Drill frame for dropper or not?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Drill frame for dropper or not?

    So I'm into the dropper thing now.

    Since I've only hit the trail some 15 times the last four years, I'm not prepared to pay much more than €250, preferably less.

    My bike is a 2011 Trek TopFuel 8, size 18,5".

    There's no holes for a stealth dropper, but I'm thinking of the possibility of making a hole myself, but where should I place it? There's plenty of space on the down tube. I also have one unused hole for a bottle cage on the top, and to holes beneath the downtube. Could the be expanded a bit an used? I assume I can fiddle the cable just past the BB tube for a nice radius bend of the cable.

    My current saddle position is 200mm above the clamp (distance A), and I can insert my current post 250mm into the frame (point C). I have about 450mm down to the BB (distance B)
    Drill frame for dropper or not?-trektopfuel8_1.jpg
    If it's a good idea to cut my own hole for the stealth I can think of two routes, yellow and red, picture 2. I think the red line can just steer clear of the BB spindle. The yellow line is probably to tight of a turn, and it doesn't leave enough insert of the dropper post.
    Drill frame for dropper or not?-trektopfuel8_2.jpg


    My number one choice for stealth mounted dropper would be OneUp 170mm drop or the e13 TRS+. Cheap solution would be the BrandX XL 170mm.

    The easier way would be an external routed dropper, and here I've been looking at BrandX Ascend II with the cable at the seat clamp. The downside is it only has 125mm drop.
    Next up is the ExaForm JAG Remote Seatpost 31.6 mm x 485 mm x 150 mm. Various reviews, but it has the stroke I'm looking for. So does the Kind Shock E20. I find the Lev DX too expensive.


    So, summary: Cut frame for stealth routing or go with limited number of choises?? 'I hope it all made sense!

  2. #2
    Hardtail Steel Forever
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    Personally, I would get one with an external cable. I know some people drill frames, and it works fine, I just don't like potentially messing with the integrity of a frame not to mention it kills the resale if that's a concern for the future.
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  3. #3
    OFS old, fat, slow
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    I put a Reverb Stealth in my 2009 Giant Reign. I ran the hose above the BB tube like your yellow line above (worked better on that bike than going around the BB tube - YMMV), then drilled a hole in the side of the downtube maybe an inch or so behind the headtube. I ovaled the hole a bit to allow the hose to exit without kinking and installed a plastic fitting to make it clean and factory looking. A LBS found me the fitting just lying around and gave it to me.

    Drill frame for dropper or not?-20190510_150239-002-.jpg

    AM.
    Last edited by Attacking Mid; 05-10-2019 at 05:35 PM.

  4. #4
    Trail Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by NielsJ View Post
    So I'm into the dropper thing now.

    Since I've only hit the trail some 15 times the last four years, I'm not prepared to pay much more than €250, preferably less.

    My bike is a 2011 Trek TopFuel 8, size 18,5".

    There's no holes for a stealth dropper, but I'm thinking of the possibility of making a hole myself, but where should I place it? There's plenty of space on the down tube. I also have one unused hole for a bottle cage on the top, and to holes beneath the downtube. Could the be expanded a bit an used? I assume I can fiddle the cable just past the BB tube for a nice radius bend of the cable.

    My current saddle position is 200mm above the clamp (distance A), and I can insert my current post 250mm into the frame (point C). I have about 450mm down to the BB (distance B)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    If it's a good idea to cut my own hole for the stealth I can think of two routes, yellow and red, picture 2. I think the red line can just steer clear of the BB spindle. The yellow line is probably to tight of a turn, and it doesn't leave enough insert of the dropper post.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	TrekTopFuel8_2.jpg 
Views:	73 
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ID:	1250773


    My number one choice for stealth mounted dropper would be OneUp 170mm drop or the e13 TRS+. Cheap solution would be the BrandX XL 170mm.

    The easier way would be an external routed dropper, and here I've been looking at BrandX Ascend II with the cable at the seat clamp. The downside is it only has 125mm drop.
    Next up is the ExaForm JAG Remote Seatpost 31.6 mm x 485 mm x 150 mm. Various reviews, but it has the stroke I'm looking for. So does the Kind Shock E20. I find the Lev DX too expensive.


    So, summary: Cut frame for stealth routing or go with limited number of choises?? 'I hope it all made sense!
    1. Your bike is a 2011...it probably doesn’t have any warranty left on it.
    2. Currently, you don’t have a dropper...125mm will be plenty.
    3. Based on the amount of time you spend riding(according to you), I would just get a dropper with an externally run cable.
    4. I have a Bikeyoke 160mm dropper on my bike...get one of these, if you end up drilling your frame.

  5. #5
    Sneaker man
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    Just get a brand-x ascent ii, cheap, cheerfull, works fine and no drilling.
    All the gear and no idea.

  6. #6
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    That’s a good one

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jestep View Post
    Personally, I would get one with an external cable.
    Agree. Internal cables are just a pain and cables do not like sharp bends. I removed my rear internal gear cable and taped it to the outside. Shifting is so much better!

