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  1. #1
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    Why are droppers so hot?!

    So it's been a while since I've really rode. like 8 years, and seems like droppers are the latest and greatest in technology, but for the price and weight, how are being recommended over upgrading breaks first? What happened to just distributing your weight? Just bought a 2013 SJ FSR EVO 29 and have been thinking about selling the Blacklite that came with it, so just trying to see whats up before making what could possibly be a stupid decision.

  2. #2
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    Well, if something breaks, it should be replaced or upgraded before you try to ride again.
    I have been riding the same FS 29 for the past 9 years. I had a wear line in my seatpost from dropping it down for downhill and dirtjumping, as well as random hooning about on the trails. A dropper post makes it so much easier. As far as distributing your weight vs dropping the post; dropping the post gets the seat out from between the legs, making the bike much easier to flick about. My big FS 29er becomes exceptionally more agile with the saddle out of the way.
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  3. #3
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    if you've already ridden with a good dropper post and you didn't find it worthwhile there's really nothing more to say

    there is certainly no general consensus they are more important than good brakes

  4. #4
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    Keep the post. In 2 months, you'll wonder how you lived without when you rode last.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  5. #5
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    A dropper post is not necessary but makes life so much easier. I thought the same that they can't be that big of a deal, until I got one

  6. #6
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    Give it a chance, you'll likely come to love it.

  7. #7
    Armature speller
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    I can't get off the back of my seat. The dropper post (BlackLite) solved that. Gives me so much more confidence.

  8. #8
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    if you dont use it then thats that. but with your seat lowered you can get after it harder than you would with your butt on the rear tire and a seat in your gut. no compromises with a dropper i guess.

  9. #9
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    You can flip burgers with a fork, too, but you will find a spatula to work a lot better.
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

  10. #10
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    Now that I have been riding with a dropper post for about a year, I find it essential. It adds more range in motion. I can descend steeper, turn harder, and climb more efficiently...all at the push of a button.

  11. #11
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    Man I have 2 last upgrades to my yeti....stiffer fork and dropper post for all the reasons above.
    2012 Yeti 575 Race
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  12. #12
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    anyone ever heard of a Hite Rite seat adjuster? $29.

  13. #13
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    Dropper post, clutch rear derailleur and narrow/wide front ring (if running 1x setup) is the newer tech that actually makes a difference to your ride
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  14. #14
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    Quote Originally Posted by zygote2k View Post
    anyone ever heard of a Hite Rite seat adjuster? $29.
    They werk Guud on rails to trails....in the middle of a sketchy technical rock drop section? Awful. Yeah...one handed technical riding is so hot right now!
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

  15. #15
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    And with a dropper post it is even better.

    mmmmm, burgers.........



    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    You can flip burgers with a fork, too, but you will find a spatula to work a lot better.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by COMMandrew View Post
    Dropper post, clutch rear derailleur and narrow/wide front ring (if running 1x setup) is the newer tech that actually makes a difference to your ride
    Its true. I was a dropper post unbeliever, then I tried one. I was still underwhelmed... but... after a year of use and learning how to use it I am now sold. If you ride aggressively and like steep technical terrain and drops they really are a game changer.

    As for the clutch derailleur and 1x with the narrow wide ring, the benefits of that system are immediately noticed. Quiet, smooth shifting, light, reliable, no dropped chains, no front shifter to interfere with my drop post remote, fantastic. Once someone makes a reasonably priced version they will sell boatloads, I would estimate 90% of riders would be better off with a 1x11.

  17. #17
    Armature speller
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    Quote Originally Posted by zygote2k View Post
    anyone ever heard of a Hite Rite seat adjuster? $29.
    Hated mine.

  18. #18
    Trail Ninja
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    I use my dropper post to:

    - get that extra extension on climbs to get a little extra power that allows me to virtually push a higher gear.
    - slam it like a dirt jumper, slope style, trials, or BMX bike to hit those tech features that give good air time
    - I drop it a little when descending something that might require a little pedaling still
    - I drop it a little when I want to make it easier to get back on my bike after stalling on a climb and want to resume trying to climb up
    - I drop it if I need to fit the bike upright in the trunk.
    - Simply tweak the saddle height to whatever feels more comfortable at that moment on my ride.

