Dropper seatposts – function vs. weight vs. cost (value)

 

Author: Andy Kemp

Published: April 15, 2015

These little items were the subject of some discussion at Monday night’s skills clinic. I’ve become a believer in dropper posts after many years of skepticism: I just didn’t believe that the benefits were that great, especially given the cost.

However practical experience converted me. I tested one and then rapidly acquired the highly-rated Rock Shox Reverb for 2 of my 3 bikes.

Here’s how riders in our group broke out on this topic:

Believers – “You’ve really, got to get one of these! They put you in the right position for technical sections and descents…”

Vs.

Traditionalists / Weight-Wienies – “Additional Weight!”; “Doing fine without it”

Vs.

Value Conscious – “Nice, but $400 or $500! Worth that kind of money?”

Some Considerations:

Function

Puts you in the ready position for increased stability, speed and control –  as opposed to off the back or bucked forward on rough or steep sections

  • Lots of positive racer testimonials on the web – even from die-hard XC folks

Weight

Reverb dropper post incremental weight – 300g/11.5 oz*

  • This weight is worth carrying based on the superior function delivered (my opinion … I could easily lose 1lb of body weight to compensate)
  • Not all weight is equal – if it were a 1lb added to wheel weight, I’d be more concerned…
  • *Stats:
  • Rock Shox Reverb weight – 520g -535g incl hose, remote etc.
  • Reg seatposts weight range – 230g (carbon)  -300g (avg aluminum)

Cost vs. Value

Even at $400 or $500, it may be a better value upgrade than anything except better wheels (e.g.,$600 on Stan’s Crest?) – if you’re riding a better than average bike build (MSRP >$3000)), it could be the best value upgrade.

Next Steps

See whether you can demo a teammate’s bike and see for yourself. Pick a nice fast, rough descent like Trail 5, 3 Bears or Hull’s.

If you’re convinced, you can find the Reverb and other highly rated brands at local bike stores.

OR:

At Chain Reaction, a large UK online retailer (I’ve bought 2 from there)

$269  -free shipping

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/rockshox-reverb-seatpost/rp-prod84856

For your consideration….

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One thought on “Dropper seatposts – function vs. weight vs. cost (value)”

  1. One contrary consideration is that having another something to adjust while racing could be one thing too many.
    It is very important to have the seat at the right height for climbing!
    I have tried to adjust front shock control while racing, and inevitably found myself with the shock in the climbing position while on steep, technical descents.

    Another contrary consideration is equipment complexity. Adding the complexity of a dropper seatpost increases the risk of equipment failure. Bike seat / seatpost / seatpost and seat clamp failure is a common class of failure mechanisms.

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