Do I need a dropper seatpost?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Do I need a dropper seatpost?

    How can I tell if I need a dropper post? I just ride mtn trails that are fairly safe and sane. I ride quick but not fast. I used to be more challenged in sporadically rocky terrain but I switched to a 2.6 front tire with 12 PSI and that helped. My rear tire is a 2.4 so maybe the bigger front tire makes the 71.5 degree head angle seem a little more relaxed and less scary going downhill.

    Anyway, now I get by ok without a dropper post but would a dropper post make me a better rider? I'm 69 but I'm still quite immature. :-)

    My bike is a 2013 Giant XTC Advanced 29er hardtail which is a XC race bike.

    THANKS!

  2. #2
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    Needing might be a strong word but for me it was a great addition to my main bike.
    Just rode my back up hard tail for the first time in a long time and the dropper was what I missed the most.
    Dropper also have been improved over the last years and I think that is money well spend.
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  3. #3
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    A dropped seat unlocks a great deal of your legs' range of motion. There's so much you can do with your legs that you will discover only if you try for yourself: rear suspension, balancing, rear wheel manipulation including extra bunnyhop height/clearance, safer airtime...

    The downside is that having a seat at a different height, even a few mm higher or lower, forces you to use different muscles for pedaling, which tend to be untrained and inefficient. The dropper allows you to not compromise with either, and save some time and effort of having to drop and raise your seat all the time, finding precise heights to pedal the most efficiently.

    I'd generalize that it would benefit anyone that wants max pedaling efficiency, yet likes to go up and over stuff that doesn't have smooth ramps leading into and from them. A roadie might even benefit, if they're not the type to ride around such things. It has various other side benefits like easier dismounting/mounting, and ability to stay on the seat at rest stops with a foot put down.

    I find it hard to go without a dropper, due to taking advantage of all the benefits and incorporating them into my riding habits, and often leave saddles dropped on bikes without them, preferring to sacrifice pedaling efficiency. I found myself tweaking my seat height (5mm or less) on a long road leg of my ride yesterday, just to change things up, as my ass and legs were burning.
    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

  4. #4
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    I’ve had one now since 2016, and rarely use it, but I occasionally do. Necessary? Not by a long shot.
    Make you a better rider? From your description of yourself, probably not.
    Useful occasionally? Yes for sure.
    I don’t really see a downside, other than cost and extra weight. If those don’t bug you, go for it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dugt View Post
    Anyway, now I get by ok without a dropper post but would a dropper post make me a better rider? I'm 69 but I'm still quite immature. :-)

    A low seat is safer in many situations. Also more fun. You don't need it though.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the input. Need is a strong word. Apparently I don't need one. I can afford one and adding a pound of weight is not an issue so I might as well buy one. If I don't like it I can sell it and if I do like it now I will like it even more as I improve.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dugt View Post
    Thanks for the input. Need is a strong word. Apparently I don't need one. I can afford one and adding a pound of weight is not an issue so I might as well buy one. If I don't like it I can sell it and if I do like it now I will like it even more as I improve.
    Actually, you need one.
    Best thing you can buy for your bike

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  8. #8
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    Best invention in years. Has increased my fun factor by 17%. Buy it!!!!!

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dugt View Post
    Anyway, now I get by ok without a dropper post but would a dropper post make me a better rider? I'm 69 but I'm still quite immature. :-)
    Too late to grow up now; get the dropper.

    I've been riding for years, long before these newfangled droppers were even a thing. I resisted getting one, but eventually I did. Like with many new gadgets, I could see the benefit, but it wasn't life changing. But also like so many new gadgets, you don't realize how good they are until they're gone.

    A few months ago, the cable on my dropper broke near the beginning of a ride. I continued the ride, and it was only then that I realized how much I really use it. The steep downhills were downright frightening, with my ass up in the air and nose over the bars. Flowy turns had to be taken slower, just because it was harder to move the bike beneath me. It was really an eye opener.

    You can get the dropper and ride faster, or get the dropper and ride the same speed but do it more elegantly. There really is no downside.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dugt View Post
    ... I'm 69 but I'm still quite immature...
    Since you're old, I'll let you in on a secret. Back in the day before droppers, we put quick release seat post collars on our bikes to make it easy to drop the saddle prior to sufficiently gnarly descents. Of course you had to stop to lower or raise it. You can get a QR clamp for around $15. Droppers simply allow to doing this while you're still rolling, at a somewhat higher price. I'm not advocated getting a QR clamp. I'm just pointing out that dropping the saddle is nothing new, as some of these whippersnappers might think.

    Check out the 50+ forum for all types of useful geriatric info, comments, and hilarity, including a thread on this very topic; droppers for geezers.

    https://forums.mtbr.com/fifty-years-old/
    What, me worry?

  11. #11
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    Definitely dont need one but their useful.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Since you're old, I'll let you in on a secret. Back in the day before droppers, we put quick release seat post collars on our bikes to make it easy to drop the saddle prior to sufficiently gnarly descents. Of course you had to stop to lower or raise it. You can get a QR clamp for around $15. Droppers simply allow to doing this while you're still rolling, at a somewhat higher price. I'm not advocated getting a QR clamp. I'm just pointing out that dropping the saddle is nothing new, as some of these whippersnappers might think.

    Check out the 50+ forum for all types of useful geriatric info, comments, and hilarity, including a thread on this very topic; droppers for geezers.

    https://forums.mtbr.com/fifty-years-old/

    I read that thread and now I am definitely getting a dropper post. Now I need to choose one. It will have to be external cable or electric.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Since you're old, I'll let you in on a secret. Back in the day before droppers, we put quick release seat post collars on our bikes to make it easy to drop the saddle prior to sufficiently gnarly descents. Of course you had to stop to lower or raise it. You can get a QR clamp for around $15. Droppers simply allow to doing this while you're still rolling, at a somewhat higher price. I'm not advocated getting a QR clamp. I'm just pointing out that dropping the saddle is nothing new, as some of these whippersnappers might think.


