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  1. #1
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    Pulling your dropper off

    The last couple of years the majority of my riding has been done on a bike with a dropper post. During that time I have gotten progressively more and more useless without one. I was so useless that it was starting to slow me down. Instead of just riding the terrain, I was thinking about raising and lowering my post.

    This fall I decided to pull the dropper off and learn how to descend with a high seat again. I will not lie to you, at first it was #$%$ terrifying. But after a dozen riders or so, I got a lot quicker moderately more comfortable. I still very aware of when I am on terrain that a dropper would help on but I can survive.

    I think for an XC racer it is important to not be come to dropper dependent. On a lot of course there is rolling technical terrain that if you can do it the quickest way to ride is with your seat up.

    In the spring I will put the dropper back on but I am hoping the work I am doing now will allow me to limits it use to terrain where it really does make a difference.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  2. #2
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    Oh man I can say the very same thing about riding full susp only then grabbing a hardtail, I'm super slow. It's been baffling when I had to grab a hardtail while I repaired my full susp.

    I once got a dropper post for my xc bike, never used it. Figured out that for the terrain I ride I really didn't need it. I can see how for enduro or all mountain is beneficial and quite an important part of your bike, for xc I don't agree with industry pushing them.

    The industry push on enduro or more technical capable bikes have changed xc for bad I think. Instead of having a clear distinction between one and the other, xc and enduro bikes seems to be mixed for the average Joe. Some people still want a bike that can pedal offroad with not much technical difficulty, while other novices want a bike to ride technical stuff, yet all bikes xc or enduro seem to have the same "modern geometry", components and latest fads. Not necessarily bad, but it degrades the xc tracks while makes the bikes more expensive as well.

  3. #3
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    I'm no XC racer, but if a course honestly has features and you have a tool to make them easier/safer, then why wouldn't you use it for a mild, non-rotational weight increase? Yes we all high posted for eons, but honestly, was it fun or is descending that steep section/steep short roller/sudden drop now more fun with a dropper and saddle out the way?
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    I'm no XC racer, but if a course honestly has features and you have a tool to make them easier/safer, then why wouldn't you use it for a mild, non-rotational weight increase? Yes we all high posted for eons, but honestly, was it fun or is descending that steep section/steep short roller/sudden drop now more fun with a dropper and saddle out the way?
    I think you mis-read my post. It isn't a question of weight or even if they should be on your bike or not. It is about maintaining the skills set of riding with a high post. There does exist section of XC course in which you are better off to just leave the post up. Assuming of course that you have maintained the "high post" skill set.

    And there is sections where using a dropper is going to make you faster, assuming of course that you have one on your bike.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Agree 100%, or maybe more, since I'm also dropper free on my big bike.

    I'm no Red Bull Rampage rider, but I get up and down some pretty tough stuff fairly handily w/o dropper. Just spent six days in Moab, and never felt the need.

    But I'm a mostly ground level challenge guy, and I would probably feel differently if I was trying to clear 40 foot gap jumps, or WC DH courses.

    Side note: My KTM also has a fixed seat, and navigates some amazingly technical stuff without much trouble.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  6. #6
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    Yep, riding a certain trail segment a few time on the dropperless Kona Unit and no issues.
    A few more times on the dropped Santa Cruz Chameleon and even better.
    A few more times on the Unit and oh f$%k!

  7. #7
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    Thread for old men... 😆

    You just get confused by your dropper post because you developed your skills with a rigid post a long time ago. For younger riders dropper usage is a no brainer.

    I am 34 years old and find myself building up a HT without a dropper post. Afters two seasons on a Yeti ASRc with a 125mm Fox Transfer I am craving simplicity and lightness.
    For the skill side: riding with or without a dropper demands different riding styles. I think there is almost no transfer inbetween.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by chilla13 View Post
    Thread for old men... 😆
    Present!
    Whining is not a strategy.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chilla13 View Post
    Thread for old men... 😆
    At 59, I don't see age being an influence in using a dropper. Old dogs can learn new tricks
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  10. #10
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    No, didn't mis-read, got what you're trying to say, just don't really believe it. I rode without a dropper for years, did lots of high posting on nasty steep/technical stuff, thought I rode it quite well, then I got a dropper and realise what utter BS I had been telling myself. While I might have been able to ride down that stuff with a high post, it was sketchy and scary and dangerous because you could get caught up on your saddle anytime moving off or onto the saddle, and I did, to some not very nice endings. No matter how fast you think you can ride a section that truly "requires" a dropper with a high post, the fact is, you can ride it faster with a dropper and be in less peril doing it.

