OneUp V2 Dropper 180 NSMB AndrewM (2).JPG
EDITORIAL

Winning the Dropper Post Arms Race

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major
Date Apr 22, 2021
Reading time

Actual Improvements

The mountain bike component complex is continuingly releasing new products that bring, at best, marginal improvements, and often present solutions in search of a problem. Sometimes, they're solutions that end up crushing much better legacy standards. I know that sounds a bit cynical, but I can pull examples out of my helmet all day. However, I'm not here today to talk about flat mount disc brake tabs, or center lock rotors, or 10-tooth compatible hub drivers. I'd like to talk about dropper posts.

There was a time when choosing a dropper post came down to reliability versus purchase price. When they all sucked hard we could crack a beer and argue over whether a Reverb or KS or Gravity Dropper was a bigger turd, but these days you actually have to put effort in to buy a bad dropper post at almost any price. Even true budget dropper posts I've ridden like the Race Face Aeffect R, X-Fusion Manic, Crank Brothers Highline 3, and PNW Rainier go up and down smoothly and stay where they're told.

What's the best dropper post? The BikeYoke Revive is a nice piece of kit, the Race Face Turbine R / Fox Transfer is super smooth, the Reverb AXS is both wireless and functions wickedly, but then that's what I'd expect from any premium-priced post. If I'm talking about min-maxing a part of my bike that, on paper at least, has a really simple job for which those premium posts seem over-priced, then in addition to the more budget-friendly posts above I've also had a solid experience with e-13's Vario dropper.

OneUp V2 Dropper 180 NSMB AndrewM (3).JPG

Even with 180mm travel and the size large Banshee Titan's 235mm max post-insertion, the OneUp V2 dropper is unique in that I don't have the post fully slammed into the seat tube.

If you're 6'6", and your bike has an uninterrupted seat tube, and/or you're content running less dropper-post-travel, then price v. performance can rightly be the only two metrics you are looking at. But, there comes a point where a person's inseam is shorter enough, or their bike doesn't have sufficient seat tube length, that picking a dropper post for aggressive riding becomes a game of maximizing post-travel while minimizing length.

Those length restrictions are reflected in two ways. First, the maximum a post can be inserted into a frame, as the post bodies typically get longer corresponding to the travel. Put another way, how far does the static body of the seat post have to stick up above the seat collar before we can account for the seal head and shaft? Secondly, if that outer shaft could be fully buried, what is the stack height of the post above the collar for the given travel?

In a time where infinitesimal improvements compete with utter snake oil in terms of product development in suspension and drivetrains, and where the vast majority of dropper posts are pretty damned good both in terms of reliability and performance, there is still a great differentiator that matters to those short(er) of leg or riding frames less endowed with unobstructed seat tube length.

The last bike component arms race that matters is about making a dropper post with the most travel for the shortest overall length. The most drop, for the shortest stack height, for the shortest insertion depth.

SQLab 60X Saddle NSMB AndrewM.JPG

One issue with the Titan's frame configuration is the very limited post insertion depth. I have a 32" inseam and this is the first frame I've found where I can't run the 170mm Highline 7 at full travel.

OneUp V2 Dropper 180 NSMB AndrewM (4).JPG

The post's insertion is restricted where the seat tube meets the upper linkage pivot with Banshee's KS2 suspension design. It's a 6" travel bike and I think most riders my height and taller would be expecting to run at least a 160mm dropper.

OneUp V2

There's been a rumour circulating for ages that Giant is on the cusp of releasing a double-telescoping dropper post to assuage the criticism over their silly-short max seat post insertion depths. I mean, the number one reason I've heard from people - including people I wouldn't call 'short' - who decided not to buy one of their Liv or Giant rigs is not being able to run a modern long travel post. I haven't ever seen an image or example though, and you'd think if one had shown up anywhere on the North Shore that NSMB would have leaked it by now. Until Giant releases their Matryoshka-doll dropper, there is only one category leader when it comes to maximizing the length of dropper you can run on a given frame, and they've had the crown for a while now.

OneUp Components has the shortest total length of any dropper. OneUp Components has the shortest stack height of any dropper. If I had gone slightly long with this 180mm post, OneUp also ships with the necessary adapter keys to lower the post up to 20mm in 1cm increments.

OneUp V2 Dropper 180 NSMB AndrewM (2).JPG

I can actually lower the post into my frame another 5-10mm from what's shown here, which is nice peace of mind for someone regularly playing with different saddles, shoes, and pedals.

OneUp V2 Dropper Post NSMB.jpg

Just the basic facts. You can also check out their handy seat post fit calculator to determine the best starting post length.

OneUp accomplishes these feats with some impressive 'duh, why didn't anyone else think of that' engineering. In particular, their patented Dropped Rail Clamp system that effectively lowers the static saddle height a few mm. I'm genuinely surprised that we don't see this system with more companies. For example, Giant could use it to eke out an extra 1cm of drop on every post, on every bike, that they sell.

And sure, with OneUp having a patent they'd likely have to pay to utilize the system, but without knowing what that would cost I'm strongly doubting that it would really be a barrier to getting this post head featured on multiple companies' systems if more folks cared about maximizing drop.

