Going to buy my first dropper....where's the buyers guide to droppers?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Going to buy my first dropper....where's the buyers guide to droppers?

    Like the title, going to get a dropper to go on a bike I'm building. I've never owned one before...but ridding a few buddies bikes that had them.

    Is there a buyers guide to droppers? Price seems to vary wildly and I can't really tell what the difference is in all of them (other than some are cable actuated, vs hydro actuated, vs lever actuated).

    Maybe it's less of a guide but more of a which one(s) are recommended?

  2. #2
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    I'll keep it simple...

    Look at OneUp Components, PNW, or BikeYoke Revive.

    Pass on RockShox Reverb.

  3. #3
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    thanks I just found the BikeYoke Revive. I'll look at the others.

    One other question I have is how do you know which size to get - I assume you would fit the bike with a fixed post to see how high you typically ride...then find the dropper that has (hopefully) enough travel to completely slam down to the frame - as in the collar of the dropper is fully inserted and resting on the seat post clamp??

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbsmith View Post
    thanks I just found the BikeYoke Revive. I'll look at the others.

    One other question I have is how do you know which size to get - I assume you would fit the bike with a fixed post to see how high you typically ride...then find the dropper that has (hopefully) enough travel to completely slam down to the frame - as in the collar of the dropper is fully inserted and resting on the seat post clamp??
    I recall seeing a link last year when I was poking around. Shows how to gauge the travel within the seat post so you know the limits. I just fool around with a few key word search's and have some luck that way. If I bump into something soon, I'll update here and add the link/s.



    *ADDED-
    pnw (last) has a video

    https://www.vitalmtb.com/features/Vi...Seat-Post,1496

    https://bikerumor.com/2018/02/01/sus...fit-your-bike/

    https://www.pnwcomponents.com/blogs/...surement-steps
    bachman must spread some Reputation around before giving it to himself again. :madman:


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmanalan View Post
    I'll keep it simple...

    Look at OneUp Components, PNW, or BikeYoke Revive.

    Pass on RockShox Reverb.
    I would add 9point8 to this list, I had good results with them. And don't kill me for this, but I also have a bike that came with a BrandX dropper, and it's still going strong. For $125, it's not a bad way to try the whole dropper thing out.

    Quote Originally Posted by jbsmith View Post
    thanks I just found the BikeYoke Revive. I'll look at the others.

    One other question I have is how do you know which size to get - I assume you would fit the bike with a fixed post to see how high you typically ride...then find the dropper that has (hopefully) enough travel to completely slam down to the frame - as in the collar of the dropper is fully inserted and resting on the seat post clamp??
    Yeah, you have two measurements to look at. First the overall length of the post... check this against your frame (where the seat tube begins to bend, or where bottle cage bolts intrude into the tube) to make sure you have enough room to put the post in and get your saddle where you want it. Then you look at the measurement from the bottom of the collar to the saddle, which again has to allow you to set your saddle low enough for you to pedal. Too long a dropper in either of these measurements won't work for ya.

    And of course get an internally routed post if your frame allows it; external if it doesn't.

  6. #6
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    ^^^ yeah. Critical is that at full extension the saddle is at your optimal pedaling height. Then figure from that how much drop you can fit below that as limited by stanchion collar hitting the seat post clamp and available max insertion depth. With drop, the more the merrier, but even moderate amounts (100mm) can be very useful.
    Do the math.

  7. #7
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    Get a PNW and get on with worrying about other things not dropper-related.




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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Impetus View Post
    Get a PNW and get on with worrying about other things not dropper-related.
    Did PNW start making their own posts? They used to be rebranded BrandXs.

    I think I remember them saying the new Bachelor is made by PNW now.

    But, like above BrandX, OneUp or Revive. They range from ~$150-$400, respectively.

  9. #9
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    I've been on the PNW Bachelor for awhile now and really digging it. Not saying it's any better than any of the others but it's been serving me very well.

  10. #10
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    I have a brandX, and its going on its second season.

    At this point, no way in hell would I spend more than ~$125 on a dropper. This post flat out works. You may not love the lever, but even high end droppers have questionable levers. Replacements are out there.

    It has all the features of any dropper out there. Internal and external routing, 150mm of drop. Different sizes. Reliable. Light, etc.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    I have a brandX, and its going on its second season.
    Huh. So it's not just me. I have a BrandX and a Revive.... while I like the Revive better because there's no movement in the saddle, it feels a bit smoother, it looks a bit smoother... the BrandX just keeps on going up and down. The remote feels fine to me too. I've always thought I'll upgrade it when it starts to have issues... but man this thing just keeps on rollin'.

  12. #12
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    Everyone is basically going to recommend the one that they like. Read reviews and make your judgement from there.

