The best mountain bike dropper posts
An essential upgrade
It’s crazy to think that only a few years ago if you mentioned the idea of running a dropper post on your mountain bike to someone they’d have laughed in your face. "Pointless", "waste of time".
Then, thanks to the combination of some decent dropper seatposts offerings and events like the Megavalanche, the dropper post suddenly started to become less ridiculed. At first people thought you might just use one for a specialist race like the Mega but then take it off for regular riding, but it wasn’t too much longer before we all started to realise how much better they could make almost any ride, and now we are at the point where many riders consider them indispensable.
Originally there wasn't a huge deal of competition for the class leading RockShox Reverb but we're now seeing offerings from a load of big and small brands all vying for a seat at the table of the biggest mountain biking innovation in years.
There's still a huge deal of variation in the dropper post market. They should just work, season-in, season-out, to the point where you forget they're there but reliability is still a huge issue for this new technology. We've had to battle against sticky stanchions, useless remotes and mechanisms that rattle themselves loose within a few miles in our search for the best post but we're now approaching the time when we're happy to recommend a quartet of reliable and efficient posts.
So push that lever, drop your saddle and prepare to drop into four our favourite dropper seatposts:
For a long time, Fox only produced the DOSS (Drop on Steep Stuff) post with a simple, three-position mechanism. They favoured reliability over flashiness and, although it started to look a bit dated by the end of its lifespan, it did the job just fine.
We knew an infinite adjust, hydraulic post couldn't be far away though, especially as Fox was back on top of the game in the suspension world. This all-new Transfer post now features an infinitely adjustable design with the choice of internal or external cable routing and three drop options of 100mm, 125mm or 150mm. Fox make two very neat lever designs (which are sold separately to the post), one for single ring transmissions and one to sit well with a left-hand gear shifter. It covers a lot of bases for both newer and older bikes.
The Fox Transfer is an intuitive post to use and one we took to straight away. Fox quality through and through, with a great action and a superb finish.
Lever: £64.00 (either version)
RockShox were the first to release a hydraulic, internally routed infinite-adjust seatpost and it remains a favourite to this day. Early editions of the post were not perfect, lots of posts developed play and the lever was one of the worst around when used with 1x transmission.
Now however thanks to new internals last spring, longer stroke options and a much improved remote, there's plenty to love about the Reverb. It's probably the most common dropper seatpost out there and still one of the best.
£295.00 – £389.00
With a similar life cycle to the Fox Transfer, the Command originally started out as a robust three position dropper before morphing into one of the finest droppers on the market today.
So what has impressed us? First up is the action – gone are the three positions but it’s not a post with a ‘set it anywhere’ approach either. Here, Specialized have developed what they call ‘Cruiser Control’ tech – the mechanical locking system remains but you get ten positions to choose from. Fully slammed or up but with a graded section that starts just below the first drop down. If you’re moving from a post with infinite travel then this may feel odd to start with but we’ve grown to like it and is now intuitive.
Sure it’s only available with a maximum of 125mm travel (we feel Specialized have a longer stroke post in the works…) but the reliability and superb ergonomics have ensured it a place in this list.
Crank Brothers Highline
Crankbrothers had one main goal in mind when creating the Highline - make it reliable. This may not seem a big ask, but when it comes to the world of dropper seat posts, this seems to have a lot of brands stumped.
From all accounts they have succeeded and they've backed it up with a three year waranty. Crankbrothers have also made this one of the lighter posts going with bob-on pricing plus a recently added 160mm travel option means you'll no longer be struggling for length too.
If you don't like the slow creep of electonics onto mountain bikes then look away now. The Magura Vyron is a wireless dropper post and is perfect if you want an ultra-clean look.
The actuation takes a little while to operate and it doesn't seem to rise as fast as a traditional dropper but it's got a sci-fi cool factor that will have everyone keen for a play at the trail head.
The 8 Pins dropper is currently only available on Liteville bikes as you have to build a frame specifically around it (including at least a 30cm seat tube to accommodate 170mm of drop). However, you can definitely see the advantages with lighter weight, increased reliability and massive travel all on offer. Of course, we wouldn't be so bold as to give it heaps of praise without actually riding it (as others certainly have) but we're more than happy to keep an eye on this great concept.