The Rinsten Spring: The Ultimate Bicycle Shock Absorber?
We have seen a lot of attempts at making cycling more comfortable. Suspension, essentially copied from motorbikes, seems to have had most success but it is expensive, tricky to maintain and set-up, and is considered too cumbersome for road bikes. Perhaps there is another solution that is both as effective, much simpler, lightweight and more affordable? The guys behind the Rinsten Spring certainly think so.
By the time you read this they will have the funds to go into full production, having raised $125,226 (of a $15,000 goal!) on Kickstarter by mid-April, so obviously a lot of people agree with them. The Rinsten Spring is a simple steel seat damper, fitting between the top of your seatpost and your saddle.
The makers claim that the Rinsten Spring absorbs shocks in three dimensions. It can easily be adjusted to match any surface and rider weight, simply by moving the position at which it is clamped by the seatpost and then where the Rinsten Spring in turn clamps the saddle.
Apparently the same Rinsten Spring damper is suitable for people weighing up to 150 kg.
Iurii Kopytsia, the CEO and Founder of Rinsten claims, “We carried out full-scale durability experiments of Rinsten Spring. Cross-breaking strength was 404 kg, maximum emergence service load was 520 kg, still spring was not broken. This is the reason why we are confident in our product and can give an unconditional lifetime warranty for cyclists with weight up to 150 kg (330 Ibs)”.
The Rinsten team, headed by Eugene Zinchenko, a stress engineer from Antonov aircraft factory, which made the largest cargo plane in the world, the An-225 Mriya, spent over a year developing the spring. They have tested it on over 100 cyclists, of different ages and weights, covering more than 7,000 miles on different bikes and surfaces, and in varied weather conditions. All the feedback has been extremely positive, determining that the Rinsten Spring works in any situation reducing most of the impact of road irregularities on a rider’s body.
You may scoff at this but, in 2015, a group of scientists from the University of the West of England presented a study about the effects of vibration on the health of cyclists. They showed that during a one-hour ride, a cyclist is subjected to vibration comparable with that which a tractor driver experiences in half a day’s work!
We have a sample here at CycleTechReview.com that we are testing at present. As you can see below, it is certainly easy to adjust the springiness by moving the clamp position fore or aft. Once fitted to the seatpost, the fact that there are two clamping positions s should allow for real fine tuning to suit each rider.
Our pre-production sample is not a light unit (398g) but it does weigh less than most other suspension options and most importantly is much more simple to both install, adjust and maintain.
It may be applicable to leisure cyclists looking to increase comfort while riding, or to those cyclists who suffer from back pain, of which there are many. We will have a look at the performance implications for more sporting cyclists but on the face of it there shouldn’t be too much intrusion into the pedal stroke so as to adversely affect power output.
It will be interesting to see where this goes, and even more interesting to see if this ever makes it onto any of the pros’ bikes used in the cobbled classics…
Take a look to learn more and to support Rinsten’s Kickstarter campaign.
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