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  1. #1
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    Dropper post ? Do you really need one ?

    I have a short travel XC/Trail 29er. I ride in the rockies so the trails do have some technical sections mixed with single track etc.

    Every time I come across something on youtube or an article regarding dropper posts, people refer to it as the best invention since tubeless. Seems once people start riding with one, they rarely go back.

    Is it really that worthwhile of an upgrade ? More and more bikes seem to be coming standard with them. Is it one of those things you don't realize the benefit until you actually get it and use it ?

    What's your story with your first dropper post ?
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  2. #2
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    You can stop and get out a wrench to lower your saddle for steep tech descents, or put on a quick release seat post clamp, or install a dropper. The dropper is by the most convenient to use.
    Do the math.

  3. #3
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    I think the dropper reduces my crashing.

  4. #4
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    Do you *need* a dropper? Unlikely. Many of us rode just fine for decades without one.

    Are droppers more convenient? Mostly, right up until they stop working - then they're a pain in the ass.

    Should you get a dropper? Maybe. Do your local trails include a lot of steep and/or technical terrain? I credit my dropper with giving me the confidence to try some log rides, steeper rollers, and for sure bigger drops in New England. Now that I live in SE MI, I'm struggling to see the need.

    Droppers tend to be more of a convenience item than a "must have." It all depends on where and how you ride.

  5. #5
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    I'm an old time ex-BMXer from the late 70's-early 80's and learned to navigate around my seat. Dropper posts? E-bike MTB's?? What's this world coming to? lol

    To be honest, after 40+ years of hardtail riding, I finally broke down and bought a full suspension 29er. Wow. Maybe technology isn't such a bad thing after all.

    That being said, I'm not sure I'd know when or where to drop my seat though. I kinda use the seat to know exactly where the bike is under me, even if I'm not sitting on it.

  6. #6
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    My missus swears by hers, l dont have one but its getting more & more tempting everyday
    always mad and usually drunk......

  7. #7
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    Do you need a Dropper? easy answer, No

    Are they nice to have? Yes. Do all bikes need them? No.

    My XC bike doesn't have one. Doesn't need one.
    My 29plus bike has one. Love it.
    My FS bike will have one.
    Too Many .

  8. #8
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    Droppers are the fast way to be the guy I always made fun of in the 90's.

    I loved jabbing someone stopping to lower their seat, when I would run the seat full up.

    Droppers allow you to ride faster, easier. If you are tall, or have long legs, a dropper is much, much less important. If you have the skills, you can go over probably 95% of the stuff people swear you need a dropper post for. You will NOT be as fast over it, but you can do it.
    "Go soothingly in the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon"

  9. #9
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    Do you "need" one? No.

    You also don't "need" suspension, disc brakes or a handlebar that is more than 660mm.

    But do I want to ride a trail bike without a dropper anymore after using one for a couple seasons (and riding for 20 years before that with a rigid post)? Nope.
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

  10. #10
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    Was a little sceptical @ first but wouldn`t be without one now, they allow much more freedom of movement around the bike....

    btw, riding a 100/120mm XC machine ...

  11. #11
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    Nope.

  12. #12
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    I was on one for a while on my XC bike, then I learnt some pretty mad DH skillz or so I thought...

    Then I took it off because I was bored, no upcoming races and I was actually faster in some cases.


    Then I crashed, REALLY badly, without knowing exactly what happened. My gut tells me if I had a dropper I wouldn't have crashed so badly. I pretty much flew out from my bike.

    Finally I installed it back again.

    It's not so much about whether you can descend fast with one or not, it's when you do actually **** up, the consequences are much less dire.

  13. #13
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    I think the dropper increases my ball size. And at my age, I can use all the help I can get.

    I will clean sections with the dropper that I used to crash on with the fixed post. YMMV.

  14. #14
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    since your riding out in Colorado I would say it depends on your fitness level more than your riding

    for the most part you are riding long climbs that turn into long descents. If you are a strong enough rider to power through the climbs and charge on to the descents then a dropper post is worth the

    but if you like to take breaks while you ride then just drop the seat post when you get to the top of the climbs and get all the benefits of the dropper with out any of the downsides

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmg71 View Post
    My missus swears by hers, l dont have one but its getting more & more tempting everyday
    so tempting in fact, that 3 hrs after that post I ordered one

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  16. #16
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    I knew I was a good candidate for a dropper long before I got one. My local hill trails involve a lot ups and downs, with some rock features. Trails are somewhat short, so I would climb back to the top many times on every ride. I used to manually drop the seat for the downs and just cope with the uphill sections of trail, then manually raise the seat again to get back to the top. I use my dropper all tha time on such trails.

    Mountain rides are different, as I ride up the mountain, drop my seat and ride all the way down, with few uphill sections in between.

    I should add that I'm a short guy, so getting behind the saddle was never that easy. Besides, the "saddle in the belly" position that an extended seatpost puts you on is very restrictive.

    Overall I really like the versatility that a dropper gives me combined with the ergonomics of 1x drivetrains. On my old bike I have a 2x drivetrain and a dropper and it's too many controls on the left hand. I'll probably convert it to 1x as well.

    The only thing that I don't like is that there is a slightly rearward weight bias on my bike with the dropper on. Rear end feels lighter end more flickable with a light rigid post.