OneUp V2 Dropper 180 NSMB AndrewM (1).JPG

The patented Drop Rail Clamp helps to minimize the stack height by using some of the space between the seat rails and saddle base.

OneUp V2 Dropper 180 NSMB AndrewM.JPG

The low profile dropper post seal head also helps eliminate a few mm without sacrificing any bushing height of durability.

This isn't intended as a review of the OneUp V2 dropper post, although I've installed and serviced enough of them that I am confident in saying that they're an excellent piece of kit. Not the cheapest, not the smoothest, not the most faultlessly reliable, but it is competitive in all those categories and absolutely the shortest length for the most travel, which I think is an important metric for a lot of riders. If you're looking for a review, NSMB.com did put one together in 2019 when the V2 was released and what's sad to me about that is that no company has challenged them for the crown since.

If your frame doesn't have any dropper post dimension constraints, and I usually don't on any bikes I'm riding, then the V2 is a great product in a sea of great products. If you're short(er)-statured, or riding a more interrupted frame, and trying to stretch into the longest travel dropper post that will currently fit your frame, then the OneUp V2 Dropper still has you covered.

Anecdotally, from the number of folks that I talk to who wish they could mount up a longer dropper post, I'd find it impossible to believe that none of the other brands are working to actively reduce their dimensions. In the meantime, I can think of a lot of folks who would be best served to throw down for a OneUp dropper. The plucky Squamish brand is winning at the only bike component arms race that matters in 2021.

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Comments

otagoboy
+2 Andrew Major Suns_PSD
otagoboy  - April 21, 2021, 10:44 p.m.

The upcoming integrated TranzX YSI15 dropper looks like it could rival or beat the One/UP though its release date is not yet advertised.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Tjaard Breeuwer
Andrew Major  - April 21, 2021, 11:32 p.m.

I’d be surprised if a number of companies - including those using Tranz-X as their manufacturer- don’t have strong rivals with their next gen posts. 

I do think it’s, at the very least, the most interesting component arms race at the moment. 

Who doesn’t want more drop?!

Reply

dorkweed
0 Andrew Major werewolflotion
dorkweed  - April 22, 2021, 12:22 p.m.

Who doesn't want more drop?!

I couldn't agree more, but I also recall a good number of idiotic pinkbike conversations whereby some 5'7" pipsqueak would tell me that 125mm was enough, and then 150mm and then 175...  And then yesterday I was riding with my 200mm one-up post and wishing for just a little bit more.  213 Bikeyoke, here I come!

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - April 22, 2021, 6:26 p.m.

1/2

So, I was totally that guy. Now in my defence with slack STA, mainly riding hardtails when droppers really became the dominant choice, 100mm or 125mm seemed fine. Sometimes I’d manually lower them extra for really steep trails.

Now, I had many friends who said they wouldn’t switch to dropper posts until they had 8” of adjustment. Now they all caved by the time posts hit 150mm, but some stayed with external routing to make it easy to manually lower the posts extra until very recently. 

Now I have a 160-170mm dropper on my rigid bike! So yeah, I’m there but props to the folks who didn’t delude themselves into riding 100mm droppers and thinking that was all anyone needed.

Reply

NotMeAtAll
0
NotMeAtAll  - April 23, 2021, 7:32 a.m.

I can confirm that. I have a ancient Trek top fuel 8 2011 as a donwcountry machine, and the KS 125mm dropper is perfect for the insertion and total length. Unfortunatly any 29 decent full suspension bike have a very high price tag.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - April 22, 2021, 6:31 p.m.

2/2

I think a prime example of a dropper post early-adopter who was also a short-travel dropper skeptic is our own Cam McRae. 

Check out this review of the Rase Black Mamba from 2010

This is when 5” droppers from the big players were only rumours! And yeah, it’s janky early dropper tech but the potential is obvious. To me the posts we are getting now actually reflect the potential that was promised a decade ago.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+3 khai Andrew Major ollyh
Cam McRae  - April 22, 2021, 11:34 p.m.

That post is still going strong but it recently left the premises in my ‘96 Dekerf that I sold in March.

Reply

khai
+1 Andrew Major
khai  - April 23, 2021, 9:09 a.m.

Ah, Dekerf...  That signature orange & green with the pass through seatstay bridge was one of the greatest objects of my lust in the 90s...  Chris as the builder almost swayed me into a Surface when I bought my Chromag - but I wanted the most aggressive geo I could get my hands on, so alas, that dream will have to wait...

Mojo16rider
+1 cheapondirt
Jakub Gábriš  - April 23, 2021, 11:57 a.m.

Not sure if you are aware, but your one up is 210mm travel one, hence the name two ten on it. Are you sure you want to fork our like 500bucks for extra 3mm?

Reply

cooperquinn
0
Cooper Quinn  - April 26, 2021, 10:11 a.m.

I'm a guy that doesn't want/need more drop. If you check my Spur review, I shimmed the OneUp 180 down to 160.

Reply

Skeen
+1 Andrew Major
Skeen  - April 21, 2021, 10:46 p.m.

I have been running the one up v2 in 180 for 2 years with the occasional bushing clean/lube and add a few (tens of) psi and no further issues. Another brand to mention is tranz-x. Their stock post on my honzo has been flawless for its first 5 months and ~300 miles of heavy use. Not too many miles yet but lots of post-drops within those miles. 

