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Teetering on 264g, Torus titanium layback seatpost might seem portly to carbon fans but its stunning mix of raw, jaw dropping beauty, rigidity and remarkably supple ride has me completely smitten.
Torus cycles is a collaboration between Andy Jones of Clee cycles and Harwich based framebuilder, Justin Burls, so little surprise that standards of workmanship are exemplary.
Plain gauge 3Al/2.5V is a titanium alloy comprising of 94.5% titanium, 3% aluminium and 2.5% vanadium, popular in aerospace and cycling applications on account of it being relatively easy to weldor form while boasting high corrosion/fatigue resistance. Aluminium also puts in an appearance at the lower cradle but is of a standard that's unlikely to turn furry given a few winters.
Ours features 15 degrees of layback catering for generic riding, slight flaring at the upper shaft engineering some additional strength, though breakages should remain an urban myth unless subjected to relentless, mind-blowing abuse.
Rippled TIG welds fusing shaft and platform continue this beautiful, industrial elegance which hasn't collected every oily fingerprint. Twin bolt cradles have ruled the roost for many years, enabling precise saddle alignment, further refined courtesy of thumb wheel allowing tool free tweaks on the fly.
That said, we experienced some bedding in during the first thirty miles, manifest as unnerving creaks. While you're there, introduce some dedicated prep to proceedings before marveling at how precisely it glides fore/aft within the seat tube. Torus also offers an inline version in 27.2 and 31.6 diameters aimed primarily at time trialists wanting to be directly over the bottom bracket shell for optimal output.
Ride quality is very distinctive, incomparable with carbon's souplesse yet more compliant than similarly lofty top-flight aluminium models. Inside thin walled ferrous frames I was struck by its subtle zing, less pronounced than carbon but yet forgiving across washboard tarmac. Improved rigidity rules out power robbing flex, ensuring attentions didn't waver from hammering out a constant 90rpm.
Swapped over to my 6061 aluminium-tubed crosser, it's been much the same story through sweeping forest trails, even seated.
To silence critics who would justly argue that riders hovering around the 70 kilo mark don't challenge components in the same fashion as ninety kilo plus sprinters, I swapped ours to a friend fitting the latter description and went cross country mountain biking.
He was seriously impressed, commenting that it inspired more confidence than composites without delivering the jackhammer numb of bum experience sixty minutes hence. Such relocations have made zero impression whatsoever on the finish, so there's no reason it shouldn't look stunning for years to come.
Beautifully crafted alternative to carbon that should last a lifetime. Highly recommended, especially for best bikes and heavier riders.
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Make and model: Torus Ti Layback Seat Post
Size tested: 27.2
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?
"Titanium seatposts from Torus with 15 mm of layback. The upper length of post is manipulated - angled back and slightly flared to increase strength. The clamp is a twin bolt design, with a knurled wheel on the front bolt for ease of adjustment - just slacken the rear bolt (5 mm hex key) and adjust the front bolt to adjust the saddle angle. A Ti upper clamp provides secure rail clamping onto a lower alloy shell. Classic Torus laser etched logo completes the look."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Plain gauge Ti-3Al-2.5V tube offers the perfect amount of comfort, flex and resilience. Available in 27.2 mm and 31.6 mm diameters, and 350 mm and 400 mm lengths.
Heavy by carbon standards perhaps but very impressive for 400mm nonetheless.
Outwardly expensive given the ever falling prices of composites but stunning and should last many, many years.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Coming from carbon it took a few miles to appreciate the Torus'sublime damping prowess and remarkable rigidity that optimizes pedaling efficiency while relieving fatigue over longer distances. £125 isn't to be sneezed at, or popped on a winter hack but arguably cheaper than periodically retiring carbon on safety grounds and possibly the crowning glory on prized road/audax builds.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Pretty much everything.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing. Remember to apply dedicated prep on the hardware and shaft to prevent galvanic seizure if introducing to ferrous framesets though.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, especially heavily set, powerful riders.
Age: 39 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)