I want to ride my bicycle ~ I want to ride my bike ~ I want to ride my bicycle ~ I want to ride it where I like
~ Queen, Bicycle Race, Fat Bottomed Girls

Friday, March 19, 2010

Initial Review - Kind Shock KS i950-R

Click Here to Check Out My Long Term Review Of the KS i950-r

After waiting for what felt like the longest time...I finally broke down and bought an adjustable seat post. I first got the bug when I saw the Maverick Speedball post (now the CB Joplin), but it was just too expensive and I am not a fan of buying a brand new product. Gravity Dropper and AMP were also around...but I have never really liked their designs....not saying they are not good (I have friends who swear by them) but I just don't like the mechanical posts, I wanted a post I could adjust to any height I wanted. Between the price, design and issues with reliability...I was not prepared to put my money in the pot.

I needed a post long enough so I could get full extension (I ran a Thomson 410mm post almost at max height) and most of the products out there were just too short. I wanted a reliable hydraulic system...something that didn't have to be taken apart and worked on, but that was also serviceable by the regular guy if you had too. I wanted a clamping system that would not slip and most of all I wanted a product I could feel confident in. I am a 245lb man in my birthday suite...and I figure that puts A LOT of strain on a post....that last thing anyone wants is to shear their post off and have sharp bits down there.

A lot has happened since then, more players in the game and a lot of the companies have had time to work out some of the kinks in their products. I just could not hold out any more...I was tired of getting off my bike and adjusting my post so much....it was making an already slow rider...slow down even more...lol. And then I saw the new KS 1950-R...looked like it may be long enough....had gone through a few revisions of the product and the reviews of the newest version I was reading were very positive. People where loving the new post. Crap...I can't put this off any longer can I?

Anyone that knows me, knows that customer service rates very high in my books, why buy a product that the people who sell it don't even care about or care to support it to the best of their ability, it's why I ride a Banshee and why I drive half an hour to go to Sooke Mountain Cycles....and now one of the reasons I put down a wad of cash for my seat post. I emailed Rick Taylor at KS USA and he answered all of my questions and assured me the post would suite my needs. My main worry was the length of the post, he said that at the height I like my post at in XC/climbing mode it would have about 3" of post inserted in the bike and that it would be no problem for the post, but to check with my bike manufacturer to see if that would be ok.

So a quick message off to Keith at Banshee and he said that it should be ok, he has faith that the bike can handle it. Why can't every manufacturer be this easy to deal with.....thank you Banshee and KS...you guys ROCK!

So next I called up Lorien out at Sooke Mountain Cycles and he ordered one up from Norco who carries them in Canada (as does Cycles Lambert)...and the next day he had my post....or...not. He got the wrong size by mistake (so if anyone wants a good deal on a  5"/31.6 i950-r give him a shout)...but another call to Norco and he had another one the next day...this time the correct size.

My initial thoughts right out of the box is...wow...this is stiff...I can barely push hard enough to move it....but I know from research I did before I bought that the seals are really tight when you first get them and loosen up as you ride. Once I put the post in the bike and sat on it...I didn't notice it much at all. 

Installing it was interesting...if you are not a monster like me it should not be an issue but given that I ride a XL bike with a long top tube I could not run the cable and housing that came with the post. So if you have a long top tube this may be something to keep in mind. This little setback did let me route the cable a little cleaner (at least I think so anyway). I first saw another Rune rider do this to his post and I liked it...so thanks FM for the idea. :)

I tried to have it set up to take advantage of the built in lock on grip clamp built into the remote lever...a GREAT idea, but I found that it didn't hold my grips as tight as I would have liked (the little plastic bits on my grips have seen better days..I will update this when I get new grips...may not be an issue with the clamp). And I also found that when I tightened the bolt that holds the clamp on the bars too much, it for some reason would add friction to the lever and it would not pop back to the neutral position...I had to push it back up. So I just slid the grips off and moved things around a bit...so now my grips are tight and the remote works great.

I was worried that the saddle clamping mechanism would not work out...but to my surprise it works well...so far no movement of the saddle...I am happily surprised at this. I would love to see a micro adjust like a Thomson on these posts..but really once you get this system set up..you forget it...so it's really a moot point.