    It's so useful to use it while riding at full speed, without taking my hand off the bars, finding the optimal position to attack everything on the trail as effectively as possible. It's more efficient, safer, and smarter. It gives your trails a new experience, since you're experiencing a flow that is faster and more fluid overall. To me, riding without it would be like getting off my bike to manually control my derailleurs, if I had to use a lever on the actual derailleurs to use them--I use it almost as much as I shift my gears. I wonder if riding without it is like riding single speed to me... well, I would need to compromise and run the seatpost a little lower than normal, sacrificing my efficient pedaling position, just like I'd sacrifice my faster gears on the single speed.

    I hear roadies are contemplating running dropper posts, since bikes are getting so light and the post could bring them back up to UCI legal weights and offer them utility. Read in an interview of one roadie that used one in an actual race that he said that a lower position allowed them to spin easier through the rough and that they found a higher position useful for putting out torque on the climbs.

    Last time I tried riding without a dropper, on a hardtail, I felt slow on the rough descents, so when I was determined to make it work, since I see XC racers do it, on one descent I had the saddle jam into my chest really hard and on another occasion I bashed my balls on the back off the saddle, trying to get back forward in a centered position on the bike, from being behind the saddle position that allowed me to absorb a bump... that ball breaking moment gave me time to think, on the side of the trail for a few minutes managing the pain, and was the moment I convinced myself that I should just accept that I can't go as fast as I could with the saddle at a "medium" fixed position and that I just stopped to drop the seatpost manually to a better position for the rest of the ride, since it wasn't any fun just taking it easy through the rough sections when I knew I could do it faster. Basically, I got spoiled and my standards raised and also have adapted my set of riding skills to take advantage of it... why worker harder when you can do something better, without as much effort, and re-experience things in a way that makes doing it even more fun and more engaging. I don't know what to compare it... it was a convenience thing at first, like a remote garage door opener and keyless car entry, but suddenly it turned into so much more since without it I wouldn't have even bothered to change my seatpost height as much, and didn't realize there was so much benefit it gave to my actual riding. I would say I pay as much attention, if not more, to my seatpost height as I do with tire pressure and tire selection, after seeing how much benefit it can provide.
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  19. #19
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    I use mine all the time, I have a normal clamp on my seatpost now and just use the dropper. Besides for dropping it for terrain changes I drop mine to mount and dismount and stop and start often. I couldnt go back to a fixed post now.
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb

  20. #20
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    I do not have a dropper post because I have an older frame. I don't have enough post showing to do much more than a Gravity Dropper 3" drop. IMHO, 6.5" post showing is not a small amount. But for a dropper, it is.

    I definitely see the need. There is a lot of pedaling on my trails, not much sustained descent. But there are some drops and steep, short descents. Getting way back I often scrape my thigh if I'm lucky, or my nuts if I'm not, on the saddle.

    But I can't drop the saddle lower all the time because of all that pedaling. And I refuse to stop at the side of the trail to adjust my saddle with a quick release.

    Now that I've written it, I can't believe I haven't bought one yet. Jeez, I even have a bookmark to the Gravity Dropper order form. Guess I better get on it...

  21. #21
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    Why are droppers so hot?!

    I use a dropper on my FS but not on the HT, which I prefer to be lightweight and low on gadgetry. I'm adept at changing post height on the bike, even when climbing, so it's not a big issue, I could live without one on the fully too but it's nice to have on that bike...

  22. #22
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    I drop mine down if I know I have a big obstacle coming up to hop over. It's not that I can't hop with the seat up. It's easier to get that little extra height with more freedom of movement.

