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  1. #1
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    Dropper Posts need a re-direction.

    Here is my rant, I thought it would be a good conversation.

    Why are dropper posts so heavy, complicated and expensive? I was really hoping that after a few generations the simplicity and reliability would increase, but they are continuing to trend toward more complex and expensive. I really don't understand why they have to be so dang fancy or so freaking expensive.

    I don't see why two telescoping tubes, with a lightweight mechanical spring, and a wiper seal, with a locking up and a down position cant be done. I don't want the hydraulic lever, or the air spring, or the infinite positioning, or any of the frills.
    I just want a post to go up and down about 3" reliably, and not be a brick with a wiggly head!

    I don't get it, please educate me why?
    My Bike: FORM Cycles Titanium Prevail 29er

    "Any wheel size is better than sitting at a computer all day." -Myself

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guerdonian View Post
    Here is my rant, I thought it would be a good conversation.

    Why are dropper posts so heavy, complicated and expensive? I was really hoping that after a few generations the simplicity and reliability would increase, but they are continuing to trend toward more complex and expensive. I really don't understand why they have to be so dang fancy or so freaking expensive.

    I don't see why two telescoping tubes, with a lightweight mechanical spring, and a wiper seal, with a locking up and a down position cant be done. I don't want the hydraulic lever, or the air spring, or the infinite positioning, or any of the frills.
    I just want a post to go up and down about 3" reliably, and not be a brick with a wiggly head!

    I don't get it, please educate me why?
    Such simplicity would clearly cost 3 times more than whatever is on the market now.
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guerdonian View Post
    ...I don't get it, please educate me why?




    Because what you are suggesting makes far too much sense. It will never happen.
    I'm enjoying my childhood way too much to ever give it up.

  4. #4
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    sketch out a design and have someone fab one for you. Find someone who knows solidworks to make you a pretty graphic, and take it to kickstarter - if you could sell a reliable dropper post for $100, people would be lining up, I suspect.

    in this day, if you really do have a better or cheaper idea, I don't see what's stopping you from making it happen and making some money in the process.
    It could be you are onto something. It could also be that the problem is more complicated than you realize.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    sketch out a design and have someone fab one for you. Find someone who knows solidworks to make you a pretty graphic, and take it to kickstarter - if you could sell a reliable dropper post for $100, people would be lining up, I suspect.
    Wait til Apple claims the patent on dropper post.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    sketch out a design and have someone fab one for you. Find someone who knows solidworks to make you a pretty graphic, and take it to kickstarter - if you could sell a reliable dropper post for $100, people would be lining up, I suspect.

    in this day, if you really do have a better or cheaper idea, I don't see what's stopping you from making it happen and making some money in the process.
    It could be you are onto something. It could also be that the problem is more complicated than you realize.
    I am a mechanical engineer, I work in Solidworks 90% of my day. I guess I am too busy with my current job, hobbies, and general life to do it. That or i am just a lazy ass.

    I also think if someone like me; a small fry, designed it and got it rolling, then tried to patent it, it would be eventually copied somehow, or muscled out of my playing field by one of the big contenders. Best case would be if I made it and sold off the design.

    My main question is why the heck haven't they done this for me already?
    My Bike: FORM Cycles Titanium Prevail 29er

    "Any wheel size is better than sitting at a computer all day." -Myself

  7. #7
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    I think the price has less to do with the materials or complexity of a dropper post, and more about the type of rider that uses one. It's only just now started to come stock on some bikes, but those are still in the $2000+ range. If you're spending 2K on a bike, chances are you have $200-500 to spend on a post.

    The price of a product isn't the cost of production plus a "fair" markup. The price of a product is what the market can bear and still provide a sustainable return. I think we'll see droppers continue to drop in price until you can easily find one for $100 but it may take a couple more years to catch on.
    "Got everything you need?"

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    I think we'll see droppers continue to drop in price until you can easily find one for $100 but it may take a couple more years to catch on.
    Thats just it though, they haven't dropped in price. They used to be in the $250-$300 now they are #350 to $400+ range retail. This is now something that is almost the same price as a Fox Float RP23, which has substantially more complicated internals, damping, rebound, pro-pedal, etc....
    My Bike: FORM Cycles Titanium Prevail 29er

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  9. #9
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    What you are describing sounds a lot like a Gravity Dropper. Maybe they're over-charging and over-weight, but I suspect that they've refined the two tubes and and spring with pin idea pretty far. They could make it titanium but then the price skyrockets. They could maybe have it made in Asia for cheaper? but then perhaps take a hit to quality?

    I like my GD turbo just fine. *shrug*
    Bicycling is politics by other means.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Structure View Post
    What you are describing sounds a lot like a Gravity Dropper. Maybe they're over-charging and over-weight, but I suspect that they've refined the two tubes and and spring with pin idea pretty far. They could make it titanium but then the price skyrockets. They could maybe have it made in Asia for cheaper? but then perhaps take a hit to quality?