On a related note I’ve been running a KS Lev on my fat bike with about an inch of air leaked squish for 4 years (100mm total travel). It was a hand me down from a different bike. I tune the seat height to the “sag”. I even have a second identical post with no issues but prefer the one with some cush. Granted the bike doesnt see tons of miles each year and i know its a bit risky but dang it takes the bite out of that rigid ride.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - April 21, 2021, 11:36 p.m.

Thomson was at least talking about making a gravel-specific dropper that would also have a suspension setting. Never followed up to see if they did anything with the concept.

On a full length seat tube, cost aside, it’s hard to argue against a BikeYoke Revive or Divine, the latest Fox posts, or the AXS Reverb but, that bc aside, the OneUp V2 is a good-enough post, at a reasonable price, with best in field dimensions.

Reply

Carmel
+1 Andrew Major
Carmel  - April 22, 2021, 3:43 a.m.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - April 22, 2021, 5:28 a.m.

Cool - wasn’t on my radar for MTB as it only goes to 120mm travel and is fairly long, but it comes in 27.2 (plus 30.9/31.6) and both external and internal routing so that’s pretty awesome coverage of gravel bikes!

Reply

fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - April 24, 2021, 5:06 a.m.

Reply

Abies
0
Simon Apostol  - April 22, 2021, 9:16 a.m.

Yeah I have been riding a cheap 150mm trans x for three years and have literally never serviced it, and I ride at least once a week in the winter. It has a little play now but if it died tomorrow I’d feel like I got more than my money’s worth. I do want more drop so I find myself wishing it stops working sometimes so I can justify a replacement.

Reply

jwellford
+2 Andrew Major Allen Lloyd
jwellford  - April 22, 2021, 4:55 a.m.

PNW Loam is comparable to the OneUp in stack height and total length. About the same price, and adjustable travel too. Those two are my go-tos for min-maxing dropper length on bikes with longer seat tubes/shorter max insertion depths/shorter riders.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+4 jwellford Mammal Suns_PSD Tjaard Breeuwer
Andrew Major  - April 22, 2021, 5:23 a.m.

The Loam is close and pre-Titan Andrew would have agreed with you. 

At 170mm travel (apples to apples) though the Loam is a full centimetre taller. Or, put another way, I can run a 180mm OneUp V2 here where I could only run a 170mm PNW.

On the Titan I’d much rather have the 180mm (bike review pending) - okay just a cm.

Shorter folks who are on the cusp of being able to clear a longer post, or a post at all, will note at 150mm or ~120mm the V2 is actually 2cm shorter for the equivalent travel. 20mm can be huge in this application (or not matter, in which case PNW makes great products).

Reply

andrewfif
0
Andrew  - April 28, 2021, 7:47 a.m.

Hi Andrew,

I owned a titan for about a year. Ran a couple of diff 210 droppers. At first I had to shim it to 190 or 200 clipped in as I was saddened by the linkage getting in the way. Some dude online pointed out a life changer lol. You can use a 30.9 (v1 is what I got) and shim it to 31.6 and you get just enough clearance from the taper on the seat tube to get almost an inch of insertion.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - April 28, 2021, 7:51 a.m.

Hi Andrew,

It depends on the post actuator. I was told this by a few folks so I did some experimenting of my own. With the most dropper posts I had easy access to there was no difference in insertion between a 30.9 or 31.6 post.

Reply

DancingWithMyself
0
MuscogeeMasher  - April 29, 2021, 5:52 p.m.

Did you try with a OneUp V2?  No difference between 30.9 and 31.6 with it?

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - April 29, 2021, 6:44 p.m.

No, I didn't have both sizes of V2 available so I can't comment on that specific post. 

My hypothesis, based on the posts I tried, is that folks noticing the insertion difference between 31.6 and 30.9 are actually noticing a difference in the size of the actuator (vs. the diameter of the post) but it's not something I plan to test to exhaustion (it was simply the case with posts I had on hand).

wlintilhac
+2 Andrew Major Tjaard Breeuwer
Will Lintilhac  - April 22, 2021, 6:01 a.m.

Oneup posts have been great for me, if not a bit on the noisy side from some rattling. They do have different diameter keyway pins, which helps, but Ive maxxed those options out. Two of them still working relatively well after 2+ years. I do miss the Bikeyoke I had sometimes, much quieter, less jiggling of the head of the post and saddle. Interested if the PNW post has a leg up on the post jiggle game. Never ridden one but installed a few, good looking/feeling post. 

I find the new fox post leaves much to be desired. They do feel nice in your hand, and when they work, they work well. Unfortunately the shop I'm at has seen a pretty high percentage of warranties for the IFP, and the fact that its still pretty heavy, expensive, offers no adjustability, and moderate length:drop its a solid "meh." If it comes stock on your bike, its still a great post, just maybe not the best deal if bought separately.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+3 Chad K DancingWithMyself Jerry Willows
Andrew Major  - April 22, 2021, 7:02 a.m.

Cost no issue, space no issue, I think BikeYoke makes the nicest-to-use cable actuated post on the market. 