    True, but lots of people, for various reasons would never stop to manually lower their posts in the pre-dropper days even though they were well aware that they could. The ability to change it on the fly really has been a game changer for many.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  14. #14
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    Another thing we geezers might notice, we're running out of superlatives in the internet age. Huge, massive, gargantuan, super, mega, awesome, game-changer, are being used up (and diminished) by being regularly applied to the merest of things.

    What words to do you use to describe something that actually is huge, massive, gargantuan, super, mega, awesome, a game-changer?

    I'm super excited about this game-changer thread in the 50+ forum on dropper posts:

    https://forums.mtbr.com/fifty-years-...e-1128835.html
    What, me worry?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    What words to do you use to describe something that actually is huge, massive, gargantuan, super, mega, awesome, a game-changer?

    You forgot epic. I think game changer is apt in this context just like suspension and disc brakes were. What else would you call an innovation that opens up new opportunities?
    I brake for stinkbugs

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post
    Actually, you need one.
    Best thing you can buy for your bike

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    This. Every part of this. Beg, borrow or steal. But you do need one. Im not sure how we rode without them.

  17. #17
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    Do you scoot your butt back going down steep or gnarly hills? If yes, try a dropper. While more advanced riders than myself may use it to simply get the saddle out of their way, I drop it to lower my center of gravity when descending, keeping contact with it for control. Definitely a confidence booster.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  18. #18
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    I would go for it...I got my first dropper in 2018 and I've been riding FS since 2001 (61 now). It took awhile to get used to it but now I use it constantly on a typical ride. Obviously, it's great to get the seat out of the way for technical terrain and downhills. Something I never expected was how great it is to be able to extend my seat so I get full leg extension on climbs. Being 6'4" I always compromised with seat height because my legs are so long that full extension is just too high in general. Now I can easily go to full extension when needed, then drop it down a hair for normal conditions or all the way down for techy terrain. Game changer, epic, sweet, knarly, bitchin and...fukken A!
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  19. #19
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    I don't recall every trying to get behind my seat during a steep decent. I keep my seat high for climbing so getting behind it now is not a good option. Also, I don't ride down anything that is very steep because I would rather ride up something steep and then take a flowy route down so I can cruise without using brakes. In other words, I'm not very good but a lower seat would be better at times and I would learn to take advantage of it.

    I was all set to buy a PNW Cascade dropper but now I can't find a good 2x lever in stock. It seems like all the good ones are "Back ordered" or "Sold Out".

  20. #20
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    on an MTB forum the site should be programmed to auto-answer such question with "yes" :-)

    Need is relative, no one "needs" discbrakes, moder geo etc.

    Even on my slow fatbike rides I use my dropper a lot. The best upgrade ever.
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  21. #21
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    If I had to choose between suspension or a dropper, I’d choose the dropper.

  22. #22
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    Droppers are great in corners too, not just downhills.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacon Fat View Post
    Droppers are great in corners too, not just downhills.
    I just bought you a virtual beer. 🍺

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dugt View Post
    I don't recall every trying to get behind my seat during a steep decent. I keep my seat high for climbing so getting behind it now is not a good option. Also, I don't ride down anything that is very steep because I would rather ride up something steep and then take a flowy route down so I can cruise without using brakes. In other words, I'm not very good but a lower seat would be better at times and I would learn to take advantage of it.

    I was all set to buy a PNW Cascade dropper but now I can't find a good 2x lever in stock. It seems like all the good ones are "Back ordered" or "Sold Out".
    Here's one. https://www.probikesupply.com/produc...ropper-lever-1

    And another one. https://www.fanatikbike.com/products...r-2x-3x-remote

    I would say that the Wolf-tooth one is the better of the two as it uses a large bearing to pivot from.
    Change begins by doing something different.

  25. #25
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    I get confused easy.
    The fewer movable parts I have, the better.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  26. #26
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    I'll be 68 in August and found a dropper to be a game changer. I live in Utah on the Wasatch back and the first time I used one was in Moab, about 5 years ago, so that was a big deal.
    Then, as I got used to it, I started incorporating it even in flats to enhance cornering. It does help significantly, in getting the bike leaned over hard cornering while keeping your body more upright. My wife is 66 and she just wouldn't ride without one.

    I suppose it's no more "necessary" than suspension, tubeless tires, disc brakes or any of the other improvements over the last 30 years, though.

  27. #27
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    Almost all descent bikes made in the past few years were designed around having a dropper post. Good luck finding a bike that doesn't made from about 2015 to today. The dropper post is integral to modern bike geometry and riding techniques.

    That said, do you "need" one? Depends on the bike you currently own and your comfort level with not having one. "Back in the day," before dropper posts, riders learned to get behind the saddle to go down the steeps. But it was a compromise as getting back meant serious problems in proper weighting the bike's front end and overall balance over the bike.

    Today we ride over the bottom bracket--centered on the bike in other words. As the terrain steepens it isn't that we get back as much as we stay over the BB, rotating our bodies to stay over it as the front drops. As the terrain steepens we move back and down more. As we stretch out over the bike, arms reaching to the bars, back flattened and elongated, it is important to lower our center of mass to accomplish being over the BB while keeping weight on the front wheel.