    I know a guy who started riding years before me and then stopped, then got back into it, he also made fun of droppers and that he didn't need one, I always used to have trouble keeping up with him before droppers, but with him high posting it and me with my dropper, my brakes got a lot of use on the steep, tech stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    I think you mis-read my post. It isn't a question of weight or even if they should be on your bike or not. It is about maintaining the skills set of riding with a high post. There does exist section of XC course in which you are better off to just leave the post up. Assuming of course that you have maintained the "high post" skill set.

    And there is sections where using a dropper is going to make you faster, assuming of course that you have one on your bike.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  11. #11
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    I agree itís important to be able to ride without one. Shit happens and if you crash going off a drop or whatever because you canít handle doing it with a high post thatís not good. Itís good to keep reasonably competent both ways. I have a dropper and I accidentally go off stuff with it up from time to time.

  12. #12
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    Until wireless droppers are reliable and ubiquitous, there is no way I'm going to go through the hassle of pulling off an internally routed dropper to put a rigid post on. I'd rather just avoid the fries and beer for a few weeks and drop the extra pound.

    Just keep the seat up if you want to practice.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    This fall I decided to pull the dropper off and learn how to descend with a high seat again.
    You know what you can actually do? You can just not hit the button that drops the post. That way you won't have to spend all that money on on a high-end rigid post.

    I actually do this by accident all the time so I know that it works.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    You know what you can actually do? You can just not hit the button that drops the post. That way you won't have to spend all that money on on a high-end rigid post.

    I actually do this by accident all the time so I know that it works.
    Except that you don't.

    You go into the rock faces with the seat-up and think this is absolutely terrifying and make the rational decision and hit the button and lower your seat post. Once your riding style has fully adapted to riding with a seat down it is extremely difficult/terrifiying to ride with it up. The only way you are going to relearn that skill set is to force it.

    For myself it has been interesting over the past month to watch the descending speed and comfort with the seat up increase. On all but the steepest and nastiest descents I am able to match my seat down speeds and on trails with technical rolling terrain I am actually a bit quicker.

    I am still going to race with a dropper because I do believe that on the courses I race on there are many descents where a dropper is going to make me quicker and safer. But I planning to put in the effort to maintain the seat-up skills set.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  15. #15
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    I mentally adjust within minutes of a ride to what ever bike I'm on. I rode a pretty enduro like trail the other day on my XC bike. My friend wanted to shuttle, so I thought I would get there early, ride up, and have him bring my enduro to the top. Switch out bikes and have the best of both worlds (top 5% overall both ascending and descending that trail). But with a miscommunication, my friend didn't grab my enduro out of the truck so I descended on my XC HT with rigid post.

    I made the mental adjustment essentially instantly and adapted how I rode. Was I slower going downhill? Yes, I huck some serious shit when I have a 160mm 29er compared to my 100mm HT. But did it scare me? No, I just adapted the limits.

    But if it matters, I have never had a dropper on my XC bike, so I have never had that in my mind as an option. I run into the limits of how much of a pounding the rear 2.25" rear tire can handle already, having a dropper will just make me even harder on the rear tire.

  16. #16
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    Pulling your dropper off

    Cliff notes: Mine is gone for the most part.

    I only ever raced with a dropper, since I am newer to the sport and my XC race bike is my only bike. My home trail is a 40 mile trail system with 1-5 foot rock ledges everywhere, so I had a dropper when I started racing.

    Looking back on races, I only ever used my dropper two places in two seasons of racing. 1. All starts 2. One 6 foot triple ledge drop that I huck to flat.

    After I pulled mine off this January before the season. I only put it on briefly for my trips to Sedona for Triple H and Bentonville jump lines.

    I don't like the high post on large manmade jumps, and I actually prefer something like my 100/100 anthem on a flow trail to anything big like a Bronson. I'm faster too.

    I'm extremely fast on downhills with a rigid on an XC bike and I am finding that in races, I never get to go as fast as I can because of traffic, so I'll save the pound.

