” the entire way down. It will only be useful to do so if we encounter a steep or a very short stretch where the slope is especially steep. This is when we should simply slide our body back, and with it, our body weight, and return to a normal position once we've passed the obstacle. Descending while “sitting back” the entire way will destabilize us, making it much easier to lose control of our bike.
What's so special about Orbea's Digit seatpost?
Its simplicity and effectiveness. You don't need any sort of a special bike, adapter or tools, or even a control on the handlebars or cumbersome cables. Simply remove our normal seatpost, place the Digit on your bike and ride away. The Digit has two basic settings: one, the minimum height to which we want to lower our seat, and two, the maximum height, which is the height we normally use when pedaling.
This allows us to forget about the measuring and testing of the height at which we normally position the seat. Using a special quick clamp designed by Orbea, we will move to these two previously set heights. What's more, the design of the Digit seatpost does not let the seat turn to the left or right, so it always stays perfectly aligned with the top tube of our bike frame.
Its weight is also far less than any other dropper post on the market, weighing in at barely 350 grams. Orbea mounts the Digit seatpost standard on its Orbea Loki, Occam and Rallon entry models, but you can also purchase an Orbea Digit seatpost for your own bike.
Remember, descending with the seat lowered on your mountain bike will give you better control and stability. You'll find it easier to raise and lower the seat with Orbea's Digit dropper post.
Want to know more? Consult the Digit Seatpost Technical Manual