    Here are some images of riders without dropper posts descending the steeps.
    Do I need a dropper seatpost?-no-dropper-3.jpgDo I need a dropper seatpost?-no-dropper-2.jpgDo I need a dropper seatpost?-no-dropper-1.jpg

    Here are some images of riders with dropper posts descending the steeps.
    Do I need a dropper seatpost?-dropper-5.jpgDo I need a dropper seatpost?-dropper-4.jpgDo I need a dropper seatpost?-dropper-3.jpgDo I need a dropper seatpost?-dropper-2.jpgDo I need a dropper seatpost?-dropper-1.jpg

    See how much having the saddle dropped and out of the way allows for the rider to be able to move around the bike more easily? Riding with the saddle in your solar plexus isn't exactly confidence inspiring. Haha!

    Now go buy one! Haha!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by huckleberry hound View Post
    Here's one. https://www.probikesupply.com/produc...ropper-lever-1

    And another one. https://www.fanatikbike.com/products...r-2x-3x-remote

    I would say that the Wolf-tooth one is the better of the two as it uses a large bearing to pivot from.
    Thanks! I bought the Wolf Tooth Barcentric. https://www.wolftoothcomponents.com/...te-bar-centric

    It looks like the latest greatest 2x lever but it got mediocre reviews on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  29. #29
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    I did not used to have dropper. Then I got a bike with one. My other 2 bikes were more XC and fixed seat posts. It took time to get used to the dropper, but I came to really like it for the big gnar. Then I finally found a light enough one for my XC bike and tried it. Turns out I really liked it even with it short 65mm drop. Now I have a dropper on 3 of my Mnt bikes. 185mm on My Ibis Ripmo, 65mm on my FS Epic, and 80mm on my Ti Vassago Singlespeed. The only bike I don't have one on is my steel Vassago I have set-up for bikepacking. I can ride without one, but it just more fun with one on all terrain. Even pavement and dirt roads as I can go "AERO" easily. No need to sit on the downtube. HA.. Really it works all over. I even lower the seat for technical climbs on my SS as it allows more room to move the bike under me.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by beastmaster View Post
    Almost all descent bikes made in the past few years were designed around having a dropper post. Good luck finding a bike that doesn't made from about 2015 to today. The dropper post is integral to modern bike geometry and riding techniques.

    That said, do you "need" one? Depends on the bike you currently own and your comfort level with not having one. "Back in the day," before dropper posts, riders learned to get behind the saddle to go down the steeps. But it was a compromise as getting back meant serious problems in proper weighting the bike's front end and overall balance over the bike.

    Today we ride over the bottom bracket--centered on the bike in other words. As the terrain steepens it isn't that we get back as much as we stay over the BB, rotating our bodies to stay over it as the front drops. As the terrain steepens we move back and down more. As we stretch out over the bike, arms reaching to the bars, back flattened and elongated, it is important to lower our center of mass to accomplish being over the BB while keeping weight on the front wheel.

    Here are some images of riders without dropper posts descending the steeps.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here are some images of riders with dropper posts descending the steeps.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    See how much having the saddle dropped and out of the way allows for the rider to be able to move around the bike more easily? Riding with the saddle in your solar plexus isn't exactly confidence inspiring. Haha!

    Now go buy one! Haha!
    LOL! I remember back in the day going down steep terrain with the post up and getting punched in the gut by the saddle. It was crazy times dropping down steep, root-filled trails getting gut punched while desperately trying to keep the speed in check with rim brakes. We didn't use QR's on the seat post because they added weight or made it easier to steal the seat, or something.

    All that said, it looks like the OP isn't getting into that sort of terrain.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  31. #31
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    Doesn't even need to be steep. It could just be a line of a trail that lasts a whole 1 second, that needs the bike to have freedom to pitch back and forth. Having the saddle at a level that is high for pedaling efficiency presents a risk of slamming into your groin if you ride this section fast enough.

    I remember switching back to my Air9 RDO HT, that I got down to under 22 lbs on a "budget", after riding a FS. I tried to ride it as fast as I did on '14 Spec Enduro 29, and it was looking good--I was getting the impression that I didn't really need all that fancy tech, and my growing confidence had me pushing 80% of what I would usually do on descents. I caught my balls on the back of the saddle and that shut down my confidence immediately. The Air9 RDO later gained weight, closer to 23 lbs with the addition of a dropper, and it became far more enjoyable to ride, since I didn't feel like I was gimping myself. I switched it out with a ROS9, which was TONS more enjoyable, changing my views on what's fun in general.
    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

  32. #32
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    Life is better with a dropper post. Get one, you won't regret it.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  33. #33
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    You don't "need" one, but I'd advise getting one. I'm 45. Have been riding since I was 18. I'm still an average rider. I got a new bike with a dropper 2 years ago. Didn't think I "needed" it. It's a game-changer. I can't imagine riding without it anymore.

  34. #34
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    Hell, I love having one for the road training rides I do. Just got back from 4K vert of climbing to the topmost reaches of the city and bombing back down.
    "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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  35. #35
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    Everything I own has a dropper now. Even my office chairs have droppers!

    I did like the picture of all the riders who clearly would be better off with a dropper though. Really drove the point home about how much not having one sucks.

  36. #36
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    Microwave, dishwasher, dropper seatpost- Need em- Nope
    Make life easier, more efficient and more enjoyable- Yep

  37. #37
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    dropper post, disc brakes, 1x, flat pedals

    need!

  38. #38
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    Some people apparently need them, some people don't.