  17. #17
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    Next thing they'll be chorusing 'disc brakes' as a must have o_0

    Stick your rotors & sintered pads where the Sun don't shine!

    I'll keep my 'Veez' ;-P

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridetheridge View Post
    I have a short travel XC/Trail 29er. I ride in the rockies so the trails do have some technical sections mixed with single track etc.

    Every time I come across something on youtube or an article regarding dropper posts, people refer to it as the best invention since tubeless. Seems once people start riding with one, they rarely go back.

    Is it really that worthwhile of an upgrade ? More and more bikes seem to be coming standard with them. Is it one of those things you don't realize the benefit until you actually get it and use it ?

    What's your story with your first dropper post ?
    I have a dropper post that came on my recently-purchased Farley EX8. Everybody's needs are different, but I'm still trying to figure out what would make the thing valuable to me, other than the fact dropping it before I get off makes it easier to swing my leg over the saddle.

  19. #19
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    Nope.
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  20. #20
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    Yep.

  21. #21
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    maybe
    I brake for stinkbugs

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridetheridge View Post
    I have a short travel XC/Trail 29er. I ride in the rockies so the trails do have some technical sections mixed with single track etc.

    Every time I come across something on youtube or an article regarding dropper posts, people refer to it as the best invention since tubeless. Seems once people start riding with one, they rarely go back.

    Is it really that worthwhile of an upgrade ? More and more bikes seem to be coming standard with them. Is it one of those things you don't realize the benefit until you actually get it and use it ?

    What's your story with your first dropper post ?
    My condolences for having been trapped in a cave for the last 10 years.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    My condolences for having been trapped in a cave for the last 10 years.

    https://www.google.ca/search?q=mtbr+...w=1280&bih=655
    Well, I did get you to do the search for me...
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  24. #24
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    I will start by saying that I am 40, overweight, and by no means a shredder. I rode a rigid SS 29er for the longest time when I was fit, and healthy. I had to add a fork because my neck was killing me, I had to add gears because my knees were killing me. I got a "all mountain" hardtail frame, a Canfield N9, and I absolutely loved it! The bike was really nimble as advertised, and I was riding much more aggressively and that inspired me to loose weight and get into shape. I got a DJ bike, and started riding pump tracks and small dirt jumps, and those skills transferred over to riding trail. I wanted a dropper for my Mtn bike. My Canfield was an older one 27.2 seatpost diameter, so dropper post options were limited at that time. Lost story short I dumped the frame and got into a Kona Honzo, with a Fox Transfer post. The dropper is the best addition I have made to riding in my opinion! I ride way more aggressively and try to not be seated and in the attack position as much as my lungs/legs can stand it. BEST UPGRADE EVER.
    -rides bikes for fun.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmg71 View Post
    so tempting in fact, that 3 hrs after that post I ordered one

    Crank Brothers Highline 160mm 2018 Model
    Cool. Now, you'll have to report back how you like it
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  26. #26
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    Several bikes [road ] in the Tour de France had dropper posts FWIW. You have a lot more control with a dropper IMO.

  27. #27
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    With steep seat angle I don't see riding riding with out on much fun.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by fruitafrank View Post
    Several bikes [road ] in the Tour de France had dropper posts FWIW. You have a lot more control with a dropper IMO.

    Mavic had dropper posts on their neutral bikes but they were only to accommodate different sized riders.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  29. #29
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    I have a dropper on my FS trail bike. For that bike given the terrain I ride on it I like it. I think it expands downhill capability of the bike.

    For my 2 HT 29ers I have straight seat post and have no plan to put a dropper on them. I can ride everything I need to on those bike without a dropper just fine.
    Joe
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  30. #30
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    Im just not that rad that I need a dropper.
    I swore by a dropper on my old 140mm C'Dale Prophet. I said I'd give up suspension before I gave up my dropper because I was really into chasing black-diamond trails, and progressing my gnar skills.
    Then I bought a HT without a dropper, and while shopping for one I rode the bike... When finally bought the Reverb, I rode it once and decided it didn't do as much for me on a HT as it did on an FS. I ditched the Reverb, got a plain alloy post and it's never bothered me.
    These days, my main bike has no suspension, no derailleurs and no dropper. I definitely have to pay a little more attention, but it's never caused me to walk...or crash.

    I don't judge those that won't ride without one, I just don't shred hard enough to need it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Dropper post ?  Do you really need one ?-img_0244.jpg  

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  31. #31
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    JB I understand the Mavic move but I heard that one team had 1 or more riders using one in the Mountain stages, It could be that not enough coffee in the AM.

  32. #32
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    You don't "need" disc brakes, tubeless tires, all those damn gears, etc, etc. But they're sure nice. I have one on all 4 of my mountain bikes now after finally getting used to and learning how to properly use them. Tech sections, fast, twisties where you don't need full extension, DH's, I use one for all these instances.
    You can't buy happiness. But you can buy a bike. And that's pretty close.