Given the number of Transfer / Turbine R posts coming on bikes my experience is the warranty rate / unit is low. I have seen a few totally cooked posts but usually after 3-years sans service. They are significantly more complex to support compared to lubing a chassis and replacing a cartridge mind you.

Reply

cheapondirt
+1 Andrew Major
cheapondirt  - April 22, 2021, 6:11 a.m.

The only post that made sense when choosing one for my XL frame with an overly long seat tube. I was sold on it after seeing a picture of it slammed and realizing it went lower than the fixed seatpost I had at the time!

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DancingWithMyself
+1 Andrew Major
MuscogeeMasher  - April 22, 2021, 6:20 a.m.

Andrew is right as usual, but there is a wrinkle that I’ll offer in the spirit of fellow nerdiness and not nitpicking.

I’ve got an XL Titan, so I’ve studied up on dropper length. I’ve got an 185 Divine in the bike. If I went to OneUp, I’d actually lose 5mm of drop (which I know is not enough to notice). 

Taking the actuator out of the equation, the 185 Divine is 485mm. The OneUp shimmed to 190 is 505mm, which is 30mm more overall length for 5mm more of drop and too long for the Titan. Because of the shimming, there’s a 40mm jump in overall length moving from 180 up to 190. To go with a OneUp post, I’d have to drop to 180. 

Like all of their products, the OneUp post is awesome. But, as with any post, the more you shim it the less impressive the overall length becomes relative to the drop. The solution, of course, is for OneUp to make fixed-travel posts in 10mm increments, which I bet would allow me to get 200 of drop on the Titan. 

You don’t need an MBA to know why OneUp doesn’t do this. However, it might be strategy for a smaller brand to differentiate themselves. Something like a WR1 model where they cut the tubes and put the post together after you order it.

Maybe somebody will one up OneUp?

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 DancingWithMyself
Andrew Major  - April 22, 2021, 7:07 a.m.

That’s the idea! OneUp has had a solid product since the V2 came out (price v. performance v. reliability) amd is currently winning the travel v. insertion v. overall length war currently. It wouldn’t be a proper arms race if all the other brands weren’t working on packing more travel into shorter packages!

OneUp sells enough posts now, it might be worth the extra SKU management to do more dedicated chassis lengths. That’s a great point!

Reply

DancingWithMyself
0
MuscogeeMasher  - April 22, 2021, 7:52 a.m.

Pretty sure that if the Titan was carbon, insertion depth wouldn’t be an issue. And, I’ve got plenty of space above the seat post collar for a 210 post. 

My view is probably skewed from being on the taller side, but it seems to me the focus on the distance from seat post collar to saddle rails (which is what shimming addresses) results from the fact that it seems easier to create lots of seat post insertion depth with carbon. Never had an issue running a longish (but sensible for the application) and well-designed dropper on a carbon bike. 

Hopefully we’ll get more and more good aluminum frame options, and that will incentive more focus on the length of the dropper below the seat post collar.

Reply

Mojo16rider
0
Jakub Gábriš  - April 23, 2021, 11:56 a.m.

The flaw in that logic is you are comparing dropper that is optimised to 210mm lowered to 190mm of travel with one that is optimised for 185. Of course it will be longer, just like Bikeyoke 212 would be longer if you shimmed it to 192mm. The bushing overlap was designed for maximum travel setting, not minimal.

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DancingWithMyself
0
MuscogeeMasher  - April 23, 2021, 12:31 p.m.

That’s my whole point about shimming.  Not good when you have issues when you’re running out of real estate in the seat post.  No need to defend OneUp’s honor.  It’s a great post.

Reply

Mojo16rider
0
Jakub Gábriš  - April 24, 2021, 4:37 a.m.

I get what you are saying, but then you can have the opposite situation with someone lucky enough to not have interrupted seat tube, so he can slam the dropper all the way into the frame, BUT cannot run it at full 210mm, with shimming, he doesn´t have to go down to next size that is in this case 180mm, but can easily reduce to 200mm or 190mm. Asking any company to make XX dropper lenghts to suit everybody and every frame out there is not realistic, shimming is the way to give the most adjustability to everyone(even though PNW way of doing this is even better), if you are in between sizes, as you mentioned, 5mm is not something worth loosing sleep over.

Reply

hotlapz
+2 DancingWithMyself Chad K
hotlapz  - April 22, 2021, 6:49 a.m.

My Bike Yoke Revive v2 seemed extravagant at the time but it's been flawless after one season of winter riding.

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DancingWithMyself
+2 Andrew Major hotlapz
MuscogeeMasher  - April 22, 2021, 7:04 a.m.

I’ve got multiple-year-old Revives on my trail bike and hardtail that are my day-in and day-out bikes and it’s been money very well spent.  The Divine is nice, but the smoothness and refined feel of the Revive is amazing.  I also have aluminum GX cranks on both those bikes, so that opinion is not from a place of just buying Gucci everything.

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AndrewMajor
+2 hotlapz DancingWithMyself
Andrew Major  - April 22, 2021, 7:11 a.m.

Yeah, didn’t want to take away from how great the BikeYoke posts are, even at the up front investment. They’re very nice inside too (the Divine especially as it’s so simple) but Sacki at BikeYoke is a smart fellow so I’ll be excited to see what he comes up with to compete on length.