    I think in the end...the dropper just need to move up and down reliably. You don't necessarily need an expensive one to achieve that.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by beer_coffee_water View Post
    Did PNW start making their own posts? They used to be rebranded BrandXs.

    I think I remember them saying the new Bachelor is made by PNW now.

    But, like above BrandX, OneUp or Revive. They range from ~$150-$400, respectively.
    True, many of the PNW posts are rebranded, but they’re beginning to make their own now.

    The thing about PNW is even though the posts are very reliable, they have ridiculously good customer service in the unlikely event of a failure.


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    I have a brandX, and its going on its second season.

    At this point, no way in hell would I spend more than ~$125 on a dropper. This post flat out works. You may not love the lever, but even high end droppers have questionable levers. Replacements are out there.

    It has all the features of any dropper out there. Internal and external routing, 150mm of drop. Different sizes. Reliable. Light, etc.
    I would be on a BrandX if they had a post with more than 150mm drop when I bought my OneUp. I got one when they first came out. My OneUp has been fine. My Reverb was okay, but went to crap. After having a 170mm, I think I would better served with a 150mm. The reliability of BrandX from what I have read about and saving a $100 bill would make me choose it over anything else. I tend to use my post either up or down, so if it does while riding, it'll be just fine for me.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by beer_coffee_water View Post
    Did PNW start making their own posts? They used to be rebranded BrandXs.

    I think I remember them saying the new Bachelor is made by PNW now.

    But, like above BrandX, OneUp or Revive. They range from ~$150-$400, respectively.
    brandx, oneup, pnw, probably any other seatpost in that price range, are all made by tranzx. I just got a reverb with my new frame, and I'd swear it's made by them too. It's almost exactly the same as the brandx 150mm dropper, but slightly sloppier.

    https://stravaigingmtb.com/2017/11/2...s-dropper-post

  16. #16
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    What I'm trying to figure out is which one doesn't (or very little) end up with play or slop? I rode a couple of my buddies (I don't know what brand they were) but they wiggled and it was annoying...so much so that I'd rather not have a dropper if they wiggle around like that.

    I'm between the Bike Yoke Revive, OneUp, and PNW

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodogsfighting View Post
    brandx, oneup, pnw, probably any other seatpost in that price range, are all made by tranzx. I just got a reverb with my new frame, and I'd swear it's made by them too. It's almost exactly the same as the brandx 150mm dropper, but slightly sloppier.

    https://stravaigingmtb.com/2017/11/2...s-dropper-post
    TranzX, yes that is the manufacturer who I named as BrandX. According to that post and the thread here makes me doubt that the OneUp is a TranzX rebrand. The actuator, remote and other pieces do not match. However, when OneUp announced their post they did say they sourced the cartridge for it.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbsmith View Post
    What I'm trying to figure out is which one doesn't (or very little) end up with play or slop? I rode a couple of my buddies (I don't know what brand they were) but they wiggled and it was annoying...so much so that I'd rather not have a dropper if they wiggle around like that.

    I'm between the Bike Yoke Revive, OneUp, and PNW
    Maybe ask your wallet? The Revive is considered the smoothest amd bestest by the owners, $400. OneUp kind of shook up the game, their modus operandi, with more drop and short stack and it's a good post and the aluminum remote fixed their compositie remote problems, $220-$250. PNW claims a great lever (as does wolftooth) and the Bachelor is now their own new design, $300. And BrandX/TranzX is the new Gravity Dropper with reliability in their clutches, $130-$185. All of these can be had with 150-170mm of drop and some with more. All the prices I used were grossed up to include a remote if they are separate.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbsmith View Post
    What I'm trying to figure out is which one doesn't (or very little) end up with play or slop? I rode a couple of my buddies (I don't know what brand they were) but they wiggled and it was annoying...so much so that I'd rather not have a dropper if they wiggle around like that.

    I'm between the Bike Yoke Revive, OneUp, and PNW
    If you mean wiggle side-to-side of the saddle, the Bike Yoke has no slop. Neither does a 9Point8. In my experience with a Fox Transfer and a BrandX, these both have some wiggle.

    I read somewhere, maybe the Fox user manual, that the wiggle is due to a design that drops the stanchion by way of sliding notched columns below the post's collar. The Revive (and I assume 9Point8) use a different system, which eliminates it. Gotta pay to play with those two posts though.

    What happened to 9Point8, by the way? When I bought one two years ago, everyone agreed it was the best... today they are less expensive, and have updates. No one puts it in the top 3?

  20. #20
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    They all go sloppy, and all can be rebuilt to remove slop.

    The brandx uses the same internals as the pro koryak dropper. About 15 bucks for the seal and bushing kit.

    Expect slop after a couple season, just replace the keys and youre good.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    They all go sloppy, and all can be rebuilt to remove slop.

    The brandx uses the same internals as the pro koryak dropper. About 15 bucks for the seal and bushing kit.