  8. #8
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    Have to agree with the rest, you don't want to spend money, just buy a BrandX external 125mm drop post and be setup and happy in no time for under $150 US.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Agree. Internal cables are just a pain and cables do not like sharp bends. I removed my rear internal gear cable and taped it to the outside. Shifting is so much better!
    Yup.
    Internal routing serves no purpose other than adding suck to your bike.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Internal routing serves no purpose other than adding suck to your bike.
    Sucks to install. Sucks for cable performance. Sucks to remove after you realise it sucks. Suck suck suck. It's the wankiest cycling innovation since since the wank-saddle.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Sucks to install. Sucks for cable performance. Sucks to remove after you realise it sucks. Suck suck suck. It's the wankiest cycling innovation since since the wank-saddle.
    LOL!

    All too true. I have no idea how such a crappy idea ended up becoming so popular.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I have no idea how such a crappy idea ended up becoming so popular.
    You missed the wank part?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    You missed the wank part?
    Ah...good point...
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  14. #14
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    Check out the PNW components Cascade dropper. It's externally routed, but the cable stops at the seal head on the post, so there's no slack to potentially rub/catch the rear wheel.

  15. #15
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    Thank you for all of your replies and suggestions!

    As for warranty I believe there's lifetime from 2011 onwards, but that's a minor concern. There's only 5 years on the swing arm, and that's were its predecessor, Gary Fisher HiFi, failed.
    As for resell value; who buys a 26" XC-rocket these days?

    125 should be enough as I haven't had a dropper before, but with a low stack height I have room for the OneUp 170mm. The PNW Cascade looks cool, but in 170 the overall length is too long, and the 150mm is sold out. Looked like a no-brainer, though!
    TranzX has a new YSP29 in the program, but they can't even tell me where to buy it. A German shop believes it retails this fall. I have been waiting years for a dropper, so I guess I can wait a bit longer. Time will tell...
    BikeYoke looks trick, but too pricey, and still internal cable.

    Well now... back to wanking! I'll let you know what I come up with! (Dropper-wise, you perv! :-P )

  16. #16
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    I have a 100mm dropper and to be honest it's totally enough. I don't know what kind of skills you need to require more but I don't have them.

    I would check the frame carefully as I'd be surprised if an older frame can take a big dropper. My bike is a 2013 and I reckon it might just take a 130mm.

  17. #17
    Up In Smoke
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    I was worried I wouldn't be satisfied with 100mm as well, but came to find right away that it is definitely all that I need, and that is with the post at minimum insertion. That is with a PNW pine.

  18. #18
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    I would not drill a trek frame if you are the original owner and it has lifetime warranty. (They replaced my cracked'03 liquid with a '10 ex9)

    I've been using a brand x dropper, been better than all the others I've used.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    I've been using a brand x dropper, been better than all the others I've used.
    I know a bunch of people that use and like them. Great price too.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by XenoVelo View Post
    Check out the PNW components Cascade dropper. It's externally routed, but the cable stops at the seal head on the post, so there's no slack to potentially rub/catch the rear wheel.
    I own a Cascade dropper with there Loam lever. Bee's knees!


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  21. #21
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    BrandX 125mm drop at my service
    I've placed the thumb lever next to the front trigger. Not ideal, but not as terrible as feared. Worked great on today's one hour testride on local trail!Drill frame for dropper or not?-img_20190531_134916.jpg

  22. #22
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    LOL at the idea of killing resale on a 2011 TopFuel 8. That warranty isn't worth much at this point either. Probably not many of those frames sitting around in the warehouse. A small hole in the frame will also definitely not affect the integrity. Every factory-routed frame has a hole in it....

    I see you have a FD on there. Any shifter-style post lever probably isn't going to work with well with that.

  23. #23
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMCDan View Post
    LOL at the idea of killing resale on a 2011 TopFuel 8. That warranty isn't worth much at this point either. Probably not many of those frames sitting around in the warehouse. A small hole in the frame will also definitely not affect the integrity. Every factory-routed frame has a hole in it....

    I see you have a FD on there. Any shifter-style post lever probably isn't going to work with well with that.

    incorrect about a small hole not affecting frames

    every factory hole on any decent frame is planned in advance and supported and strengthened in some way to reduce failure points

    just drilling in a hole, is a total hack

    it does affect integrity...but by how much, and under what kind of riding, is a mystery each time you hack up a frame

    even factory holes have problems sometimes, this is an FD hole
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Drill frame for dropper or not?-pork.jpg  

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  24. #24
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    Never got to post a picture of the trigger, but I got my thumb plenty busy. It's not ideal, and I have hit the shifter instead of the dropper, but so far it'll do. I'm still considering a twister grip, over-the-bar-thumbie, or a different trigger for the dropper.

    The 125mm is plenty for me and the post is working great!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by NielsJ View Post
    Never got to post a picture of the trigger, but I got my thumb plenty busy. It's not ideal, and I have hit the shifter instead of the dropper, but so far it'll do. I'm still considering a twister grip, over-the-bar-thumbie, or a different trigger for the dropper.

    The 125mm is plenty for me and the post is working great!
    Nice.
    Busy handlebar.
    What does the bell say?


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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by ear_ache View Post
    Nice.
    Busy handlebar.
    What does the bell say?


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