In 2013, Specialized launched a new seat-post to help riders handle any rough terrain they might encounter on a daily ride. They wanted to create a design that would increase comfort, while retaining the performance of other carbon seatposts. The result was the CG-R, otherwise known as the Cobble Gobbler.
The technology behind Specialized’s suspension seatpost is pretty straightforward. A carbon leaf-spring absorbs large impacts, while a Zertz gel insert tucked into the bend smooths out the finer vibrations.The end result is a seatpost that comes in at 200 grams, with 18mm of vertical cushion – keeping your body in the most efficient pedaling position over roots and bumps that would have launched you off of a rigid seatpost. The CG-R is an elegant solution to the paradox of comfort and performance. It sacrifices neither, allowing for impact absorption without a large loss of pedal power. This make it desirable for long rides, commuting, and even for the cyclocross and gravel racing scene.
There are however, a few caveats to the praise I have for this seatpost. First, the distinct look of the spring takes some getting used to. It grows on you, trust me, but at first you do take a moment to think to yourself, “that looks… different.” Secondly, 18mm of flex is a lot when you consider potential efficiency loss in watts. If you are a racer, or rider that lives to get the most power out of his bike, the CG-R is not going to be as stiff as some of the SL carbon seatposts available. Third, the price tag of 200 dollars is not cheap, placing the CG-R above the S-Works carbon seatposts in price. That being said, for what the seatpost was designed to do, it does its job well.
I have been riding this CG-R for the last two months on my Allez and my Crux. Even after many hours in the saddle, I still have the moments where I am astounded by the subtle suspension of the seat-post. I still feel the road, I feel the cracks, I feel my tires as I corner, I feel my bike as I put power down to accelerate just as I do with any rigid seatpost. Then I hit a bump, a pothole, a cobble road (thanks downtown), and am able to sit through the jarring impacts, and best of all feel relatively comfortable. Sure, some obstacles will still throw me, some impacts will make me wish I had lifted off the saddle for that bump, but for the majority of road imperfections, I just grin and keep pedaling.