In the recent Singletracks gear survey the KS Lev was voted the #2 dropper seat post, which is remarkable given that companies like Specialized and Fox compete in the same category. Not content to rest on the runaway success of the Lev, Kind Shock (aka KS) showed a ton of new and updated gear at Interbike last week.
The Lev is already offered in multiple seatpost diameters (30.9, 31.6, and 34.9mm) and travel lengths (100, 125, and 150mm) and this year the company is rolling out a new 65mm travel length version. Why only 65mm? It turns out even cyclocross and road riders are starting to understand the advantages of dropping their seats down on descents.
But this is a mountain bike website, so who cares? The KS rep I spoke with at Interbike said they’re also seeing interest in this short travel dropper post from enduro riders who are looking to save weight and are only slightly concerned about their pedaling efficiency on the climbs. With a short travel dropper you can set the post for descending, then pop it up to stretch your legs a bit on the climbs. Man, enduro riders seem to be willing to try anything to get faster on the descents, climbing be damned!
KS also makes a value-priced dropper post called the eTen that features an air spring and 100mm of travel. It’s offered with lever or remote activation and comes in 27.2, 30.9, and 31.6mm diameters.
KS offers several seatpost remote options and my favorite has to be the shifter lever style. Many of us are running single ring drivetrains which frees up space (and our thumbs) on the left handlebar. With remotes for shocks and gadgets like GPS and lights crowding our bars, it’s nice to see options for decluttering. Plus, thumb-actuated levers are much easier to use without taking your grip off the bars!
Bars and stems
Customizing mountain bike fit involves not just seatposts but also bars and stems, so KS is working to offer riders a complete package for dialing their rigs. The new Ether stem utilizes a unique and sexy-looking clasping mechanism that’s off-center and close to the front of the stem for improved strength. Even the titanium bolts are specially manufactured for the closure, resulting in a smooth, tight fit.
The Ether flat bar is a 720mm carbon bar with 0° rise and 9° sweep and weighs 197g. This bar should be perfect for XC/trail riders, while more aggressive AM riders will appreciate the Ether rise bar. The rise is also carbon, but ships at 780mm with 20° rise and the same 9° sweep. This bar weighs only slightly more than its shorter cousin at 207g.