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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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