Dropper posts rank among the top innovations in the history of mountain biking alongside suspension, tubeless tires, and disc brakes. Why? Well, as Greg wrote in his “Over a Beer” column, they just make riding more fun.
Are they absolutely necessary? No.
Are they expensive? Yes.
Do they sometimes have less than stellar reliability? For sure.
But the vast majority of riders who have ridden with a dropper will gladly accept those drawbacks for the increased confidence in technical terrain, lower center of gravity, and improved clearance for getting airborne. With additional options coming to market all the time, and manufacturers including dropper post routing on just about every new frame – including XC and even some gravel bikes – they are here to stay.
This summer, we asked our readers to tell us what their favorite dropper posts were. Below are their top five picks.
5. Fox D.O.S.S – discontinued
Fox’s D.O.S.S. post has been discontinued for about a year, but it still finds itself taking the fifth spot on our 2016 list. That’s probably due to the fact that the D.O.S.S. was one of the most reliable posts on the market. It was also known for its smooth action and minimal side-to-side play. There were some drawbacks to the D.O.S.S. though, namely it was limited to three preset positions and the remote was anything but svelte. Fox now offers the Transfer post in place of the D.O.S.S., which is infinitely-adjustable and uses a slimmed-down remote.
4. Specialized Command Post – $350
Considering Specialized’s bikes ranked highly in our survey results for all categories, it’s not that surprising to see their dropper post on this list too. The Command Post is a good post in its own right, though. It’s an all-mechanical post, although you can adjust the return speed by adding or removing air. The current IRcc model has 10 preset drop positions, so not quite infinite, but plenty for most riders. One of the standout features is the SRL remote, which has excellent ergonomics. While Specialized specs this post across their mountain bike range, it is also available for sale separately.
3. Thomson Elite Dropper – $450-$480
The Thomson Elite Dropper makes our list again this year, coming in at number three. It may be a bit more expensive than other posts, but the Thomson dropper is smooth and reliable. Thomson uses a cartridge system inside the post, so if something does go wrong, it’s a simple swap. The rub, however, is that the post is not user-serviceable, meaning you’ll need to send it back to Thomson or an authorized service center for repair.
2. KS LEV – $340-$360
KS has a bunch of different models within the LEV line, but the most common is likely the internally-routed Integra. It’s smooth, infinitely-adjustable, and is relatively affordable – at least when it comes to dropper posts. The setup can be a little tedious, but as long as you follow KS’s instructions carefully, you’ll be dropping that saddle in no time. Their standard remote works okay, but for better ergonomics and more adjustability, be sure to pick up their Southpaw remote.
Kind Shock KS LEV / DX / Int / 272 Clamp Bolt Nut MTB Bike Dropper Seatpost Part
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1. RockShox Reverb – $470
In our 2015 survey, the Reverb ran away with the top spot. For 2016, it’s the same story – the Reverb had two and half times as many votes as the runner-up KS LEV! RockShox wasn’t the first company with a dropper by any means, but since it’s introduction the Reverb has been the reference post for the industry. The Reverb is unique in that it is fully hydraulic – both the internals and actuation are hydraulic. RockShox has updated the Reverb for 2016 with simpler internals intended to make it more durable. They’re also one of the only companies to offer a post with 170mm of drop – good news for tall riders. The Reverb is a common sight on complete bikes from manufacturers without a house-branded post, and it’s also the top aftermarket choice. With Fox’s Transfer post as well as new options from RaceFace, Easton, and Bontrager now available, it will be interesting to see if anyone can knock RockShox off the pedestal in 2017.