A dropper post is a extendable seatpost that lets you adjust your saddle height as you ride – usually via a bar mounted lever.
This key mountain bike upgrade will massively boost your riding, making steep sections fun rather than frightening, descents faster than ever, climbs easier and you will actually crash less!
Shifting your saddle well out of the way before descending makes it much easier to drop your heels (improving your weight distribution and pedal grip) and adjust your body position as needed. For male riders, it also makes it less likely that you will damage the family jewels – as your kumquats won’t be hanging behind your saddle when the trail gets steep!
Obviously you can achieve all this by raising and lowering a conventional seat post as you go, but the stopping and faff needed means less actual riding for you and groans aplenty from your dropper equipped buddies.
Once you fit a dropper post there is no going back, here’s the five we rate most highly…
RockShox Reverb Stealth
One of the highest priced droppers on the market is probably the slickest operating and most reliable post out there. A hydraulic (rather than cable) operated remote means a more complicated initial set-up, but it’s well worth the extra installation pain. The Reverb has options for most seat tube sizes, drops lengths vary from 100mm to 170mm, and there’s also externally routed versions.
Fox have followed up their DOSS dropper with the Transfer. While it’s just as tough and reliable as the DOSS, unlike the earlier post, you can stop the travel at any height rather than in just two positions. It’s available with either an internally or externally routed remote, in Performance and Factory models, one of three drop lengths – 100mm, 125mm and 150mm, and comes in 30.9mm and 31.6mm sizes.
Brand X Ascend
With smooth operation and decent reliability the cheapest post here is total bargain. You’ll need to be running a 1x gearing system though, as the slightly agricultural bar mounted remote sits where your front shifter would be. The 125mm drop is enough for most situations and the Ascent comes in two sizes – 30.9mm and 31.6mm.
Giant Contact SL Switch
A cunning feature of Giant’s dropper is that it can be easily switched around to run internal or external routing for the bar mounted remote. Add to that its wallet-friendly price, total reliability and you’re on to a winner. While it’s available in 100mm, 125mm and 150mm drop versions, it only comes in 30.9mm size.
Crank Brothers Highline
The Highline is Crank Bros third attempt at making a decent dropper and definitely wins where their others failed. This is a high quality cable operated piece of kit that’s super smooth and ultra-reliable. There’s only one drop length available at 125mm and it comes in 30.9mm and 31.6mm sizes.