  33. #33
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    Appreciate all the responses. I think I'm going to pass on a dropper for now.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairbanks007 View Post

    Droppers tend to be more of a convenience item than a "must have." It all depends on where and how you ride.
    Quote Originally Posted by BmanInTheD View Post
    You don't "need" disc brakes, tubeless tires, all those damn gears, etc, etc. But they're sure nice. I have one on all 4 of my mountain bikes now after finally getting used to and learning how to properly use them. Tech sections, fast, twisties where you don't need full extension, DH's, I use one for all these instances.
    I find these two posts go together pretty well. WTF is a "convenience" item? I think that pretty much defines everything on a MTB as well as a MTB itself.

    I started off riding a bike with two wheels, a coaster brake with no suspension or gears. I did just fine for what I rode.

    Later in like I graduated to a bike with knobby tires, multiple gears, a freewheel hub, no suspension, canti brakes and larger tires. I loved that bike. I rode a lot of stuff with that bike.

    Then I added some front squish, a couple more gears and V brakes. I felt like I could ride anything with that bike...

    You see where I'm going? It's all convenience. You don't need any of this shit. Ride whatever you want but I can almost guarantee you this: if you get a dropper and learn how to actually use it to its potential, you won't go back. It's not like suspension in that way - I can ride with or without that, always have, always will likely. A dropper is more like rim brakes to disc brakes or fixed gearing to freewheels... once you get it, it's hard to go back. I can ride with rim brakes, but will I for MTB ever again? I hope not...
    Life is too short to ride a bike you don't love.

  35. #35
    Anytime. Anywhere.
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    Amen brother.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xlr8n View Post
    I'm an old time ex-BMXer from the late 70's-early 80's and learned to navigate around my seat. Dropper posts? E-bike MTB's?? What's this world coming to? lol

    To be honest, after 40+ years of hardtail riding, I finally broke down and bought a full suspension 29er. Wow. Maybe technology isn't such a bad thing after all.

    That being said, I'm not sure I'd know when or where to drop my seat though. I kinda use the seat to know exactly where the bike is under me, even if I'm not sitting on it.
    I am in this camp as well. I keep my seat at "mid-level", and stand and use my legs in descents. I have not been able to justify switching yet. Granted, I don't ride nearly as aggressive as some here...no racing or anything. I also stand at least half of the time when I climb as well. The seat is for "momentary rest" in either situation.

    Definitely use my seat to know where the bike is underneath me too
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  37. #37
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    I'm not hardcore or cool enough for one.
    Small ring in front makes it easier. Small ring in back makes it harder. That blows my mind.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny7 View Post
    I'm not hardcore or cool enough for one.
    You don't need to be.

    But if you ride tech terrain, or even just lots of rolling terrain with steeper climbs and drops, you'll probably quickly see the value.

    Once I switched, I was amazed at how much more I used it than I thought I would.
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

  39. #39
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    I'd love to have a dropper but the range of drop isn't available.

  40. #40
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    I love my dropper, it just makes riding more fun in more places.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen View Post
    I'd love to have a dropper but the range of drop isn't available.
    You could get a 50-70mm dropper ^^

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  42. #42
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    Dropper post ? Do you really need one ?

    Every "how to" video on bunny hopping or manualing says to lower your seat - without a dropper how does one manual or bunny hop while actually staying on the bike? The "I will just lower my seat a bit" approach is less than ideal. You are now not in the proper seat position for both efficient pedaling or potential stress injury (knees too far forward).

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridetheridge View Post
    Cool. Now, you'll have to report back how you like it
    I waited too long to get a dropper
    always mad and usually drunk......

  44. #44
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    I don't need or use mine for my local trails but put it on for gnarlier ones when traveling.

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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen View Post
    I'd love to have a dropper but the range of drop isn't available.
    Meant to comment on this before; what amount of drop are you looking for? They come in everything from the 50mm drop KS Zeta, all the way up to the ludicrous 200mm drop of a 9point8 Fall Line.
    Don’t modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  46. #46
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    I absolutely love mine best invention ever I wish I had one 30 years ago. We used to put Springs down the seat post tube so when you lowered your seat for down Hills when you reach down and flip the lever it would come shooting backup not in the most comfortable way but it worked.

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  47. #47
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    I learned to ride just 3 years ago and I already had one. I'm too reliant on it for sure and I see other riders go down very steep things w/o them. Mostly they have longer legs and can easily get behind the seat.

    I have a 1 year old Reverb B2 150mm drop, 30.9mm diameter. I am moving to a 175mm dropper so the Reverb will be for sale shortly if anyone is interested.

  48. #48
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    XC bike on flowy XC trails? Don't need a dropper.

    AM / Trail bike on technical climbing / descending? Don't need a dropper, but it's safer, and far more convenient. You can work around a full height seat or you can have a lot more flexibility...

    While you can get most of those benefits by stopping and moving your seat, you have to stop. Chunky trails that have a lot of up and down are where droppers shine.

    I have a 125mm on my AM V4.2, slammed. Works great
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy_Nate View Post
    ....Chunky trails that have a lot of up and down are where droppers shine.
    Any trail that's not all smooth, non-tech climbing is where droppers shine once you get used to using one anywhere it may help. I even use mine to get on and off my bike. IMO it's the best use of an extra half-pound or so outside of disc brakes.
    You can't buy happiness. But you can buy a bike. And that's pretty close.