    If you're in the air over an obstacle and above the seat, the height of the rear wheel is limited by the height of your saddle. I slap myself in the arse every time when bringing the rear up to level out the bike in a hop.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    I do not have a dropper post because I have an older frame. I don't have enough post showing to do much more than a Gravity Dropper 3" drop. IMHO, 6.5" post showing is not a small amount. But for a dropper, it is.

    I definitely see the need. There is a lot of pedaling on my trails, not much sustained descent. But there are some drops and steep, short descents. Getting way back I often scrape my thigh if I'm lucky, or my nuts if I'm not, on the saddle.

    But I can't drop the saddle lower all the time because of all that pedaling. And I refuse to stop at the side of the trail to adjust my saddle with a quick release.

    Now that I've written it, I can't believe I haven't bought one yet. Jeez, I even have a bookmark to the Gravity Dropper order form. Guess I better get on it...
    You can always just do one now with a 1" and 3" drop. If you move to a different frame that would allow more length, can have them do up a new inner post for you with longer drop...
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  24. #24
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    I got one of the first dropper posts five years ago. My buddies had them and I kept telling them that they didn't need them. Then I rode with one. I have them on all my bikes now except my downhill bike and I never adjust the seat on it. I can't even think about riding without a dropper.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrublover View Post
    You can always just do one now with a 1" and 3" drop. If you move to a different frame that would allow more length, can have them do up a new inner post for you with longer drop...
    Sold! I was on the edge, teetering, paypal in hand.

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  26. #26
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    I am another convert, I thought it was completely rediculous to pay $300+ to add over a pound to your bike, then I demoed a bike that had one!!!

    I was sooold. I was sick of lowering my saddle at the top of DH, but only an inch or so for the pedally sections, then I would inevitably smack my stomach, pubic bone or worse if I hit something wrong.

    The only downside for my dropper is it doesn't go down far enough (that and it's a POS Reverb!!!).

  27. #27
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    I knew I wanted one, I tried one before, I waited until I bought a new bike to "throw in" a dropper with it, only $250 cdue to that and the specialized post is turning out to be very reliable for me, no issues. It changes how you ride and makes stuff so much more fun (not fighting on downhills).
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  28. #28
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    Because you can drop it like its hot, drop it like its hot.

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

  29. #29
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    Both Varaxis and Jayem -along with many others- are spot on. If you are a tall guy, the dropper will make even more sense as it will allow you to drop you center of gravity and allow you to carve the trails like you are on a dual slalom bike. The steep downhill become easier for sure but that is nothing compared to the use on singletrack and general riding. I actually use it more than my shifters.
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  30. #30
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    In addition to simply being able to drop the saddle at a whim, I also find that since it is out of my way whenever I want it to be, I am able to run my saddle more forward (which ends up being a little higher as well) than I used to. Now I have my mtb saddle position pretty close to that on my road bike.

    Previously, I needed to run the saddle a little farther back (which ends up being lower) in order to make it easier to get around in technical or steep situations.

    So it ends up not only being better for the DH sections, but for pedaling as well.

    I really notice this now when I ride my HT without a dropper. I need to compromise between the best position for straight up pedaling, and for technical situations. It I set the saddle similar to my road bike (more up and forwards), it is noticeably harder to move around. If I slide it back/down, it is not quite as good for pedaling. In the end, I keep it slid back/down.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  31. #31
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    Same as the others here - after my first ride with a dropper, I didn't want to go back. So nice to be able to drop the seat out of the way and get back on the steep and techy stuff, and then have it pop right back up to full extension for a climb immediately afterwards. Definitely use it more than my shifters.

