MBA Product Test: PNW Components Loam Lever

PNW Components Loam Lever

The popularity of dropper seatposts has exploded in the last few years. All genres of bikes—from hardtails to long travel—are available with droppers as standard equipment, and there are over 20 brands currently available from the aftermarket. With so many options, there are bound to be good and bad in the bunch. If you ended up with a system that isn’t performing to your liking, there is help: PNW Components’ Loam lever.

 

With the exception of the two RockShox dropper posts on the market—the hydraulic Reverb and the electronic Reverb AXS—the Loam lever is compatible with all mechanical systems. If your post has a wire cable, PNW claims the Loam lever will work. Having tested most droppers, we were excited to give the Loam lever a try.

Tech features:

The Loam Lever is available in three mounting options—a standard hinged clamp that is compatible with all brakes or two direct-mount options that enable attachment directly to a SRAM or Shimano brake lever. Customers will rejoice to learn that the injection-molded pad not only aims to improve thumb-to lever traction but also increases color coordination potential with five color options.

The Loam Lever is comprised of just four CNC-machined aluminum pieces and three small screws. The lever blade rotates on a sealed cartridge bearing, and this simple design is rebuildable, which bodes well for longterm durability.

Field test results:

We’ve used the Loam lever with several different dropper posts. Depending on the system it was paired with, we experienced different advantages related to construction, functionality, and ergonomics.

While personal preferences vary, we’ve found levers mounted below the handlebar—like the Loam lever—to be the easiest and safest to use, as they allow riders to always firmly grip the handlebar; however, it is worth noting that if you’re still using a front derailleur, the Loam lever will only be compatible with a GripShift setup.

In terms of material construction, the Loam lever can be a definite upgrade over systems such as the Specialized Command SRL LE post. Its all-metal construction provides a sturdier and more solid feel over any injection-molded plastic lever. And, the Loam lever’s functionality is smooth and consistent thanks to the use of a sealed cartridge bearing rather than a bushing, which is offered in many stock dropper post’s remote levers, such as the Specialized.

When speaking of ergonomics, the shape of your dropper’s remote lever may be something you haven’t considered much. The Loam lever’s blade itself is a fairly flat shape that provides great leverage and pulls the cable with consistent and reliable power; however, our only criticism is that it could use a slightly rounder profile. While we never bashed our knee on it during testing, we could foresee circumstances under which the Loam lever’s square shape could be an issue if it were to make bodily contact—a minor concern, but something to consider for future models.

Having reviewed many posts and levers, we came to appreciate the Loam lever’s adjustability, which allows you to rotate the lever blade upon initial setup to alter the starting contact point. This ability to finetune your remote lever’s functionality can be a game-changer for riders looking to tailor the feel and performance of the cockpit to their exact personal preferences.

Overall, the Loam Lever is a solid upgrade for most mechanical dropper post systems. If you’re often mucking through muddy conditions, the rubber thumb pad delivers on its promise of improved traction. If you’re unhappy or unsure of your current lever’s feel or functionality, we can assure you that the performance of the Loam lever is on par with the best on the market. Price: $69

Hits

  • Great construction and functionality

Misses

  • Our only criticism is that it could use a slightly rounder profile.

Star Rating

★★★★☆

Contact: www.pnwcomponents.com

MBA Wrecking Crew-“When paired with the PNW Loam Lever, we couldn’t have been happier with the overall performance of the dropper post system that came on the Marin RZC 2.”

Read MBA Bike Test: Marin Bike’s Rift
Zone Carbon 2


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