Biking technology has evolved in ways we would have never imagined. Today, riding a mountain bike is much easier and safer than before, so if you’re looking to start riding bikes, today is a great day!
One of the most interesting bike parts that have evolved with time is dropper posts. These lever systems allow you to ride more effectively on descents or obstacles. While dropper posts have been something a bit exclusive for a while, they have made their way into recreational, modern mountain biking.
Choosing the right dropper post for you may be challenging; some people don’t even know if they need one yet! Thankfully, there are many options on the market today, and it’s a matter of doing proper research before making your purchase.
On this page, we’re going to take a look at the best dropper post of 2021, as well as a buyers’ guide so that you can choose the best option possible and get started with your biking sessions!
What Is a Dropper Post?
In essence, a dropper post is a post that you can use to raise or lower your seat post in an instant; this is achieved by pushing a small button on the dropper. People have always been able to manually adjust their seat posts, but being able to do it on the go makes this product something that every mountain biker needs.
To make the riding experience even simpler for you, a dropper post allows you to clamp it to your preferred climbing/descending height. Once you push the button, the dropper automatically returns to the position you chose.
Are There Any Health Benefits for Dropper Posts?
Aside from helping you ride your bike more safely, a dropper seat post also helps you prevent accidents while climbing or descending a mountain. Keep in mind that inconsistent saddle heights can cause you to experience back or knee pain after some time. However, you can solve that with the help of a dropper post since it allows you to set a consistent saddle height each time.
While dropper posts do a great job at protecting your body from potential injuries, you must still be careful whenever you ride a bike.
Should You Get a Dropper Post?
Whether you’ve been riding bikes for years or are starting today, you may be wondering why you would need a new dropper post. In essence, you may need to get a dropper post if you want to adjust your seat on the fly or continually go into free-ride tracks.
There are many general benefits you may get from buying dropper posts, so if you want to learn more about these bike parts, keep reading!
First, you’re going to get much better pedal efficiency. Some saddles are set low, causing loss of riding efficiency in some tracks and unnecessary stress on your knees. If you set the optimal ride height, you’re going to avoid most of the potential problems that come from improper saddle setup.
On the other hand, being able to set your saddle with the dropper post allows you to adjust your centre of gravity while you navigate some difficult terrains; this is even more helpful in descents, where you can get much more speed and stability.
Finally, if you’re going for significant drops with your mountain bike, having dropper posts set up can help you hit them carefully.
Overall, being able to take more control over your bike with a dropper post can make all the difference in your riding sessions. You’re having a better ride flow, more confidence while you ride, and more fun. In case you’re looking to improve your stability in general, dropper posts can be a great solution.
Are There Any Disadvantages to Dropper Posts?
As mentioned before, having a dropper post can be of great help while you ride your mountain bike. However, there are also some factors you must keep in mind before making your purchase.
The most important factor is a dropper post’s price. These dropper posts can go from $250 to even $600, depending on the brand or the model. In some other cases, the lever is sold separately, which may add up to the dropper post’s final cost.
Another thing to keep in mind is that a dropper post may add some weight to your bike; it isn’t too much, but the difference may affect some people who are strict with their bike’s weight.
Depending on the dropper posts’ model, the installation could be a bit difficult since it involves internal cable routing, mounting the lever, and adjusting the cable pull. Some manufacturers have developed wireless droppers, which make the process much simpler, but they may be a bit more expensive than regular dropper posts.
Dropper Post Parts
Dropper posts come with several interesting parts you must be aware of before you make the installation. All of these parts can greatly improve user experience, which is why these products are becoming much more popular among the biking community. Keep reading to know more about the anatomy of a dropper post.
- Infinite Adjustment/Adjustable Return Speed: When a dropper post has “infinite adjustment,” it means that the person can adjust the seat post at any time they consider appropriate without any problems. As for the return speed, dropper posts also allow you to adjust it from slow to fast, depending on how you want to ride. You may choose from changing the post’s air pressure or using the remote lever.
- Seatpost Diameter: Most dropper seat posts can be fitted to most bike frames today. In the rare case the dropper doesn’t fit the frame, you can still use a shim to fit the post into a larger diameter frame.
- Drop Travel: Dropper posts allow you to set up drop travels from 100mm up to 258mm, which is a lot for most bikers. The travel distance may vary depending on the seat tube and the design of the dropper.
- Cartridges: Most products come with an internal hydraulic cartridge, which allows the cartridge’s air spring to control the post’s movement.
- Stack Height: This is the distance that the post can extend above the frame. Depending on the post’s design, you may see shorter or taller posts, although the best options have low stack heights, which allow you to have more travel distance on drops.
