LAST UPDATED: November 4, 2020
The Best Dropper Posts (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Ride in style on the road and the trails with these top-rated dropper posts
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PUBLISHED ON November 4, 2020
A dropper post is a type of bicycle seat mount that can drop from a standing pedaling position to a low, crouched pedaling position at the flick of a switch. This kind of device is popular with bicycle riders who cover varying terrain at high speed. This includes those who ride long-distance endurance races and those who compete in cross country events that feature both steep uphill and downhill terrain.
Riding over flat ground, uphill, downhill, and over jumps can require different riding styles to get the most out of your bike, and dropper posts allow a far wider range of styles on the fly. If your competitive ride includes dramatically varying terrain, a dropper seat post is the right choice for you.
With a sleek and straightforward design, this dropper post adds versatility to the bike’s abilities. It is lightweight yet absorbs shock well.
- Post is sturdy and built to resist rust and corrosion
- Easy to install and to handle
- Post has a lot of different height settings
- Can be tricky to set up, depending on the cable structure
- Requires precise placement to work properly
Affordably priced, this shock-absorbing post makes riding smoother. It is precisely crafted to fit seamlessly into the bike’s function.
- Bearings are designed to resist pressure damage
- Post creates a tight hold without being difficult to adjust
- Made of quality materials
- Post’s cable can be challenging to run through the bike
- Utility value depends largely on the type of bike and compatibility
Featuring an adjustable seat and a tough design, this post has high utility value. It is made out of lightweight alloy for stability and vibration-resistance.
- Sturdy and effective on challenging terrain
- High-grade material is resistant to damage
- Meant to adjust easily without incurring damage
- Main component can break under pressure from the wrong angle
- Doesn’t have the highest weight threshold
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Benefits of Dropper Posts
- Reduces the impact of exercise. When you use a dropper post, you have the angle you need to ride most efficiently. The posts absorb a lot of vibration and shock, making it easier on your bones and muscles. This is particularly true when you ride on rough terrain.
- Lets you adjust the height. Dropper posts enable you to shift the height of your seat. Even a small adjustment can ease the demand on your leg muscles. To reduce the strain in a particular area (on your shoulders or legs), simply maneuver the post’s height.
- Control your center of gravity. When you shift your height using the dropper post, it completely changes the center of gravity. This impacts your speed and agility while on the road. Having better control over the distribution of your weight increases performance ability.
- Improves bike’s utility. By expanding the reach of your bike, it gives it greater functionality. The basic function of the bicycle remains constant, though a dropper post makes it all the more useful as a ride.
- Facilitates better balance. Proper height enables you to balance your weight when taking rough turns or hitting bumps in the road. Especially at faster speeds, it’s important to have the added balance of a dropper post.
Types of Dropper Posts
This type of dropper post is the most common. Depending on the quality of the dropper post, you can make adjustments while in motion. In most cases, it requires you to stop the bike to use the lever-based controls. This sort of dropper post is easy to adjust but difficult to break. Usually, it hooks up to the bicycle easily and has a distinct lever.
Remote types of dropper posts are popular, though tend to be less prevalent. These enable you to drop the seat on the fly and shift your height easily. However, the cabling tends to be more sensitive, and the overall post more challenging to install. These dropper posts wire to your handlebars where you can use them in a similar way to brakes.
With roots in Ontario, this company has a wide range of products geared towards cyclists. The products range from shocks to posts to pressure systems. A leading selection is the DNM Mountain Bike Dropper Post.
With a variety of biking gear, Pacific Northwest Components has become a household name for bikers. Offering product warranties, this relatively new biking company has become popular. Its top offering is the PNW Components Ridge Dropper Post.
After opening its doors in 1997 in California, this company began to make its name in cycling products of all types. It has a huge variety of offerings, all dedicated to bike riding. One of the most popular options is the Crankbrothers Highline Seatpost.