  50. #50
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    When it comes to dropper post opinions, you always see steep technical trails as the place they are needed. That is true, but they help with much more than that. I used to jump my BMX bike all the time (long time ago in the 80's when we rode our seats about handlebar height), but was having trouble not crashing when hitting small jumps on my MTB. After installing a dropper, and dropping it when jumping, I was able to adjust the bike in the air as needed, like I did on my BMX back in the day. My jumping has been much more stable, fun and crash free. Also, when cornering, it is much easier to get into better positions with the seat out of the way. And with any fast trail sections, it is easier to throw the bike around, and move around the bike, with the seat out of the way. And if you do sit momentarily in fast sections, your center of gravity is much lower, and you are more stable. Navigating tight switchbacks is also easier with the seat out of the way. I would not want to go back.
    Straight is better than flat.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by AchrisK View Post
    When it comes to dropper post opinions, ............ I would not want to go back.
    Good post Achrisk, a lot of points which came back to me yesterday on my first ride with the dropper.
    I used run my seat post about 1.5 - 2 inches too low, just so I had some room in descents, where I ride here in Switzerland is always up/down/up/down and constantly adjusting the post was not happening.
    After landing hard on the seat during a jump last year, subsequently breaking the seat rails, I'd given up on my small ventures skyward. Yesterday I again was able to jump/launch off trail features without fear of copping a seat in the nads/arse area .
    It was even helpful going under low branches, but the confidence it gave me just in the rooty rocky descents is great. As I said above I waited too long to get a dropper, for how/where/why I ride it is definately worth it.

    Lastly it has also allowed me to have the seat at the proper height, which should increase my pedaling efficiency, but keep in mind we are talking about a Fatbike here , and Im 46yrs young & dumb

    Stopping yesterday to adjust the seatpost height.




    I know this is the 29er forum, but reckon the info is relevant regardless of which bike
    always mad and usually drunk......

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    I have a dropper post that came on my recently-purchased Farley EX8. Everybody's needs are different, but I'm still trying to figure out what would make the thing valuable to me, other than the fact dropping it before I get off makes it easier to swing my leg over the saddle.
    It might be your riding style, trails you choose or where you are with skills development. I'm as into making it over or through tough features as I am park style features as I am a long cross country ride. The dropper helps.

    I believe you posted your bike with raised bars and old school racer ends (tree hooks too). If that is working well you might not be so much into pushing it through the woods, getting to 90 deg sideways if possible or air time. That stuff makes dropping the seat without stopping really nice.

    I will only call the dropper a need if the particular ride is with fast skilled riders. We have droppers on 3 of 4 same size bikes shared with my wife and teenagers. I can still stop to drop and raise the seat. When I ride with fast and skilled riders often 10 to 30+ years younger than I am I like every tool or trick or bit of wisdom possible.

    One of our fatties has a dropper and one not. I don't miss it much in winter. Dropper on the fat bike is nice when a summer season ride is all about getting through, over and up difficult stuff.

    We still ride our classic old Fat Chance and 1966 Typhoon so I know none of it's needed to ride a bike or have a fun ride. That said, a bike with all the latest features lets me stay in the A group on a particular ride I do often.
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    I got out of MTB for a handful of years and went looking for a new bike a year ago. Every dual suspension model I looked at had droppers and I really didn't want one cause I never rode it before. My first time out, I was sold on the dropper.
    Now I'm building a HT, and throwing a dropper in as well. We'll see if I use it as much as I did on a FS bike, but I think I will. Just easier to get back over the rear tire going down steep descents. Absolutely NOT necessary. Neither are suspension forks, or gears.
    That being said, I'm a believer that it is the best addition to the MTB since the suspension fork.

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    Need???...really no...but makes it much easier and comfortable...
    Same way...do I really need a 996 GT2 RS?...no but I would love to have it

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    Bike came with one. I never used it. Took it off

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  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridetheridge View Post
    I have a short travel XC/Trail 29er. I ride in the rockies so the trails do have some technical sections mixed with single track etc.

    Every time I come across something on youtube or an article regarding dropper posts, people refer to it as the best invention since tubeless. Seems once people start riding with one, they rarely go back.

    Is it really that worthwhile of an upgrade ? More and more bikes seem to be coming standard with them. Is it one of those things you don't realize the benefit until you actually get it and use it ?

    What's your story with your first dropper post ?
    I'm in the Rockies too. I had a dropper. It was kinda nice on certain trails but it needed a full rebuild (Reverb- supposedly a more reliable unit) after about 30 hours of use and maybe a couple hundred actuations. Not anywhere near durable enough for me.

    Factors that would incline towards getting a dropper:
    • Trails with recurring short/steep sections
    • Crap knees and high saddle position when climbing
    • Frame design that puts center of gravity higher
    • Active positioning on bike going DH
    • Endo paranoid


    I bought the best manual clamp instead (Chromag) and as my rides tend to be long up and then long down, I'm off the bike at times I want to drop it anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xlr8n View Post
    I'm an old time ex-BMXer from the late 70's-early 80's and learned to navigate around my seat. Dropper posts? E-bike MTB's?? What's this world coming to? lol

    To be honest, after 40+ years of hardtail riding, I finally broke down and bought a full suspension 29er. Wow. Maybe technology isn't such a bad thing after all.