- Seat Clamp Head: The clamp head is used to secure the seat post. The best products for your bike have easy installation processes and don’t require that much effort from the user.
- Lever: The lever is responsible for dropping the post at any moment you see fit. In most cases, a light lever feel may be the best option you can take. Some other products feature an under-bar 1x remote that allows you to adjust the post with the push of a button.
- Cable Routing: Depending on the model, you may choose from stealth cable routing (internal) or externally routed cables. Internal routing is much better since it makes your bike look better, and it prevents the cables to get hit with debris. On the other hand, external routing is better for people who are looking for easier installation processes.
See an example diagram of the parts of a dropper post below:
Dropper Post Actuation Types
When it comes to actuating the post, you’re going to find a remote or a seat post lever. These levers/remotes are connected through mechanical cables or hydraulic hoses. Most people prefer hydraulically actuated posts, but you may go for the option you feel the most comfortable with.
What Should You Look for the Best Dropper Post?
In essence, you must look for a dropper post that’s easy to install and feels light enough for you. As for the remote lever, you must look for something that has smooth action so that it doesn’t affect your riding experience. Some remotes are way too hard to push, meaning it can become too uncomfortable to adjust your seating on the fly. Other important factors to consider include post length and insertion depth.
There are many great dropper posts on the market, but that doesn’t mean you can choose any option. If you truly want to make a good investment for a better mountain biking experience, take your time to review all possible products and make a choice based on your needs.
Which Dropper Post is the Best?
Now that you know everything about dropper posts, it’s time to review our top picks for 2021. Finding the best dropper wasn’t an easy task, but we were able to come up with several different options we’re optimistic you’re going to like.
If you want to know the best dropper post for this year, keep reading!
Number One – KS Lev SI-Remote (125mm External Dropper Seatpost)
The KS Lev SI offers everything the best dropper posts have at a lower price. Overall, it features internal cable routing to make the installation process easier for everyone. Additionally, this product was made with hard anodized running surfaces, making your bike look amazing and perform even better.
This product is available at 30.9mm – 31.6mm diameters, and it features a KGSL Alloy remote, allowing you to adjust the overall length easily. Overall, this is one of the best dropper posts offered by this manufacturer, so if you’re considering going for an affordable option for your bike, this light-action dropper can do the job perfectly.
You may read more about this product here.
Number Two – Rockshox Reverb AXS
This is one of the most expensive products on this list, but it’s also one of the best dropper posts we’ve ever tested! In essence, it uses wireless actuation, meaning you don’t need any cables to set it up. To install the Rockshox Reverb AXS into your bike, all you need is to slide it into the seat tube and pair it with the remote.
The remote itself is comfortable to use, and it’s intuitive to use even in the roughest riding conditions. It provides a stroke length of 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, 175mm, and 200mm. On the other hand, it features diameters of 30.9mm, 31.6mm, and 34.99 mm.
When it comes to droppers for mountain bikes, this wireless dropper offers a premium experience for its price, so consider it if you have the budget for it. Read more about the Rockshox Reverb AXS product here.
Number Three – Rockshox Reverb Stealth C1
In case you’re looking for a high-quality product without spending that much money, the Rockshox Reverb Stealth C1 can be an excellent alternative. This model in particular focuses on improving reliability while riding through obstacles; it also reduces the overall length and stack height, allowing for more consistent travel distances.
The Reverb Stealth model has a similar weight to the Reverb AXS, but keep in mind this model includes a bleed kit, an MMX matchmaker system, and a 1X remote, which allows you to get ready right away. Additionally, this dropper post comes with vent valve technology that allows the post to “bleed” air out without the need for syringes.
As with the AXS model, this product comes with a stroke length of 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, 170mm, and 200mm. Moreover, you’re going to find diameters such as 30.9mm, 31.6mm, and 34.9mm. Overall, if you’re looking for the right balance in price, performance, and reliability, this Reverb post model may be the right one for you.
Read more about this product here.
Number Four – Bike Yoke Revive
The Bike Yoke Revive is one of many bikers’ best dropper posts. As the manufacturers suggest, the Bike Yoke Revive features smooth action and a unique design that looks fresh in any bike frame. As for the saddle clamp, it includes a two-bold design. Overall, the saddle clamp works perfectly, although it doesn’t have anything particular to remark.
This post comes with Bike Yoke’s Triggy remote lever, which is one of the lightest ones we’ve tested. It’s much better than most cable-actuated products, so this is great news if you’re looking for a more intuitive remote lever experience.
