Adding the Poseidon X to My Bike Collection
The Poseidon X bike was not my first choice of gravel ride. But my experiences riding the bike, and adding components like saddles, brakes, and bars made me rethink this budget-friendly option.
My bikes include a carbon road bike and an old Trek road bike I converted into a single-speed. I also ride a full-suspension mountain bike and a hardtail mountain bike. I converted the hardtail into a monster-cross bike a couple of years ago.
The monster cross really was (is) a gravel crusher. It’s more like an off-road SUV. During the time I converted the monster cross, one of my buddies purchased a Poseidon X, and brought it on a ride.
I didn’t think much of it other than admiring the value for money for the price he paid – sub $1000. I checked it out online and was impressed with the reviews it got and how much riders liked it. I had made a mental note, thinking “one day, maybe”.
My Chance to Ride the Poseidon X: A Tempting Offer
A couple of months ago my friend messaged me a marketplace ad for a gently used Poseidon X. The bike was available in limited-edition Starfire Red, and for about half the retail price.
I was unsure about the size, since people had been experiencing odd sizing issues with the bike. I tried to resist the urge since I already had a garage full of bikes. But a test ride wouldn’t hurt, right?
I met the seller at a local grocery store parking lot. At first sight, the Poseidon-X frame looked small. He urged me to give it a test ride.
The bike fit me ok – it had the stock seats and pedals. But it fit me, surprisingly. I was not as uncomfortable and overstretched as usual on a road bike.
The comfort of the Poseidon X frame is ideal for a slower gravel bike riding pace. The stock bars had a comfortable drop, and overall, the bike fit me, again, surprisingly.
The bike seller bought the bike as a commuter bike and didn’t need it anymore. It had some wear and tear – cable-rub scratches and other surface issues.
Structurally it looked good. I decided to buy it, even though I didn’t need it urgently.
I figured it is cheaper than spending on a new bike, which my son would need in a year or so anyways. I thought of handing down my monster cross (back in its original MTB form) to my son since he was getting too big for his current mountain bike.
I paid, placed the metallic red Poseidon X bike in my trunk, and drove it home.
That night was too cold to take it on a ride, so I started analyzing components to add to the bike. Research showed the Poseidon X may need new brake cables to improve braking performance. So, I ordered the Jagwire cables as others had suggested.
For the surface scratches, I reached out to Poseidon for matching paint. They were able to send me some for less than $10. My friend got his paint for free since he bought the bike from the manufacturer. Poseidon also suggested I use matching nail polish if I ran out of paint.
Customizing the Poseidon-X Bike
I did not want to overspend my budget on upgrading the Poseidon X bike. I wanted to reuse existing parts as much as possible, to see how far I can go with my bike components.
Saddle and Pedals
First, I transferred my Specialized Romin 143 saddle from the Monster Cross to my new Poseidon X. I’ve had the saddle for over a decade. After multiple bad (for me) saddles, this saddle fit me perfectly.
The Romin saddle for the Poseidon X features titanium rails and gel padding. The saddle is a perfect mix of minimalism and comfort for both road and gravel cycling. I got another one for my Cannondale Road Bike as well.
I removed the flats and put in my Shimano clipless MTB pedals. I tried clipless on my MTB, but failed to unclip successfully while navigating roots and rocks and suffered an injury. So I moved the clipless pedals to my monster-cross, and installed the clips on the Poseidon X bike to get greater control on gravel terrain
Helicopter Tape to Protect the Bike
The Poseidon X comes in a brilliant shade of red, which is (as of writing) not made anymore. So to protect the paint and aluminum frame from gravel and dirt, I applied helicopter tape (bike tape). I have this tape on all my bikes. The following video shows the Poseidon-X bike frame measurements and how I applied the helicopter tape.
Brakes Upgrade for the Poseidon-X Bike – Jagwire
The stock mechanical disc brakes of the Poseidon are not ideal for speed riders. Their mechanism requires a long time to bring the bike to a full stop. Braking took longer than all my other bikes which had cantilever brakes, hydraulic brakes, and rim brakes.
Even for a mechanical disc brake, this can be improved. Research showed changing just the brake cables helped reduce stopping distance, especially changing to a compression-less brake housing.
Jagwire seems to be the go-to among biking performance experts. Jagwire is also the most cost-effective brake housing option without changing the brake calipers. So I installed the Jagwire housing and brake cables.
Changing the front brake cables was the easiest part of the job. There is internal routing in the fork, which helps a lot. You just have to measure the desired length, cut it and slide it through the internal housing to the caliper. Then slide the brake cable through this housing and tighten it at the caliper end. A video showing the front brake install can be found here.
The harder switch was changing the rear brake housing. The Poseidon X mountain bike comes with internal routing in the downtube, and in the rear chain stays (for gear and brake cables).
Switching the rear brake housing involved wiggling the component. I also asked my son with his smaller fingers to fish out the cable from the downtube. Then run it through the chain stays. Once this was done (after about 15-20 minutes!), sliding the brake cable was effortless. A video showing the rear brake install can be found here.
Once tightened at the caliper, the Poseidon X had an upgraded set of brakes.
Aesthetics of the Poseidon X Bike
Since the bike was going to be facing rough gravel biking terrain, I doubled up on the bar tape. I wrapped a new set on the stock tape to add some cushion and comfort ready for a rough ride. I tried something different with different colors on each side. The pictures below show how the Poseidon X looks with the new bar tape.
Upgrades to the Poseidon X Bike
My story with the Poseidon X is going to be a process of continuous improvement. I plan to install a Surly Corner Bar (maybe), and mudguards.
I’m also considering thicker tires. Others have said 42mm might be the biggest bike tires I’ll be able to fit onto the Poseidon X bike frame. But the bike does have a tapered carbon fork that offers a wide clearance for your tires.
The bottom bracket and square taper of the frame make updates tempting for all mechanically-minded riders. Stay tuned for the upgrade process over the next couple of months!
I hope you found this rider’s guide to the Poseidon X useful. Read my other bike upgrade posts for more about my latest bikes and the upgrades I’ve made to enhance performance.