ASK MBA: HOW DO I PICK THE RIGHT LENGTH DROPPER SEATPOST?

Dropping a bum

It’s easy to get a dropper post measurement wrong, so make sure you triple-check your measurements before buying.

 

DROPPING A BUM

Q: Last month I bought a bike that didn’t come with a dropper post but has routing for one. I’ve since been on a few rides where I’ve definitely noticed its absence. Looking online, I’m seeing a ton of options for droppers—from super short to super long. I was wondering if you have any guidance for me on which to choose. I have a limited budget, but I still want to get a good and reliable dropper. What do you think?
Melanie Sanchez
Cortez, Colorado

A: Congrats on the new bike, and we agree that dropper posts are essential for today’s mountain bikes. There are a lot of things to think about when you’re purchasing a dropper post, most of which the skilled technicians of your local bike shop can help you with. But, if you don’t want to spend your hard-earned money to get it professionally installed, we understand. It sounds to us like you’re not sure what to buy on multiple fronts, including the length of the dropper post. This is easily found; you’ll just have to spend a little time perfecting your saddle height to get it right. When your saddle is at its optimum height for pedaling, you’re going to want to measure the amount of post sticking out of the frame from the collar to where it attaches to the rails on the saddle. This is the measurement you’ll want to go off when determining the amount of drop you’ll need. You’ll usually want to subtract around 30–50mm to ensure you have enough adjustment once you install the post.

There’s one more thing we need to mention, and that’s to make sure your dropper is the right diameter to fit in your seat tube. There are many different sizes out there, and it’s increasingly easy to choose the wrong one by accident. Also, check that your bike’s frame can accommodate the insertion depth of the dropper post you have chosen. A lot of manufacturers have a guide that’ll help you in this way, but you may need to go with less drop to fit the full post in especailly on older frames but newer ones tend to have straighter seat tubes with fewer interrupions.

There are a lot of options to choose from, and if you’re on a budget, you’ll have to be even more picky to keep from choosing a troublesome unit. We’ve had a bit of experience with the TranzX Kitsuma dropper, and we’ve been impressed. It’s not anything fancy, but it works well, and we have not had any problems with it over our many miles of testing. It goes for about $160 and, like most dropper posts, doesn’t come with a lever.

 

 

Another option that is a little more expensive ($270, dropper only) but nonetheless one of the most highly rated droppers currently made (for good reason) is the new OneUp Components V3 dropper seatpost. It’s a very simple dropper to service, has short insertion depths so longer travels are compatible with a lot of frames and works extremely well overall. It’s not what we would call a budget dropper seatpost but it’s performance and reliability might make it worth the extra money.

One final dropper is the PNW Loam dropper, which is also travel adjustable and comes in a bunch of different colors. This dropper goes for $200, but it’s well worth the money. This is another one of those easily serviceable droppers. We can’t mention PNW without also talking about their Loam lever, which is one of the most comfortable dropper levers made. The thumb pad comes in many colors and is just pleasant to use.

We’d also recommend looking into the Wolf Tooth ReMote lever, which is also among the more comfortable levers we’ve used. There are a lot of lever options, and though lever choice isn’t as important as the dropper itself, it is nice to have one that feels good to the thumb when using it.

 

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