    The flip side of this is. If the people in races who hold me up on downhills Ran a dropper, they would be more confident and much faster.




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  17. #17
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    LOL. Do gears confuse you too? Maybe you should switch over to a single speed. I always reach for the lever out of habit without even thinking about it on my XC race bike. I missed it so much I installed one. I still haven't determined if it makes me faster, but it sure makes training rides more fun.
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

  18. #18
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    When I use a dropper, I only use it when I think I might get caught behind the saddle. That means my saddle is down less than 1% of the time. It's not useless because when I need it, it is there. But I wish it was lighter.
    Consciousness, that annoying time between bike rides.

  19. #19
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    Ive been struggling with the need vs want with a dropper. I want it fairly light... been waiting on the fall line r for some time but the normal 375/ 125 fall line is pretty light.

    I had one on a large hard tail i first raced on, bike felt short and seat was always in the way. Now i went to an xl FS ive never missed it. Now i want to get into more jumps, drops and rock gardens and truthfully i road rock gardens better on the hard tail with the dropper than the FS.

    I mean its $500-600, it is 250 extra grams... i will probably have tons or rides it wont be used but still no reason not to have one?
    Fatbike, XC bike, Gravel Bike....

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    I'm curious to try one out. I bought a bike that comes with one. It I doubt I will use it for races in my area but will keep it for trips to brevard. My saddle is kinda a feeler gauge for me and I've only ever known high posting. But I won't knock it till I try it.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by solarplex View Post
    Ive been struggling with the need vs want with a dropper. I want it fairly light... been waiting on the fall line r for some time but the normal 375/ 125 fall line is pretty light.

    I had one on a large hard tail i first raced on, bike felt short and seat was always in the way. Now i went to an xl FS ive never missed it. Now i want to get into more jumps, drops and rock gardens and truthfully i road rock gardens better on the hard tail with the dropper than the FS.

    I mean its $500-600, it is 250 extra grams... i will probably have tons or rides it wont be used but still no reason not to have one?
    I was waiting for the fall line R too... weight is my biggest concern with a dropper

  22. #22
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    I almost always train without a dropper, but for XCO-races I often mount it up. If you have drops and jumps or gnarly downhill section you have some extra help with it.

    But agree, riding with it always makes you using it all the time and loose time.

  23. #23
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    First race of the (pre) season yesterday, first time on my XC bike in months.

    I was really missing 160mm of travel and a dropper!

  24. #24
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    I recently added a dropper to my XC rig for the first time and now I find myself grabbing it more often for rides. For the last few years I have been almost always riding my Mach 6, and I think having a dropper on it had something to do with it. I just don't enjoy riding without one that much anymore. I have a really long inseam and the torso of a third grader, so the dropper makes a HUGE difference for me.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by free-agent View Post
    I have a really long inseam and the torso of a third grader, so the dropper makes a HUGE difference for me.
    This.

    I have a 80.5cm seat height and am only 186cm tall. I remember riding before droppers and it was terrible on the local mountain trails. A good dropper is fast and seamless. I donít even notice how often I work it these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flowby2wheels View Post
    This.

    I have a 80.5cm seat height and am only 186cm tall. I remember riding before droppers and it was terrible on the local mountain trails. A good dropper is fast and seamless. I donít even notice how often I work it these days.
    You guys are making me want a dropper! Iím a long legged dude (36Ē inseam, 6í1Ē) and I really wonder what it would be like.

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    Rode without a dropper for a lot of years. I ride a lot faster now and crash a lot less and part of it is the dropper. The nicest thing about the dropper for me though is that I can have the post at optimal pedal height for the tamer sections. Before droppers came around it was a compromise where I ran the saddle about an inch below optimal to better cope with tech sections.

    I broke my dropper lever with my knee a couple months ago and had to finish the ride with the post up. Yep, I still remembered how, but it took a bit to remember to drop my post that little bit. Pedaling with the slightly lower saddle though reminded me why I liked the dropper so much.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by khardrunner14 View Post
    You guys are making me want a dropper! Iím a long legged dude (36Ē inseam, 6í1Ē) and I really wonder what it would be like.
    I'm a 34" inseam. Give it a shot. You can always sell it if you don't prefer it.
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  29. #29
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    My new dropper quandary aka intrinsic value.