  32. #32
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    I never though I'd drop $250+ on a seatpost, then I tried my buddies Reverb and I knew I couldn't go on without a dropper post.
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  33. #33
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    Dropper posts really fit it the safety equipment category. As with a helmut, it is much safer riding with one especially in steep terrain. In my own experience, 95-99% of OTB crashes are due to a high seatpost launch. J

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by COMMandrew View Post
    Dropper post, clutch rear derailleur and narrow/wide front ring (if running 1x setup) is the newer tech that actually makes a difference to your ride
    Crap, I only have 1 of the 3. No wonder no one rides with me. My wife thinks it's because I don't wash my jerseys much. I think she's just being overly clean.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by YogiKudo View Post
    Dropper posts really fit it the safety equipment category. As with a helmut, it is much safer riding with one especially in steep terrain. In my own experience, 95-99% of OTB crashes are due to a high seatpost launch. J
    I would not put them as high as a helmet, but they do help the otb crashes. Although, they should come with knee pads. Since I got mine, most of my crashes have been drifts that start good, but end badly. There was this one where a tree jumped out in front of me. I have heard of those moving trees and how they laugh at mtb riders, but I never experience one.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  36. #36
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  37. #37
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    The trail trees are bad, but the scary clowns out there on the trail are disturbing.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziscwg View Post
    Crap, I only have 1 of the 3. No wonder no one rides with me. My wife thinks it's because I don't wash my jerseys much. I think she's just being overly clean.
    Sorry, your wife is right, I don't care what other guys ride, but when they stink.....

    For christ'sakes man do you know what unwashed polypropylene smells like?!?! Do you have an olfactory disability?
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  39. #39
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    Damn, you guys are making me feel self-conscious about how fresh I smell, out on group rides. Hah.

    One more thing to add:

    I think of my dropper post as a travel adjust feature for my leg's suspension.

    Up to limit the suspension, for efficient pedaling, and down to get more travel range out of my legs. Now that I think about it, it might be that I find it hard to ride without a dropper post because my legs' spring rate is set up soft since I sometimes unlock full travel for even modestly rough terrain and when I run a fixed seatpost really high, I feel forced to get behind the saddle to absorb big hits, which isn't really a great position for maintaining control over my bike.

    Having extra "suspension" + being able to maintain optimal position is probably why people consider their dropper post a piece of safety equipment.
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  40. #40
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    Oh jeeze!
    They are nice to have but not necessary. I've been running one for 5 years. I use it but not as much as I thought I would. It seems I keep it at full height for 90% of my riding. By the time I get to a steep technical DH section [where it should be lowered] I'm already committed and going through it. I guess it's a mindset you have to get in, to flip that lever automatically in any given situation. Five years running one and I'm still not on auto pilot with it. Sure sometimes it dawns on me quick enough to utilise it but definitely not always.

    The funny part of my situation. For years I rode without one and did fine. At the top of a steep DH I would stop and adjust my quick release and lower it. Only to do the same and raise it for a climb.

    Then I had a bad wrist injury that kept me from riding steep technical DH's as much. Along about that same time I did some upgrading to my bike. Included in the upgrades came the dropper. So now I ride less challenging terrain due to wrist and age and have less use for a dropper, yet I have one. The irony!

    If you live to ride the chunk like I used to I would say get one. But if your riding consists of more just flowy single track it's not worth the extra weight. It's just adds to the complication of the bike. But on the other hand once you have one it would suck to go back to not having one.
    Last edited by DIRTJUNKIE; 09-27-2013 at 04:19 PM.
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  41. #41
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    While not intending to take jabs at anyone....I have always found it odd that anyone has to explain to other mtn bikers why a dropper post is useful. Pretty much my whole biking career I realized the benifits of getting the seat out of the way. Now we don't have to stop to do it.

    Basically what I'm getting at is that it baffles me that others don't see it my way.

  42. #42
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    As a general rule, modern long travel bikes have higher BB
    Heights and slacker seat tube angles. This creates a higher riding position
    And makes it harder to get behind the seat post.

    A dropper fixes all that with one button being pushed.

    You don't need it but, it is my favorite part of my bike.

    It will add to the flow factor on the trail.

  43. #43
    Yes, that's fonetic
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    Quote Originally Posted by saidrick View Post
    As a general rule, modern long travel bikes have higher BB
    Heights ....
    Oreally???
    I use mine countless times each ride. I only have a dropper on 1 of 4 bikes and when I'm not on the trail bike I'm constantly reaching for the lever that's not there.

