December 29, 2018 at 5:12 pm #253828
I am curious about something and would like some input. I read recently that only about 50% of trail riders use a dropper post. I switched to a dropper post about two years ago and use it often on the trails. Almost as much as gear changes. My post is not high end. Its is a 3 position spring assist dropper but, works well for me. I recently rode an FS with a standard seat post. When I took it on the trails, it seemed like a major component that added confidence and ability was missing. My question, has anyone out there stopped using a dropper post and why do roughly 50% of trail riders not have one?
In my opinion, they are one of the best upgrades to a bike you can make even though it adds a few ounces of weight. If I am missing something about standard seat posts that enhance the riding experience, please enlighten me.
December 31, 2018 at 10:52 am #253880
Hard to imagine anyone using one for a while, then going back to a standard post. I even find myself reaching for a phantom dropper remote on my road bike sometimes!
I wasn’t an early adopter myself so I can see why a lot of folks are still waiting on the sidelines. On paper, a dropper post has a lot of drawbacks (cost, added complexity, compatibility, weight) and the benefits aren’t all that tangible… until you use one for a while.
Even though I had ridden many test/rental bikes with droppers over the years, I still wasn’t familiar and comfortable enough to get the most out of a dropper. It was only after using one regularly for several months that I finally saw the light.
And no, I will never go back. 🙂
January 3, 2019 at 3:26 pm #254020
Can’t imagine riding without a dropper. I use it so much that when I do have the post fully extended it feels odd to be that high. And many times I have reached for the phantom dropper lever on my gravel/rode bike to get the seat down too. Will probably put a dropper on it too once there is a more elegant drop bar lever solution.
December 31, 2018 at 4:58 pm #253920
Yes I replaced my dropper with a standard post on one of my bikes but it was due to reliability issues.
My Remedy came with a RockShox Reverb which failed 3 times over the course of 13 months (if memory serves). I replaced it with a KS LEV which proceeded to fail a few months later. At that point, I had a bit of tantrum and ripped the dropper and cable out of the bike and shoved a good ‘ol standard post in the bike. I haven’t looked back.
That said, my Pivot has a Specialized Command Post which has been rock solid (and I love) but don’t use all that much.
When they work, droppers are better than sliced bread!….my problem has been getting them to work long-haul.
January 3, 2019 at 8:57 pm #254025
January 1, 2019 at 8:14 am #253932
Almost every time I have taken a test ride on a bike with a dropper post, the post didn’t work right. Either it wouldn’t go down or it wouldn’t stay up. One time the mechanic had to hit the post with a sledge hammer because it was jammed. I’ve also met people on the trail who couldn’t get their dropper post to work. It seems that dropper posts aren’t that reliable. When I bought a new bike the first thing I did was trade to a solid post, it saved weight and lowered the price of my bike. With the new modern enduro-ish geometry bikes descend so well, I’m not sure I need a dropper post. Even though, I could see the advantage of having a very long dropper post so that your feet could reach the ground easily.
January 1, 2019 at 10:41 am #253940
I have two bikes with dropper posts, one a year old that came on the bike I bought a year ago, and have had no problems. This is the bike I ride the most now. The other one is two years old (KS eTen that cost $120) and is just now starting to not come up all the way, still goes down fine. It needs to be cleaned and maybe needs a new pressure cartridge.
I cannot see ever going back to a solid seat post. If one breaks I will replace it.
I know there are some indications that if you lift your bike by the seat when the seat is down, it can cause reliability issues.
January 1, 2019 at 12:12 pm #253947
Like many, my bike came with a standard seatpost and I rode it that way for quite some time. When I got my first dropper I used it intermittently for the first few months and, had I been asked about it at that time, I would have said I could just as easily do without it. But once you learn to leverage the benefits of a dropper it becomes a core part of riding. A dropper really allows you to dial in your weight distribution on the bike as well as maximize body position and power to the pedals. I use it as much as I use my shifter. I’ve used the Fox DOSS, Fox Xtransfer, KS eTen, and Reverb. And while I have had (minor) issues with each they all have performed well overall. The few times I’ve had to cope without the use of a dropper on the trail changes the experience significantly – and not for the better.
January 1, 2019 at 3:04 pm #253952
I have a dropper on my Jeffsy and a rigid post on my hardtail and I really have no intentions of swapping it. I know where I use the dropper and usually don’t ride the hardtail there… Ironically, I’ll probably upgrade my fatbike to a dropper instead of the hardtail…
January 2, 2019 at 9:01 am #253968
I was an early adopter of dropper posts first putting one on my bike in ’05. I caught plenty of flack from everyone and heard every excuse as to why they weren’t “needed”. No one “needs” a dropper post, but it makes riding a helluva lot more fun.* However, along with thru-axles, disc brakes and long/low/slack geo I said that everyone would eventually be riding with droppers. 99% of the issues I’ve heard from people using droppers come from poor set-up and ham-fisted maintenance. That’s not to say that there have not been less than ideal performance from some of them, but in my experience I’ve never had one blow out mid-ride and the times they did need service the companies stood behind them and provided fast service costing nothing or very little.
*If the only reason you ride is to race XC or go hella fast on non-technical terrain then a dropper is pointless. You probably would be better served riding a CX bike. Interestingly, some of the people that gave me endless crap about having a dropper basically traded their mountain bikes for CX bikes. Whatever floats yr goat. Hail Satan!
January 2, 2019 at 9:49 am #253969
99% of the issues I’ve heard from people using droppers come from poor set-up and ham-fisted maintenance
I recently wrote that 9 out of 10 dropper post issues have to do with the remote/cable, not the post itself. Like you said, once the controls are set up correctly, there shouldn’t be any problems. (And if there is a problem, knowing how to troubleshoot is key.)
I’ve also noticed the systems are becoming more reliable overall. Several years ago I found many dropper posts had issues, so much so that I avoided them. Over the past couple of years I’ve tested half a dozen or more posts, and none of them have had any fatal issues.
January 3, 2019 at 8:35 am #254002
I agree with the comments that most dropper issues are probably due to (lack of) maintenance. I’ve had those conversations with riders that say they’re having issues, and when I asked when they last serviced them, pretty much all of them respond with “what do you mean?”. I also feel that some droppers really don’t like to be used as the bike stand mounting point. My Reverb started having release issues when I got lazy and started using it regularly to clamp to my stand. Admittedly, I don’t just hang my bikes in a balanced position… I spin them in all clock positions, especially when doing fork maintenance. I fixed the dropper, and have since gone back to clamping to frame. No more dropper issues. I no longer have the printed docs, but I seem to remember the fine print stating not to use the dropper as a mount point for bike stands.
January 4, 2019 at 9:51 am #254048
Dude, I am never giving up my dropper post. That thing is the only reason I don’t go over the bars.
Anyone who is considering removing the dropper should probably just stop drinking and buy a new bike.
January 4, 2019 at 10:58 am #254049
I didn’t remove one, but haven’t adopted a dropper yet. The early tails of reliability issues were my number one reason for not pulling the trigger. I am a heavy guy, so I break things. I don’t want to ruin a ride by adding a failure mode. Singletrack days are precious and too infrequent to risk ruining one.
I am sure I will add one eventually because their function makes a lot of sense.
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