Reply

djjohnr
0
John Rodriguez  - April 22, 2021, 6:55 a.m.

My experience with a Oneup V1 removed any desire to try the V2.  The thing constantly sticks, and no amount of rebuilding has ever resolved it for long.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Alex Durant
Andrew Major  - April 22, 2021, 7:14 a.m.

Everyone owns their own experience but for the record the V1 is not the V2 the same way a Turbine dropper isn’t a Turbine R, a Joplin isn’t a Highline, and any older Reverb isn’t a Reverb AXS.

Reply

dorkweed
+2 Mammal Andrew Major
dorkweed  - April 22, 2021, 11:25 a.m.

Andrew - I respectfully disagree with the premise of your article. The Reverb was the King Turd of all dropper posts. The others are mere Dukes, Duchesses and Counts.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Tjaard Breeuwer
Andrew Major  - April 22, 2021, 7:29 p.m.

You obviously never owned a Maverick Speedball or Crankbrothers Joplin!!! Hahahaha. 

My review series (three parts) of the first Crankbrothers Highline posts (125mm) was basically therapy for all my past Crankbrothers dropper experiences.

The fact that that original Highline is still going strong speaks volumes of the positive changes at the company!

Compared to the number that were out there, even taking into account the blah plunger remote, I think the early Reverb’s issues are overstated and it was one of the better options at the time. We sold a lot of them at the shop I worked at and had genuinely good feedback (compared to other options from a decade ago).

Reply

Onawalk
0
Onawalk  - May 6, 2021, 8:35 a.m.

Update,

Constant (monthly rebuilds) of the V1 post in the last year has got me thinking I’m crazy.  I am admittedly a bit of a OneUp fan boy, but only because of the service, and the quality of the products I have from them (too many)

I finally reached out to OneUp for warranty/help with this god-damn V1 sticky post.

There answer was that I replace the top bushing, thats an impossible find right now, they are sending some out, so thats decent of them.

I decided to break out the little Dremel tool and do some work on the current one, and with an ultra fine stone, honed the leading edge, both inside and outside of the bushing.  VOILA! Works better than ever before (for now)

I can only assume that on repeated disassembly that the bushing pinches slightly at the bottom, and puts additional stress on the moving upper?  Anyway, it was already dickered, I didn’t think I could dicker it any more.

It does have me looking at a PNW post, along with that lifetime warranty...thats worth 10mm of extra insertion in my books

Reply

skooks
0
Skooks  - May 6, 2021, 9:44 a.m.

I have 2 PNW droppers that I have been running for several seasons. No issues whatsoever.

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khai
0
khai  - May 6, 2021, 9:59 a.m.

Interesting that you and others have had issues with your OneUp posts.  Perhaps I've just been lucky but the only issue I've had with my V1 or V2 is that the collar sometimes backs off and I get my hands dirty re-tightening it on a ride.  Occasionally I do have to remove the seat to add some air, but other than that they've been really good.  I do lube the stanchion with WPL ForkBoost from time to time, which may help things - but I'm not exactly meticulous...

Reply

Onawalk
+1 Andrew Major
Onawalk  - April 22, 2021, 8:04 a.m.

You know what, I had an almost identical experience.  I did, what I thought was a tonne of research prior to buying the OneUp V1 dropper, and all I could find were glowing reviews (realized after, those reviews were based on peoples past experiences with really unreliable posts). 

My V1 Worked great for a year, then constant sticking, rebuild, good for a month, then sticking, wash rinse repeat.   Frustrated, on the last rebuild, gave it a real through cleaning, and instead of grease, I heavily cut the grease with oil, Presto!

I’m knocking on wood here, cause I’m about to spend my upgrade money on some pool noodles for my overly expensive tires, but its been flawless for 6 months.  Quicker action, reliable, better than new, if maybe a little extra play side to side.

Reply

oneupcomponents
+3 Andrew Major DancingWithMyself Pete Roggeman
oneupcomponents  - April 22, 2021, 7:07 a.m.

Thanks for the write-up Andrew, very thorough. This link will help anyone out there select the longest post that will fit their bike. It also helps illustrate the two length restrictions you mentioned.

https://can.oneupcomponents.com/pages/oneup-dropper-post-selector-v2

Jon@OneUp

Reply

craw
+1 hotlapz DancingWithMyself 4Runner1
Cr4w  - April 22, 2021, 7:31 a.m.

I have a Bikeyoke Revive on one bike but had to go to a Reverb on my G1 as it was the only 200mm option at the time. The Bikeyoke is so much nicer than the Reverb by any metric. It's easier to service and has run years without issue. Its operation is delicious. Everything about the Reverb is toyish and disposable, its good performance is ephemeral and temporary.

Reply

DancingWithMyself
+1 Cr4w
MuscogeeMasher  - April 22, 2021, 8:02 a.m.

I tell people who haven’t used a Revive to buy a Divine and then never, ever, under any circumstances, feel the action of a Revive.

Reply

craw
+3 DancingWithMyself papa44 roil
Cr4w  - April 22, 2021, 8:49 a.m.

