Dropper posts really take mountain biking to the next level given the terrain you ride. There are so many variants out there but which ones are reliable? If you’re ready to make an investment you better get a dropper seat post that won’t let you down under any circumstances. You don’t want anything sub-par, you need something that just works.
Not long ago dropper posts were a new innovation for mountain bikes but nowadays it’s pretty common amongst riders that want to take the experience to the next level. Being able to adjust your position during a ride without any hassle is not too much to ask right? But how exactly can it be adjusted while you’re trekking through the wilderness? Simple… there’s a remote attached to the handlebars.
So, why are bikers starting to turn towards dropper posts? And how can you find a post that you can rely upon through all of your journeys? Let’s get down to business and answer some questions.
Without further delay, let’s ride right into the action with dropper posts. And aside from learning about them, maybe you’ll find one that matches your riding lifestyle. I’ll be discussing the Brand-X Ascend XL, Fox Transfer Factory, and BikeYoke REVIVE posts.
What’s the Deal with Dropper Posts?
There’s a lot that goes into a journey on a mountain bike. You face all sorts of terrain as you ride around. Lots of movement is taking place at all times. And this is where dropper posts come into play. They’re extremely convenient for this style of bike riding.
For example, let’s say you’re riding downhill. By dropping the post, you’ll be able to really get behind the seat and catch some speed. This is essential for downhill riding.
So, how about when you need to transition to uphill riding? This won’t be a problem… just tap on the remote connected to your handlebars, and you’ll be able to raise the seat back up. That way, you’ll be able to handle all the heavy pedaling required for that uphill battle.
What is “Travel” And Why is it Important?
Typically, when we think of travel, we think of traveling through the woods, a trail, or whatever stretch of land that we’re biking over. But in this case, travel refers to the distance that the seat post can move. Dropper posts are all about that travel.
Travel is important because it’s what determines your options when it comes to the height level of your seat. You’ll want the seat low when you’re traveling downhill. But you’ll want a nice bit of travel whenever you switch it to uphill because you’ll want to maximize your pedaling efforts. This will require jacking the seat back up to an efficient pedaling height.
Most dropper posts will start at 100mm. You can expect the typical travel to be from 100mm to 150mm, although there are exceptions. But what if you’re a rider who’s at an above-average height? Well, in this case, there are posts that can go up to 200mm.
The Scoop on Dropper Post Remotes
I mentioned earlier that the remote for dropper posts is located on the handlebar. Well… this is only partly true. The entire truth is that there are two main types of remotes. Even though most dropper posts come with the handlebar remote, there’s also one other option.
And this is that other option: some dropper posts have a remote that is located under the saddle. This option is typical on cheaper options of dropper posts. This is because it’s a little more of a hassle to take your hand off the handlebars to control the dropper post.
Whether the remote is mounted to the handlebars or the saddle, it’s still quite a convenience. Without the dropper post remote, you’d be having to stop what you’re doing to adjust the seat level. We’re living in a world where everyone seems to be on the go, and mountain biking is no exception. Dropper posts and their remotes really have made drastic changes to mountain biking. Nowadays, it’s easier-than-ever to conquer those ever-changing terrains.
3 of the Most Reliable Dropper Posts
Dropper posts are expensive, though there are a few exceptions. Let’s dive a bit into reliable dropper posts that’ll save you frustration. Dropper posts are all about convenience and you want something that won’t let you down are even cause a minor inconvenience. I picked three specific dropper posts on the market right now that have a solid track record. These dropper posts are at the top of their game, and I’ve listed them by price, from the most expensive to the cheapest.
Fox Transfer Factory: Quick Facts
- Price: $409
- Weight: 1.4 lbs.
- Internal Length: 298.5mm
- Maximum Length: 505.7mm
- Diameter Options: 30.9mm, 31.6mm
- Stroke Length Options: 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, 175mm
The first dropper post on this list may be a bit pricey at around $409. Ok, that’s quite a bit of money and probably enough to buy a decent used MTB, but it’s all accounted for. This dropper post from Fox offers excellent performance. It’s capable of being switched from internal routing to external routing. The handlebar remote is lightweight and extremely efficient for controlling the height of your seat while biking.
