June 3, 2019 at 10:14 am #263476
I had an Xfusion Manic dropper post installed on my bike 18 months ago. It always had an issue with sticking and then a few weeks ago it failed completely. It would be up but when I sat it slowly compressed. I took it to my LBS for repair. The diagnosis was it needed a new cartridge, a $75 part. I was disappointed because I felt the post should have lasted longer than 18 mos before a major repair. My LBS checked to make sure there was no warranty and after getting a negative response I e-mailed the company about the issue. I go a screen shot of the user’s manual (which I did not have since the bike shop put it on). The user’s manual in the service schedule said to replace the cartridge after 100 hrs of riding or after 12 months. Basically from the get go the answer is that there is a $75 to use this dropper post each year. Seems excessive, especially for a component that is not a necessary and at the rate could put a new one on every other year. Out of frustration of not wanting to give the company any more money I am going back to a standard post and saving for another dropper.
I would like to hear back on you thoughts out there. Is this normal to pay $75 every year for a component (I can have an annual bike service for that amount)? Do all dropper post or companies expect people to spend $75 to fix a major piece of a component each year? Any suggestions on good durable posts sub $300? Any other thoughts or experiences concerning dropper posts.
I was fun to have but as a father of 4 kids I can’t keep shelling out money on my bike that will work without a dropper post.
June 3, 2019 at 10:04 pm #263537
I have an older version 3 position spring assist dropper post that I have had for over two years and have put an additional $10 into it for new collar and bushing since I purchased it. I cost me $90 new. Admittedly, it cannot compete with the professional grade hydraulic posts but, it works for me and I would much rather have it than a standard post.
June 4, 2019 at 7:30 am #263541
I’m with Oldandrolling on this. Look into a mechanical dropper (eThirteen and PNW come to mind) for trouble-free use and maximum serviceability.
My eThirteen has been trouble-free for two seasons and I’ve only needed to clean and re-lube it during that time. It’s simply a matter of wiping away any dirt, unscrewing the wiper collar, and wiping-away old grease/adding new (I use suspension grease). It takes less time and effort than lubing my chain.
June 4, 2019 at 9:23 am #263546
If you step back from it and think about it, every part of your bike has a “useful life” (you can think of it as a use fee) after which it needs to either be serviced or replaced, i.e. chain, cassette, brake pads, rotors, hubs, (hydraulics will need to be bled from time to time), forks and shock will need to be serviced, wheels will need truing, etc. etc. And while the frame itself technically shouldn’t need to be serviced everything that connects to it (bushings, bearings, etc) will be. With that said, the recommended service interval and associated $75 fee for the Xfusion is ludicrous. 100hrs of riding is less than 2hrs/week in the saddle… that’s nothing for most of us.
As for going back to a standard post…. don’t allow a poor experience with one product to impact the quality of your riding (I use my dropper almost as much as my shifter). There are high quality droppers out there that do not have the same maintenance costs. I’ve used the Fox DOSS (3 position), Fox Transfer, Reverb, KS eTen, and the PNW Cascade. I love the Fox Transfer paired with Wolftooth remote (the DOSS was also solid but is discontinued). I’ve got hundreds of hours in saddle on the Transfer over 2.5+ years with no issues. I believe you can pick up both on sale and meet your price point… just be aware that the post is hydraulic and will need to be serviced (eventually) by Fox. Although I have yet to have any issues on the Reverb I know plenty of people that have. I don’t have enough time on the Cascade yet but I will definitely replace the remote that came with it as it just doesn’t work for me. I have the eTen on my fatbike. Whereas the quality is certainly not in the league of the others it does get the seat up and down consistently after I made a few hacks. There are plenty of reviews out there on droppers and other forum posts on the same if you search the archives.
One thing I never hear discussed is how droppers should be stored when the bike is not in use. I read somewhere that hydraulic posts are best stored in the fully extended position.
June 4, 2019 at 10:18 am #263561
I appreciate the thoughts and suggestions here. I do agree everything on the bike will eventually wear out or need serviced. The frustrating part was how short a life this component had and how expensive.
One of the reps at the bike store mentioned e thirteen because it can be serviced and even rebuilt. No cartridge and there are 4 settings. That is is plenty of settings. Generally I want my seat all the way up or all the way down. I couple of other settings in between is more than enough. I will check out the PNW posts as suggested.
Would love to hear any other feedback out there if others have.
June 5, 2019 at 1:05 pm #263680
I have an eThirteen TRS+ dropper and have had no problems. Any complaints you may read are typically from the early run (early 2017 batch) not having a strong enough spring which couldn’t quite fully extend the post in wet conditions. The company offered a free upgrade kit (a stronger spring, new bushing, and instructions) free of charge and it was a pretty easy, I’d put it about on par with changing volume spacers on a fork. I did the upgrade, not because I ever had an issue, mainly just because it was on offer and to avoid having one. I may replace my post with a 170 mm version so I guess that tells you how I feel about the product.
Since its been mentioned, don’t buy the eThirteen lever get the Wolftooth instead. The e13 isn’t necessarily bad, its just the Wolftooth is just better in about every way for about the same price.
June 4, 2019 at 11:43 am #263567
I would agree with checking out PNW.
I have two of their droppers and love them. Last gen Bachelor and the new Bachelor.
If I remember correctly, they come with a 3 year warranty.
The owner, Aaron is also a great guy who took the time to personally help me figure out the correct set up for my bikes.
June 5, 2019 at 8:36 am #263636
Quick update: Yesterday I swapped levers on the Cascade from the PNW stock lever to my Wolftooth. No comparison. With the WT the post performs just as well as my Fox with the same ease of movement and fluidity. (I found the stock lever’s design a bit awkward and it required much greater tension). Too early to comment on reliability but functionally it works great when paired with the WT.
June 5, 2019 at 9:51 am #263653
I’d give the rigid post a shot for a few months. Most people don’t “need” droppers unless they are trying to set PRs on rowdy trails. Sure it’s nice to have, but like a lot of features, it can also become a crutch that keeps you from advancing your skills. The fastest dudes in my area ride rigid bikes with rigid posts. They set KOMs on both climbs and descents. My view is invest in skill courses first and components later after you find out what components are truly limiting you. If you don’t explore the ceiling in your riding skills with existing components, then you just end up throwing parts at the problem. And more parts mean more hassle and expense.
June 6, 2019 at 11:11 am #263764
midwestmtbiker: I like the thought/challenge of riding without a dropper post. You make a good point about advancing my skills. My bike with the dropper had to be in a the shop a couple of weeks. I was riding my back up bike and it is very similar but no dropper. The seat was set a little lower but still fairly high. Been totally advancing my ability on that bike and enjoying the heck out of it. Since I refuse to give the company that made the dropper post any more money for a product that will fail in a year I am going back to my rigid post on my original bike. The dropper post was a luxury component and added a twist to my ride and allowed me some comfort. I am going to do some more research on posts. I have looked at PNW and e thirteen. PNW good price point but need to understand how it works and how easily it can be fixed. Leaning towards E Thirteen even though it is more expensive. Guy at my LBS has one and likes it and was able to explain how it can be maintained without buying major parts.
June 7, 2019 at 4:42 pm #263815
My bike came with a no name dropper and has been used to death with no troubles(knock on wood). I’ll have to say though if i didnt have a dropper i’m not sure now that i would spend the money on one. Are they nice, yes, do you need one ,no. I do think it adds to the distraction of learning or perfecting your skills. I like to keep it simple and tires are first then bars, seat and pedals. If you set up those four components with good quality stuff and correct fit you wont ever miss a dropper.
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