    That being said, I'm not sure I'd know when or where to drop my seat though. I kinda use the seat to know exactly where the bike is under me, even if I'm not sitting on it.

    seems like every thread has one of these "well, since i rode a BMX bike when i was 7 years old, my preference is....." ha just kidding, kind of not really apples to apples though, a vmx seat is MUCH lower than a proper mtn bike seat, so a BMX'er should really appreciate a dropper. The seat doesn't disappear and you can still feel it (its like pinching the seat with your legs when you do a no hander while jumping a bmx bike. low and out of the way mostly, but you can still feel it and use it). I think the droppers help a little with steep areas, but as others have said people were getting behind their seats before the days of droppers and it can still be done that way, although thats not optimal. where i really notice a difference is high speed bumpy chunky descents, even areas with lots of motocross style (or BMX style!!) whoops where the bike is moving up and down quickly. lowering the seat helps to pump through this stuff significantly and also helps you get in a position where you're much less likely to get bucked over the handlebars when you time a roller wrong. i'll say, the weight penalty is made up for by the extra speed and safety while descending, but it did take a while for me to adjust. wasnt a night and day difference right away. took a couple months probably.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by SVO View Post
    I'm in the Rockies too. I had a dropper. It was kinda nice on certain trails but it needed a full rebuild (Reverb- supposedly a more reliable unit) after about 30 hours of use and maybe a couple hundred actuations. Not anywhere near durable enough for me.

    Factors that would incline towards getting a dropper:
    • Trails with recurring short/steep sections
    • Crap knees and high saddle position when climbing
    • Frame design that puts center of gravity higher
    • Active positioning on bike going DH
    • Endo paranoid


    I bought the best manual clamp instead (Chromag) and as my rides tend to be long up and then long down, I'm off the bike at times I want to drop it anyway.
    I'm not sure about the crap knees comment as my knees are far worse from using a dropper, but it's worth it.

    Not that I can't see why people doing long climbs and descents wouldn't want a dropper, but that's actually the application where I think they would be least useful to me. I usually stop during long climbs and stopping at the top and lowering my seat wouldn't bother me much. What I ride is almost exactly the opposite of that, even long (for our area) climbs have descents in them as do long descents have punchy climbs. Someone who is really fit could do fine keeping the seat down all the time and just standing on those climbs, but I couldn't. My legs (and arms) get tired on long dhs so using my seat to climb gives me a rest.

    And as far as the frame thing, I don't think there is any frame (that fits you properly) that would lower your cg even close to what a dropper allows you to do, so that's bunk to me.

    Endo paranoid? Not sure what this means but getting tossed on your face at high speed isn't exactly fun.
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  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by l'oiseau View Post
    A dropper is more like rim brakes to disc brakes or fixed gearing to freewheels... once you get it, it's hard to go back. I can ride with rim brakes, but will I for MTB ever again? I hope not...
    Getting hydraulic disc brakes made a huge improvement to my riding experience. Now I'm getting a similarly large improvement to my rides with a dropper. That's a great analogy!

    My anecdotes of happy dropper experiences are too many to even relate here.
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    Even the XC pros on the UCI are now using dropper posts at the expense of extra weight. Not sure why people keep fighting progress.

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    Ritchey had the Hi-Rite dropper back in the 80s lol

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  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by SVO View Post
    I'm in the Rockies too. I had a dropper. It was kinda nice on certain trails but it needed a full rebuild (Reverb- supposedly a more reliable unit) after about 30 hours of use and maybe a couple hundred actuations. Not anywhere near durable enough for me.
    It seems that I've read quite a number of threads describing the Reverb as anything but reliable. I think there are much better options on the market for reliability.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  63. #63
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    dropper will allow you to squeeze more speed out of a a trail section with a lot of turns.


    like anything, do you need it ? nope.

    will it sometimes help maintain a higher
    speed through [section] yesh it might.
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  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDMTB'er View Post
    Even the XC pros on the UCI are now using dropper posts at the expense of extra weight. Not sure why people keep fighting progress.
    To be fair, there are only a few pros that are using them at this time. However, with the world cup courses getting steeper and more technical, I can definitely see more of them adopting droppers in the (not very distant) future.

    I remember when XC racers chose V-brakes over disc brakes for similar weight concerns. How many racers use V-brakes these days?
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  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    To be fair, there are only a few pros that are using them at this time. However, with the world cup courses getting steeper and more technical, I can definitely see more of them adopting droppers in the (not very distant) future.

    I remember when XC racers chose V-brakes over disc brakes for similar weight concerns. How many racers use V-brakes these days?
    My point is that if anyone doesn't NEED them it's pro XC riders. Yet they are using them. I can tell you here in SoCal where rides often involve going up and down 25 percent grade trails in succession a dropper is a must. Just because you can force yourself behind your seat doesn't give you the proper positioning for technical descents.

    I believe most Enduro racers (which is most similar to how many MTB riders ride) use droppers.

    And was there someone in this thread that has bar ends actually arguing against dropper posts? Bar ends - do you really need them?

    No way to do a proper bunny hop (I.e., not an SPD hop) with a high seat. No way to do a manual with a high seat.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDMTB'er View Post
    I can tell you here in SoCal where rides often involve going up and down 25 percent grade trails in succession a dropper is a must.
    I think this^ is where a lot of people take exception.

    It seems so simple to me, nobody needs a dropper but lots of people really like them. Just like bikes.
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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairbanks007 View Post
    Are droppers more convenient? Mostly, right up until they stop working - then they're a pain in the ass.
    ^perhaps quite literally.

