Genius comes in all forms – take wine in a cask for instance or espresso coffee. Somewhere, sometime there was an individual out there who thought it was worth experimenting, testing, refining, until they came up with what we now see as pure genius, over the world.
It’s that type of genius that drove the concept of the dropper post.
So what is a dropper post and what will it do for my enduro and all mountain riding?
When riding mtb enduro, dropper posts become integral to the riding style of the race format – multiple descents and long climbs.
The claim is that dropper posts improves your riding for pedal efficiency and riding control.
– Raising your seat to your determined height, can ensure that your climbing position and pedal stroke is ideal for ascending
– Dropping your seat shifts your weight to the back, providing stability and control on the decent.
Now back in the old days, this was achieved by stopping, adjusting your seat for the terrain and continuing on; or putting up with a seat post position that was a happy medium. The introduction of a dropper post allows for on the fly adjustment, either via remote or a lever under the saddle.
Many manufacturers are now supplying their all mountain and enduro racing bikes with a dropper post as standard, however there are many bikes out there that still feature a standard seatpost and a dropper post is an ideal upgrade for the all mountain rider.
5 MTB Enduro Dropper Posts
The below is a selection of 5 mtb enduro dropper posts that have been popular with riders from around the world. Whilst this list is not exhaustive, if you were to purchase any of the options below, whether on performance (like the Thomson Elite) or on price (like the X Fusion Hilo Strate) there are a number choices to make a wise selection.
The Thomson Elite dropper post is the grand daddy and arguably still the best dropper on the market. What’s interesting about Thomson is that the technology and expertise combine both a high level engineering focus and rider development that delivers a high performance post. The quality build and detail is difficult to fault and have been building high quality mtb components for many years.
The Thomson post comes in a number of configurations, including the Thomson Elite Covert, depending on if your frame has the ability to internally route the cable or have the cable external, like the model in the image.
Many reviewers of the Thomson Elite have found minimal movement in the post and enables easy, on the fly adjustment. This post weighs in at a very light 450g (the Covert is 592g) and has
The reverb has been well spec’d and by the might of the SRAM juggernaut, and appears to be the go-to dropper post for many bike brands. And for good reason – the post works well in all conditions and has been tested and proven by the best riders in the business. The Stealth version comes with a hydraulic remote for that precise adjustment and at 618g, is of reasonable weight for a dropper post.
As with the Thomson, the Reverb ‘non-stealth’ version allows you to externally route the cabling.
The Hilo Strate and Hilo SL are the lightest posts featured here, at 530g and 450g, respectively. The Strate is an internally cable mounted dropper, whereas the the SL is a lighter, but external cable routed option. I am assuming the SL stands for Super Light, given it comes in at an impressive 450g, but is limited by a 1 position travel of 125mm. The Hilo Strate may be the better option with a still impressive 530g, two position height adjustment, internally routed cable and at a good price.
The Fox D.O.S.S is a 620g of what looks like an over engineered, complicated post. I am sure it isn’t, but first impressions suggest otherwise. The DOSS features 3 positions that mirror their rear shock CTD concept of Climb, Trail and Descend which makes sense given this concept is well ingrained with the All Mountain riding community, given the popularity of the Fox shock system. At this stage there does not appear to be an internally routed cable version.
With the recent acquisition of Easton Sports by Race Face in 2014, the engineering boffins have combined their resources , and launched two droppers that are very similar, yet branded accordingly, allowing for major (and boutique) bike manufacturers to spec match with stems, bars and rims.
The Turbine and Haven has 3 travel levels of 150mm/125mm/100mm and comes in at a very impressive 495g. This dropper is ideal for the frames that allow for internal cable routing
Given that Race Face and Easton is now owned by Fox, we may even see technology and engineering expertise being leveraged and filtered down to Fox’s own droppers, and vice versa. Time will tell.
The Turbine/Haven post is due to hit the market in Nov 2015.
Looking to upgrade to a dropper post this season? Any options not featured here that are worthy?
Feel free to add your comments below.