Imagine this: you’re in the groove, feeling the flow of the trail, and you come to a steep downhill section. If you’re like me, instead of launching straight into it you probably stop, adjust your seatpost, and kill the flow before you get to the best part. If this sounds familiar, Crank Brothers should be your new best friend. They say you can’t buy your friends but if you have $285 (MSRP) the Crank Brothers Joplin R will be your convenient, ride enhancing trail buddy. The post is available in only two sizes 30.9 and 31.6 so for now this great post is limited to those frame seatpost sizes (the Joplin R isn’t friends with just anyone).
When you receive the Joplin, it comes beautifully packaged – I almost didn’t want to remove it and actually considered having it framed. All kidding aside it came well packaged with no chance of shipping damage and included everything I needed minus a few tie wraps. Installing it was very easy but there are a few things you should consider doing first before you go and stuff the seat post in your frame.
Check the remote lever to see if it actually fits on your bar – I had a hard time fitting the remote on my RaceFace Next SL carbon bar. I have heard from others that installation may be difficult on some Easton Carbon bars as well, so be sure to confirm it fits before you plunk down the cash. If all is good then installation is a snap – just keep the installation instructions handy during assembly.
Once you install the post and run the cable (you may need to shorten it as necessary), compress your suspension to see if the cable will rub on any linkages. Make sure you place the nylon tubing on the exposed cable that runs to the actuation lever and visually inspect that you have clearance between the actuation lever and the saddle (have someone sit on the saddle or place a weight). You may have to adjust your seat angle a bit.
I set the remote on the left hand side, seeing that I use that hand less and other than grabbing the front brake when I ride I rarely use the front derailleur. So it makes sense to have the Joplin on my left.
On the trails, the old scenario was to come to a steep descent, stop and dismount, lower the seat post, remount the bike, roll back a bit, then go down. Talk about harshing the flow. But no longer – now when I know there is a steep descent I just actuate the lever, sit on the seat to lower it, release the lever, and ta-da – down it stays, and down I go. When I clear the steep descent, a pull of the remote brings the seat back up to the original seat height. I can then continue pedaling efficiently at the correct ride height. To that end the Joplin is flawless and great – I couldn’t ask for a better solution. The seat post does not creak and the seat stays set at whatever height that I set it at.
After a few rides I did notice one thing that put a slight damper on this otherwise excellently engineered seat post. I noticed that the seat developed a bit of play which allowed the seat to wiggle a small amount (for some people this could be an issue). After visiting the Crank Brothers website they mentioned that it is normal to have some play and that anything less that 10mm movement is acceptable. The post that I am testing presently has 6mm movement.
My final two cents worth:
The Joplin R is a great seatpost which will totally change the way you ride and the amount of fun you will have on the trails – it inspires confidence and enhances rider control . If you don’t sweat the details and you do maintain this post, it will be a great upgrade. The downside is that the post has a bit of play and unfortunately the Joplin at present only comes in two sizes: 30.9mm and 31.6mm.
Get out there and kick it.