Dropper Post Pricing
- Under $100: This price range covers the most simple and basic dropper posts. Most come with a cable for setup and, though lacking some bells and whistles, work well.
- Between $100 and $200: Most dropper posts fall within this price range. There are selections for all sizes of bikes. Both remote and manual types are priced this way.
- $200 and up: High-end dropper posts tend to be very smooth and sturdy. In most cases, they operate by remote via the handlebars.
The key to any dropper post is the leverage that enables it to adjust. It is the actual component that ‘drops’ the post itself. The lever needs to be well-constructed and provide the necessary amount of stability. It should be easy to control without taking up a lot of space. The lever needs to work both when the system is under pressure and when the bike is stationary.
Dropper posts are constructed out of a mix of alloys and carbon fiber. These materials are inert and able to withstand a lot of weight. You want a dropper post that is resistant to rust and corrosion. Something that works in all weather and isn’t too demanding in terms of care is ideal. Especially if the post goes higher than others, you want to be sure that it can support the wear and tear.
Both for the structural integrity of the post itself and the experience of the rider, the ability to withstand shock and vibration is important. It all comes down to the construction of the post. You want the materials to be tightly held enough to guarantee stability, without getting damaged by shaky roads. The more force of rough ground the post can absorb, the smoother the overall ride.
To hook the post up to the bike, you need to hardwire it into place. This connects with the lever and moves the system. If the post requires cabling, be sure that it is encased by a sturdy material. Also, check where the entry/exit points are for the wire. To install conveniently, the cable must be placed carefully and correctly.
- Height: When you’re on the market for a dropper post, a necessary consideration is how much height you need to achieve. Shorter dropper posts can be a viable solution for taller riders. Conversely, those who need to shift the center of gravity upwards more distinctly would benefit from a tall post.
- Weight Threshold: The post connects to your seat and holds the weight of the rider. To be a suitable cycling companion, it needs to be able to withstand the weight of the rider themselves. Check to see how much it can handle. Look at the materials used in construction and be sure they are tough enough.
- Compatibility: The dropper post needs to fit into your bike. Check the specifications of both your bike and the post. Look at the diameter specifically to be sure that the post will fit into place without an issue. So long as it fits reliably, you will have an easier time during installation. A proper fit is necessary to performance.
- Maintenance: You want a system that is relatively straightforward in terms of upkeep. While everything requires lubrication and attention, choosing a hardy dropper post will go a long way. Choose something with an extra black powder coating to help avoid rust related issues.
- Setup: All dropper posts need a certain amount of installation. Those which connect to handlebars tend to be the most challenging to install, though the most convenient in use. Options that run on a manual lever require the least amount of effort during the setup process. Even for those who aren’t mechanically-inclined, however, the setup is fairly straightforward.
Best Dropper Posts Reviews & Recommendations 2021
The PNW Components Cascade is built with high-end 7075 heat-treated alloy material, and within the post’s travel seat position is infinitely adjustable. The 7075 alloy is highly durable and dramatically lightweight, and the entire device is offered as a sealed unit with a firm DU bushing. This keeps the whole dropper post solidly mounted, despite its infinitely adjustable nature. The Cascade comes in several travel lengths, from 125mm to 200mm. The cable for the mechanism is externally mounted, and the entire dropper post weighs between 540 and 635 grams. The pneumatic pressure of the Cascade is adjustable, further adding to the customizability of this solid product. For steadfast reliability and firm quality, the Cascade is a great product.
While this dropper post is a high-quality selection, it can be a bit challenging to install. As long as you set aside enough time for installation, however, it is a good way to go.
While the price of the Bike Yoke Revive is in a league above its competitors, its construction and capabilities are as well. From the ground up, even the basic construction and method of operation of the Revive is different. The vast majority of dropper posts work with what’s called an IFP design, which is often temperamental despite its seemingly simple nature. Even some of the better products that use the IFP design will fail to function correctly in the wrong conditions. The Revive takes IFP and throws it out of the window, with a new design that requires far fewer seals and complexity. This leads to a simpler and far more reliable operation. The Revive is at a different price point because its capabilities are on another level.
