Cane Creek eeSilk+ Review: More Comfort, Less Weight

There are a lot of funky components you can add to your bike for more comfort, but few can match the low weight and impressive compliance of Cane Creek's eeSilk+ seatpost.

Cane Creek eeSilk+ Review: More Comfort, Less Weight

Written by
Bruce Lin

Published on

Posted in
Gravel

Cane Creek brought us the Thudbuster way back in 1997. This squishy suspension seatpost was originally intended for XC mountain biking, but with its ability to smooth out rough roads and preserve your backside, it quickly found its niche on cargo bikes, tandems, and the odd adventure bike. 

In recent years, suspension seatposts have experienced a resurgence in interest thanks to cycling’s fastest-growing discipline: gravel. I get it. After the brutal beating my body took at this year’s Unbound Gravel, I’ve been on the hunt for more comfort-focused components in preparation for a future Unbound assault. 

To cater to weight-conscious but compliance-hungry riders like myself, Cane Creek introduced a slimmed-down version of the Thudbuster, the eeSilk, which provides less travel (20mm), but weighs significantly less. This year, we received another lightweight option, the eeSilk+, which bumps the travel up to 35mm, while keeping the same low weight. After using the eeSilk+ for the last 1000 miles, I’m convinced it’s exactly what I need to survive the roughest gravel adventures.

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Cane Creek eeSilk+ overview

  • Elastomer suspension seatpost reduces vibration and chatter
  • Parallel-linkage technology with forged and machined aluminum arms
  • Solid stainless steel pins with IGUS bushings
  • Available in carbon and aluminum 

eeSilk+ Carbon

[product-block handle="cane-creek-eesilk-suspension-seatpost-carbon-35mm-travel"/]

Travel: 35mm
Diameter: 27.2mm, 31.6mm
Offset: 12mm
Length: 362mm
Weight: 323g (27.2mm), 333g (31.6mm)
Maximum Rider Weight: 250 lbs

eeSilk+ Aluminum

[product-block handle="cane-creek-eesilk-seatpost-alloy-35mm-travel-black"/]

Travel: 35mm
Diameter: 27.2mm, 31.6mm
Offset: 12mm
Length: 387mm
Weight: 373g (27.2mm), 378g (31.6mm)
Maximum Rider Weight: 250 lbs

eeSilk+ vs. Thudbuster

Cane Creek eeSilk+ vs. Thudbuster

eeSilk

eeSilk+

Thudbuster ST

Thudbuster LT

Travel

20mm

35mm

50mm

90mm

Weight

295g/345g (27.2mm)

333g/378g (31.6mm)

580g (31.6mm)

750g (31.6mm)

Max rider weight

250 lbs

250 lbs

330 lbs

250 lbs

In terms of travel, the eeSilk+ seatpost slots in between the lightweight eeSilk and the 50mm travel Thudbuster ST. With an extra 15mm of travel, it will smooth out rough roads a bit more effectively than the 20mm travel eeSilk.

In terms of weight, it’s most similar to the original eeSilk. Both carbon and aluminum versions are significantly lighter than both current Thudbuster models, which makes it much more appealing to gravel and all-road riders who want to keep their bike competitive.

The eeSilk+ is also available in 27.2mm and 31.6mm sizes, while the eeSilk is only available in 27.2mm. Thudbusters are available in 27.2mm, 30.9mm, and 31.6mm. 

How the Cane Creek eeSilk+ works

For suspension to move up and down, it needs to be supported by a spring. In the case of the eeSilk+, that spring is an elastomer. Elastomers are essentially rubber pucks that can be compressed. Anyone familiar with vintage mountain bikes will know that some of the earliest forms of mountain bike suspension relied on elastomers. They’re simple, lightweight, and unlike the air springs used on modern forks and shocks, they require little to no maintenance.

The eeSilk+ comes with an elastomer rated for 150-210 lbs. This should be perfect for a wide range of riders, but if you fall outside that range, or if you want to tune the firmness of your seatpost, it’s easy to swap out. There are four additional elastomer options, two firmer and two softer, that will need to be purchased separately. 

Cane Creek eeSilk+ reviewThe elastomer is situated right beneath the saddle clamp, and it’s surrounded by a linkage that compresses the elastomer and allows the saddle to move up and down. But it doesn’t just move vertically like you might expect. When compressed, the saddle actually moves toward the rear of the bike as it moves down. That’s because the eeSilk+ uses the same Parallel-Linkage technology found on the Thudbuster. The idea is that, as a bump lifts the rear wheel, it will push up and forward into the rider. The linkage works by compressing along the exact opposite path — down and rearward — absorbing force at the same rate.  

