Aenomaly Constructs Switchgrade Seat Angle Device

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A Different Angle: Aenomaly Constructs Switchgrade
Matching your seat angle to the riding situation can unlock new advantages.
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Vital Review
SwitchgradeA

Did you ever find yourself wishing there was a way to change your seat angle on the fly, to make things more comfortable and more efficient in different riding situations? That’s exactly what drove Aenomaly founder, BC-based Noel Dolotallas, to take to the drawing board a few years ago now. He came up with a clever little construct that replaces the top half of the head of your existing seat post, where it provides the ability to easily set your seat angle to one of three, preset positions. Intrigued by the concept, we’ve had one on test for the since last fall – keep reading to learn what we think of it.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • High quality construction
  • Simple to install and use
  • Provides advantages both on the climbs and descents in the right circumstances
  • Durable
  • The climbing angle is quite aggressive and will best suit riders capable of taking on steep climbs (if you ride an e-bike, you'll love it)

Aenomaly Constructs Switchgrade Highlights

  • 3 ergonomic positions optimized for climbing, descending, and undulating terrain: -10 degree forward, 0 degree mid setting, 12 degree rear position
  • Haptic feedback provides positive engagement for fast, no-look changes on the fly, no tools
  • >1 degree change in effective seat angle
  • 20 mm adjustable effective reach
  • Machined from 7075 T6 and 6061 T6 aluminum
  • Dimensions: 10 cm (L) x 5.5 cm (W) x 4 cm (H)
  • Weight: 174 grams, verified (actual net change approx. 100-120 grams because SwitchGrade replaces stock rail clamps which average 60-70 grams)
  • Compatible with a wide range of market leading seatposts and saddles (saddles must have 7 mm rails)
  • Designed and tested on the North Shore
  • Made in Whistler, BC, Canada
  • Patent Pending
  • MSRP: $245 USD

Initial Impressions

After seeing pictures of the Switchgrade we were expecting something a bit bulky, but the device is a lot smaller in real life than we thought it would be. It’s very well made, which inspires confidence right off the bat with regards to performance and durability. The idea is fairly simple, but packaging it all up in such a small form factor cannot have been all that easy. Because it’s designed to take the place of the top plate of your existing seat post’s head, Aenomaly also had to produce a few different variations of the base concept, with different shapes intended to match the interface presented by each post. There’s a long list of compatible posts available on Aenomaly’s website – note that none of the recent crop of wireless droppers will work, as they have bulky heads that sit where the Switchgrade needs to be installed.

Switchgrade details
Switchgrade details-2

The main function of the Switchgrade is to tilt the saddle forwards or backwards into one of three preset positions – a 10-degree forward tilt for climbing, a flat position in the middle, and a 12-degree backward tilt for descending. The mechanism is actuated via a small lever that sits under the nose of the saddle. The saddle is held in place via two clamps placed on either side of the Switchgrade, allowing for independent adjustment of the base seat angle around the flat position. The Switchgrade will only work with 7 mm saddle rails, so some carbon rails will not be compatible.

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Switchgrade details-4

On The Trail

Installing the Switchgrade is easy, it simply takes the place of the top plate of your current seat post’s head. Depending on the seat post in question, you may have to replace the air valve cap for something with a smaller profile (Aenomaly includes these replacement caps where needed). Once you get everything together, you place the Switchgrade in the neutral position and then adjust the seat angle according to your preference for riding on flat or lightly undulating terrain. Note that the Switchgrade will add to your total stack height – in our case, on a BikeYoke Divine post, the saddle ended up sitting about 10 mm higher than without the device installed. Take this into account if your current seat post is slammed in your frame. On the bike, the Switchgrade all but disappears under the saddle, neatly tucked away and essentially out of sight.

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Aenomaly action-5
Aenomaly action-4

Using the Switchgrade is super simple, squeeze the lever and tilt the saddle to the chosen position. You need to unweight the saddle a bit to make the operation easier to manage, but you soon learn to do it while riding along. With the saddle in the forward tilted position, you really find yourself pushed forward – 10 degrees doesn’t sound like a lot on paper, but it is a significant amount of tilt. Depending on how you run your saddle in the rails, you’ll also find that it changes your effective seat height. If you run the saddle towards the front, you’ll end up actually losing seat height when you tilt the saddle forwards. Conversely, if you run your saddle towards the rear of the bike, it will lift you up a bit when you tilt it forward. It does make the effective seat angle steeper, so you can probably afford to slide the saddle towards the middle of the rails as you’ll end up a bit more forward in the climbing position.