Though this post is easy to use, some of the advanced design can be a bit tricky to use for those used to IFP structures. Once acquainted with the post, though, it works well.
With some dropper posts’ prices reaching that of high-mileage used cars, it’s nice that something like the Kind Shock Eten-Remote is around to keep everyone honest. This post is built with a forged head that has a 20mm offset, aiding comfort while maximizing strength and durability. The shock features 100mm of infinitely adjustable travel, which is useful for getting the perfect riding position for any upcoming terrain, even if that terrain is the thin air of a large jump. The mechanism of the Eten-Remote is patented and includes a roller clutch bearing. The remote is made from high strength and impressively lightweight polycarbonate, with a standard cable system. All of this for far less money than other companies would ask for the use of a similar system.
Despite the affordable price of this dropper post, the adjustability of the travel can lead to some issues when finding the right setting. It is suited to those seeking versatility over a set function.
Although they are a relatively new piece of tech for bikes, dropper posts of various types have shown up all across the market, but the KS eTen R has found a way to stand out. With 25 percent more adjustment travel than most other posts, the eTen R carves out a niche for those who need a taller post to facilitate their preferred riding style. Just like any other dropper post, the eTen R can drop from its maximum height down to a tiny fraction of that in an instant via a handlebar-mounted switch. The difference is that this post’s maximum is a windy 265mm, which puts just about every other post on the market to shame. For those who need height, there is no substitute.
Even though this post can get tall, it has a proportionate vulnerability to pressure from certain angles. If impacted when at its maximum height, the post can bend or break.
Dropper posts are a simple concept, and the DNM Dropper Seatpost Remote Lockout delivers on that straightforward ideal of greater utility at the flick of a switch. With excellent machining of the tube’s 7050 alloy material, a rider can rest assured that their ride is no heavier than it needs to be, just barely weighing 660 grams. The seat’s maximum lockout force of five Newton-Meters keeps the seat of your bike seamlessly steady under any condition, and the more than four-inch adjustability range makes getting into any riding position a snap, with a twitch of a finger on the included remote control. While other dropper posts chase long feature lists and increasing complexity, this DNM model keeps it simple and effective.
It’s worth noting that the material used in this construction is very lightweight. If exposed to excessive force from the rider, it is subject to warping damage.
Need something easy to handle and works well? Take a look at the EC90 Full Carbon Fiber Bike Post. It is offset by more than 2 centimeters and can give you a lift of 3.5 centimeters. The length adjusts over multiple settings. In terms of riding comfort, the post absorbs all the shock. It limits the vibrations felt on the seat. Since the post is designed to go off-road, this adds a lot of comfort to the ride. The sleek design fits in well with even the most high-end bikes. Made with materials of equal quality, this dropper post is a quality solution. The alloys are lightweight and don’t strain easily. Simple to install and consistent in performance, this is a favorite dropper post.
Keep in mind that even though it is tough, it has a relatively low profile compared to other options. That said, its multiple settings let you choose the best setting for your ride.
For those looking for something to make their ride more pleasant, the Cirrus Cycles Seatpost and Suspension is worth checking it out. You can get it in a bunch of different sizes so compatibility isn’t a concern. There are different post lengths and weight thresholds as well, meaning you can find the best possible fit. The maximum weight bearing for these posts is 250 pounds and it goes as large as over 31 millimeters. If you are looking for something that expands to a distinct height, there are dropper posts that reach a full 4.2 centimeters. In terms of comfort, it has noticeable spring shocks. These take any strain and pressure off of the rider, letting you travel over very rough terrain more easily.
It warrants a mention that, while this dropper post is top quality, it is priced accordingly. An investment in performance and comfort, it works proportionately well as a post.
