Crank Brothers Joplin R Review

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Imagine this: you’re in the groove, feeling the flow of the trail, and you come to a steep downhill section. If you’re like me, instead of launching straight into it you probably stop, adjust your seatpost, and kill the flow before you get to the best part. If this sounds familiar, Crank Brothers should be your new best friend. They say you can’t buy your friends but if you have $285 (MSRP) the Crank Brothers Joplin R will be your convenient, ride enhancing trail buddy. The post is available in only two sizes 30.9 and 31.6 so for now this great post is limited to those frame seatpost sizes (the Joplin R isn’t friends with just anyone).

When you receive the Joplin, it comes beautifully packaged – I almost didn’t want to remove it and actually considered having it framed. All kidding aside it came well packaged with no chance of shipping damage and included everything I needed minus a few tie wraps. Installing it was very easy but there are a few things you should consider doing first before you go and stuff the seat post in your frame.

Check the remote lever to see if it actually fits on your bar – I had a hard time fitting the remote on my RaceFace Next SL carbon bar. I have heard from others that installation may be difficult on some Easton Carbon bars as well, so be sure to confirm it fits before you plunk down the cash. If all is good then installation is a snap – just keep the installation instructions handy during assembly.

Once you install the post and run the cable (you may need to shorten it as necessary), compress your suspension to see if the cable will rub on any linkages. Make sure you place the nylon tubing on the exposed cable that runs to the actuation lever and visually inspect that you have clearance between the actuation lever and the saddle (have someone sit on the saddle or place a weight). You may have to adjust your seat angle a bit.

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I set the remote on the left hand side, seeing that I use that hand less and other than grabbing the front brake when I ride I rarely use the front derailleur. So it makes sense to have the Joplin on my left.

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On the trails, the old scenario was to come to a steep descent, stop and dismount, lower the seat post, remount the bike, roll back a bit, then go down. Talk about harshing the flow. But no longer – now when I know there is a steep descent I just actuate the lever, sit on the seat to lower it, release the lever, and ta-da – down it stays, and down I go. When I clear the steep descent, a pull of the remote brings the seat back up to the original seat height. I can then continue pedaling efficiently at the correct ride height. To that end the Joplin is flawless and great – I couldn’t ask for a better solution. The seat post does not creak and the seat stays set at whatever height that I set it at.

After a few rides I did notice one thing that put a slight damper on this otherwise excellently engineered seat post. I noticed that the seat developed a bit of play which allowed the seat to wiggle a small amount (for some people this could be an issue). After visiting the Crank Brothers website they mentioned that it is normal to have some play and that anything less that 10mm movement is acceptable. The post that I am testing presently has 6mm movement.

My final two cents worth:

The Joplin R is a great seatpost which will totally change the way you ride and the amount of fun you will have on the trails – it inspires confidence and enhances rider control . If you don’t sweat the details and you do maintain this post, it will be a great upgrade. The downside is that the post has a bit of play and unfortunately the Joplin at present only comes in two sizes: 30.9mm and 31.6mm.

Get out there and kick it.

Cheers.

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5 thoughts on “Crank Brothers Joplin R Review

  1. I’m surprised no one thought of this before – I have a chair in my office that does the same thing! I wonder if you could build your own remote seatpost using the hydraulics from a regular old desk chair? Free t-shirt and membership to the first person who makes it happen and sends in the pics :)

  2. Nice write-up. I’ve had the Joplin now for a year on two of my bikes..Scott Spark and SC Blur LT2 (SC has cable holders specifically built in for the Joplin remote cable).
    You get your flow and keep it, you can take different lines over obstacles and descents that would have been limited due to having the post in the up position and a higher COG.
    I got a U.S.E. shim to fit the Joplin into the Scott…a 34.9 reducer to 31.6…so shims will open up the universe of bike frames.
    Relatively low maintenance, the wiggle/play on both posts is 6-8mm…not noticeable at all.
    If you are riding in WET and Gritty conditions, your post may get sticky and less responsive..the lever mechanism under the seat can get loaded with water and grit flung in there from the rear tire. It can get inside the Joplin due to the lever activation and gum it a bit.
    Some saddles don’t have enough clearance to accommodate the levers movement unhindered…. thus my beloved and faithful WTB SST98 (one of the best saddles ever made) had to be put into retirement due to clearance issues. So check that your saddle has the space.
    I got both of my posts from Modern Bike online for $205 each. One of the true mechanical advantages you can buy that has a profound impact on how you ride.
    Thanks for a good review.

  3. I couldnt agree more!
    The Tomac I recently purchased 2nd hand came with one of these on it, fantastic! Once you get used to using it- I actually had a tough time rembering it was there the first couple days, it beccomes second nature and you will wonder how you got along without it. The improvment in riding efficiency makes this a plus for any serious rider, for anyone XC racing, its a must have.

  4. Yes,a seat dropper is a neccessity for technical trick riding.I know this coming from my BMX days,racing,jumping,tricking,and technical riding.We used to have these 8 to 10 foot sheer cliff walls cut out from the creek.We would find a spot where there was a landing and cut a trail out down the sides of these cliffs straight down,and let me tell you we would litterally be sitting on the back of our tires with our bikes pointed straight down,so not only did you want your seat down far enough to keep it out of the way of your legs,but somtimes you wanted it far enough out of the way to keep your chin from bouncing off of the seat as well because we were so extremely far back behind our seats.Ahhhhhhh,the old days.

  5. The saddle play is a bit annoying, but for 2010 they have added a 2nd guide block to reduce that movement. Worst bit about this post is you can’t lift the bike by the saddle without pulling air into it. That is easy to fix, but annoying if you are in the habit of lifting your bike by the saddle. I never realized how much I did until I had one of these posts.

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