    I like my GD turbo just fine. *shrug*
    I do agree with you, and i have not tried a gravity dropper post. I have heard that they function great, they are the cheapest post on the market, and the are durable. The two things that don't work are looks, and weight. But they are using a simple mechanism. Why aren't more companies working on improving this design rather than going the other direction?
    My Bike: FORM Cycles Titanium Prevail 29er

    "Any wheel size is better than sitting at a computer all day." -Myself

  11. #11
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    I'm an owner of an older Joplin 3 and currently also a 2012 spesh command post. The Joplin was bought 2nd hand from a friend and surprisingly has almost problem free. The inifinite adjustment has pros and cons. The 2012 command post has only been through one ride so far and still needs a bit of tweaking but it feels super solid and well made. I'll give a more thorough comparison (old infinite adjustment hydraulic driven with current model 3 position mechanically driven model) after a few more rides. The command post cost me 250 which I think is acceptable but should still be down in the 150.00 area. The joplin was bought used and dirt cheap.

    Bottom line, I agree... dropper post should be cheaper but the business allows for higher prices right now.

  12. #12
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    Here you go, a Gravity Dropper knock off for $100. Let me know how it holds up as I'm interesting in buying one:

    New TMARS Adjustable Seatpost Seat Post , 27.2X400mm | eBay

    The Forca Sports version is a little different, and a bit more expensive, and you can buy a rubber boot for it:

    Bike24 - Forca Sports SP350 Vario Seat Post 27,2mm

    Tim

  13. #13
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    Gravity Dropper posts already fit exactly what you want. I have had mine for 6 and 4 years. The 4 year old one still works great and I have never done any maintenance to it. The 6 year old one was rebuilt 1 time for $20. Seems like a great value to me.

  14. #14
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    While I agree that the price and weight can be improved but they are several brands and models available now for every one who wants it. Light weight option,up to 9" travel, fixed /infinite travel, integrated remote, mech/ hydro, more affordable models, etc. Choice is good there's something for everyone.

    I had a cheapo ks: 4" infinite adj, lever operated, suspension post for only $40 from pricepoint. Sure it weights 2.lbs+ and the suspension part is annoying but it's cheap.

    In a perfect scenario an adj post should be super reliable, up to 6" travel, ergonomic remote, weight 250g and cost about a hundred bucks, oh and made in the US of A








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  15. #15
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    So... Has anyone tried one of those "2013 New TMARS Adjustable Seatpost " off ebay. I assume its junk but found a youtube showing function. Just checkin...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guerdonian View Post
    Here is my rant, I thought it would be a good conversation.

    Why are dropper posts so heavy, complicated and expensive? I was really hoping that after a few generations the simplicity and reliability would increase, but they are continuing to trend toward more complex and expensive. I really don't understand why they have to be so dang fancy or so freaking expensive.

    I don't see why two telescoping tubes, with a lightweight mechanical spring, and a wiper seal, with a locking up and a down position cant be done. I don't want the hydraulic lever, or the air spring, or the infinite positioning, or any of the frills.
    I just want a post to go up and down about 3" reliably, and not be a brick with a wiggly head!

    I don't get it, please educate me why?
    Sounds to me like you are describing the Gravity Dropper post. It's the oldest one on the market, been around for something like 8 years. Very reliable, too.

    As far as the weight, I don't think they are that heavy for what they are. An extra half a pound is not unreasonable when you consider a mechanical spring, extra post (one sliding inside the other), switching mechanism, lever, and cables. How much weight does a suspended fork add over a rigid?

    At $220 I do not think they are overly expensive. That the price of a pretty low end fork. Heck there are hydraulic brakes that cost that much per wheel.

    It is ridiculous for people to expect a dropper post to weigh or cost close the same to a regular post. It's an entirely additional component. It would be like expecting the same of a suspended fork or frame over rigid.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guerdonian View Post
    I just want a post to go up and down about 3" reliably, and not be a brick with a wiggly head!



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Thank you. I come here just to post that.

    What was, is often the best. What has become, is most often in the best interest of the manufacturer. Correcting the imbalance between is left up to the marketing team.....

    About 3 ounces, simple, zero maintenance, no extraneous parts, fluid, air, saddle never wiggles, and it worked flawlessly.

    See? Ask the marketing folks why you need the newer option.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  19. #19
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    I use a Kind Shock i950r. It's not the most high speed/low drag thing out there, but it only cost about $250 and it's been about as reliable as a hammer. Worst thing that happens is sometimes the cable is a little sticky or the cable pops out of the actuator lever. The actual mechanism of raising or lowering it is reliable. And I'm raising or lowering it almost constantly.

    Like the other guys said, if OP thinks that a dropper should be $100 with three parts, he should design one and capitalize on that great idea.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Thank you. I come here just to post that.

    What was, is often the best. What has become, is most often in the best interest of the manufacturer. Correcting the imbalance between is left up to the marketing team.....

    About 3 ounces, simple, zero maintenance, no extraneous parts, fluid, air, saddle never wiggles, and it worked flawlessly.

    See? Ask the marketing folks why you need the newer option.
    So, I assume this means you have one that you still use?

    It did NOT work flawlessly, and there was no remote (without which I really don't see the point of a dropper post). That is why it flopped.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guerdonian View Post
    Here is my rant, I thought it would be a good conversation.