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Is the Cane Creek eeSilk+ worth it? 

Cane Creek eeSilk+ seatpost reviewI installed a 27.2mm eeSilk+ carbon seatpost on my gravel bike. Overall, I was quite impressed with the fit and finish of the post. In my opinion, the slimmed-down eeSilk+ linkage doesn’t look out of place on my bike. In fact, I had to point it out to most of my riding buddies before they noticed I had installed it. That’s a good thing! The weight was also a solid plus. The eeSilk+ weighs about 150 grams more than my old rigid post, which seems like a lot on paper, but it wasn’t actually noticeable on the bike.

Cane Creek eeSilk+ reviewThe saddle rail clamp is also one of the best I’ve used. The clamps don’t fall out when you loosen them. It’s easy to get the saddle rails into the clamp, and with the machined thumbwheel, it took less than a minute to dial in the perfect saddle angle.

The eeSilk’s 12mm offset sits between the more common 0mm and 20mm offsets we often see, so it should fit a very wide range of riding positions. Riders who need to fully slam their saddle forward or backward are the only ones who might get caught out.

I weigh 195 lbs, so I’m at the higher end of what the stock elastomer is rated for, but it seemed to suit me well. The first thing I noticed after installing the post, was how easily it would move into its travel. This translates to a very plush feel out on the road, as it erases nearly all road buzz, vibration, and other chatter. But its ability to absorb harsh impacts is actually what impressed me the most.

Cane Creek eeSilk+ reviewDespite only having 35mm of travel, the eeSilk+ simply gobbles up rocks, potholes, and square edges. It’s surprisingly good at taking the sting out of big hits, and never once did I feel it bottom out. It managed to make my Lauf fork feel harsh, which is a major compliment. I found myself loving the post whenever I ventured onto my local singletrack trails because it made it easier to blast through the chunkiest sections. 

Perhaps the biggest benefit, however, came on my longest rides. Around the 5-6 hour mark, my core is usually pretty fatigued and I start to feel aches and pains in my sit bones and lower back. With the eeSilk+ though, those aches and pains stayed away until the 8+ hour mark. I really think the seatpost improved my performance by allowing me to push harder for longer. If you have a dodgy lower back like me, the extra compliance of the eeSilk+ could be the difference between finishing strong and limping home.

I did have a few nitpicks with the eeSilk+. When you’re pedaling hard above 100 rpm, you start bouncing a bit in the saddle. If you’ve ridden a full-suspension mountain bike, it feels a bit like the pedal bob you get when the suspension isn’t locked out. But unlike suspension bob, I didn’t feel like I lost any power or efficiency. It’s just weird feeling, and after a few rides I did get used to it. That said, I think swapping to a firmer elastomer would eliminate this, and it might be worth considering if you’re a racer, or if you're on the high end of the elastomer’s weight range.

Cane Creek eeSilk+ seatpost reviewIf your thighs are on the thunderous end of the spectrum like mine, you might feel them rub the linkage occasionally. It wasn’t enough to bother me, since my legs rub everything — saddle bags, lights, etc. Of course, any rub will depend on your body and saddle position and I don’t think it will be an issue for most. I also experienced a bit of squeaking after the linkage got packed full of dust. Washing my bike would got rid of it though. 

Finally, there's the price. At $220 for the aluminum version and $320 for the carbon version, it’s comparable to the cost of a dropper seatpost. Of course, it weighs a lot less than a dropper, and it has a completely different intended use. Whether or not the extra comfort of the eeSilk+ is worth the price is up to you. For me, it is. I've definitely paid more for components that do far less!

eeSilk+ pros

  • Very good at absorbing harsh impacts
  • Reduces vibration and buzz
  • Low weight
  • Excellent finish

eeSilk+ cons

  • A bit pricey
  • Some pedal bob at high cadences
  • Can squeak when dirty

Final thoughts

I’ll admit, I installed the eeSilk+ on my bike with a fair bit of skepticism. But after spending time on it, I don’t want to go back. I’ve been so impressed with it, that I might add the eeSilk stem to my bike to get the full Cane Creek compliance package. 

[product-block handle="cane-creek-eesilk-aluminum-stem-31-8mm-clamp-6-degree-black"/]

My lower back has long been one of my weak points. In recent years, lower back pain has caused me to underperform at many of my target races. Since I want to continue doing harder and harder ultra-endurance events, I expect the eeSilk+ to become one of the most valuable tools in my arsenal. You'll defintiely see it on my Unbound Gravel bike next year. If you’re doing ultra-endurance events, multi-day bikepacking trips, or just looking for more comfort on your daily rides, then it makes a lot of sense. 

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Photos courtesy of Cane Creek. 

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