    Try one and see.
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  39. #39
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    I was around back in those days, and them a new fangled invention came around.
    These were actually made in my home town of Brown Deer, Wisconsin, right down the street from where I grew up.
    The original dropper: The Hite Rite

    https://off.road.cc/content/news/the...-the-dead-2414

    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Since you're old, I'll let you in on a secret. Back in the day before droppers, we put quick release seat post collars on our bikes to make it easy to drop the saddle prior to sufficiently gnarly descents. Of course you had to stop to lower or raise it. You can get a QR clamp for around $15. Droppers simply allow to doing this while you're still rolling, at a somewhat higher price. I'm not advocated getting a QR clamp. I'm just pointing out that dropping the saddle is nothing new, as some of these whippersnappers might think.

    Check out the 50+ forum for all types of useful geriatric info, comments, and hilarity, including a thread on this very topic; droppers for geezers.

    https://forums.mtbr.com/fifty-years-old/

  40. #40
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    Even the remote to adjust the seat post height while on the fly is not original. I remember selling the Interloc Racing Design (IRD) seat QR remotes in our shop in 1987 or 1988. Combined with a Breeze and Angell Hite Rite, they accomplished the same thing today's droppers do, albeit with less travel than most of the current droppers.

    Do I need a dropper seatpost?-ird_remoteseatqr.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Since you're old, I'll let you in on a secret. Back in the day before droppers, we put quick release seat post collars on our bikes to make it easy to drop the saddle prior to sufficiently gnarly descents. Of course you had to stop to lower or raise it. You can get a QR clamp for around $15. Droppers simply allow to doing this while you're still rolling, at a somewhat higher price. I'm not advocated getting a QR clamp. I'm just pointing out that dropping the saddle is nothing new, as some of these whippersnappers might think.

    Check out the 50+ forum for all types of useful geriatric info, comments, and hilarity, including a thread on this very topic; droppers for geezers.

    https://forums.mtbr.com/fifty-years-old/
    Quote Originally Posted by marathon marke View Post
    I was around back in those days, and them a new fangled invention came around.
    These were actually made in my home town of Brown Deer, Wisconsin, right down the street from where I grew up.
    The original dropper: The Hite Rite

    https://off.road.cc/content/news/the...-the-dead-2414

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    LOL! I remember back in the day going down steep terrain with the post up and getting punched in the gut by the saddle.
    Just the gut? You got off easy. On our high speed descents we used to pound our balls into pudding, until they got so scared to exist that they retreated up into our pelvis. You think that was the hard part? The hard part was later in the showers trying to convince them to come back out.

  42. #42
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    Dropper posts are great and have evolved into reliable components.

    I have tried them but to be honest I find them hard to use because I never remember to drop them when needed. I have never ridden anywhere with long, technical downhill sections and by the time I remember I have a dropper post the downhill is behind me.

    When I remembered to use them I can see the appeal. You can definitely go faster with more confidence down some pretty sketchy terrain.

    I replaced the dropper on my Stumpjumper with a carbon fiber seatpost to save weight.

    Maybe if your trails are like the ones in my area they may not be necessary.

    But in the big picture, as somebody pointed out above, they are game changers; maybe not on the same level as disc brakes or reliable and effective suspension but still a worthwhile upgrade.

    As a disclaimer, most of my riding now is gravel, dirt roads, and bikepackiing.

  43. #43
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    I’d go back to V-brakes and a 3x7 drivetrain before I gave up my dropper.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    I’d go back to V-brakes and a 3x7 drivetrain before I gave up my dropper.
    I would ride without brakes before I would ride any mountain bike without a dropper post.

  45. #45
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    Hey it's me, Mr OP! I installed a stopper post today and took it for on my usual ride. This was my first time to ride with one but already it seemed easy and intuitive. I rode my usual terrain that I ride fine without a stopper but still it was an improvement. Faster downhills were less scary. Sharp turning with the seat down was less intuitive but I could sense the potential.

    I tried the seat at several different heights in several different situations and all the heights were useful. It was interesting how tall my heighest setting felt after riding lower even for short distance. For the first time in over a year I felt comfortable riding a section that is rocky by my geriatric standards.

    The seatpost and lever I got exceeded my expectations in many ways. It was easy to install and there is almost imperceptable wiggle in the seatpost and lever. The post is a PNW Cascade 150mm and the lever is a PNW Loam. Everything is perfectly smooth.

    Thanks for all of the encouragement to get a stopper!

    Now lets see how many more people try to convince me to get a stopper because they didn't read this post.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by dugt View Post
    Now lets see how many more people try to convince me to get a stopper because they didn't read this post.
    LOL! You know this site very well.

    Congrats on the dropper. That PNW is a very good one.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  47. #47
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    My legs are pretty long and my hips won't let me throw head high kicks anymore, so the dropper was an epic game changer for swinging my leg over the TT and saddle.
    Just call me Ray

  48. #48
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    When I first got my dropper, I eventually made it so it topped out a little higher than I would normally put my seat. People talk about how different positions can give muscle groups a rest, regarding upper body and hand position, but I want to reemphasize how much even a few millimeters of seat height does this as well. I don't use that topped out position too often on the dirt, but I definitely make use of it enough to be glad that I have it.
    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    When I first got my dropper, I eventually made it so it topped out a little higher than I would normally put my seat. People talk about how different positions can give muscle groups a rest, regarding upper body and hand position, but I want to reemphasize how much even a few millimeters of seat height does this as well. I don't use that topped out position too often on the dirt, but I definitely make use of it enough to be glad that I have it.
    For me, it "feels" like I have have the seat up a few more mm on climbs vs on level ground, so if it feels "slightly tall" on level, it works well for a big up-n-down race, since there won't be much level ground and I'll be dropping for the descents.
    "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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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radium View Post
    My legs are pretty long and my hips won't let me throw head high kicks anymore, so the dropper was an epic game changer for swinging my leg over the TT and saddle.
    Honestly, I use my dropper the most for just the convenience of getting on my bike.