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The climbing position is very effective on steep climbs. You can really feel how the bike supports you as you winch your way up the mountain. On a pitch that matches the angle of the seat, the resulting position is effectively neutral, which is a great way to spend some time grinding out the watts. It’s also super nice on steep technical sections. However, the steepness required for this position to really work well is significant – likely a 1st gear climb for many riders. For this tester, this kind of steepness is best avoided in favor of slightly less taxing climbs where possible, which makes the Switchgrade climbing position less ideal. On mellower climbs, the position is a bit too much forward, which feels awkward and puts a lot of pressure on your hands and upper body. We’d love to see Aenomaly introduce the possibility of choosing between different climbing angles, which would allow riders to match their device to the terrain they ride. Making it user adjustable might be a big ask, but having a couple of options available to purchase would make sense, at least for analog riders…because once you introduce the e-bike into this equation, you’re onto a pure winner. If you spend a lot of time motoring up steep climbs with your full-power eeb, you’re going to REALLY love the Switchgrade.

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On the way back down, the backwards tilt will feel very familiar to anyone who has spent time on a DH or even DJ bike. This angle provides a bit more room to move around the back of the saddle, and it also feels better to sit down like this if you find yourself needing a bit of rest in a descending section. The extra room off the back is equivalent to gaining a little extra dropper post travel, so this might be of interest to you if you find yourself maxing out the possible dropper post travel in your current frame and wanting a little more. We wouldn’t call this aspect of the Switchgrade a game changer, but it undeniably feels good and works well on the descents. There is a reason downhill riders run their seats with a backwards angle after all.

Things That Could Be Improved

As you could read in the previous section, our main gripe with the Switchgrade is the choice of 10 degrees of angle for the climbing position. We think this is too much forward for a large number of riders, as it matches up with the kind of steepness that many might be looking to avoid on the way up. From the outside looking in, it seems like making two or even three different versions of the Switchgrade available to purchase, each with a different climbing angle (a choice of 5, 7, or 10, for example), would be a great way forward for Aenomaly. If you ride an e-bike and you like steep climbs, ignore this criticism and go for it!

Long Term Durability

We started testing the Switchgrade in October last year, and we’ve put in some miles on it since then. We’ve not noticed any kind of performance degradation or premature wear at this point. Everything is still as smooth as it was on day one, the clicks are well defined and there is absolutely no play in it of any kind. We’ve also been impressed with the ability of the clamps to maintain the saddle’s position over time, as this has not always been our experience with this type of lateral clamp system.

What’s The Bottom Line?

The Switchgrade is a bit of a niche product to be sure, but that doesn’t mean that it is without merit. We believe the concept is fundamentally sound, and it provides a true performance advantage both on climbs and on descents. Adding support and pushing your effective seat tube angle forward for climbing makes all the sense in the world, and gaining clearance around the back of the saddle on the way back down is equally beneficial. The 10-degree forward tilt of the climbing position is quite aggressive, which will work best for very fit riders who are able to handle steeper climbs, so make sure you’re honest about where and how you ride if you consider getting one. If you ride an e-bike however, you should probably just go for it!

More information at: www.aenomalyconstructs.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 50 // Years Riding MTB: 18 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Johan Hjord

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Specifications

Product
Aenomaly Constructs Switchgrade Seat Angle Device
Riding Type
Cross Country
Dirt Jump / Slopestyle
Downhill
Enduro / All-Mountain
Freeride / Bike Park
Trail
Seatpost Type
 
Interface
Railed
Remote Adjustable
No
Diameter
 
Travel
 
Length
 
Tilt
3 ergonomic positions optimized for climbing, descending, and flat/undulating terrain: -10° forward, 0° mid setting, 12° rear position.
Materials
Machined from 7075 T6 and 6061 T6 aluminum
Colors
Blackout, Gold Rush, Raw Origins, Stealth Gold
Weight
0 lb 6.1 oz (174 g)
Miscellaneous
• Lets you change your saddle angle on the fly so you can climb easier, get rowdy on descents, and cover distances in comfort
• SwitchGrade replaces stock rail clamps
• Compatible with a wide range of 2-bolt-style seatposts and saddles (saddles must have 7mm rails)
• Haptic feedback provides positive engagement for fast no-look changes on the fly, no tools
• Ambidextrous design allows you to position the lever forward (under saddle nose) or rearward (under saddle 'butt')
• Ample and well-spaced lever extrusions provide a positive feel and stable grip even in wet and muddy conditions
• Feature a unique channel cut into the arc bearing surface to allow space for an air valve (useful for posts such as the OneUp Components V2)
• >1° change in effective seat angle
• 20mm adjustable effective reach
• Adds around 5-15mm of stack height depending on your seatpost
• Dimensions: 10cm (L) x 5.5cm (W) x 4cm (H)
• Designed and tested on the North Shore. Made in Whistler, BC, Canada
• 1-year warranty covering manufacturer's defects
• Verified weight: 174 grams (BikeYoke compatible version)
Price
$245.00
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