    Expect slop after a couple season, just replace the keys and youre good.
    I'm no expert but did find out that the 9Point8 has different internals that prevent play in the saddle, at least at first. Something to do with a hydraulic brake. This might apply to the Bike Yoke too.

    The Fox Transfer had play from day one, and it was explained away in the manual.

  22. #22
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    My OneUp has the least play I have seen from a dropper, but I have not seen a Revive or 9.8. It probably <1mm side to side for mivement. It just barely wiggles. It is from the rail clamp interface at the top of the post. The post shaft doesn't move though.

  23. #23
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    All droppers have the potential to have some play. Its hit or miss. I've got two OneUps, B1 Reverb, Command Post, and a Transfer. One of the OU has no play. The other has some. The Reverb has a a slight bit...very minimal. Command Post and Transfer both have minimal play. Got a chance to play with a couple Bike Yokes at Sea Otter...they both have some slight play. None of which would be noticeable to me when riding.

    Out of those...I like the OneUp post the best. For what it costs...its hard to beat. I bought a second one that's 150mm and shimmed to about 123mm. The 150mm body is shorter than the 125mm Transfer's body.

  24. #24
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    Good points made here. For the price of the oneup I could buy two of them compared to the Bike Yoke Revive...and it sounds like they are pretty much equal in performance and lack of wiggle.

  25. #25
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    All droppers I've ridden have some rotational play. It's essentially how they're designed and intended to be. IMO, it's a non-issue if I can't feel it riding, which I haven't been able to. Currently I have Reverb and Bontrager posts. I've ridden Fox, KS, Specialized, and others....
    Do the math.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by beer_coffee_water View Post
    TranzX, yes that is the manufacturer who I named as BrandX. According to that post and the thread here makes me doubt that the OneUp is a TranzX rebrand. The actuator, remote and other pieces do not match. However, when OneUp announced their post they did say they sourced the cartridge for it.
    BrandX is actually CRC's brand, but yes it is a rebadged TranzX. Most of the other brands mentioned here are also, to the best of our knowledge, rebranded TranzX catalog posts with some fancy mid cap lasering (You can add RF AEffect to that list as well)

    Yes, we use a proven cartridge manufacturer to supply our cartridges but the tubing and valving are our own design. That combined with our patent pending drop clamp head, compact actuator and shim designs is why our V2 total length (including actuator) is 20-80mm shorter than any other post on the market with the same drop length.

    https://patents.google.com/patent/US20190144061A1

    We've had a few delays getting V2 droppers launched but the first ones should be arriving in ~10 days.

    Jon @ OneUp

  27. #27
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    Thanks for posting Jon and confirming what I was sure the case was.

    Also, HUGE thanks for making such a great post. You guys shook up the market with your dropper at the price you were selling it at. $250 for as good or better than the then current $400 offerings was game changing.

    Like I said earlier, I bought one of the first, right after the Sea Otter launch because I couldn't buy one there, before the first batch ran out. It has been working nonstop for 2 years+. I feel bad for the guy I sold my Reverb to, but his bike is wall art.

  28. #28
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    Recent dropper convert. I resisted for too many years. Though I only have a couple of rides on it, it's proven to be a game changer. I can only imagine after really getting in tune with using it most effectively. This may be one of the best "accessories" I've ever bought.
    After much research, I settled on the new PNW Rainier IR 170. Love it so far. It's super smooth and infinitely adjustable through it's range. Setup was rather easy. I don't think you can beat the bang for the buck with this one.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by beer_coffee_water View Post
    You guys shook up the market with your dropper at the price you were selling it at. $250 for as good or better than the then current $400 offerings was game changing.
    Seems like we're seeing the price drop on droppers we had hoped to see a few years ago. With functional offerings like the BrandX at $125, the OneUp at $250, whatever PNWs cost...while reading this thread I went back and looked at the 9Point8 website, and saw they have lowered prices on the Fall Line from $375 to $300 sometime in the last couple years. As end-users you gotta love the trend.

  30. #30
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    I've been seeing some Race Face droppers at sub $200 now. Paying $400 for a seat post is just nuts...at least for me.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbsmith View Post
    thanks I just found the BikeYoke Revive. I'll look at the others.

    One other question I have is how do you know which size to get - I assume you would fit the bike with a fixed post to see how high you typically ride...then find the dropper that has (hopefully) enough travel to completely slam down to the frame - as in the collar of the dropper is fully inserted and resting on the seat post clamp??
    It's not necessary for the droppers collar to be all the way down to the seat clamp, in fact it's pretty unlikely.
    That would mean it was designed pretty much exactly for your height/inseam and bike, and anyone that needs the seat lower or a different bike would have to buy something else....