  51. #51
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    A few people have mentioned that a dropper makes it easier to get on the bike. To make it easier to get on and off without a dropper, I tilt the bike toward me quite a bit before I swing my leg over the saddle.

    Edit: Changed Stopper to Dropper.

  52. #52
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    For those new to MTB lingo.....

    “Dropper” = Dropper post.

    “Stopper” = Brake.

    “Stopper post” = WTF are you talking about?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    For those new to MTB lingo.....

    “Dropper” = Dropper post.

    “Stopper” = Brake.

    “Stopper post” = WTF are you talking about?
    I wish I had a good excuse. Actually, I wish I had any excuse. I fixed it via edit. Thanks, Kapusta.

  54. #54
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    Here's a stopper post and how it works for DH riding.
    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by dugt View Post
    A few people have mentioned that a dropper makes it easier to get on the bike. To make it easier to get on and off without a dropper, I tilt the bike toward me quite a bit before I swing my leg over the saddle.

    Edit: Changed Stopper to Dropper.
    Problem is that effectively makes the bike wider and you have to adopt a wider stance, making you effectively shorter. That works in some situations, but in others, it's totally ridiculous and not helpful (snow, steep terrain where footing is scare, etc.). Also, you still have to "get on" your seat in the end and if it's low enough that you can just slip your buttocks in there by tilting your bike, your seat is too low.
    "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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  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Problem is that effectively makes the bike wider and you have to adopt a wider stance, making you effectively shorter. That works in some situations, but in others, it's totally ridiculous and not helpful (snow, steep terrain where footing is scare, etc.). Also, you still have to "get on" your seat in the end and if it's low enough that you can just slip your buttocks in there by tilting your bike, your seat is too low.
    After my leg is over the seat and I'm standing with the bike between my legs, I step on a pedal and sit my butt on the seat. It is probably to complicated for some people but it works for me.

  57. #57
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    yes

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    Quote Originally Posted by dugt View Post
    After my leg is over the seat and I'm standing with the bike between my legs, I step on a pedal and sit my butt on the seat. It is probably to complicated for some people but it works for me.
    No one history has ever actually been able to get on a bike until dropper posts. Prior to that, we just pushed our bikes around and wished we could get on them. True fact.
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  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post


    Here's a stopper post and how it works for DH riding.
    That was brutal. I'm thinking that the frame breaking might have saved a bone.

  60. #60
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    When I finally drank the dropper koolaid I asked myself "Why the hell did I go so long without one?"
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  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biohazard74 View Post
    When I finally drank the dropper koolaid I asked myself "Why the hell did I go so long without one?"
    Two years ago a friend of mine highly recommended that I get a dropper post. After a few days of looking for a good reliable one for a reasonable price I gave up. Now there are a lot of excellent droppers and they are much cheaper. I think those of us who waited have a good excuse.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by dugt View Post
    Two years ago a friend of mine highly recommended that I get a dropper post. After a few days of looking for a good reliable one for a reasonable price I gave up. Now there are a lot of excellent droppers and they are much cheaper. I think those of us who waited have a good excuse.
    I rode a rental 4 years ago that had one and that was it for me.
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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idawho View Post
    That was brutal. I'm thinking that the frame breaking might have saved a bone.
    They removed that stopper post, so one less bone-saving stopper post on that course.

    Seriously though, I think my carbon rims busting actually did save me from a worse crash, if all the energy wasn't eaten up by the carbon breaking. Taking one for the team, I guess. Would be a more violent bounce if it didn't give, I suppose.

    I wish my bikes would let me drop my seat even lower. Can think of many inconveniences caused by not having the saddle low enough out of the way, and experienced enough scenarios to be convinced that it could've saved me from a number of crashes. I can visualize doing so many more things, usually stunt or air-time related, if the seat were lower, and standover were lower. Even something like being able to restart easier mid-climb, or simply eject in a safer manner, might seem small, but the more I dwell on it, the bigger of a deal it seems.
    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

  64. #64
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    I'm quite a bit faster with my new dropper on a familiar descent.

    A new problem cropped up though. 15 minutes in the new lower position wore me out big time. It will take some time to develop some new muscle groups
    Consciousness, that annoying time between bike rides.

  65. #65
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    If you're concerned about the investment of a dropper post, PNW is selling refurbed posts with a 1 year warranty pretty cheap: https://cycled.pnwcomponents.com/collections/all

    I bought a Brand-X post from CRC about two years ago and was not impressed at first. the more I used it, the more I appreciated it. I changed my frame and needed a larger diameter post anyways, so I replaced it with a PNW Bachelor, which has been flawless.

    I have a relatively slack seat tube angle, so it's not hard for me to shift my weight around the bike because the saddle is not super high, but the dropper just introduced a new fun aspect to riding that I embrace now. I don't have access to any extended downhills, but plenty of rock gardens with ledgy ups and downs where the dropper becomes helpful. mind you, my bike has only one gear and front suspension only, so embracing something that makes my bike more complex was a stretch.

  66. #66
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    Do I need a dropper seatpost?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lopaka View Post
    I'm quite a bit faster with my new dropper on a familiar descent.

    A new problem cropped up though. 15 minutes in the new lower position wore me out big time. It will take some time to develop some new muscle groups
    You mean you are pedaling in the lower position?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  67. #67
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    Actually just holding a lower attack position while descending (not pedaling) was hard work for the first day. Not much pedaling on this descent, dropping about 1800 feet in 4.5 miles. The great think about the dropper is when I did want to pedal,... bamm...saddle right there.
    Consciousness, that annoying time between bike rides.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    You mean you are pedaling in the lower position?
    I'll do this a bit, especially on twisty slightly downhill trails that I'm trying to go as fast as possible on. Not fully seated, but pedaling with the seat lowered. And, yeah, my legs would tire quickly when I first started doing it. Now, I'm getting more used to it. I also just found it tiring to hold the lower position without pedaling when I first started using the dropper. Different muscle groups, I guess?

