Race Face Evolve XC Seatpost Review

by Robb Sutton

Several of the recent review bikes have come shipped with the Race Face Evolve XC seatpost, so after a lot of saddle time…I thought I’d give you my thoughts on this budget seatpost out of the Race Face camp. The Evolve XC seatpost falls in between the Deus and Ride models in the Race Face line putting it next to last in the hierarchy (Next SL is the top of the line). The aim is to give the rider a highly adjustable seatpost at a low weight and reasonable cost.

What does Race Face say about the Evolve XC?

Ripped from RaceFace.com:

Race Face Evolve XC Mountain Bike SeatpostThe Evolve XC post features an innovative, patented head design which offers maximum adjustability while minimizing weight, all at a reasonable price.

  • Forged from 6061 aluminum, the seatpost head is incredibly strong & fatigue resistant.
  • Patented head design is lightweight & distributes loads more efficiently than conventional seatpost head designs.
  • Offers unprecedented adjustability – with infinite tilt adjustment completely independent from the fore/aft adjustment.
  • The head accommodates 7mm & 8mm rails while providing 35mm of rail support.
  • Features a 0.5” rearward offset.
  • Oval tubing optimizes strength to weight ratio & provides consistently high strength throughout the length of the tube allowing you to clamp the post down at any height.
  • The 3D forged 2014 heat-treated aluminum tube is anodized & shot peened for increased fatigue life.
Race Face Evolve XC Seatpost Specs
  • SIZE: 27.2, 30.0, 30.9, 31.6mm
  • LENGTH: 350mm
  • WEIGHT: 265g (27.2mm)
  • COLOUR: Bad Ass Black

Race Face Evolve XC Seatpost Review

The seatpost is one of those components on a mountain bike that you need it to be easily adjustable and then quiet and problem free during the ride. Certain seatposts on mountain bikes can create huge annoyances on the trail through creaking, saddle slippage and a host of other issues that can ruin an enjoyable ride. How does the Evolve XC seatpost from Race Face perform?

Installation and Adjustment – Evolve XC Post

Race Face Evolve XC Mountain Bike Seatpost

The installation and adjustment on the Race Face Evolve XC seatpost is fantastic. The two bolt install and adjust design is one of the easiest to use on the market. After inserting the saddle into the clamps, you adjust your horizontal positioning and tighten down the bolt. To adjust the angle of your saddle, insert the post into the frame and pivot the saddle by hand. The collar slides up and down the post allowing for very easy adjustment, and once you get the saddle level…just tighten the bottom bolt and you are done. This process is much faster and less cumbersome than  a conventional two bolt leveling system.

On The Trail With The Evolve XC Post

After greasing the post, inserting it into the frame and making all of my adjustments…it was time to hit the trail. With long legs and arms at 6’2″, I typically like to run a large size frame over the the extra large option. Being in between frame sizes, the smaller of the two allows for greater bike control and takes away that feeling of a large, harder to move around rig. The flip side of this decision is that my 34″ inseam often requires a lot of post showing due to shorter seat tubes. With the Evolve XC’s 350mm length (no other lengths available), I found that on all of the frames I was testing…my ideal seatpost height was slightly above the minimum insertion line. While this may not cause any issues, I would have liked to see a longer post to fit the trend of shorter seat tubes. If you jump up to the Deus post from Race Face, you gain 50mm (400mm post) and lose 20 grams (245g claimed weight). The Deus may be a better option for long legged riders.

While climbing, the Race Face Evolve XC seatpost feels solid. I didn’t notice any unnecessary flexing and it was creak free throughout all of my rides. The clamping mechanism for the saddle stayed positioned without any slipping or need for readjustment. For those of you that have had creaking posts that wouldn’t stay put, you can understand the frustration on the trail if a seatpost is not performing like it should.

I am the kind of rider that likes to slam the post down to really enjoy long, fast, technical downhills. For riders like me, you are going to notice that the Race Face graphics wear off quickly. The combination of painted on graphics and seatpost grease really degrade the look of the post on your mountain bike. After the first ride on the Race Face Evolve XC seatpost, it already looked like I had been riding it for years. For some riders this may not matter…you either don’t care what the post looks like or you do not move your saddle height during the ride.

Final Thoughts On The Race Face Evolve XC Post

The Race Face Evolve XC seatpost is a solid performer at a reasonable price and weight. The adjustment system is top notch, but the post length and wear after movement caused some issues for me. If you are one of those riders who wants a solid performing post and either doesn’t move your saddle height or doesn’t mind the degraded appearance…this may be the seatpost you have been looking for. For those of you with longer legs, I would suggest moving up to the Deus to get the longer post length.

Good News on the Evolve XC Post
  • Bombproof Adjustment and Install – Possibly the best in the industry…
  • Multiple Widths Available
  • Great On Trail Performance – Creak and slip free
  • Reasonable Weight for the Price
  • Burly Enough for AM/Trail Bike Rigs
  • Price – $44 MSRP
Bad News on the Evolve XC Post
  • Only Available in One Length – 350mm may be too short for some riders
  • Shows Dramatic Wear When Changing Saddle Height – May not be an issue for some riders
Where Can I Buy A Race Face Evolve XC Post?

POC Full Face Mountain Biking Helmet


Teedub August 26, 2009 - 8:29 am

I’ve got one of these posts and it’s great. The one caveat I’d mention is that the adjustment mechanism takes up about an inch of post, preventing you from getting that last inch out of your slammed-down jumping/DH seat position. Most people probably won’t notice this, but I do a bit.
This isn’t a knock against the post. It’s a great, solid design and it works perfectly for its intended purpose – it even says XC in its name. I just got one spec’ed on a mid-weight freeride/all-mountain rig that I use as a park bike and I’ve gradually realized I actually wish I had that extra inch of leeway to really get that seat out of my way when I (try to) air it out.
When I get a lighter-weight trail or XC bike, which will likely have a more traditional/compact rail clamp on its seatpost, I’ll probably just swap the seatposts out and be happy as a clam.

Justin April 22, 2009 - 11:26 am

Looks FLEXY!

In all seriousness, some seatposts are flexier than others. I have spoken with one boutique builder who cited having seen FRAME failures at the top of the ST/TT weld that could possibly be amplified by flexy seatposts (carbon and entry-level aluminum ones). He said they had see it before my frame broke, and he stops short of spec’ing SP for his frames, but I was highly encouraged to get something stiffer under my 220#…and for the cost of shipping a frame, I got a new seatpost.

I can say I prefer the adjustment mechanism of the RF SP to that of the Thomson.

Doug Brummett April 16, 2009 - 11:37 am

My thoughts mirror yours on this post. I had always looked on the RF post design as a potential point of failure at the worst or a creaky nightmare at best. I recently bought a 2 year old demo bike with this post on it. I was impressed by the rock solid clamp and absolute silence. I noted that I was close to min insert, but still okay. True about the graphics, they are long gone on my post.

Paul April 8, 2009 - 4:09 pm

Tricky to review a post really isn’t it? I mean as long as teh bolt stays tight and the post does not break…..what else can be said about a post?

Weight i suppose…..

198 April 8, 2009 - 4:23 pm

@ Paul

Yeah it wasn’t easy! the adjustment of the Race Face over other brands is a cool feature though…


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