Loaded Precision has burst onto the mountain bike components scene with a full complement of parts that strives to hit the mythical trifecta of light weight, sturdy construction, and affordable cost.
Loaded sent over their X-lite seatpost for review, and I’ve put to the test on some rough Rocky Mountain trails over the last couple of months.
Specs and Construction
Out of the box, the X-lite seatpost shows obvious signs of quality manufacturing. Loaded uses a combination of forging and CNC machining to create the entire post out of a single piece of aluminum, with no welds. Machined surfaces are clean-cut and smooth, the tube is subtly ridged for a nonslip interface with the frame, and the logos and measurement markings are laser-etched.
The zero offset X-lite post comes in three standard diameters of 27.2mm, 30.9mm, and 31.6mm, but only one length: 400mm. Producing a single length helps keep costs down.
The overall construction of the post is very similar to a Thomson Elite, but with two advantages: it’s a few grams lighter, and the saddle clamp has a cut-out for the rear bolt to swing into place. This means the saddle can be installed easily without needing three hands to hold everything in place. Once installed, the saddle angle adjusts with a push/pull tightening of the bolts, again just like the Thomson, but at $79.99 retail, the X-lite will also save you twenty bucks.
Due to my stubby legs, I usually run a 350mm seatpost, so I cut about two inches off the bottom of the X-lite post. I used a tubing cutter for this, but a hacksaw will also work. In either case, cut slowly and use some fine sand paper to clean your cut edge if needed.
Installing the post on the bike is a breeze, just insert it into the seat tube and re-tighten your clamp.
Mounting the saddle is also straightforward. As mentioned above, the clamp is similar to what Thomson and others use, but the “QR Bolt Design” makes it much easier to manage the assembly. With the saddle in place, slide it forward or back according to your preference, and use the two opposing bolts to adjust the angle and tighten things down. It is a simple, secure design that so far is working perfectly.
On the trail
Along with being light and affordable, these parts are also strong. This seatpost has taken some unintentional hits from my 200 pounds slamming into the saddle from a couple of washouts that surprised me. Even with the abuse, it has not bent, cracked, creaked, groaned or otherwise exhibited any evidence of stress whatsoever. I’m pretty sure my saddle rails will give out before this post does.
Performance is key, but why not bling up your ride a little in the process? All Loaded Precision products come in a variety of colors to either match or complement your ride. The attention to detail in the machining and anodizing is just amazing, and needs to be seen in person to be truly appreciated.
Loaded Precision has debunked the old saying “light, durable, inexpensive: pick two,” and they have done it with style. If you’re looking to lighten up your bike while adding strength in some key contact areas while not breaking the bank, definitely take a look at their full array of cockpit components… and with all of the colorways they offer, you can complement pretty much any OEM paint scheme as a bonus!
Thanks to Loaded Precision for sending over the X-lite seatpost for review!