  68. #68
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    One of my regular trail systems has a lot of short, very steep boulder rolls. Like 4-5' straight down to nearly flat transitions. I can get behind the saddle but without a dropper it's dangerously close to my gut, balls, and sternum. Any lapse in performance on my part can be quite painful. On steep rocky descents it's also nice to not have to lower the post and with a carbon frame I don't want to risk over tightening the clamp without a torque wrench. So a dropper is not essential, it just makes riding more aggressively more fun and less dangerous and I can keep rolling.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDMTB'er View Post

    No way to do a proper bunny hop (I.e., not an SPD hop) with a high seat. No way to do a manual with a high seat.
    Yup, no way whatsoever. Absolutely impossible.



    Gear weenies are funny folks. It's not enough to just say "I prefer this piece of equipment", it's always got to go to "if you don't buy what I bought, riding "x" is impossible/you're not really riding trails/you have personality issues/why aren't you riding a unicycle".

    I have no use for a dropper on regular trail rides. I have two in my parts pile and have put in plenty time with them. They don't float my boat, yet I can keep up to many people that have them no problem and will likely ride more technical lines than most. Let's not let hype get the best of us.
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  70. #70
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    Dropper post ? Do you really need one ?

    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I think this^ is where a lot of people take exception.

    It seems so simple to me, nobody needs a dropper but lots of people really like them. Just like bikes.
    Ok - a few things are a must on a mountain bike. Chains, tires, some sort of braking system, etc.

    Is that where people are getting hung up? On the word "must?"

    If that's the case, than no, dropper posts are not a "must."

    But even though the OP is asking if they are a "must" I think they are asking how "useful" they are and whether it's worth upgrading.

    I may be an outlier but I will go out on a limb and risk offending any non dropper users and say that dropper posts can be very useful in a variety of mountain bike scenarios.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDMTB'er View Post
    My point is that if anyone doesn't NEED them it's pro XC riders. Yet they are using them. I can tell you here in SoCal where rides often involve going up and down 25 percent grade trails in succession a dropper is a must. Just because you can force yourself behind your seat doesn't give you the proper positioning for technical descents.

    I believe most Enduro racers (which is most similar to how many MTB riders ride) use droppers.

    And was there someone in this thread that has bar ends actually arguing against dropper posts? Bar ends - do you really need them?

    No way to do a proper bunny hop (I.e., not an SPD hop) with a high seat. No way to do a manual with a high seat.
    Are you trying to convince me of the benefits of a dropper post? It appears that way since you quoted me.

    If so, then I don't know why since I'm full-in on them and haven't written anything against them.

    The point of my post was that droppers are not currently used by the majority of pro XC racers, but likely will be in the near future. I see it as much the same situation as disc brakes were to XC racing; you had a few early adopters and then once the benefits were so apparent, everyone jumped on board.
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  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDMTB'er View Post
    Ok - a few things are a must on a mountain bike. Chains, tires, some sort of braking system, etc.

    Is that where people are getting hung up? On the word "must?"

    If that's the case, than no, dropper posts are not a "must."
    You should probably also stop saying "no way to" and go with "I can't" instead.
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  73. #73
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    I'm not sure why examples of pro XC riders show up in every debate. It's the same as comparing me to a formula 1 driver, because we both drive cars.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

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    I rode for years without one. I rode downhill fast, I did sketchy technical steep downhills. It worked fine. I never manually dropped it, I just put the saddle in my gut and my butt behind it if I needed to get the weight back.
    My new bike has one and it's better. I drop and raise it all the time, and I am sold.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    I'm not sure why examples of pro XC riders show up in every debate. It's the same as comparing me to a formula 1 driver, because we both drive cars.
    Because one can easily assume they are at the farther end of the skill spectrum and probably better than most of us on this forum. Therefore, if they are willing to sacrifice weight when clearly they have the skill to not use a dropper, but elect to use a dropper anyway because it allows them more confidence on the downs, one could just maybe conclude that droppers are useful. Maybe.


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  76. #76
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    So I put on my old Spec. Command Post LT 125mm dropper yesterday and rode it on trail today. I really can't get into the limit of 3 positions with it so I swapped it for my wife's first gen Giant Contact Switch 100mm. Don't dis me as she has never used it once and won't trail ride with me. Just riding around the street with it it already feels more useful in that I can just lower it quick without having to slam it and I don't miss the extra 25mm travel. I am actually looking forward to my next trail ride to get used to it. Even with it and heavy tires my bike still weighs just under 30 lbs which is fine for my riding.
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  77. #77
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    Yes I need one and would never not have one. Not sure about you OP, but it's must for me because I prefer it.

  78. #78
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    It's beating a dead horse at this point, but yeah I wouldn't ride without one now that I have one.

    For me it's more of an issue of fun than anything else. Before, when gearing up to go over or down something really technical I had to mentally psych myself up and be real meticulous about my body position or I'd have to worry about a bad crash. Now I just drop the post and go for it without really thinking.