    I'm an old school rider, having started in the late 80's. I've had a dropper for about 4ish years and really just started feeling it was advantageous within the last year. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks, but it just takes a long time.
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  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    If you're concerned about the investment of a dropper post, PNW is selling refurbed posts with a 1 year warranty pretty cheap: https://cycled.pnwcomponents.com/collections/all

    I bought a Brand-X post from CRC about two years ago and was not impressed at first. the more I used it, the more I appreciated it. I changed my frame and needed a larger diameter post anyways, so I replaced it with a PNW Bachelor, which has been flawless.

    I have a relatively slack seat tube angle, so it's not hard for me to shift my weight around the bike because the saddle is not super high, but the dropper just introduced a new fun aspect to riding that I embrace now. I don't have access to any extended downhills, but plenty of rock gardens with ledgy ups and downs where the dropper becomes helpful. mind you, my bike has only one gear and front suspension only, so embracing something that makes my bike more complex was a stretch.
    Just bought a new one from PNW for $169. Ranier IR. 494 grams I bought a Giant 2X lever for under $30. Effortless actuation.
    Consciousness, that annoying time between bike rides.

  70. #70
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    The easiest way to know whether you need a dropper seat post is to do the following:

    Look at your bike, does it have a dropper?

    If yes, then you are good to go.

    If no, then you need one.

  71. #71
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    Friday' Fails is always full of reasons why dropper post are good idea. It really does make things safer, not just steep declines.

    Case in point, first guy, dropper post and makes it across just fine, second guy no dropper, can't get his weight low or back enough and endo. It looks like the seat and long post are throwing him forward over the bars...


    this takes you right to the no dropper fail...

    https://youtu.be/sZLLeox100k?t=102


    Here the whole episode. For the extendo seat post fail go to time stamp 1:42...

    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

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    I just had to start the service process on my PNW after 4 rides with it and I already miss it. A static post on my last ride made me realize what a compromise that actually is. I am in Chicagoland, so the descents are short. That said, having the choice between a good pedaling potion and the saddle out of the way, or anything in between, is so nice. My bike and I are fat so the extra weight is not a problem and really is not that much more than a few grams over my cheap static post.

    As for the issue, a fellow forum member informed me that the actuator on the Gen 3 Rainier has a bit of a design flaw that was corrected in later models. I am hoping that is my issue as well and a new actuator fixes me up. Before it started sticking it was sooooo smooth. I am using the PNW Loam lever, and that little dude is a beautiful piece of metal.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgdblue View Post
    The easiest way to know whether you need a dropper seat post is to do the following:

    Look at your bike, does it have a dropper?

    If yes, then you are good to go.

    If no, then you need one.
    LoL
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  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    Friday' Fails is always full of reasons why dropper post are good idea. It really does make things safer, not just steep declines.

    Case in point, first guy, dropper post and makes it across just fine, second guy no dropper, can't get his weight low or back enough and endo. It looks like the seat and long post are throwing him forward over the bars...


    this takes you right to the no dropper fail...

    https://youtu.be/sZLLeox100k?t=102


    Here the whole episode. For the extendo seat post fail go to time stamp 1:42...

    Watching that video made me glad I don't even consider riding terrain like that. But I still like my dropper post. (Edit: I wish I could ride terrain like that because it looks fun but I'm too old to want to risk the falls.) The way I ride I only use a couple of inches of drop but that small amount makes a nice difference. Maybe I will evolve to needing more drop.

    Converting to 12 speed 1x with lower gears made a more valuable improvement for me.
    Last edited by dugt; 3 Weeks Ago at 12:18 PM.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    Friday' Fails is always full of reasons why dropper post are good idea. It really does make things safer, not just steep declines.

    For the extendo seat post fail go to time stamp 1:42...
    LOL! Not sure exactly how a video full of people crashing with dropper posts shows that dropper posts are much safer...but hey, internet biking is a funny thing.

    Also, anyone who thinks a dropper post is needed to ride over that little log pile at 1:42 knows crap about riding a mountain bike.
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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by dugt View Post
    How can I tell if I need a dropper post? I just ride mtn trails that are fairly safe and sane. I ride quick but not fast. I used to be more challenged in sporadically rocky terrain but I switched to a 2.6 front tire with 12 PSI and that helped. My rear tire is a 2.4 so maybe the bigger front tire makes the 71.5 degree head angle seem a little more relaxed and less scary going downhill.

    Anyway, now I get by ok without a dropper post but would a dropper post make me a better rider? I'm 69 but I'm still quite immature. :-)

    My bike is a 2013 Giant XTC Advanced 29er hardtail which is a XC race bike.

    THANKS!
    I don't see a need for a dropper unless you are riding a newer frame with a steeper seat tube where the saddle is always in the way.

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  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    LOL! Not sure exactly how a video full of people crashing with dropper posts shows that dropper posts are much safer...but hey, internet biking is a funny thing.

    Also, anyone who thinks a dropper post is needed to ride over that little log pile at 1:42 knows crap about riding a mountain bike.
    If you don't see the seat tube hitting people on the back or sometimes even the head when they go OTB I don't know what to tell ya. Just think very well about what the dropper is for. Of course on a XC BIKE you don't need it. But on many other bikes where you are doing more than XC it becomes apparent.
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  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biohazard74 View Post
    If you don't see the seat tube hitting people on the back or sometimes even the head when they go OTB I don't know what to tell ya.
    I actually manage avoid getting hit in the back of my head by my seat by not riding my handlebars into the ground in the first place. Pro tip LOL!!!