    All that's necessary is that you can get your desired "normal" seat height with the dropper all the way up and the post inserted past the minimum insertion point.

    As for dropper size, that depends on you. Mark your normal ride height, then find out how much drop you need by dropping it what you normally would for the worst downhill you ride, and measure the difference.

    I brought a 125mm dropper (brand X ascend II) and I never drop it all the way. All the way down is just too low. (I'm 6"1" on an XL frame) I imagine people with more skill riding harder trails might want more... I don't go past blue trails yet.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dacaur View Post
    As for dropper size, that depends on you. Mark your normal ride height, then find out how much drop you need by dropping it what you normally would for the worst downhill you ride, and measure the difference.

    I brought a 125mm dropper (brand X ascend II) and I never drop it all the way. All the way down is just too low. (I'm 6"1" on an XL frame) I imagine people with more skill riding harder trails might want more... I don't go past blue trails yet.
    Careful now... most of us are going to advise you get as much drop as you can, given the other needs of saddle pedaling height, post insertion etc. Reason being we are not sitting on the saddle when we drop it, we are dropping it to get it out of the way and floating on our pedals, with the saddle gone from underneath us. So used this way, the more drop the merrier.... can't go too low.

  33. #33
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    Though I am new to using a dropper, I can say go with the most drop you can get - for the reason posted above. I went with 170mm. I find that in preparation for a section where I want some drop, I set it to the height that I'd like for that section. No problem if it goes lower than my needs at the current moment. I don't try to set it while spinning, just coast and use your legs to float it to the desired height. Again I'm a dropper noob at the moment but this works well for me. Overall the learning curve has been easy; very natural.
    I also figured theres always the potential to move it to another bike in the future and why not have maximum flexibility. Especially with all of the different seat tube lengths.

  34. #34
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    Yea I'm not saying to choose one with less drop on purpose over one with more, just that most people likely don't NEED 170mm. I did add the caveat about trail difficulty. With my 125mm dropper I get the saddle out of the way for the descents on your average regular (non DH) trail without dropping it all the way. If it's out of the way, why do I need extra drop. Every trail I ride has ascents as well as descents and flat areas... nothing extreme.
    It's funny the same people who would tell me there's no point in getting more than 100mm fork travel on these trails will say I need 170+mm if dropper travel....

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dacaur View Post
    Yea I'm not saying to choose one with less drop on purpose over one with more, just that most people likely don't NEED 170mm.
    Okay, sure. I'm just clarifying that there's really no reason to get less drop than your frame allows. Sounds like 125 serves you well. For the record, I'm on 125 as well, but if I could fit 150 I would have done it.

  36. #36
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    Same as well I surely don't need 170. My frame takes it and no extra cost.
    Thank being said, there's nothing wrong with getting a dropper with less travel as long as it does what you need, get the saddle out of your way.
    Much different line of reasoning than fork travel which has a direct effect on handling dynamics.

  37. #37
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    Maybe this only applies to Reverb owners but it is good to have a seat post long enough such that when it wont pop back up you can loosen the seat post clamp, lift it up to its minimum insertion height and have a comfortable ride back home.
    Your opinion of me is none of my business

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by hybris View Post
    Maybe this only applies to Reverb owners but it is good to have a seat post long enough such that when it wont pop back up you can loosen the seat post clamp, lift it up to its minimum insertion height and have a comfortable ride back home.
    Definitely a Reverb thing. The Pro tip is after a fresh lever bleed turn the speed control all the way to fast and then two full turns back. Then if it gets stuck you can turn it towards fast to get it working for the rest of your ride.

  39. #39
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    Between my 3 adult sons and me, we've had or have most of the available posts. For the average joe, I think the OneUp and similar are tough to beat for being relatively affordable/reliable/serviceable. I currently have a 9Point8 and like it very much, though after 2+ years, it's starting to lose pressure which means disassembly and seal replacemeent. That's not a problem for me, but many riders don't have the skills/desire to work on things like that, though it's only somewhat more complicated than the OneUp posts.

    The only common posts I would suggest avoiding are the older dedicated position (e.g. 3 position) posts. My first was a Gravity Dropper and I still have it on an older HT that I ride a lot, but having to bump the seat with your bum is a hassle (there's nearly a pun in there!) compared to the more modern posts. I really don't like using it any more.

    I must say something about the Reverb. It was my first "modern" post, and I still have a special place in my heart for it. It is an engineering marvel and works great. However, it is quite complicated when it needs serviced. Again, that's not a huge problem for me as, to quote Liam Neeson, " what I do have is a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career." ;-) Many previously happy Reverb owners became disenchanted with their posts when it started to fail and they discovered it was too complicated to fix by themselves and too expensive to pay a professional to do it. Skilled DIY riders should still consider them, but I have to not recommend them for the average joe.

    That's my $0.02!

    AM.

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