The Revive is definitely pricey. But not more expensive than the sadness you feel when you compare it to anything else. Now that I'm stuck with a Reverb it's hard to justify the cash outlay to upgrade.

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DancingWithMyself
+1 Andrew Major
MuscogeeMasher  - April 22, 2021, 9:32 a.m.

Yep.  Bought them when lots of reliability issues with other posts.  Now I’m completely spoiled.  Ruined me for other posts.

Reply

ShawMac
+1 Andrew Major
ShawMac  - April 22, 2021, 8:33 a.m.

I am one of those suckers with 30" inseam. 

I was immensely disappointed when I got my new Prime V3. Banshee advertised shorter seat tube in order to fit a wider range of droppers, yet I ended up having to stick to 125mm. The old Prime ran 125mm external routed reverb slammed to the seat tube, the new bike needed a stealth dropper which further increases the insertion length,  so I was about 5mm short of being able to run 150mm post comfortably, so I am still stuck with 125mm post that I need to keep lifted about 2 cm. There wasn't a One-up post to be found during my build.

Eventually the One-up or PNW post will be on my upgrade list. If only to get rid of the stupid hydraulic actuator.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - April 22, 2021, 9:36 a.m.

Be interesting to see what length of OneUp V2 would fit. Insertion is certainly the challenge.

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ShawMac
+1 Andrew Major
ShawMac  - April 22, 2021, 10:47 a.m.

The 150 reverb was so close, I am pretty sure the 160 One-up will fit no problem, but I might have to shim down the travel.

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oneupcomponents
+1 Andrew Major
oneupcomponents  - April 22, 2021, 11:49 a.m.

Have a look at the link above and let us know.

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Pnwpedal
+1 Andrew Major
Pnwpedal  - April 22, 2021, 9:17 a.m.

Personally, I think we are hitting the point with dropper post travel where we don't necessarily need much more. It's definitely dependent on the rider's body geometry... For myself, being somewhat tall (6' + a bit when I don't slouch) with longer legs (35" book in crotch) I found that my 160mm Revive V1 felt a little short but my new 185mm Revive V2 may be a hair too long. Dropping it on the trail then getting back into riding position feels a bit too cumbersome. Both posts have been flawless and well worth the investment.

So in my opinion, an average height rider (5'-9" American / Canadian male) is probably better served by a 150/160mm post than a 180mm+ post. But I can't argue with the cool factor of longer droppers ...

Seat tube angle also plays a part in this equation, but I'm considering this for a normal 2021 era frame.

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AndrewMajor
+4 Pnwpedal Alex Durant Mammal DancingWithMyself
Andrew Major  - April 22, 2021, 9:40 a.m.

Strokes for folks, but at 5’9” / ~32” inseam I have to disagree. I was fine with 150-160mm (and at one time shorter) droppers on bikes with slacker seat tube angles where the saddle moves forward and out of the way when lowered, but on the Titan when riding is slow & steep & technical the 180mm of travel is a nice improvement. A really nice improvement even.

Maybe posts won’t grow much more than 210-220mm overall but I think there’s still plenty of demand for longer travel setups for shorter riders - where insertion depth becomes as much an issue as exposed post. As long as the rear tire doesn’t bottom on the lowered seat that is!

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Pnwpedal
0 Andrew Major Tjaard Breeuwer
Pnwpedal  - April 22, 2021, 9:56 a.m.

You know, something I never even considered... Shorter legged riders will get even lower on the bike in a crouch, and therefore need the seat even lower than I would.

And then there's the terrain and riding style to throw in the mix. I don't have a lot of super steep janky terrain where I am so I'm not tucking super low on my rides.

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Tjaardbreeuwer
0
Tjaard Breeuwer  - May 2, 2021, 9:13 p.m.

That is not quite correct. 

Yes, in an absolute sense, short riders will need the saddle lower, but since the same is true when they are seated, that doesn’t mean they need more drop.

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skooks
0
Skooks  - May 2, 2021, 10:16 p.m.

I am just under 5'7", and I will take all the travel I can get. On my size medium Fugitive that is 170-180mm, depending on the post. The Knolly design allows me to fully insert the post into the frame in order to use the full range of the dropper. I would never buy a frame that restricted the size of dropper I could use.

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Frorider
+1 Tjaard Breeuwer
Frorider  - April 25, 2021, 6:04 a.m.

Totally agree.  I’m 6’3”, long legs, and while I do use the full 185 mm on my oneup on Squamish types of trails I’m also using a bit less on many trails.  The engr in me can’t overlook the fact that longer travel droppers are heavier and wear out bushing interface faster all else being equal.

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Suns_PSD
+1 Andrew Major
Sun Hester  - April 22, 2021, 9:21 a.m.

I have a OneUp 210 & the new KSLev Integra 200mm ordered and will keep the one that gives me the most drop. I'm only 5'10" btw on an S5 SJ Evo and have already verified the 200mm KS clears quite easily.

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dbozman
+1 Andrew Major
dbozman  - April 22, 2021, 9:35 a.m.

I’ve run most of the droppers on the market. The newest non-AXS Reverb is the smoothest-feeling post I’ve used when it’s new and before it inevitably stops working.

I’m running a Bikeyoke Revive 185 in my Titan and a OneUp V2 210 on my Spur. The Revive is clearly and easily the superior post from a performance metric.  But the OneUp still goes up and down whenever I push the lever.

