Gravel bike suspension is becoming an increasingly common thing, but what if you want to add some spring under your saddle? If you’ve got a 27.2mm seat tube then Canyon’s VCLS 2.0 CF seat post is a very simple but clever way to add noticeable buoyancy under your bum and might even save you some weight. Correct setup is key though and it can get quite vocal.
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Design and specifications
Canyon’s VCLS post has been around for a while and is now in its second version, but the main operating principle is the same and it’s super simple. Basically rather than a single round shaft, the post is formed from two D-shaped shafts placed back to back. These are connected at the splayed, tapering top by a two bolt reversible saddle clamp and at the bottom by a bolt that tightens the two D-sections together.
The simple design brings the 227g weight in far lower than other telescopic or parallelogram suspension posts, significantly lower than most alloy rigid posts and on par with many rigid carbon ones. It only comes in 27.2mm diameter and 350mm length though, with a maximum insertion depth of 210mm. There’s no way to cut it down either as the anchor bolt is right at the bottom. The seat clamp only works with 7mm round not oval carbon ones too.
If the post fits though it’s as effective as it is simple. Depending which way round you have the ‘Flip Head’, it gives either 13 or 25mm (0.5 or 1in) of layback to maintain your existing position. You need to remember that the post will sag slightly under rider weight though, which will move you further back so compensating during setup might be necessary.
Sliding the two segments up or down in relation to each other changes the seat angle. While the clever floating parallelogram design means this angle doesn’t change as you move backwards and downwards (or the bike comes up and forward). You can expect to spend some trial and error time pulling the post in and out to get it right.
Once it’s set up though, the post is physically very unobtrusive in the way it works. Yes, there’s some bounce if you’re not smooth on the pedals or after you hit a big hole/lump, but as the distance between you and the pedals doesn’t change dramatically as moves it largely goes unnoticed. It’s a constant float with no initial stiction and no having to sit in a specific place on the saddle to initiate movement. Unlike linkage or telescopic seat posts there’s no sideways twist or wobble either, so it gives a cleaner, more precise trail feel for judging traction on a solo.
The spring rate works well for a 60-80kg rider weight range too, staying stable until provoked by an obvious bump and properly flexing to take the thump out of sizeable lumps. Riders either side of that bracket will possibly find the post too hard or soft though and unlike an air or elastomer-sprung post, there’s no way to adjust the spring weight. While it still works fine with a bikepacking seat pack, you need to factor the extra weight into that equation too.
I also found that unless the seat tube and post were perfectly clean apart from a thin layer of grease, the post creaked and honked noisily over big hits. TBH, I actually found this funny but can also see how it would be irritating.
There are some obvious bike and rider compatibility restrictions with the VCLS post and its potential to honk and creak might put some riders off. In terms of performance though it’s excellent. It gives a really naturally floated feel from anywhere in the saddle with zero initial stiction or sideways wobble. It’s very lightweight, works fine with seat packs, there's a six year warranty and as long as it’s kept clean there’s very little to go wrong with it either.
Tech Specs: Canyon S15 VCLS 2.0 CF seatpost
- Price: £186.95 / €199.95
- Sizes: 27.2 x 350mm
- Weight: 227g