Something worth mentioning on this dropper post: the 175mm stroke length. Fox introduced this option recently, and it’s at the same price as the other options. Riders who have tried the 175mm have mentioned how smooth it functions. Also mentioned is the precise control of the dropper post speed and position.
BikeYoke REVIVE: Quick Facts
- Price: $350
- Weight: 1.37 lbs.
- Internal Length: 265mm
- Maximum Length: 463mm
- Diameter Options: 30.9mm, 31.6mm, 34.9mm
- Stroke Length Options: 125mm, 160mm, 185mm
This dropper post may be a little cheaper than the Fox Transfer Factory. But it’s definitely still of extreme quality. Something worth mentioning here: the BikeYoke REVIVE dropper post comes equipped with a self-fixing design. This is unique to the field.
There is no internal floating piston equipped to the BikeYoke dropper post. But what exactly does that mean? Well… it means that this post reduces the overall drag of the shaft. This means you’ll be able to adjust your speed stroke with ease.
Brand-X Ascend XL: Quick Facts
- Price: $252
- Weight: 1.4 lbs.
- Stroke Length: 150mm
- Internal Length: 255mm
- Maximum Length: 455mm
- Diameter Options: 30.9mm, 31.6mm
Don’t let the price fool you. This is still a high-quality dropper post, even though it’s cheaper than the other two options. The Brand-X comes with only one stroke length but is designed under a proven method that has been tested at 120mm lengths.
The Brand-X Ascend XL is truly a bargain in general. It even costs less to service this specific dropper than it does for the others. This dropper post has proven reliability behinds its name. So you don’t have to worry about compensating quality with price.
If you’re looking for an externally routed option, the Ascend II comes with this feature. The length is 125mm, and the price is around $175. And that means even less of a burden on your wallet. Not too bad, right? If you’re looking for a cheap and reliable dropper post this is your pick.
Already Own a Dropper Post? Words of Wisdom
If you’re already the proud owner of a reliable dropper post, rule number one would be: don’t over-tighten the collar of the seat post.
Why? It’s because it’s one of the most common problems with dropper posts. When the seat post collar is tightened too much, it causes your post to stick. This means that you will run into trouble lifting and dropping your post. The whole point of having a dropper post is to release the common hassles of mountain biking. You’re only adding to trouble if you’re over-tightening the collar of your seat post.
But why does this happen? Well… it all has to do with the design of dropper posts. Basically, they consist of one cylinder that slides into another cylinder. Can you guess what happens when the outer cylinder is clamped too tight? That’s right, it puts extra pressure against the internal cylinder. And this will cause your dropper post to stick.
Dropper posts are fairly new to the world of mountain biking. A dropper post really can work wonders when trekking through various terrains. You’ll be able to lower the seat when you’re catching speed downhill. You’ll also be able to raise the seat again whenever you need to pedal uphill. And it’s all controlled by a remote. Easy enough, right?
When it comes to dropper posts, there are many different kinds available on the market. I did some research and found 3 of the most reliable dropper posts around right now. Those three are the Fox Transfer Factory, Brand-X Ascend XL, and BikeYoke REVIVE dropper posts. If you pick up one of these posts, you’re sure to improve your riding experiences.
If/when you do invest in a dropper post, it’s always good to practice proper maintenance. This includes being sure that you don’t over-tighten the seat post collar. If you’re tightening it too much, this can prevent the dropper post from sliding as freely as it should.
Even though this post is brief, I hope you’re able to learn a little more about dropper posts and why bikers all over are starting to invest in them. I really hate having to step off my bike and adjust the seat height when I’m flowing. It’s like discussing what to have for dinner when you’re having fun times with your partner. Won’t go into details here, but you catch my drift.