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LoamtoHome
+1 Andrew Major
Jerry Willows  - April 22, 2021, 9:55 a.m.

I would love to have a 180 to 210mm wireless dropper (more space without the actuator).  Switching between bikes would so easy.  I've seen a few AXS batteries on the trails which isn't reassuring though.

Weight hack: with bikes that have a 34.9 seat tube, get a shim and a 30.9 dropper and save some weight.

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Suns_PSD
0
Sun Hester  - April 22, 2021, 11:22 a.m.

I'm pretty WW and was going to try that. But unfortunately the weight savings after accounting for the 50 gram shim, once you were in the same length droppers, was only about 50 grams. For 50 grams I'll take the larger diameter post for strength/ looks/ contact throughout the entire seat tube.

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LoamtoHome
0
Jerry Willows  - April 22, 2021, 3:16 p.m.

my math showed it was over a 100 gram savings....  so almost 1/4 lb.  It looks the same and you have lots of contact so I'm not worried and been on it for over 3 months.

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Suns_PSD
+1 Jerry Willows
Sun Hester  - April 23, 2021, 10:21 a.m.

You are closer than I am. 

OneUp claims 570 grams for the 210mm 30.9 & 710 for the 34.9. I have a shim that I measured at 50 grams, which results in a 90 gram weight difference.

Really, I'm as WW as they come. However 210mm (as I'm hoping to run) is an awfully long post to only be 30.9mm diameter and to only have 4" of contact with the inside of the frame seat tube.

Currently I have a 175mm KS Ci dropper that works beautifully and only weighs 400 grams on my scales. So I'm gaining about 260 grams (after accounting for the shim) jumping to the OneUp that arrives today, assuming it fits. But I made the decision that an extra 35mm of drop was worth that weight gain to me.

As my riding improves and my demands on gear increases, my darn bike keeps getting heavier! Like pounds heavier; it's frustrating!

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - April 22, 2021, 3:51 p.m.

The promise of 34.9 was always a more robust post in a shorter overall length. It has really materialized since the majority of companies just use the same guts from their 30.9 and 31.6 chassis. I’m not into taking more batteries into the woods but I love the AXS dropper for the same reasons.

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Suns_PSD
0
Sun Hester  - April 23, 2021, 8:38 p.m.

Turns out a 34.9mm dropper can't go nearly as deep as a 30.9/31.6 dropper on a '21 Evo.

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alexdi
+2 DancingWithMyself Cr4w
Alex D  - April 22, 2021, 10:39 a.m.

Tempted by the OneUp v2, but too many reports of short maintenance intervals. I've had my 185mm Revive on the bike for two or three seasons and haven't done a thing to it. Works like new. It's just not worth saving $150 at the outset, especially when you get almost all of it back on resale. If you resell. The only reason I'd swap this post out is for a little more travel.

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goose8
+1 Andrew Major
goose8  - April 22, 2021, 11:12 a.m.

Nice and thoughtful writeup! I definitely enjoyed reading this, but wanted to add anther perspective. I, too, look at the current offerings for dropper posts and conclude that there's one post that clearly wins the race. For me it's the 9point8 though, because it's the only one that offers a setback head so I can get my saddle where I want it. My knee and hip don't particularly care for the trend of steeper STAs, so the Fall line is the only one that works for me. It works well, goes up and down when I want it to, and I can adjust the travel to get the most out of the space I'm working with. 

If/when a company combines a low height with different head options, then I think we'll have a race on our hands.

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AndrewMajor
+1 goose8
Andrew Major  - April 22, 2021, 3:57 p.m.

Cheers! I love the idea of setback droppers (particularly ones that can be run either way so setback or set forward) and I’ve written about it a bit (example) and I want to like 9point8 being made in Canada and all. But, ugh. I do understand why folks who’ve had a good experience but their posts though!

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khai
+2 Andrew Major Noel Dolotallas
khai  - April 22, 2021, 1:23 p.m.

As a shorter person (165cm/75cm inseam) I've been running OneUp droppers for years.  Bike companies FINALLY building frames with shorter seat tubes that allow a rider to chose frame size on reach moreso than standover/overall height has been a huge benefit as well.  Combined, I can run a 180mm drop OneUp V2 - a massive improvement over my first 125mm Reverb.  Keeping ass-to-wheel clearance with smaller rear wheel (mullet) has me an extremely happy camper.

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DanL
+1 Andrew Major
DanL  - April 22, 2021, 2:22 p.m.

You're all getting sidetracked with these half measures - all dropper posts are half working - I am waiting for one that drops without me sitting on it. Don't get distracted by the Big Dropper industrial complex.

I christen it "moon on a stick"(tm) and I desire it.

Although BMC showed one in 2019

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AndrewMajor
+1 DanL
Andrew Major  - April 22, 2021, 3:59 p.m.

That would be very cool. But the human body is pretty damned efficient at creating the force for lowering the saddle.

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DanL
+1 Andrew Major
DanL  - April 22, 2021, 4:30 p.m.

But then I'd have to move!

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - April 22, 2021, 6:43 p.m.

