The Ritchey Classic 2 Bolt seatpost is exactly that, a simple, well-made design that with its polished silver finish looks excellent on metal frames, especially if you're refurbishing a retro race frame from a bygone era.
- Pros: Beautiful polished finish, easy to use clamp design
- Cons: Not as light as carbon if that bothers you
Ritchey really fills a gap with the Classic. A few years ago I bought myself a steel Italian frame with lovely slender tubes and a narrow 1in steerer. With a set of handbuilt, silver wheels and hubs, all it needed was some corresponding finishing kit but choices were very limited.
To get everything to match – stem, handlebar and seatpost – the Classic range was pretty much the only option. Thankfully, while it was pretty much the only choice, it was a very good one.
This seatpost is forged from 2014 series aluminium alloy which gives a strong component without too much weight: 260g for this 27.2 x 350mm option on the road.cc Scales of Truth, against the claimed 245g on Ritchey's website.
The outside is beautifully smooth thanks to the polished finish, and has been kept to a tight tolerance to fit in the seat tube without slippage. Internally, the walls of the tube are oval, being thicker front and rear to cope with the loads applied from your pedalling and hitting bumps in the road.
It's made more noticeable by the chamfered bottom edge of the post. Structurally the chamfer doesn't mean much, but it's an extra process that doesn't necessarily need to be done; it removes any burrs from the edge and shows a high attention to detail.
The Classic comes in three diameters, 27.2, 30.9 and 31.6mm, all in a single length of 350mm. Like most, Ritchey allows a minimum installation of 100mm of post into the frame so you get 250mm of usable height from seatclamp to the middle of the saddle rails: plenty on all but the most compact of frames.
The clamp, as the name suggests, uses a two-bolt setup, one either side of the neck of the post to clamp each rail.
You get an upper and lower plate which clamps the rails evenly as you adjust things. For angle tweaking, you get an arched head mated to serrated curved washers for each of the bolts, and when tightened to the recommended 12Nm torque I got no slippage at all.
Price-wise, you can pick up a cheap alloy post from around 15 quid so why spend nearly 60 on one?
Well, first up, you can save a few grams. I've got a £20 Cinelli seatpost here and it weighs 301g for the same size post with a similar clamping system.
The main difference though is the quality of the finish. The Ritchey's main post is forged in one piece as opposed to cheaper options which will have the head bonded into the aluminium tube. A one-piece structure adds strength without increasing weight.
At €63.95 (currently £55.88), the Classic isn't even that expensive really. Thomson's Elite (we tested the top flight Masterpiece option here) is £77.95, currently discounted to £58.46 on its website. It's a little lighter at a claimed 241g.
Fizik's Cyrano R3 seatpost is one that I've previously owned and it was a beauty, just as easy to set up as the Ritchey and of similar quality with a claimed weight of 240g, but its rrp is a cool £92.99.
Overall, the Classic seatpost is simply that: smooth lines with an excellent finish backed up with a quality construction which will suit many bikes old and new.
A beautifully finished seatpost with classic looks whose beauty isn't only skin deep
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: Ritchey Classic 2 Bolt Seatpost
Size tested: 350x27.2mm
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Ritchey says, "The proven 2-bolt design on this classic provides a class-leading balance between strength, weight and adjustability. The two-bolt design is easy to adjust and holds tight. Its low profile clamp reduces stress on lightweight rails and won't bottom out, and the bolts are oriented to the axis of the rails for greatest contact area with the saddle. The Classic also features Ritchey's 'Classic' high-polish silver finish."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
3D Forged 2014
Available in 27.2, 30.9 and 31.6mm diameters
Hi-polish silver finish
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Simple to set up and never felt harsh in use.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I like to see measurement markers on a post for adjustment on the fly, but I can see that it would affect the clean looks of the Classic.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Alloy seaposts can range from the cheap to the high end like Thomson's Masterpiece, but the Ritchey sits nicely in the middle which it easily justifies by its performance.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Ritchey is a decent quality seatpost from top to bottom that justifies its price tag. A great all-rounder if you want to get away from black or carbon.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.