I’ll be honest: I hadn’t heard of 9point8 before I spoke with them at Interbike this year. But after finishing my conversation with Steven Park, the owner, I decided that their latest dropper post, the 2015 Fall Line with DropLoc technology, is probably the coolest product that I spotted at the show this year!
It all begins with the internals.
Instead of a complicated hydraulic mess that’s prone to failure and requires endless maintenance, the entire Fall Line post is mechanical, with an air damping cartridge to pop your seat back into position. If for some reason you lose air pressure in the air can (they haven’t had that happen yet), the post still locks in any position since it’s spring actuated.
The Fall Line also features a key where the shaft connects to the internals, to help prevent side-to-side slop. Finally, the post locks to both push/pull force (up to 1000 pounds of it) in both directions. That means that you can drop your post and pick your bike up by the seat with no issues!
Other key features include stealth routing for bikes that offer internal routing options (the previous 9point8 post was external only), and a unique seat clamping system that allows for independent adjustment of each axis, along with micro-adjustments.
9point8 offers two different drop actuators: a standard-looking thumb button or a brake-style lever. The lever is a bit shorter than a brake lever and can be mounted on the bars above the brake, allowing you to easily grab it with your forefinger. No more messing around with taking your hand off the bars and moving way in to reach a button that’s about a foot too far away!
Last but definitely not least, the Fall Line is offered in a complete line of drop lengths: 7 different lengths at current count. Some mountain bikes feature an interrupted seat tube due to the suspension design, meaning that a seatpost can’t drop very far into the tube. And if you’re a short rider on such a bike, you may not physically be able to use one of the standard-length dropper posts on your bike. In fact, I’ve personally encountered related issues on more than one bike. Even on my current daily rider, the GT Force Pro, I could not run the stock RockShox Reverb on it if I was even a half an inch shorter, as it’s currently completely recessed into the seat tube. It fits about perfectly for me, thankfully, but even I couldn’t run a thicker seat than I currently have installed. I could see this being an even bigger problem for a different rider.
9point8 solves these and all related problems with an entire slew of dropper lengths, ranging from 200mm travel and 560mm length to 75mm travel and 325mm length. All posts are available in both 30.9mm and 31.6mm sizes.
Hearing about the tech is one thing, but 9point8 had a few posts set up so that show attendees could feel the real life action. A few cycles of the post, with an incredibly-supple stroke reminiscent of a hydraulic post and the bomb-proof lock when left in position, and I was sold!