Do you prefer to stick to the basics when you ride? If so, the Satori Harmony Bicycle Post is a worthy solution. The main focus of the design is the comfort of the rider. By incorporating a low-profile suspension inside of the post, it absorbs vibrations well. Reaching 3.5 centimeters in height, it lets you shift your center of gravity without risking damage to the post. It lifts you distinctly from the base and buffers the vibrations from gravel and trails. The post has an adjustable amount of give, letting you customize the tension to your specific needs. Able to support hundreds of pounds thanks to the relatively low-profile design, this is a good choice for trail riders. By keeping to the basics, there are fewer parts that are vulnerable to damage and the whole thing is all the more durable.
Keep in mind that, while this has a simple design, it does require careful installation. Be cautious when applying torque during setup to prevent faulty connections between the post and the bike.
Is your top priority comfort when you ride? For those looking to hit the trails while minimizing impact, the Kindshock Adjustable Seatpost is a suitable option. It rises to over four centimeters, meaning you don’t have to forego range for ergonomics. The system runs via remote, weaving to your handlebars for efficient controls. The head has a two-centimeter offset, distributing the surrounding force well. It is made out of heavy-duty metals, crafted to resist damage from the elements. The anodization treatment makes it hardy against rust and corrosion. Inside the structure is a tough, hydraulically-controlled shock system. It takes on any vibrations and spreads them out before reaching the rider. This is excellent for those with sensitive bones or joints.
It’s worth mentioning that the relative strength of this post means it is a bit heavier as a stand-alone item. That said, it isn’t so heavy as to impact the speed or utility of the bike.
Seeking something that won’t take all the time in the world to install? The Crankbrothers Highline Dropper post is a good way to go. It comes in a variety of sizes, ranging from 100 millimeters to 170 millimeters. The broad compatibility makes it easy to find the right fit for your bike. To add diversity, it’s available in several different styles. Each uses a different build to slightly change the dispersion of forces. All of the posts come with installation cable and strong shocks built into the structure. It goes on quickly using a dual-bolt setup. All parts are housed in a protective post, meant to withstand issues from impact and weather. It is fairly lightweight and easy to put together, getting you back on your bike in no time.
While it is very easy to use, this dropper post is on the higher end of the pricing spectrum. Depending on the model you choose, there are still affordable options for this quality post.
- Practice proper maintenance of your dropper post. Keep it clean and lubricated to avoid damage to the structure.
- Store your bike indoors to add to the shelf life of both the bike and the dropper post.
- Get comfortable with the controls and settings before you hit the trails. It's always better to practice in a familiar environment.
- Always check compatibility beforehand. Compare the size of the post to the size of your bike and be sure that it fits.
- Look into the materials before you make your pick. Opt for rust-resistant alloys and carbon fiber for the best tensile strength and corrosion resistance.
- Consider the control mechanism before you make your choice. It will play directly into how easily you can maneuver the seat placement.
Q: What is a dropper post?
Basically, a dropper post is a bicycle seat post that lets you adjust the height of your seat on the fly. Adjust your center of gravity for better balance, and position yourself according to the terrain. It also absorbs shock since there is more space between you and the bike’s vibrations.
Q: Can you put a dropper post on any bike?
Dropper bikes are most useful for mountain bikes. You could, technically, attach a dropper post to pretty much any bike. It is about compatibility and utility. The most value comes when using it on rough terrain. Smoother rides don’t need these posts as much.
Q: How do I choose a dropper post?
Take a measurement of your seat rain to the collar when it’s at maximum height. Take a half-centimeter off of this measurement. This size is the largest setting you can ride with comfortably.
Q: Why are dropper posts so expensive?
Dropper posts are used by a relatively niche market. Dedicated cyclers who need the comfort and utility of these posts on mountain roads make up most of the market. As a result, manufacturing batches are less common, have lower quantities, and are thus more costly.
Now that you know how to spot the perfect dropper post, you can make your pick. It could be the PNW Components Cascade or the value of the Kind Shock Eten-Remote. There is a dropper post for every serious rider.