First Impressions – KS LEV Seatpost

by Brian Mullin on August 19, 2012

Kind
Shock sent me their new KS LEV cable actuated hydraulic adjustable
seatpost for some thorough testing, and I have gotten around 2 weeks of
usage, and I am highly impressed. It comes in travel lengths of 100, 125
or 150 mm, and diameters of 27.2, 30.9 and 31.6 mm and retails for
$395.

Measured Specs (125mm x 31.6):

  • Post – 487 grams
  • Lever/parts – 30 grams
  • Cable/housing – 59 grams
  • Total (uncut cable/housing) – 576 grams

The
very trick LEV has the cable directly attached to the main body or
outer tube of the post, instead of the atypical position on top of the
telescoping head. The attachment at the post collar means the cable
connection remains stationary relative to the saddle’s movement,
removing issues with excess cable, such as interference with legs,
tires, frames, etc. The new design will give a cleaner and more direct
routing line to the seatpost, and will allow greater flexibility with
different bicycle geometries and manufacturers, and hence, better cable
management. Another benefit of the lower connection is the redesigned
saddle clamp, which is a micro adjustable two-bolt system, making for
more precise and easier saddle changes.

The
system still uses their same basic air return sprung/hydraulic
internals, with the one-way self-adjusting bearings, along some newly
updated engineering knowledge learned from their previous models. The
cable can be easily disconnected from the post by popping the cover off,
and pulling the small spring loaded clasp out of the system. The clasp
attaches to a barrel, which then connects internally to the innards of
the post. The carbon remote can be integrated with an ODI grip if
desired, which makes for a nice option.

Installation
Due to the design of the system, one of the toughest initial decisions
of how to route the housing is greatly simplified. I ran it down the
right side of the top tube, and then crossed it over to connect around
30º left of center, to miss the seatpost clamp lever. You can adjust
where the cable connector resides in relation to the saddle, but
unscrewing the return speed air pressure cap located on the top of the
post, and rotating the saddle clamp bottom in 15º increments. The
installation manual doesn’t have any in depth details of the arrangement
other than the 15º increments, so I learned it while poking around with
things. The top of the post has 6 dimples, which mate into the bottom
of the saddle clamp 18 intentions, which offer a clever and simple way
to rotate the connector. The robust two bolt saddle clamp worked
decently, and I was easily able to screw it together and insert the
saddle’s rails, and then perform the usual pitch adjustment of the
saddle for personal taste. I cut the housing and cable to length, and
attached the spring and grappling hook end piece. It took me a few times
to get the hang of hooking the cylinder that connects to actuator, and I
found pressing it up with a small screw driver simplified things,
without getting my fingers greasy. An additional benefit of the design
is there is no need for an adjuster barrel, since the system can deal
with cable stretch and slop.

First Impressions
I have used the LEV for two weeks now, and the lever action, seatpost
actuation and movement have been silky smooth. I haven’t suffered any
stickiness or notchiness, and the stroke has been smooth the entire
time. I tested their i950-R and dealt with some regular issues with the
post getting stuck, so it was pleasant to have a post that moved so
nicely from the get go. I really liked that there was no housing moving
up and down when I hit the lever, and it certainly gives the bike a much
cleaner look, without a gob of extra housing sticking out. Even when
most remote actuated adjustable seatpost systems are set up properly,
the housing still gets in the way, and pokes you in the leg on occasion,
which is always annoying. It was certainly enjoyably to not have to do
any cable adjustment or fine tuning to make the seatpost work, and the
only thing I have done is tweak the saddle tilt a couple of times.

I
am mighty impressed with the KS LEV, and I am looking forward to some
more saddle time on the system. Its smooth operation, lack of extraneous
housing, means it ranks up there with the better adjustable seatposts.

KS Lev Specs:

  • MSRP: $395
  • Diameter – 31.6mm, 30.9mm, 27.2mm
  • Length
    / Travel – 335mm / 100mm (30.9 and 31.6mm dia), 385mm / 125mm (30.9 and
    31.6mm dia), 435mm / 150mm (30.9 and 31.6mm dia), 400mm / 100mm (27.2mm
    dia)
  • Actuation – Carbon fiber remote lever
  • Head / Rail – Zero offset standard rail
  • Color – Black anodized mast and head w/ hard anodized stanchion
  • Weight – 510-580g (30.9 and 31.6mm including remote and cable), 538g (27.2mm including remote and cable)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Unknown August 23, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Brian,

Does this post have pre-set height adjustments when you lower the post or does it just lower the post till you stop pressing the button ?

Reply

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