Ultimate Sports Engineering, sibling componentry brand to Exposure, announced their new Vybe GR 50mm Suspension Seat Post at Eurobike. This one is for gravel bikes, with a 27.2mm seat post diameter, and as such is a fair bit lighter than the larger diameter options for MTB. They were also so showing their latest Escape GR Carbon Handlebars, with a unique geometry at the transition between the hoods and flared drops, said to give a deliver a more comfortable and familiar hand position to riders more accustomed to road bars.
USE Vybe GR 50mm Suspension Seat Post
The Vybe isn’t new to the USE line, but this 27.2mm GR version is. They’ve had an MTB offering for some time, but suspension seat posts seem to make more sense for gravel riding; after all, with smaller volume tires and (often) a complete lack of suspension, more harsh vibrations reach the rider. We’ve learned lots about how those vibrations aren’t so good for the immune system, at least not immediately afterwards, so anything that can minimize those is a good thing, in my opinion.
The concept is very much the same. The Vybe GR can be supplied with the customer’s choice of three different springs; soft, medium and hard, covering a rider weight range of 38-100 kgs (85-225 lbs). Further tuning can be achieved with the pre-load adjuster screw at the bottom of the post, which can help dial in the post so it doesn’t top-out harshly as you’re riding along.
Total length of the post is 40mm, and claimed weight for the post is dependent on which spring it runs:
- Soft = 410g
- Medium = 415g
- Hard = 429g
While the larger diameter Vybe post for mountain bikes features their DURO saddle clamp that allows for a full range of saddle tilt adjustment, the Vybe GR gets a much lighter weight EVO clamp. It’s pretty versatile, able to take a carbon rail or a standard 7mm rail.
USE Escape GR Carbon Handlebars
USE are also fitting out gravel bike cockpits with a new range of Escape GR Carbon Handlebars. There are two flare profiles; 12° and 24°, each available in three different widths – 400mm, 420mm and 440mm center-to-center. Mark Swift from USE highlighted the unique geometry of the Escape GR, particularly at the transition between the hoods and flared drops. The curvature here is more similar to traditional road bars, so should have a more familiar and comfortable feel for riders who have come to gravel from a road cycling background.
A lot of other gravel bars on the market have hoods that are similarly splayed outwards in line with the flare in the drops, something that riders conditioned to road bars can, we are told, find quite uncomfortable on longer rides. Mark also told us the geometry can make it easier for riders with small hands to reach the brakes while riding on the hoods because there is less twist necessary at the wrist.
Claimed weights for the 12° bars is 207g, 210g, and 216g for the 400mm, 420mm, and 440mm options, respectively. For the 24° flare bars, claimed weights are 206g, 209g and 212g, respectively. All USE Escape GR Carbon Bars have a 132mm drop, 80mm reach and 31.8mm clamp diameter.
Pricing & Availability
The USE Vybe GR Suspension Seat Post and Escape GR Carbon Bars are available now, direct from USE. The Suspension Seat Post retails at £120, while the Escape GR Carbon Bars have an SRP of £245 each.
You’ve got to hand it to USE for persistence. I have one of their suspension seatpost from about 1992! Always worked well for a short time until the plastic keyway sliders wore then the saddle wobbled like crazy.