All posts by Andy Kemp

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…”


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


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

Some Considerations:


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


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.


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

$269  -free shipping

For your consideration….

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Nice view from the back of the pack…

Author: Andy Kemp

Published: March 30, 2015

This a testimony to the benefits of racing from a guy who is only on the podium when nobody else shows up. Worse still, I’m a 57 year old geezer who did his first race just a few years ago.

My purpose is to encourage all the newcomers to “just do it!”. Forget the “I’m not good enough”, “haven’t done it before”, “might finish last”, “just not a racer” thoughts. It really is fun in a weird kind of way and the company and stories afterwards are entertaining and supportive. And no, you will not be rammed off the course by some aggro rider. Most people are pretty polite.

The start is the most aggressive part of the race. Initially, start at the back with minimal expectations, and you will soon learn where to move up in the start order.

There are 3 main reasons why I race:

  • to put myself out of my comfort zone and learn new things which benefit my overall riding experience (regular rides are so much more pleasant when you’re fit and your technique is better!)
  • to improve over prior races – it’s all about me and how well I handle the course not whether I’m in the top 3
  • to travel to beautiful places, camp and have fun with teammates and friends

I could add more but who needs that?!

Good luck out there! Do it!

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