Dropper seatposts are a relatively new piece of mountain biking equipment that have come from the Downhill scene and are becoming standard on most new bikes. What is it? It is a pressurized seatpost that with the touch of a trigger and a push from your bum drops out of the way so that you can move your weight around on your bike and descent more safely and with little risk of going over the handlebars.
What’s the purpose? The dropper has revolutionized hard-tail (front suspension) bikes. For the longest time, hard-tails were the most common bikes on the trails, but recently the price of full suspension bikes has come down, leaving many a beautiful hard-tail to hang sadly in the garage. The full suspension boom has changed trails and riding styles, opening up new, tougher terrain. The dropper seatpost brings life back to the hardtails, as well as increasing the joy of a full suspension. All of a sudden, your old hardtail becomes a capable trail grinding machine where even the steepest sections come alive again.
Like all things in cycling, dropper seatposts can get pretty complicated, but I’ll try and keep it simple. There are two types, internally routed cables and externally routed cables. This means that the handlebar remote is either connected by a wire (or hydraulic line) to the seatpost where the dropping mechanism is. Internally routed are neater, less likely to get damaged in a crash but have to be built into the bike from the get-go. Externally mounted can be fitted to most mountain bikes (your dad’s 78 Rockhopper might be a challenge) but the cable will have to run on the outside of the frame. It doesn’t look quite as clean, and can get damaged if you take a big crash. Bikes more than a couple of years old generally have to have externally mounted droppers, as well as less expensive bikes (less than 20000kr).
Dropper seatposts can cost anywhere from about 1200kr to well, 6 or 7000. What is important in a dropper is the speed that the seat pops back, and how reliable the seatpost is. Oh, and probably price, too.
Do I actually need one? Yes. Dropper seatposts are a brilliant investment, they will give your bike a new life, you new energy, and a winter with Covid closing in around us with death rates and all that? Yah, getting out on your bike is probably the best thing you could possibly do besides lots and lots of canning. Watch any zombie movie, canning is an important survival skill. Having rented bikes with dropper seatposts for a year, watching people look at them with surprise and suspicion at the beginning of the ride, and asking about upgrades at the end of the ride has been educational. If I had the time and money, I’d have a dropper on every bike I own, including my treasured carbon road bike.
Good news, not only do we here at Mountain Biking in Halmstad sell dropper seatposts, we also install them. I use ‘we’ because it makes it sound like I’m a big fancy company, not a guy running a rental and repair business out of his garage.
What to know when buying? The width of your seatpost is important, most mountain bikes have a 31.6mm seat post. Next is the “travel” of the seatpost, that is, how far the seat goes from the minimum to maximum height (you want the maximum height to be the normal height you cycle at). This usually comes in increments of 20 mm, common amounts of travel are 80mm, 100mm, 120mm, 150mm, 180mm, and 210mm*. This is measured on your current bike from the seat post clamp to the seat rail clamp (that thingie that holds your seat on). If you get a seatpost that has too much travel, when the seat returns to it’s maximum height, you won’t fit on your bike.
We are currently offering two dropper seatposts, the externally mounted XLC that has road bike & mountain bike droppers https://mountainbikinginhalmstad.com/product/external-routed-dropper-seatpost-xlc-brand/
And the well reviewed Crankbrothers Highline 3 internally mounted dropper. https://mountainbikinginhalmstad.com/product/crankbrothers-highline-3-dropper-seatpost/