Canyon might have a fix for the Aeroad seatpost

by James Huang

photography by James Huang


First uncovered by Daniel Bacon of wheelbased.com, a recent patent filing by Canyon suggests the company may soon have a fix for the premature wear issues seen on the latest Aeroad model. 

The current Aeroad seatpost is basically a dual-chamber carbon fiber affair, with the rigid forward third comprising the main structural element and the rest effectively serving as little more than a semi-flexible cap. That forward section extends much further down than the rear section, and is secured inside the frame far down inside the seat tube with a wedge-type binder.

Thanks to this novel setup, the seatpost is more flexible than similarly deep carbon fiber seatposts of more conventional construction, and so Canyon was able to improve the aerodynamic performance of the seatpost-and-seat tube section of the latest Aeroad while still providing a surprising amount of rider comfort. 

The only problem is that the motion is causing owners’ seatposts to wear away with alarming speed. Canyon didn’t leave any space between the frame and seatpost to allow for that movement, and any grit (or even friction paste, according to Canyon) in that area will only accelerate the wear.

Canyon has communicated to owners that a solution was being developed, and the design outlined in this patent filing could be it.

The new seatpost will still feature a dual-chamber design, with the structural element still comprising a minority of the section depth. However, instead of that structural portion taking a straight path up the length of the post, it instead adopts an S-shape jog down toward the base.   Furthermore, a “damper element” is “connected” to that structural portion, and then covered with a cosmetic cap to fill in the rest of the missing section depth. 

The structural part’s shallow cross-section is the key to the seatpost providing some comfort-enhancing flex over bumps and rough roads. The “damper element” (item #50) promises to improve the ride quality further still, and it’ll be concealed by a cosmetic cover. Photo: USPTO.

Taken by itself, Canyon’s proposed seatpost design is intriguing in that it could potentially result in an even-better ride quality than the original seatpost given the addition of that “damper element”. Given the current circumstances, however, the seatpost takes on even more significance – it will hopefully eliminate (or at least minimize) the wear issues that are currently plaguing the Aeroad since the movement should mostly be confined to the portion of the post that sticks out of the frame, just as how it’s done with countless other bikes on the market, past and present.

There shouldn’t be any issues with retrofitting such a seatpost to affected Aeroads, either, since the damage appears to be almost entirely limited to the seatposts, not the frames. As such, the fix will be far easier and quicker to implement than anything involving the frame.

This cross-section shows how the binder design works. Photo: USPTO.

However, I can’t help but wonder about a few things as well.

Thanks to its relatively simple design, the existing Canyon seatpost is quite light. This design, however, is much more complicated, and the “damper element” — which is often some sort of viscoelastic material — will almost certainly add some weight, especially when you also take into account the cap that’s required to go on top.

Secondly, while this patent application was published on March 4, 2021, the paperwork was originally filed on August 28, 2019 — more than a year before the bike was even released. Was this seatpost design developed merely as an engineering exercise, or is it perhaps something Canyon had plans to potentially incorporate into another bike model? Or is it possible that Canyon was already aware of the problems with the current design, and was already working on a fix? 

That last possibility seems highly unlikely given the PR nightmare that was surely to — and did — follow, but without direct communication from Canyon on the topic, all of this is purely speculation.

Either way, let’s hope that Canyon Aeroad owners will soon be able to put this issue behind them, and that the handlebar one (if it does turn out to be some sort of design, engineering, or manufacturing defect) will be resolved shortly thereafter.

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