    Why are dropper posts so heavy, complicated and expensive? I was really hoping that after a few generations the simplicity and reliability would increase, but they are continuing to trend toward more complex and expensive. I really don't understand why they have to be so dang fancy or so freaking expensive.

    I don't see why two telescoping tubes, with a lightweight mechanical spring, and a wiper seal, with a locking up and a down position cant be done. I don't want the hydraulic lever, or the air spring, or the infinite positioning, or any of the frills.
    I just want a post to go up and down about 3" reliably, and not be a brick with a wiggly head!

    I don't get it, please educate me why?
    I donít get why suspension forks are so heavy, complicated and expensive It's just one set of tubes telescoping into another set with a spring and some fluid going through holes. What gives?

    My rigid fork was $80, weighs 2 lbs, and is incredibly stiff.

    All Iím asking for here is a suspension fork with good damping that is as light, cheap, and stiff as my rigid. Is this really that hard?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guerdonian View Post
    I am a mechanical engineer, I work in Solidworks 90% of my day. I guess I am too busy with my current job, hobbies, and general life to do it. That or i am just a lazy ass.

    I also think if someone like me; a small fry, designed it and got it rolling, then tried to patent it, it would be eventually copied somehow, or muscled out of my playing field by one of the big contenders. Best case would be if I made it and sold off the design.

    My main question is why the heck haven't they done this for me already?
    It's cute the way you pretend you don't understand why this mythical dropper does't exist already. No mechanical engineer could possibly mistake an incredibly complex device intended for one of the most nit-picky groups of consumers as somewhere where the bicycle industry is sandbagging development.

    Here's what you should do:
    Write down what don't you like about your post.
    Fix it.
    Sell it.

    Failing that:
    Stop complaining about something you refuse to change yourself.

    If there was a better solution it would be out there. If the better solution was out there everyone would be doing it. If you disagree, get to work and prove us wrong. Personally, I'm anticipating the Thomson dropper. If they execute to the level they normally do it's going to be the one to own.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    So, I assume this means you have one that you still use?

    It did NOT work flawlessly, and there was no remote (without which I really don't see the point of a dropper post). That is why it flopped.
    I've played with a bunch of them and as long as the seat post fit was good and the frame was smooth and free of burrs my experience was that they worked just fine.

    My understanding is that at least part of the reason for a dropper is the ability to adjust seat height without dismounting. Yes I understand that a remote makes a big difference but the OP was asking about a lighter, cheaper, and simpler solution and I think that for some folks this old school technology might still be a viable alternative.


    I don't use one, but only because I don't feel the need to fiddle with my seat height during a ride, or maybe I just need to get off these woosey trails I've been riding. To each his/her own though and I wholly support anyone who feels that it improves their ride experience.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    It's cute the way you pretend you don't understand why this mythical dropper does't exist already. No mechanical engineer could possibly mistake an incredibly complex device intended for one of the most nit-picky groups of consumers as somewhere where the bicycle industry is sandbagging development.

    Here's what you should do:
    Write down what don't you like about your post.

    Fix it.
    Sell it.

    Failing that:
    Stop complaining about something you refuse to change yourself.

    If there was a better solution it would be out there. If the better solution was out there everyone would be doing it. If you disagree, get to work and prove us wrong. Personally, I'm anticipating the Thomson dropper. If they execute to the level they normally do it's going to be the one to own.
    Little aggressive dontcha think?

    as any GOOD engineer knows its easy to make something complicated and expensive, its much more difficult to make something simple, and cheap. The old school design shown above is something that looks simple and reliable. The Thomson post you mention will be upwards of $400. As I stated above, I do not understand why this "up and down" mechanism is more expensive than suspension shocks with very complex valving, lockout, and air springs. I don't think they are sandbagging, I think they are headed down a path that is the wrong direction. Why do they need to be infinity adjustable, hydraulically actuated, air sprung, etc.....Give me an up, and a down position. Am I alone in wanting just up and down?

    Its also easy to tell someone "if your so smart just do it and STFU" In this instance you seem to be inferring that I should invest into my own company to produce a product to compete in a very aggressive market, against large companies. Unfortunately at the moment I don't have the determination to do so or the money to invest. Sure I am making excuses, but i was hoping this would be a friendly discussion of why droppers are so pricey and complicated.
    My Bike: FORM Cycles Titanium Prevail 29er

    "Any wheel size is better than sitting at a computer all day." -Myself

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    I donít get why suspension forks are so heavy, complicated and expensive It's just one set of tubes telescoping into another set with a spring and some fluid going through holes. What gives?

    My rigid fork was $80, weighs 2 lbs, and is incredibly stiff.

    All Iím asking for here is a suspension fork with good damping that is as light, cheap, and stiff as my rigid. Is this really that hard?
    I can see this point as well. Though I think the suspension is a little more justified as it directly inputs the ride feel of the bike, and due to different rider weights, trail conditions, and preferences, I can see the justification of the adjustments. A dropper post just needs to go up and down, and stay up when someone is sitting on it.
    My Bike: FORM Cycles Titanium Prevail 29er

    "Any wheel size is better than sitting at a computer all day." -Myself

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