9point8 is a small Canadian company with a unique take on the dropper. The post is entirely mechanical, which they say makes it more durable and reliable when compared to the hydraulic competition. Essentially, there is a mechanical brake that presses against the inside of the upper stanchion to hold the post in place. It is a simple system and one that has been licensed to other companies – such as Easton and Race Face – for their own droppers.
The design is highly adaptable to different dropper lengths, which has been 9point8’s main claim to fame. They were among the first to offer droppers longer than 150mm. Currently, 9point8 has 175mm and 200mm dropper posts for those with the longest of legs.
For 2017, 9point8 is adding a new size – 27.2 – as well as external cable versions of their Fall Line. Until now, their posts have only been offered with internal routing. The smaller diameter 27.2 with external routing means you can now add a dropper to many old mountain bike frames or even road and cross bikes… just as long as you don’t mind adding a few zip ties, that is.
The external post is not nearly as sleek looking at the internal version, but at least the cable is mounted to a fixed point on the lower portion of the post. If you have ridden an external post where the cable/hose mounts to the post’s head, you know that the loop of housing can rub your leg or tire when the post is dropped. The Fall Line X, as it will be called, should be available in Spring 2017, with a retail price around $400.