    Those 1-2 rides per year where a dropper would have saved you from a nasty OTB injury and the lost hours from recovering from the injuries. Oh and a few knicks on your bike.

    My wrist hurts... and my leg. Rocks are hard, and sharp.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by splitendz View Post
    I was waiting for the fall line R too... weight is my biggest concern with a dropper
    Raceface 125/375 on sale for $401 canadian so i pulled the trigger. Its the lightest one they offer at 469g. My carbon next post is 220-240g so not bad. Most posts i see are 600g or more.
    Fatbike, XC bike, Gravel Bike....

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    Side note: My KTM also has a fixed seat, and navigates some amazingly technical stuff without much trouble.
    Maybe lift the seat on that up 20cm and see how much fun it is!

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by solarplex View Post
    Raceface 125/375 on sale for $401 canadian so i pulled the trigger. Its the lightest one they offer at 469g. My carbon next post is 220-240g so not bad. Most posts i see are 600g or more.

    This does not include the weight of the remote. I am pretty sure all remoptes out there are 90-130g

    Many dropper companies are being sneaky with this by only quoting dropper weight instead of the entire system. Some don't even provide a worthwhile remote with their dropper which also affects the overall price.

    As much flack as my Doss (645) dropper got for being heavy and having an "ugly" remote, This is at least an entire working system. The KS I bought, I promptly returned because it was technically only a few grams less than the DOSS. KS Lev was already showing signs of being finicky, and they are not reliable enough for my needs, so back it went. Not to mention the Doss remote was about as indestructible as it gets.


    With that being said, I am trying out the XCP 35mm on my wife's only/race bike.

  33. #33
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    I am building up a new single speed platform from a Stache frame. Once I made the decision to also make it rigid, of course, I didn't put a dropper post on it.

    My FS bike has a 150mm Fox Transfer (best yet in my opinion) and I love riding with it. Before I put the Fox on the bike I had a couple of Reverbs that failed (three times). Each time it failed, Rockshox would warranty it and I rode with a rigid post for a week to so. Each time I was reminded how lazy I can be with the dropper post installed. Each time with the rigid post I had to commit to riding technical terrain correctly.

    So when I made the decision to build a new single speed, deciding to make it fully rigid was based on my experience going back and forth with that dropper. I am happy to have both platforms, but definitely, the rigid post is more demanding to ride. It will be good for my riding.

    Have fun out there!

  34. #34
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    There is no "correctly" or incorrect in this context (or with clipless pedals).

    The only "correct" method is to use what's at your disposal for maximum benefit.

  35. #35
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    Well, I sit on the other side of the fence to you on this one, if I'm building a Trail capable rigid, that for sure is when you want the saddle as far out the way as possible so you can use your legs to their fullest to provide suspension and absorb all the hits and get your weight about the bike as quick as possible, but then you also want the saddle at "proper" height to pedal and rest in between all the rough stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by beastmaster View Post
    I am building up a new single speed platform from a Stache frame. Once I made the decision to also make it rigid, of course, I didn't put a dropper post on it.

    My FS bike has a 150mm Fox Transfer (best yet in my opinion) and I love riding with it. Before I put the Fox on the bike I had a couple of Reverbs that failed (three times). Each time it failed, Rockshox would warranty it and I rode with a rigid post for a week to so. Each time I was reminded how lazy I can be with the dropper post installed. Each time with the rigid post I had to commit to riding technical terrain correctly.

    So when I made the decision to build a new single speed, deciding to make it fully rigid was based on my experience going back and forth with that dropper. I am happy to have both platforms, but definitely, the rigid post is more demanding to ride. It will be good for my riding.

    Have fun out there!
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  36. #36
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    I use a dropper all the time on the trail and on training rides. Even during course pre rides. It's second nature. But during a race, I don't use it. Not sure why. I may use it on drops and or steep rock gardens. I've thought about taking it off for races, but as soon as the race ends I'm using the dropper again.

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    Since it's the XC forum I'm mostly interested in racing advantages. I'm sure it's clear for daily riding there are features we can find that the dropper will be of huge help and more fun.

    Dropper seat posts for cross country racing
    Good read ! the point of rolling terrain vs longer descents-to-flats.