As I was setting my saddle height and making sure there was enough post in the seat tube...I found that while I am above the minimum post insertion mark on the post (as mentioned Rick as KS USA was ok with this) I have a hair under 4" of post in the bike still....better than expected...whew.

One thing a lot of people complain about is the "play" in the seat...some posts wiggle back and forth a bit when you tug on them...and yes the KS does have a little bit of play...not much at all, but you do not feel it at all when riding.

After getting everything set up...it's time to ride and see if these are worth the hype. Well...I now have a few rides on the post and let me just say...YES...they are all that people say...a game changer. The infinite adjust is great...I can lower it just a little for those more techy climbs or trails....drop it all the way when things go downhill and anywhere in between for whatever the situation merits. I found on some trails I was adjusting the post more than I was shifting...once you have the option..you will use it... believe me.

While I love A LOT of things about this post there are some things that could be better....I would love an extra inch of travel...I had to get off and lower the post just a bit more on a really tech section....I won't have to do this much...but for the super steep and techy stuff...I like to have my seat right out of the way. The post slipped in the seat tube a few times, I am running a Hope QR and never had an issue with my Thomson, I tightened up the clamp a little more and since then it has not been an issue.

The rides I have been on so far have been wet...and I notice that when I lower the post....the seals bubble away, I was worried at first but did a little test and lowered the post....10 minutes later I cam back and there were no bubbles. I think that some air gets trapped when it gets to full height and when it gets lowered the air has to go somewhere. I may be wrong...but that seems the most logical reason to me. Thats just about it for now, if you have any questions just leave a comment and I will do my best to answer them.

I can't wait to ride this post more and give you guys a long term review of it, see how it holds up and if I do have any issues what the service is like for them up here in in the great green north. 


  1. Thanks for this review and is it still positive after many riding weeks? No more play, always smooth travel, really enjoyable to use ?

    Wish have continuous comment now ;-)

  2. Yeah, its still great, no pressure loss, no more play...just as good as day one.

    I just broke my wrist so I wont be able to ride for the next few months...but when I get going again expect a long term review.

  3. What are they selling for a Sooke Cycle?

  4. I don't know...have not been out there for a bit due to the this bright orange cast on my arm...lol. Give Lorien a call and let him know you saw the review here. :)

  5. I’m also a heavy guy and I had a Maverick which had its hydraulic seals broken 3 times during a 6 month’s period, before I gave up and sent it back.
    So I’m interested in your experience. How is the I950r holding up with you weight?

  6. Hey Bravelir,

    So far so good, but I have been off the bike for 6 months so have not got to really put it through a long term test yet...but for the few months I did get to ride it, it was perfect.

    Once I get more time on it I will be able to give more info. :)

  7. Thanks
    Hope you get back on the bike soon.


  8. I'm 220lbs and have been riding a i950R for almost a year, most weeks, over all sorts of ground, mud, roots, rocks, ups and downs. It's reliable but has one annoying trait - the seat mount has started to spin on the post. Not serious but it can feel awkward when it happens. That said, while it was a lot of money to buy, it's certainly money well spent. As pedalhound said, it's a game changer.

  9. Hey S, That happened to mine too....I sent it back to KS and had Rick work on it, but it's really an easy fix...check out this site, he has great info on how to rebuild it (I am doing this soon and will document the process) and how to fix the head loosening issue...check it out:

  10. Hi there, it appears that by now you have almost a yr on your KS950. I am really considering one of these for all the reason you mention, I initially thought of the RS Reverb, but is too expensive and to many people are complaining. Then I found your review and a good price for this post.

    Do you care to post a little update now that you have more time on it? has it had any major flaws or problems? Durability?

    I would appreciate

  11. Hey César, I plan on putting out a full review of the post soon, I still like it...none of the posts are perfect so you have to do a little research and see what each does best and worst. I will do my best to get it up in the next week or two...if you have any questions feel free to email me rivers.mitchell at g mail dot com.

  12. SO what is the min insertion for the KS posts? I'd like to get one for my medium run, and it looks like I'm going to end up with around 4inches of insertion...

  13. I will check when I get home, but if I remember correctly 4" is more than enough.

  14. Hey Justin,

    Sorry for the delay I just remembered this now while I was doing some work on my bike, it has almost 5" (12cm) from the min insertion line to the end of the post, I hope this helps.