One important thing about the Bike Yoke Revive is that it weighs 684g including cable, remote, and housing, which can be a lot for some people. However, remember you’re getting a high-quality product with many materials that work to make your experience much smoother.
Finally, this product has a long extended length, which may be an issue for some bikers. Other than that, this post has one of the best designs and performances rates for the price. Read more about it here.
Number Five – Brand X Ascend II
This is an externally routed cable dropper. It features an excellent return speed, consistent and smooth action, and a simple but effective remote. Overall, this product’s remote comes with an ergonomic design that runs from your front shifter. If you’re working with a 1x chainring transmission with no front derailleur, this option may be suitable for you.
As for the design, the Brand X Ascend’s finish is sandblasted and uses hard anodised black, allowing for a stylish design that looks good in most frames. Finally, the Brand X Ascend comes with a micro-adjust clamping mechanism, which allows you to set your seat clamp effortlessly.
While this is a budget option, we believe it does the job decently. Read more about it here.
Number Six – OneUp V2
The OneUp v2 dropper offers a sturdy and effective experience for your biking sessions. In essence, the best feature about the OneUp dropper is that it allows you to substantially increase your post’s travel, allowing you to adjust your seat in descents accordingly without increasing your post-stack height.
Unfortunately, the OneUp remote is sold separately, which increases the product’s cost a bit. However, considering that this product falls into the “affordable” category, we didn’t mind the extra expense. This product works with 30.9-31.6 mm diameters, a wide stroke length (120mm, 150mm, 180mm, and 210mm), and a max travel length of 210mm.
Read more about this product here.
Number Seven – KS Lev Integra
If your goal is to find a post with a lower weight, the Lev Integra is one of the best options you can get. This lightweight product has a great price for everything it has to offer, and it has been a fan-favourite for many bikers. It comes with a wide range of diameters (21.2, 30.9, 31.6, and 34.9mm), excellent stroke length (100mm, 125mm, 150mm, and 175mm), and a max length of 450mm.
The only problem with this product is that the cable is clamped at the post, making it a bit harder to set up in some cases. Other than that, the saddle and the rest of the components are fairly easy to mount into your bike. This Integra model offers the best value among other products with the same price range, so consider getting it if you want something affordable, effective, and with a lower weight.
Read more about this product here.
Number Eight – Fox Transfer Factory
2021’s model of the Fox Transfer Factory comes with decreased weight, reduced extended length, and improved serviceability for people. This internally routed product has one of the most effective performances we’ve seen from this list. Additionally, it features a light-action remote available in an under-bar style or in a vertical shape too.
Regarding diameters, this product offers 30.9mm-31.6mm. For stroke length, you can expect from 100mm to 175mm in length. Finally, this product comes with a total weight of 646g. Read more about the Fox Transfer Factory here.
Number Nine – Crankbrothers Highline 7
This is one of the most affordable products on this list, and we can safely say it does the job amazingly for its price. The stack height stands at 50mm, which is short enough for most bikers. Additionally, we found the saddle clamp to be reliable enough, so you don’t have to worry about instability.
Overall, the installation process for this cable-actuated post doesn’t take that long, so you may get right to it as soon as you buy it. Keep in mind this post has a weight of 516g without the cable and remote.
One downside to this product is that the remote doesn’t come with the box, making the product a bit more expensive. If you want to read more about this post, go to this page.
Number 10 – PNW Components Bachelor (Loam Lever)
As the name implies, the PNW Bachelor features an interesting “Loam” lever, which is a premium remote that focuses on precision and durability while riding. If you don’t mind not having such a low stack height, this product may work perfectly for you since it provides excellent and consistent performance.
Overall, the PNW Bachelor internally routed post feels as smooth as it can possibly be, and it works great under most weather conditions. If you have the budget for this product, consider purchasing it for your bikes. Read more about this product here.
Number 11 – Race Face Turbine R
This product is based on the Fox Transfer Platform, and it works with mechanical actuation. The Race Face Turbine R has one of the easiest setups we’ve seen on this list, and it’s user-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about having any problems in installation.
It uses standard shifter cable and housing, and it allows you to choose from four travel lengths ranging from 100mm up to 175mm. Thankfully, this product doesn’t have as much weight as others from this list, making it a reliable choice for some people who are looking for a lighter experience. Read more about this product here.
Purchasing a dropper post for your bikes can change the experience considerably. However, you must ensure you’re buying a durable, easy-to-install, and reliable product. All of the products on this list work perfectly for most bikers’ needs. Still, make sure to review each option before making a choice.