    But yeah, if you find yourself going OTB and getting hit in the back of the head by your seat on a regular basis, you should definitely spend more time shopping and internet-ing than riding. It'll be much better for everyone.
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  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    But yeah, if you find yourself going OTB and getting hit in the back of the head by your seat on a regular basis, you should definitely spend more time shopping and internet-ing than riding.
    Or get a softer seat.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    LOL! Not sure exactly how a video full of people crashing with dropper posts shows that dropper posts are much safer...but hey, internet biking is a funny thing.

    Also, anyone who thinks a dropper post is needed to ride over that little log pile at 1:42 knows crap about riding a mountain bike.
    I watched the video in slow motion several times to try to see why the second guy augered in so bad. Maybe his front tire hit a deeper section or softer mud. Or, maybe he has 26" tires and the first guy has a 29er. It is possible the second guy hit his front brake at exactly the wrong moment. If other poor technique is to blame I would like to know about it.

    If his seat was down he would have had a better chance of pulling out of it. Since the first guy flowed over the logs so easily, I think the second guy didn't anticipate trouble.

  81. #81
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    Rider who crashed had his CoG is too high and forward for such. The majority of inertia is in his body and it kept moving forward, while the bike's inertia pretty much stalled out. Need to be in a position to transfer that inertia back into the bike to keep it moving forward.

    I presume that he's hesitant to get behind the saddle because it might be a case of smashing his private parts on the back of the saddle when the bike suddenly loses inertia and his own inertia carries him forward.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Do I need a dropper seatpost?-vs85w3t.png  

    Do I need a dropper seatpost?-msedge_yd4na7qazb.jpg  

    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by dugt View Post
    I watched the video in slow motion several times to try to see why the second guy augered in so bad. Maybe his front tire hit a deeper section or softer mud. Or, maybe he has 26" tires and the first guy has a 29er. It is possible the second guy hit his front brake at exactly the wrong moment. If other poor technique is to blame I would like to know about it.

    If his seat was down he would have had a better chance of pulling out of it. Since the first guy flowed over the logs so easily, I think the second guy didn't anticipate trouble.
    Maybe first guy has experience, good bike geometry, and a dropper helping him go faster over the obstacle and second guy thinks he can follow at the same speed without all those advantages working in his favor.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I actually manage avoid getting hit in the back of my head by my seat by not riding my handlebars into the ground in the first place. Pro tip LOL!!!

    But yeah, if you find yourself going OTB and getting hit in the back of the head by your seat on a regular basis, you should definitely spend more time shopping and internet-ing than riding. It'll be much better for everyone.
    I don't. But in most of these videos you were seeing beginners.
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  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    Or get a softer seat.
    Or a harder head!
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  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by dugt View Post
    maybe he has 26" tires and the first guy has a 29er..
    LOL! Please...you guys are killing me!

    It had nothing to do with the guy's shopping habits. Trust me on this one; that spot is perfectly rideable on a 26" bike, without a dropper pos,t or an oval ring, or whatever other parts gear weenies have up on the altar this season. FFS.



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  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    I don't see a need for a dropper unless you are riding a newer frame with a steeper seat tube where the saddle is always in the way.

    -F
    I'm finding this to be more relevant than many of the comments for my riding. I have three hard tails with nearly identical geometry that I ride pretty much interchangeably. One has a straight dropper and the others have setback Thomson static posts, making the saddle on the dropper bike about 2 cm farther forward than the others. The bikes with the static height posts and saddles farther back are much easier to maneuver than the dropper bike when the saddle is at full height.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    I'm finding this to be more relevant than many of the comments for my riding. I have three hard tails with nearly identical geometry that I ride pretty much interchangeably. One has a straight dropper and the others have setback Thomson static posts, making the saddle on the dropper bike about 2 cm farther forward than the others. The bikes with the static height posts and saddles farther back are much easier to maneuver than the dropper bike when the saddle is at full height.
    This makes sense and sort of gets at one big (and unexpected) advantage I found with a dropper when I first got one in 2005. I was able to run my saddle more forward.

    Without the dropper, my fore-aft saddle position was a compromise between best pedaling (slid forward and therefore slightly higher) and maneuverability (slid back and slightly down). Now I could run it forward and not be in my way.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    I'm finding this to be more relevant than many of the comments for my riding. I have three hard tails with nearly identical geometry that I ride pretty much interchangeably. One has a straight dropper and the others have setback Thomson static posts, making the saddle on the dropper bike about 2 cm farther forward than the others. The bikes with the static height posts and saddles farther back are much easier to maneuver than the dropper bike when the saddle is at full height.
    This is a bit of a seque that I've had since recently getting a dropper. I find it a little annoying that when I drop it, the seat is uncomfortably forward. I only use it to get my weight back a bit on decents. When dropped, the seat is too far forward so I sit my thighs on it with my butt sticking out the back if it is somewhat steep. Am I doing it wrong? If it isn't very steep I just drop the seat an inch or two and I sit in the saddle like normal.

    Maybe this matters. My bike is a 2013 Giant XTC which is an XC bike. I believe it has fairly steep angles.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    This makes sense and sort of gets at one big (and unexpected) advantage I found with a dropper when I first got one in 2005. I was able to run my saddle more forward.

