Specialized Command Post
Weight: Claimed 520-grams as post-only, but can’t be run that way. 600-grams, as tested.
Drop: 4 inches/~100mm
Sizes Available: 30.9
Specialized uses a mechanical locking system sprung with air, which gives a very crisp, definitive position adjustment, albeit at a price of having its adjustment limited to only three-positions (including full extension as one of the three). The air chamber is accessible via a Schrader valve at the bottom of the post, and allows for slight rebound speed adjustment by setting air pressure anywhere within the recommended 25-40psi range. We dropped it to 25psi and though the mechanical sound of the post locking into full extension is a bit unnerving so close to our undercarriage, so far the bark is much worse than the bite.
The remote lever is very nicely designed, taking up little space on the handlebar thanks to both the narrow clamp itself and the ability of the lever to hover over an existing brake lever or shifter clamp. Specialized offers both Right and Left versions of the asymmetrical levers, too.
Seat shimmy seems minimal, thanks to tight tolerances with the three-keyed interfaces, and materials used in said interfaces are holding strong after several weeks of abuse.
Unlike the infinite adjustment of a hydraulic system, there are only three positions with the Command Post — full extension, 1.5-inch drop and full 4-inch drop. Though this will work most of the time, after having consistently ridden a drop-post with infinite adjustment, I found myself missing the option to micro-tune saddle height.
It’d be nice to have a little bit of rebound damping on the Command Post. As mentioned, it snaps back to full extension with enough speed to make even the most steel-nerved rider skittish. The small window of adjustability in air pressure helped this a touch, but reduction of air pressure also affects how the post drops, so it’s a trade-off.
Specialized uses its own specific cable for the Command Post, which isn’t readily available. As an experiment we dropped a normal shifter cable into the cable-stop and it would work in a bind. But we’d much rather see use of a universal cable than a design-specific cable that can’t be found at most shops. Specialized folks did say they’re looking at making the switch to a standard shifter cable for future Command Post models.
Speaking of cable, the interface with the actuation lever on the post isn’t very friendly in respect to installation, and puts basically 90-degrees of angle on the cable itself, which is never a good thing.
There also isn’t a cable groove on the post’s actuation lever where the cable attaches, making a potential special order from the local Specialized dealer after fraying a cable that much more of a reality. And, in order to gain access to the cable’s pinch bolt, the seat has to be loosened up and pointed vertically, thus making a rider have to redo proper saddle position if the cable needs adjustment.
The saddle clamp pinch bolt should be pulled and greased in order to reach proper torque before installation, as our saddle kept getting bumped out of position until we did so.