  38. #38
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    I commented on her FB post about it, but didn't get to read the article. I'm in a similar camp, but not the same. I don't think the pluses out weigh (pun intended) the negatives for me. I was just shopping for one the other day, giving it some thought, but then I saw the weight and price and decided to save my money.

    I'll revisit the idea when I go FS. But right now on the HT, I don't want one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I was just shopping for one the other day, giving it some thought, but then I saw the weight and price and decided to save my money.
    I guess we're doing that same circle !

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I'll revisit the idea when I go FS. But right now on the HT, I don't want one.
    Her conclusion seems to be the opposite, which I understand the logic. And I get yours, you want the simple and light HT.

  40. #40
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    I'd say the 6 women finishing in front of her using droppers is proof enough for me that they work.

    Quote Originally Posted by wheelzqc View Post
    Since it's the XC forum I'm mostly interested in racing advantages. I'm sure it's clear for daily riding there are features we can find that the dropper will be of huge help and more fun.

    Dropper seat posts for cross country racing
    Good read ! the point of rolling terrain vs longer descents-to-flats.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

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    Could be an argument but too many variables to use it as proof. How many men finished infront of the best one with a dropper ? I don't know who's the top finisher with a dropper for men, Vogel (7th) with 30mm of drop ?

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelzqc View Post
    I guess we're doing that same circle !

    Her conclusion seems to be the opposite, which I understand the logic. And I get yours, you want the simple and light HT.
    The HT is 27.2, so that limits my options and pricing. And I often run into trouble with hitting rock gardens too fast right now, I'm afraid things will be worse with the extra confidence of having my seat out of the way.

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    I'm markedly faster with a dropper on most trails, but I think it really depends where you're racing. Up here in BC, on most of our courses it's a no brainer, a dropper is faster hands down, but for all of the courses I've raced in the US Southwest, I could easily live without it.
    Canuck in the homeland

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    For those of us that started riding in the 60ís when no such devices were available, we learned other methods. When encountering conditions that warrant a lowered saddle, we took a break, drank a beer and readjusted our seat posts. Then off we go. Not a race solution but worked then. Now, I ride a Hardtail and do not want the weight, complexity or the cluttered bar. I am only using one shifter in syncro mode. Ad if I ever did buy one, it would have to be.wireless.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emdexpress View Post
    When encountering conditions that warrant a lowered saddle, we took a break, drank a beer and readjusted our seat posts. Then off we go. Not a race solution but worked then.
    I'd get pretty pissed every time if I had a beer everytime I used my dropper. I put it down for most decent corners!

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    If only my friends had a dropper, I could try one which could change my mind. Intrigued by you dropping in most corners. That I need to try.

  47. #47
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emdexpress View Post
    For those of us that started riding in the 60ís when no such devices were available, we learned other methods. When encountering conditions that warrant a lowered saddle, we took a break, drank a beer and readjusted our seat posts. Then off we go. Not a race solution but worked then. Now, I ride a Hardtail and do not want the weight, complexity or the cluttered bar. I am only using one shifter in syncro mode. Ad if I ever did buy one, it would have to be.wireless.
    How are those 1.8 Smoke and Dart tires holding up?

    I take it your bar is less cluttered than this?

    Pulling your dropper off-01f9583b04d70f066c88a574648876508d209b477f.jpg
    "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

    You're turning black metallic.

  48. #48
    Rides all the bikes!
    Reputation: Sidewalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emdexpress View Post
    weight, complexity or the cluttered bar. I am only using one shifter in syncro mode. Ad if I ever did buy one, it would have to be.wireless.
    Don't want the complexity, but you have to charge your bike? All your arguments point to needing an SS bike (weight, complexity, clutter...).

  49. #49
    mtbr member
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    Charging your phone, tablet, watch, bike or laptop is not complexity, especially if you only need to charge every 4-6 weeks. Doubles and triples were an upgrade back in the day so taking them off is a change not an upgrade. Single speeds once again was the norm back in 1960ís so going that way again while simple is not fast or desirable with the huge jumps in gear ratios. Dropper are not needed anyway when you rode without them for decades. Useful of course in some situations but not necessary. But we all get to choose wheat works for us. And lastly, electric shifting systems may be complex but all I do is push the blips and last year made over 25,000 shifts on eTap without any miss shifts. So it seems it is not complex for me. Push a button, get perfect shifts and I do not even have to wrench on it.

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