  44. #44
    orthonormal
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    Quote Originally Posted by saidrick View Post
    As a general rule, modern long travel bikes have higher BB
    Heights and slacker seat tube angles.
    I'd say exactly the opposite. There's no shortage of new 6" travel bikes with 74 degree seat angles and 13-13.3" static BB heights. The 6" travel bikes I was riding 5-10 years ago had static BB heights above 14" and 71-72 degree seat angles.
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy f View Post
    I'd say exactly the opposite. There's no shortage of new 6" travel bikes with 74 degree seat angles and 13-13.3" static BB heights. The 6" travel bikes I was riding 5-10 years ago had static BB heights above 14" and 71-72 degree seat angles.
    Static 13" bb height on a 6" bike?
    Example?
    The Mojo HD has a 13.8". bb height and a slack seat angle

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by whodaphuck View Post
    Oreally???
    I use mine countless times each ride. I only have a dropper on 1 of 4 bikes and when I'm not on the trail bike I'm constantly reaching for the lever that's not there.
    Should have clarified modern "trail" bikes with long travel will have higher bb heights than older and shorter travel trail bikes.

  47. #47
    orthonormal
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    Quote Originally Posted by saidrick View Post
    Static 13" bb height on a 6" bike?
    Example?
    The Mojo HD has a 13.8". bb height and a slack seat angle
    Banshee Spitfire (in the low setting) and Turner Burner were the bikes I was thinking of with 13.0" BB heights but they're only 5.5" travel. Stumpjumper EVO has 6" travel and a 13.2" BB. My RM Altitude has a 13.4" BB the way I have it set up but can be adjusted as high as to 14".

    The Mojo HD and the Pivot Mach 6 are the exception in terms of STA. Banshee, RM, Turner, Santa Cruz, Norco, Specialized, are all 73-74.5 degrees.
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

  48. #48
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    My Canfield The One is a 'modern long travel' bike, and it has a 12.8" BB. The Yeti SB-66 I rode last year also had a BB that was around the same height. I see more modern bikes trending toward lower BB heights to improve their agility, especially with larger wheeled bikes that handle sluggishly by default. My older Giant had a 13.6", and my super old Cannondale hardtail had ~14.5 if I remember correctly. I think droppers aren't a good way to compensate for any change in BB height, since when you're dropping you seat, you are usually standing up. Your legs are putting forces at +/- BB level, as opposed to the seat far above that. If people are interested I can maybe dive into the physics of ti a bit more, but to me, BB height, and its resultant handling characteristics have little bearing on the use of dropper posts and vice versa.
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by charging_rhinos View Post
    My Canfield The One is a 'modern long travel' bike, and it has a 12.8" BB. The Yeti SB-66 I rode last year also had a BB that was around the same height. I see more modern bikes trending toward lower BB heights to improve their agility, especially with larger wheeled bikes that handle sluggishly by default. My older Giant had a 13.6", and my super old Cannondale hardtail had ~14.5 if I remember correctly. I think droppers aren't a good way to compensate for any change in BB height, since when you're dropping you seat, you are usually standing up. Your legs are putting forces at +/- BB level, as opposed to the seat far above that. If people are interested I can maybe dive into the physics of ti a bit more, but to me, BB height, and its resultant handling characteristics have little bearing on the use of dropper posts and vice versa.
    The yeti sb66 is listed at 13.5" on the bb.


    My mojo HD feels nervous on descents with the seat up.
    Feels much better with the seat down.
    I am not a physicist, but for me getting behind the seat and lower was the key for descending with that bike.

    My old Ventana, had a lower bb height and less travel(5") and did not feel nervous on the descents with the seat up.

  50. #50
    Anytime. Anywhere.
    Reputation: Travis Bickle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,159
    Quote Originally Posted by zygote2k View Post
    anyone ever heard of a Hite Rite seat adjuster? $29.
    I have one in my parts box.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

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