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    I would have never bought a dropper, but my new bike came with one. I love it and use it constantly. I really appreciate it most in twisty sections where I can get low and rail turns really fast. It's nice for steep sections as well of course, but I primarily like it for the control on fast, twisty sections. I can still feel it with my legs when dropped and use it to help steer/control the bike.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Levelheadsteve View Post
    I would have never bought a dropper, but my new bike came with one. I love it and use it constantly. I really appreciate it most in twisty sections where I can get low and rail turns really fast. It's nice for steep sections as well of course, but I primarily like it for the control on fast, twisty sections. I can still feel it with my legs when dropped and use it to help steer/control the bike.
    Agreed I noticed this difference railing turns yesterday with my newly installed dropper as I was able to really lower my center of gravity and carry speed with better grip. I am guessing more practice and familiarity with using it will only make railing curves even better.
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    Makes getting on and off the bike easy. If the trails are difficult the local trail maintenance people will dumb 'em down in no time.

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  82. #82
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by ridetheridge View Post
    dropper posts, people refer to it as the best invention since tubeless. Seems once people start riding with one, they rarely go back.

    Is it really that worthwhile of an upgrade ? More and more bikes seem to be coming standard with them. Is it one of those things you don't realize the benefit until you actually get it and use it ?
    Best Invention since tubeless,,,,,, Never thought of it that way but yes they are

    I won't go back to an antique seat post ever again....

    More bikes are coming standard with them because more and more people want them......

    You don't realize the benefit until you actually get In over your head
    and you realize the only reason you cleared that hairy section was because you could finally get really low over the bike.

    I won't go back to an antique seat post ever again.
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  83. #83
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    Great thread for anyone like who's pondering going there/up/down
    Now I need to search ones with minimal insertion and extension and weight

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclutch View Post
    Great thread for anyone like who's pondering going there/up/down
    Now I need to search ones with minimal insertion and extension and weight
    KS LEV Carbon Fiber has got what you need. Love mine. I combined a lightweight seat with it and knocked off .6# over my old set up that had less drop.

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    Nope. I had a dropper and got rid of it. Last 3 rides I did with the dropper I didnt even think about using it. I'm also short 5'7".

    To the pro rider statement. If my mechanic put a short travel light weight dropper on my bike for a race with some steep rock face drop off I'd gladly accept it. Would it live on my bike probably not.

    The failure rate of droppers also keeping one off my bike. I need less things that can fail not more.

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    I never used mine because I could never get use to the crummy remote lever that came with it. I could not position it where it felt natural using it. My latest bike came with an under bar lever positioned where the front shifter would be placed on a 2x set up. It works great. I can drop the post now without thinking about it. I have since replaced the levers on my other bikes. One of the best upgrades i made.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by l'oiseau View Post
    I'm not sure about the crap knees comment as my knees are far worse from using a dropper, but it's worth it.

    Not that I can't see why people doing long climbs and descents wouldn't want a dropper, but that's actually the application where I think they would be least useful to me. I usually stop during long climbs and stopping at the top and lowering my seat wouldn't bother me much. What I ride is almost exactly the opposite of that, even long (for our area) climbs have descents in them as do long descents have punchy climbs. Someone who is really fit could do fine keeping the seat down all the time and just standing on those climbs, but I couldn't. My legs (and arms) get tired on long dhs so using my seat to climb gives me a rest.

    And as far as the frame thing, I don't think there is any frame (that fits you properly) that would lower your cg even close to what a dropper allows you to do, so that's bunk to me.

    Endo paranoid? Not sure what this means but getting tossed on your face at high speed isn't exactly fun.
    Crap knees = higher saddle = higher center of gravity. 90%+ knee problems require more leg extension.

    If you use a dropper properly it shouldn't hurt your knees- tiny % of ride time spent downhill- right?

    8,000 vertical days don't like an extra pound, or whatever.

    "Really fit" is VERY relative. I have never known a single rider, including national title guys, who always climb out of the saddle. That's bonehead IMHO.

    Read my last point again- not implying a frame gets you lower. Saying that some frame designs result in a higher CG than others (e.g. old 4-bar vs. VPP) and if yours is of the higher variety, more need for a dropper.

    Newbies very afraid of endo LOVE droppers for comfort zone. I do ride with newbies on occasion.

  88. #88
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    If you ride rocky steep gnar like South Mountain in Phoenix you need a dropper. Can you do it without one? Maybe but you will have less fun.

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    After more than a year...I used a bike without it.
    I missed it a lot, when you ride trails that go uphill and downhill, changing yournposition gives you confidence...and when you jump you can also have more fun.
    In some part of the trail an XC guy overtake us....half a mile later we found him in the ground..he lose control in a small jump...
    As everything it has it positive and negative side...


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    I have been on a dropper for a few years now and apparently I had started to take for granted the advantages.

    I had a unique situation this past weekend that allowed me to compare riding the same bike on the same trail back to back with and without a dropper post. On Saturday, I rode my favorite five mile loop which features fast downhill sections with rocks and roots. My first lap was business as usual but just as I completed the lap, my dropper remote lost tension on the cable, thus the post was stuck in the up position. I did not have the correct sized allen wrench to make the repair so I decided to go “old school” and ride the loop again with the post in the up position. Bottom line- the second lap was almost two minutes slower than my average time for the trail.

    After this unplanned experiment, it was very clear the biggest advantages of the dropper for me are being able to set my saddle to the correct height (no compromise), and being able to more quickly and effetely distribute weight, which improved downhill braking and cornering a ton.