Definitely! It’s just trying to figure out how to replace the force of the body vs post with a system that fits in the confines of even a 34.9 post. First company to come up with a working system will certainly sell beaucoup, beaucoup, beaucoup!

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 10, 2021, 9:36 p.m.

Maybe interesting. Was searching for something else and came across a Trek patent for a post that raises and lowers itself.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 10, 2021, 9:46 p.m.

Here's an even fresher patent from Trek for a motorized dropper!

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hotlapz
0
hotlapz  - April 22, 2021, 2:43 p.m.

Sealed dropper posts are the worst. I'm looking at you Raceface.

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yale986
+2 Andrew Major Andy Eunson
Noel Dolotallas  - April 22, 2021, 2:46 p.m.

I'm 5'7" with 30" inseams and can attest to the difficulty of trying to find creative ways to right-size your ride. When dropper post / seat tube combos didn't work optimally for me due to my bike's interrupted ST design, I tried all sorts of things including shoes with taller soles (eg. FiveTen Sam Hills) so I could be more leggy over the saddle; thin profile pedals (Deity Bladerunners and OneUps) so I could get more leg extension despite shorter post drop; shorter cranks (Canfield AM 155's, eeWings 165) and mulletting which seems to be vogue these days. 

While getting a post with a lot of drop seemed promising at first, I botched a few dropper actuators and/or cable housings trying to insert them down as low as they could go. My choices? Either show some post above the seat tube so I could optimize climbing and 'make do' descending. Or get a shorter post and suffer the ups so I could optimize the downs. Of course I went for the latter and that's when I went through the experiments above.

Going through these motions only solidified my resolve in trying to figure out 'a better way' which, ultimately, led me to hire some smart guys to help develop the SwitchGrade prototype. Now I just tilt the rear of my saddle up for climbs adding 20mm of height where it counts most (ie. adding a solid push point to generate power) while also preventing me from sliding off the backside. And when it's time for descending, I can just flip the lever and tilt the rear of the saddle down and out of the way a la DH-style for tons more room and maneuverability.

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andy-eunson
+1 Andrew Major
Andy Eunson  - April 22, 2021, 4:59 p.m.

The only problem with my Oneup is that I could have gotten a longer one and shortened the drop. I didn’t calculate right. To me, one should get as much drop as one can fit. No one said you have to drop all the way all the time, but sometimes a little more is a lot better. 

Contrary to popular opinion my Reverb 150 on my four year old hardtail that gets probably 100 rides a season, has had one remote bleed in the first week and then absolutely nothing. The thing has been stellar. The first Reverbs all had that design defect where you could pull the saddle up when dropped which sucked air past the piston. I had fine performance with a few first gen Reverbs if I didn’t pull up. Part of the Reverb reputation is that they came on way more bikes than any other. People tend to complain more than compliment so even a low failure rate of a high number of units sounds bad. Plus so many had no clue how the remote worked. Sagging post? Just bleed it. Numpties. Might as well change your derailleur cable for all the good that will do. Plus the overhaul process is far too complex. You shouldn’t need proprietary tools, and many of them to maintain a post at home. That’s one reason why I bought the Oneup when my Bontrager post cacked just before a trip. Parts are all listed on the Oneup site and were in stock. Simple maintenance. This is what most people want as well as drop amount options.

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velocipedestrian
+1 Andrew Major
Velocipedestrian  - April 22, 2021, 9:08 p.m.

One Up won this for me too. The full 210 on my large Spitfire V2, with the seal head barely clear of the clamp. It's ace.

First time the saddle has gone lower than it used to with a Thomson rigid. I find myself using more mid travel positions than I used to with 150 prior too.

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skooks
0
Skooks  - April 24, 2021, 8:01 p.m.

I am definitely in the run the longest dropper you can camp. Having the ability to accept a long dropper post is a non negotiable feature for me. It's one of the many reasons that I am partial to Knolly, and something Noel thought about years ago. The straight seat tube allows me to size a dropper so that I can fully insert it in the frame, and run it fully extended at my pedalling height. Perfectly optimized! 

My dropper of choice is PNW, but they are hard to get these days so I just picked up a one up for my upcoming hardtail build. I hope it is as good as the PNW posts.

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Suns_PSD
0
Sun Hester  - April 26, 2021, 9:16 a.m.

Got to say that I rode yesterday on my new 200mm dropper coming from a 175mm and didn't expect much difference, but instead found the 200mm drop much more comfortable. Finally my seat and bars are basically level when the dropper is down which feels a lot more natural.

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DanLees1978
0
Dan Lees  - April 29, 2021, 3:54 a.m.

I ran into the Max Post insertion fighting the Max Drop issue when I built up my Banshee Prime V3.

I worked it out on a spreadsheet as I didn't know the One-Up calculator existed.

I came to the conclusion that I could either run a 150mm drop Brand-X Ascend for £112 including the lever or a 180mm One-Up (possibly shimmed down to 160 or 170 depending on how the bike felt with it's steeper SA than the old bike) for £180 (assuming I scavenge the lever from old spare post).

I took the cheap option and it feels fine (especially as I have been running 100-125mm droppers on older steel frames up until now)  but I think when I trickle down this post to one of the kids it'll get replaced with a One-Up 180mm unit.

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