The variables of affordability and performance rarely overlap in mountain bike components. Typically when a brand does something exceptional, they choose to charge more for their goods. The Tellis dropper post from SDG components is one of few exceptions to that rule, providing a piece of equipment that performs well at a reasonable price.
SDG was late to enter the dropper game, and with loads of time to consider other brands’ mistakes they knew that they had to step in with something really good. The fully serviceable Tellis post, with DIY replacement cartridges selling for $44.99, seems designed with budget riders in mind. After riding it for several months I am happy to report that it performs as well as posts nearly twice its price.
Installing the Tellis was a breeze, thanks to the fact that the cable head locks into the bottom of the post, and the cable is then clamped in place at the handlebar lever. This cable configuration seems to be taking precedence over the previous system with a finicky piece that had to be precisely attached to the cable end and then latched into the base of the post. From greasing the post to riding it, the install took roughly fifteen minutes to complete. If a racer ever needed to swap posts in the pits between stages, the Tellis wouldn’t burn up much of their snack break.
I really enjoyed the action and overall ergonomics of the Tellis remote lever. It requires very little pressure to activate, and its proprietary left-side underbar location fits well with my cockpit. Unfortunately, I managed to break the lever in a nasty crash and had to swap it out for a spare that I had in the parts box. It was the sort of crash that would have destroyed any lever, and I would say the Tellis is more robust than some I have used.
Following a full summer of up/downing, the post itself is working flawlessly. With less than a degree of side-to-side wobble at the saddle, the internal key system of the Tellis seems to wear far better than some posts I have dropped. Its overall action is notably smooth and rapid, functioning similarly to the speed and accuracy of a far more expensive Fox Transfer. I have not had any issues with the post slipping or stalling, and when I lift my bike up by the saddle with the post dropped it stays where I put it.
- Price: $269.99, €179 (see current prices)
- Travel: 125, 150, or 170mm
- Diameters: 30.9, 31.6
- Weight: 30.9 x 150mm tested = 520g post, 36g lever
- Length: 440mm
- Cable clamp: At the lever
- Routing: Internal only
The return and drop speed is an important element of any dropper, and for folks who race this factor can be a critical one. I have ridden atop several droppers that required me to lean back and put all of my weight on them to get a smooth drop, and they often returned with much hesitancy. When it’s time to sit for a longer and harder pedal during an enduro stage, or when suddenly presented with a tricky section of trail, that hesitation can be maddening. SDG’s Tellis has remained smooth and speedy throughout every ride, with none of the sticky characteristics that other posts present.
Like practicing proper daily dental care, I like to tinker with my bike components to keep them running as intended. I performed the 400-hour service on the Tellis, as recommended by SDG. I was stoked with how easy and informative the service was. I now know that everything on the inside is clean and lubed, and have a better idea of how it all functions. When handing over my personal cash, I will always opt for components I can learn to work on by myself, and the Tellis handily checks that box.
I would recommend the Tellis to any good friend, regardless of their bike budget. It continues to work like new, the lever-action is fantastic, its return speed is spot on, and it’s easily rebuildable. To top it all off, the post sits around the industry-standard weight at 520g, with a short enough stack to satisfy most frames. Check the SDG website for more info on this sweet dropper.
We would like to thank SDG for sending the Tellis for review.