  91. #91
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    stuck a dropper on my rigid fatbike, just because I had an extra dropper laying around

    on first ice ride with dropper, I used it to enter a frozen pond off the banking, a steep lil grunt. immediate improvement. in a 22 mile ride that was the only time I used it, but I will tell ya, it is nice to have that bugger even for 1 second of ride improvement.

    on more chunky/steep/hilly fatbike rides you betcha that thing is gonna be dropped
    for tight swoopy groomed corners and most drops/steeps
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  92. #92
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    I got into mtb fairly recently. My past experience was freestyle bmx. I strongly believe riding with a high seat forces riders to use poor form for technical descents, jumps, drops, fast cornering. No DH racer's general form is going to be hanging off the back of the bike with the arms fully stretched out like someone trying to get behind their saddle. You wouldn't ride that way unless you had to (or had to while you were learning at least). BMX riders started riding with their seat low because it allowed for better bike handling. When I rode, we kept the seats just high enough to pinch with our knees for barspins. Once riders figured out they didn't actually need to pinch the seat they started slamming the seats as low as possible.

    So you may not need a dropper but for certain riding situations you need your seat low. I wouldn't ride without a dropper personally.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    I got into mtb fairly recently. My past experience was freestyle bmx. I strongly believe riding with a high seat forces riders to use poor form for technical descents, jumps, drops, fast cornering. No DH racer's general form is going to be hanging off the back of the bike with the arms fully stretched out like someone trying to get behind their saddle. You wouldn't ride that way unless you had to (or had to while you were learning at least). BMX riders started riding with their seat low because it allowed for better bike handling. When I rode, we kept the seats just high enough to pinch with our knees for barspins. Once riders figured out they didn't actually need to pinch the seat they started slamming the seats as low as possible.

    So you may not need a dropper but for certain riding situations you need your seat low. I wouldn't ride without a dropper personally.
    I came up in this world as well, but more in the 80's when high seats were common. I have never used a dropper, for many of the same reasons you mention...the biggest one being I don't feel like I need it. Granted, i don't bomb downhills and ride super aggressive tech and drops...like Red Bull stuff. I am just so used to having my seat where it is that I have adjusted. I keep my seat at what most people would probably consider the halfway point between their dropped position and raised position. I also don't tens to sit and climb...I stand when I climb - because that's what I did in BMX for years. It is odd to me to sit and climb actually

    That being said, I am not against trying one...like I don't fear that it is going to ruin the way I ride, but right now, there are other "irons in the fire" for my riding that I want to work on more
    "It's about having pointless fun in the woods...." - Walt
    '15 Surly Krampus
    '87 Mongoose Californian Pro
    LET IT SNOW!!!

  94. #94
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    Entertaining
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by sXeXBMXer View Post
    I also don't tens to sit and climb...I stand when I climb - because that's what I did in BMX for years. It is odd to me to sit and climb actually
    Same here. I like to stand and smash but I'm working on being more fluid to maintain traction.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by sXeXBMXer View Post
    I came up in this world as well, but more in the 80's when high seats were common. I have never used a dropper, for many of the same reasons you mention...the biggest one being I don't feel like I need it. Granted, i don't bomb downhills and ride super aggressive tech and drops...like Red Bull stuff. I am just so used to having my seat where it is that I have adjusted. I keep my seat at what most people would probably consider the halfway point between their dropped position and raised position. I also don't tens to sit and climb...I stand when I climb - because that's what I did in BMX for years. It is odd to me to sit and climb actually

    That being said, I am not against trying one...like I don't fear that it is going to ruin the way I ride, but right now, there are other "irons in the fire" for my riding that I want to work on more

    Don't bomb down hills, that's what life is all about

    If you always climb standing, how long are your climbs? I frequently climb for 1 hour or more, and can imaging standing the whole time.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  97. #97
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    Need no, nice to have yes. I love mine, both bikes have one.. And I find it worth it just to be able to drop the seat when coming to a stop in the parking lot, or on the trails, so I can put my feet down. I no longer crash coming to a stop trying to talk, without getting off the bike.

  98. #98
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    Nope.

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolo F View Post
    In some part of the trail an XC guy overtake us....half a mile later we found him in the ground..he lose control in a small jump...
    As everything it has it positive and negative side...
    Gotta love logic... ... ...

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Don't bomb down hills, that's what life is all about

    If you always climb standing, how long are your climbs? I frequently climb for 1 hour or more, and can imaging standing the whole time.
    we have small, punchy climbs...like 10-30 feet in less than a .10th of a mile. Often times a 10-15' climb between 60* and 80*. Like where trails cross stream beds, and no one builds bridges...quick down and quick ups. On longer climbs, I do go between sitting and standing <-(usually to rest my butt), but on many of the climbs on our single track you are done with the climb in less than a minute...but there are like 30-40 of them on a trail. On many, if you sit, the bike goes backwards over you...you have to be forward of the bars and pushing to get any momentum

    They also are very rooty, and can also be comprised of loose rocks/shale etc. I often times compare them to like climbing a crumbling old set of cement steps
    "It's about having pointless fun in the woods...." - Walt
    '15 Surly Krampus
    '87 Mongoose Californian Pro
    LET IT SNOW!!!

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