By Joe Parkin
Photos: Anthony Smith
Italian food is considered to be one of the most difficult categories of cooking to prepare perfectly. Starting with the best, freshest, yet simple ingredients, the proper Italian meal comes together because it has been prepared in exactly the same way since it was originally perfected by someone's nonna. If the ingredients, process and tradition of the food are not respected, though, the end result is that overcooked mush you get at most of those all-you-can-eat Eye-talian restaurants found in suburban strip-malls.
With its new Kronolog, Crankbrothers seems to have created the height-adjust seatpost equivalent to the perfect plate of Italian food.
Let's face it; Crankbrothers knows a thing or two about dropper posts. Its oft-maligned Joplin helped lead the charge toward making height-adjust seatposts 'mainstream'. But with other companies entering the market with interesting—and in some cases better—posts than the its original offering, Crankbrothers went back to the drawing board, and started from scratch to build what will certainly be a new contender for top honors in the height-adjust-seatpost category.
Enter Kronolog: Immediately evident are the flat sides on its 'quill', the upper, dropping part of the post. This design should go a long way toward alleviating any sort of saddle-tip play that is found on just about every dropper post on the market. And then there's the fact that the actuating cable stops just above the seat-clamp instead of all of the way to the top of the post, just under the saddle.
But perhaps the true beauty of the Kronolog lies in its design inspiration: It is basically a very sexy bar clamp—like the ones woodworkers have been using for years. But unlike a simple pipe clamp, the Kronolog locks the post in both directions, keeping it from moving, both up and down unless the dual locks are actuated. Given the amount of force woodworkers require, it is safe to say that your weight will not move the post unless you push the remote lever or pull on the cable somehow. Further, should you sheer off its cable, the Kronolog will remain fixed in place.
The Kronolog’s design inspiration.
The Kronolog uses air pressure (55 psi is suggested) as its return spring, and dual-stage damping slows the post's return speed in the last bit of travel. This should help keep you from feeling like a punching bag after you've flicked the remote lever.
For those who like—or need—to customize cable routing or shorten the amount of travel available, never fear; changing from the stock 5 inches to just about whatever you want is a breeze, and the Kronolog's cable routing can be switched to attach to the rear to front of the post. Similarly, swapping the remote lever from left to right on handlebars is a breeze.
Though the company has diligently tested this post before bringing it to market—and is proud to show off the test results—the amount of time I've actually spent riding the Kronolog has been very limited, so I will withhold final judgment until I've put it through some proper paces. So far, though, I am very impressed with what I see and feel. It seems like Crankbrothers has combined many of the best characteristics of both mechanical and hydraulic seatposts.
The only chink in the Kronolog armor I can see, however, is that improper setup will cause the post to prematurely activate. But setting up the Kronolog should be a no-brainer for anyone with basic bicycle-mechanic skills, a tiny bit of patience and the ability to read Ikea-style instructions.
Look for further findings in Bike magazine and here on bikemag.com.
Weight: 493 grams (30.9 millimeters plus remote), 505 grams (31.6 millimeters plus remote)
Diameters: 30.9 and 31.6 (Crankbrothers hinted at a possible 27.2 option in the near future)
Standard colors: black and red, black and black (blue, gold and orange clamp/lever kits available for $45.00)
Crankbrothers’ original prototype of the Kronolog.
The 3D printer versions, the original prototype and the design inspiration of the Kronolog.
The slippery bushing has flat sides to eliminate saddle play.
The folks at Crankbrothers showing us the inner workings of the Kronolog.