We’ve tested most of the up-down sticks offered by PNW Components, and you can find all of those reviews in our archive. Instead of a true review of the 27.2 Pine Dropper Post, I’m going to focus on characteristics that set it apart from other 27.2mm posts, and why it’s a sweet way to upgrade your older hardtail, ‘cross bike, kid’s frame, or a spankin’ new gravel whip.
The story starts with fit. There’s a dearth of 27.2mm diameter post options available, and even fewer that work well. The narrower post makes it difficult to design an internal system that will hold up to regular use. PNW Components has simplified the guts, as writer Jeff Barber describes in his in-depth review of their Rainier post. I’ve been pedaling around on the Pine Dropper for a while now, and it functions flawlessly. There’s nearly no wiggle at the head, and it drops as smoothly as it did on “new dropper day.”
Fully extended length is another key consideration in dropper fit, and the Pine Dropper is shorter than most narrow posts. There are two versions of this dropper, and the 90mm model has a total length of 355mm, while the post with 110mm of travel measures 400mm from head to base when fully extended. I have the 90mm dropper, and it fits my Surly Karate Monkey frame and 30″ (76cm) inseam just right. The Pro Koryak dropper was too long for my inseam and frame, and offered 20mm less travel. The Thompson Elite I have on another old XC race bike is also too long for this Surly, and its functionality leaves loads to be desired. I had the Elite dropper warrantied twice in the first two years, and it still doesn’t function properly.
Finally, in addition to fitting short legs and frames with curvy seat tubes, the Pine Dropper from PNW Components uses a fixed external cable that stays exactly where you zip tie it. Some externally cabled posts, the Thompson Elite for example, use a system where the cable head attaches to a lever just beneath the saddle, so any time the post is dropped the cable housing slides down with it, scratching paint and regularly catching on things. The externally routed RockShox Reverb hose moves similarly with the rise and fall, though that post doesn’t come in a 27.2mm diameter.
Here are some of the 27.2mm dropper posts available today.
|Brand/Model||Cable routing||Drop||Minimum insertion||Total length||Post weight||Price|
|Brand-X Ascent CX Dropper||Internal||85/105mm||90mm (85mm model)||350/400mm||530g (85mm model)||$135|
|Kind Shock Lev||External||65-120mm||205-270mm||400mm (100mm model)||400-485g||$308 (100mm model)|
|PNW Components Pine Dropper||Internal (Rainier model) or external (Pine model)||90-110mm||100/120mm||355/400mm||409/530g||$199|
|Pro Kroyak Dropper||External||70mm||400mm||610g||$299.99|
With 150mm posts on my other mountain bikes, I originally thought that 90mm of travel might feel inadequate. Instead, I have genuinely enjoyed having a dropper on this silly hardtail. Since I only ride it on dirt roads and tamer singletrack the shallow travel is perfect. It allows me to get a little looser than I otherwise would on my rigid bike, and to explore tracks that are a touch above the frame’s pay grade. Since this is also my commuter and grocery-getter, I appreciate being able to drop down with both feet on the ground at stoplights to better balance the vegetable load.
Thanks to PNW Components for sending the Pine Dropper along for testing.