    Without the dropper, my fore-aft saddle position was a compromise between best pedaling (slid forward and therefore slightly higher) and maneuverability (slid back and slightly down). Now I could run it forward and not be in my way.
    I can see where that makes sense. My pedaling style and riding style have adapted to running saddle at full optimal pedaling height and all the way back on the rails of the setback posts for 30 years, so having that extended post a couple of centimeters closer to my rear-end is a bit alarming.


    Quote Originally Posted by dugt View Post
    This is a bit of a seque that I've had since recently getting a dropper. I find it a little annoying that when I drop it, the seat is uncomfortably forward. I only use it to get my weight back a bit on decents. When dropped, the seat is too far forward so I sit my thighs on it with my butt sticking out the back if it is somewhat steep. Am I doing it wrong? If it isn't very steep I just drop the seat an inch or two and I sit in the saddle like normal.

    Maybe this matters. My bike is a 2013 Giant XTC which is an XC bike. I believe it has fairly steep angles.
    I drop the saddle for fast chunky stuff or for quick and tight turns as well as for steep drops, but rarely if ever find myself seated on the dropped saddle. If I am pedaling it is usually right back up at full height.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    Rider who crashed had his CoG is too high and forward for such. The majority of inertia is in his body and it kept moving forward, while the bike's inertia pretty much stalled out. Need to be in a position to transfer that inertia back into the bike to keep it moving forward.

    I presume that he's hesitant to get behind the saddle because it might be a case of smashing his private parts on the back of the saddle when the bike suddenly loses inertia and his own inertia carries him forward.
    I’m with you on this. COG too high up and too forward. Dropper would have made it easier to get a position that wouldn’t have sent him over the bars.

    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    Maybe first guy has experience, good bike geometry, and a dropper helping him go faster over the obstacle and second guy thinks he can follow at the same speed without all those advantages working in his favor.
    Hard to say for sure, but I can tell the bike that had the endo has a very short stem and the wheels look to be the same size in those still shots. Maybe the first guy was more experienced, but a dropper still would have helped prevent the second rider from going full over the bars. Maybe he wouldn’t of made it over and stalled out, but with a dropper, he probably would be able to at least stop and put his foot down if not make it across.

    Quote Originally Posted by Biohazard74 View Post
    ...in most of these videos you were seeing beginners.
    Yes, many are teenagers. But in this case, these guys look to be older, and much more experienced than the average Friday fail rider.

    First off, they’re wearing helmets, second riding in a group on what appears to be an actual mtb trail with at least one semi-skilled rider and finally both bikes appear to be modern full squish bikes with short stems. Given all that, I think it is safe to assume the rider who went over has some experience riding mtbs and that if he had a dropper he most likely would have not gone over the bars given the first rider’s ease of clearing the obstacle with a dropper. As I said above, maybe he would not have cleared it for whatever reason and had to put his foot down, but I don’t think he would have gone over the bars.
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    Hard to say for sure, but I can tell the bike that had the endo has a very short stem and the wheels look to be the same size in those still shots. Maybe the first guy was more experienced, but a dropper still would have helped prevent the second rider from going full over the bars. Maybe he wouldn’t of made it over and stalled out, but with a dropper, he probably would be able to at least stop and put his foot down if not make it across.
    Oh I agree.

    That log looks doable without a dropper, but would be significantly easier and safer using one. If I approached that, I'd certainly have my saddle dropped.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  92. #92
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    The thing I noticed most after I got over the naked feeling of not having the saddle to pinch was how much room to maneuver you have with the saddle down (slammed in my case, plus one pro column for no seat post braze-ons). It was not straight steeps so much that I thought made the most difference but fast descending turns where I could put my weight wherever the hell I needed. Without a saddle in the way I could put it all straight to the bottom bracket and adjust as the terrain demands. Way more dynamic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    That log looks doable without a dropper, .
    I'm curious how long the people who think they need a dropper to go over that log have been riding.

    I can't think of any experienced riders who would've even thought for a second that they needed to drop their seat for that thing, even on an old 90s XC bike.
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  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I'm curious how long the people who think they need a dropper to go over that log have been riding.

    I can't think of any experienced riders who would've even thought for a second that they needed to drop their seat for that thing, even on an old 90s XC bike.
    Need and strongly prefer are two different things. I could do that log on a 90's XC bike (did similar many times over the decades), but I'd much rather do it on a newer bike with a dropper.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  95. #95
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    People always underestimating things seen in pics/videos...

    Experienced riders get scared of ruts shallower in depth than that water, without the depth being obscured by the log and water. Add in a log and someone riding it at a pace that the guy on the dropper-equipped Santa Cruz set...

    Rookie mistake from that rider who crashed. I've seen experienced riders crash from simply trying to cross a short creek, that's 1' to 1.5' deep at the center and about 5' in width, with stones lining the bottom no bigger than a fist. The sudden momentum loss from the water seemingly gets them.
    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

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    No I don't need one. But I still ride my dirt jumper a lot so I'm used to standing up all the time, and I prefer the clean look of less stuff on the bars and less maintenance time. I don't want to maintain a seat.

    On my rigid singlespeed with no dropper I keep it slightly lowered and that is good enough to sit and climb and stand over to descend. But I don't do any crazy steep stuff on that cause it's not made for that. I find that you get used to pedaling with a slightly lower seat or switching to standing. You can get the seat to the perfect position and switch to the perfect gear every five seconds or you can just HTFU and pedal up the damn mountain.

    Now I just got a hardtail with a dropper post but I am going to switch it out for a normal post when it stops working. It already doesn't go up all the way so I probably need to add air to it but I don't know how to. I will just get a quick release clamp since it seems like a lot of the trails I'm doing you pedal up to the top of the mountain and then just go down the mountain. So you stop and take a rest at the top anyway.

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