Seat droppers are still up there with the other hot topics in mountain biking banter, 26 or 29er; flats or clips; Butty Bach or Stowford Press…
From Dirt Issue 126 – August 2012
Words by Steve ‘Leaky’ Lewis. Photo by Steve Jones.
Whatever, the KS Lev seat dropper offers a number of advantages over those that have gone before it, but does it put to bed those that will always doubt their usefulness over faff?
As well as being available in the popular 27.2mm, 30.9mm and 31.6mm sizes it also comes in 100mm, 125mm and a DH pleasing 150mm drop. All heights are covered by the two larger diameter posts but you can only get 100mm travel out of the 27.2mm one. I guess you’ll have to plumb for the full height dropper if you’re using this post for all your riding styles, but I guess you won’t care if you’re lucky enough to run more than one bike, and all with the same post diameter.
It’s main advantage is it’s post mounted cable entry and not one mounted on the seat clamp as before. Because of this the cable length remains static and rub-free regardless of seat height. During set-up a simple but effective multi-position cuff where the cable enters the post allows you almost any entry angle for the cable. On the Trek Remedy 8 I’m running this means you can lay the cable front facing, out of the way of the mud, between the seat clamp split and under the top tube zip-tied to the other cables very neatly. It also incorporates an in-line barrel adjuster to remove inevitable cable stretch.
The hydraulics are in the post but the cable is user friendly gearing stuff and serviceable as such – save for the fact the buyer needs to get their hands on a decent set of cable cutters to shorten the inner and outer and fit the adjuster wherever they like – I chose in front of the bars but have seen it alongside the post too. It’s not light at between 510-580gms (depending on post size and travel) but what is that helps you nail that downhill?
It’s biggest disadvantage lies in how the cable is used to operate the post dropper. A grub screw clamps the cable to a cam but over this a neat ‘o’ ringed and push fit red anodised cover is all that holds this set up in place – a zip tie around this will ensure it isn’t knocked off and lost, allowing the cam to slip out off it’s seat and halting height adjustment. Another oddity is the fact the air valve is now between the seat rails and once the seat is bolted onto the micro adjust clamp, fine tuning the air pressure wont happen until the seat comes off again. As you need to ‘weight’ the post with you butt to gauge the pressure needed, this can be a pain. There is however an explanation for the air valve location as next year KS will be offering this post with internal cable routing as a factory fit option that will tidy proceedings up nicely.
Finally the carbon fibre bar-mounted remote cleverly replaces an ODI bar grip clamp if you use them, and gets it right under your thumb – on the left or right side, your choice – not another ‘option’ tick box on the order form. All in all a tidy solution with future promise of even tricker routing and no more bleeding syringes!