Dropper posts have become so commonplace that riders have formed loyal bonds with their posts, and for good reason. They’re an expensive purchase on their own, and so many posts have a reputation for crapping out after the first year. Seriously, who wants to spend more money to rebuild a dropper post they bought only a year ago?
Pacific Northwest based company Full Speed Ahead debuted the Flowtron a year ago as a premium quality, but not bank-breaking dropper. The latest iteration uses a one-piece head and shaft which means that the post can get lower than the first generation version. It’s also 100g lighter than the previous version and has new parts which are said to minimize side to side play.
- 125 or 150mm travel
- 30.9mm or 31.6mm seatpost diameters available
- 0-deg. setback
- 421mm length for 125mm post, 446mm length for 150mm post
- Sealed cartridge
- Internal routing
- Two-bolt clamp
- Cam actuator with three-position adjustable remote lever
- Weight: 150mm post: 584g, remote: 41g
- MSRP: $249 (shop and compare prices)
Installation and performance
The cable setup on the FSA Flowtron is similar to a lot of other posts out there, in that it actuates at the bottom of the post. The package includes a cable and housing. Measure the length of cable needed, take it out, chop the housing, put the cable back through the housing, attach it at the bottom of the post, and finish the install at the lever. Easy right? FSA’s set of instruction make it pretty simple, and if it’s not easy enough, there are quite a few YouTube videos available.
It only took me fifteen minutes to install the post correctly. This was after I botched the cable length the first attempt. The second go around was of course much easier after I learned the hard way. In other words, pay attention to the step where you cut the housing first, and the cable later.
After getting the barrel adjuster on the remote dialed in, the lever was very responsive. Having spent some time with it, the Flowtron remote just might be my favorite dropper remote. It’s fat, with nice Ruffles-like ridges running down it. It’s easy to find with your thumb and the ridges control slippage.
It’s also a light and responsive lever which I appreciate. On older posts like the RockShox Reverb with the push button hydraulic remote, you realize how nice a light lever feel is when you’re quickly approaching a climb and trying to push the button down with the same amount of force you’d use to kill a spider so that you know it’s dead. The FSA Flowtron remote lets you concentrate on the upcoming trail, rather than depressing a really firm remote.
Operators can modulate the return speed of the post with the remote. Press lightly for a slower return and smash it for a quicker rise. At the fastest return, it’s plenty fast, but not the lightning bolt return speed like the Fox Transfer with Kashima.
After months of having the Flowtron on my bike, it has yet to develop any problems, even after getting caught by rain halfway into rides that left mud and grit sprinkled around the dropper post seals. The weather didn’t seem to phase the return speed of the post either. There’s probably a millimeter of wiggle room standard on the post, like most others, but the movement hasn’t grown at all.
I realize that dropper post malfunctions often don’t come up until after a year of use. Like any other moving part on a bicycle, a dropper post will eventually require servicing, no matter how great it is. The FSA Flowtron and I are off to a great start. After three or four months of use in the most unpredictable season at home, the Flowtron is still predictable. I’ll leave a comment if anything changes, but I don’t expect it to happen soon.