Review: Schwarzes Stück carbon seatpost from Tune
There are a few places in a bike build to save weight. Some offer greater gains while some offer minor gains. However, the cost per gram is not always relative. For the most part, the further you move from the frame and fork, the more you are going to pay per gram of savings...
Early in 2014 I was fitted with a setback seat post which had the saddle clamped at the extreme back of the saddle rails. This was in order to get my saddle far enough forward for my fit. So in order to maintain my ideal saddle position but move the clamping zone further forward on the rails, I was looking for two key things
- a zero setback seat post
- weight equality to current setup or weight savings.
I turned to Mike from Blacksmith Cycle and Stage Race Distribution for options to consider. He suggested I look at the Tune Schwarzes Stück carbon post. With a sleek and minimalist approach, Tune have got their seat post down to about half the weight of most competitor offerings and it's a zero setback. 2 for 2.
Originally for my Pinarello, the seatpost didn't work for me. The Schwarzes Stück has a very specific clamping zone in which the seat post must be set. I was unfortunately just outside the clamping zone. So I went with another option.
Later on while working with Mike and the folks at Blacksmith on building my Scapin Anouk, the option for the Tune Schwarzes Stück presented itself. For every day, the bike is built with a full Fizik R1 series cockpit. For my fit specs the setback post of the Fizik Cyrano R1 clamps the saddle at the tail end of the saddle rails. So, what about a zero setback post? While considering the ENVE carbon zero setback or the Tune, the Tune post nudged ahead with a weight savings of about 100 grams with the required 27.2mm diameter my Scapin uses.
In the pics below, I've included a shot of the Tune Schwarzes Stück post to show the very minimalist approach to its design as well as the verified weight of the post.
Picking up the post in the box it's hard to tell there is anything inside. If it didn't make some noise when it moved in the box, I would have guessed it was empty. It's that light.
My Scapin Anouk fits a 27.2mm post and I need 350 mm length. So in this size the Tune Schwarzes Stück weighs 109 grams. For the weight weenies and using the same Fizik Antares 00 saddle, here is a comparison to show the weight difference. In the comparison below the saddle remains constant and the variant is the post.
Build 1: Total weight: 377 grams
- Fizik Antares 00 saddle
- Fizik Cyrano R1 carbon seat post
Build 2: Total weight 246 grams
- Fizik Antares 00 saddle
- Tune Schwarzes Stück carbon seat post
The design of the post is minimal, no frills. They don't bother with an outer UD carbon layer for aesthetics. Some may like that, some may not. I appreciate the choice to use a stronger weave layer instead.
The post has a die cut graphics of the script Tune logo on the back side and paint markings lower the back side to indicate the clamping area. You can remove the logo if you want a more stealth look.
My opinion, it looks hot. Especially matched to the right saddle.
In terms of adjustability this is where it gets tough. While the range of adjustment is near infinite thanks to its very simple cradle and bridge design, getting your saddle level and tight is a bit of a pain. It takes some time and finesse to get it right. The specs call for a low clamping force (5nm) on the saddle and because of the weight conscious design of the post it's best to follow the guidance. A torque wrench is highly recommended. Yet, the challenge is that the angle of the bolt on the front of the post makes it hard to get a torque wrench head in.
On the plus side, the design uses small bridges across the top of the rails and underneath there is a carbon cradle to hold everything in place. It really couldn't be any simpler. On the downside, while this is a great design for weight savings, I did find it a bit more to work with in ensuring the bridges were straight while getting the torque spec on the bolts set right... compared to say a Fizik or ENVE post. One good point, one bad point. We'll call it even.
The general clamping zone on the post is well situated in the middle of the post vertically, but I would say it does lends itself to those that ride with more post showing or those with sloping top tube geometries. The specs call for a max of 6nm of torque on the seat post collar. Tip: that's a max!
Ride & feel
To be upfront and honest, I haven't had a chance to put a lot of kms in on the post for comparison but from the time I have put in, I can say the weight savings is nice when out of the saddle. There is a noticeable different in the weight throwing back and forth. Does it feel stiffer? Hard to say, because any zero setback is by design less compliant and generally flexes less. So, there is a sense of less flex and more connection downward to the frame. Maybe more akin to an integrated seat post. Can I scientifically quantify it? No, that's just how it feels to me.
The Tune Schwarzes Stück is a really attractive seat post with a lot of great qualities. The cost is higher than the average carbon seat post, far higher than any aluminum seat post, but still not the most expensive on the market. It's not the easiest to set and adjust but not impossible to do. If the carbon weave doesn't bother you or you prefer it, this is a seat post to seriously consider. It will definitely stand out from the crowd.