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Long Term Review: Crank Brothers Kronolog Dropper Post

Oct. 18, 2012, 2:05 a.m.
Posts: 4300
Joined: June 24, 2010

Our heavy-hitting test mule has spent an entire spring and summer season with Crank Brothers' Kronolog post. His conclusions aren't all positive, but they do differ from those floating around the interwebs.

Get the long term dirt on the Kronolog here...

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Oct. 18, 2012, 6:25 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Sept. 30, 2008

ridden the KS LEV? howzit compare? you compare it to Reverb and Special-Ed's posts, but my experience is with the LEV, whose features are closer to the Kronolog than the other two… thoughts?

Oct. 18, 2012, 7:09 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Dec. 10, 2002

No, I haven't ridden the LEV but I did spend time on a KS i950R, and it was terrible. Bought two posts, had cartridges fail on each twice, had major issues getting them replaced, and very poor performance even when the cartridges were working.


She said, why don't you stop your crying/
Go outside and ride your bike
- Sliver, Nirvana

"If stars were all that mattered, why would I go to the trouble of writing a review?" - Roger Ebert

Oct. 18, 2012, 9:25 a.m.
Posts: 5731
Joined: June 24, 2003

Very thorough report Stuart. To me the set up ought not be finicky. That to me is a failing. Seat post heads should all be as simple as a Thomson style two bolt jacking post. I think the post head has to be fool proof. Parts shouldn't crack. CB say that the notching will only go so deep and then cease to notch further. At that time the post will then cease to grab at that point no?

Debate? Bikes are made for riding not pushing.

Oct. 18, 2012, 9:27 a.m.
Posts: 1150
Joined: Oct. 31, 2006

Good review and very fair. I appreciate giving Crank Bros a chance to respond, even though the answers were not all that compelling. It's a company that rides on great customer service, but the best customer service (as they say) is the need for no customer service. I think there's too many glitches and quirks for this to have gone to market. Too bad.

As for the KS, it's not fair to compare the now 2 generation old i950 to the new LEV or even the Supernatural. For it's time the i950 was no better or worse than the very few competitors out there. So you can't really use that experience to make inference to the LEV (or even the Supernatural).

Oct. 18, 2012, 9:37 a.m.
Posts: 11680
Joined: Aug. 11, 2003

I set up a Kronolog for a friend, and out of the box, like all CB products, it was slick, shiny, and well presented. The instructions are quite clear, and I'm certain that a lot of people who have installed the post did not read the section on cable tension (although it should be right from the factory ideally), and I'm also willing to bet that they don't know about cable alignment. If the cable is on an angle, it can affect the quills, this is really important, and from what I have heard, the cause of many slippage issues.
The post was set up on a Giant Reign, there was a little bit of slack play in the lever before it would engage the mechanism, and the cable was straight and parallel along the front of the post, and then ran along the top of the top tube.
The post worked, my friend was excited.
about one hour into our ride, it just started slipping. Not all the way, about 4cm, and then it would hold perfectly every single time. I pulled it apart and examined it, and everything was still according to spec, but it wouldn't hold in the top 4cm at all.
So the big question is: Who would buy a piece of equipment that is so finnicky, when it will get the abuse that it's designed for?

The long term was great Stuart. I really love that you mention the play being a non-issue. It seems to be one of the biggest misconceptions about posts.

Oct. 18, 2012, 10:35 a.m.
Posts: 2121
Joined: Nov. 6, 2005

Good review… seems like a product with potential, BUT not good enough for production.

Oct. 18, 2012, 2:05 p.m.
Posts: 3517
Joined: Dec. 17, 2003

Surprise surprise.

Crank Bros stuff is shit, and always has been. Greatest moment of my job was discovering that we don't carry ANY CB products.

Anyone remember their stupid extending tire lever that attached at the QR? For every one customer that made it work, 8 came back with it broken.

Oct. 18, 2012, 2:47 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Dec. 10, 2002

Thanks for the props, everyone, and an appreciation of the fact that we tried to be fair with this review.

whitehonky - just for clarification, I wasn't comparing the i950r with the LEV or inferring that they would behave the same way - just saying that it is the only KS product that I've tried. I didn't have problems with that post "back in the day", though - they crapped out less than a year ago.


She said, why don't you stop your crying/
Go outside and ride your bike
- Sliver, Nirvana

"If stars were all that mattered, why would I go to the trouble of writing a review?" - Roger Ebert

Oct. 18, 2012, 2:57 p.m.
Posts: 4300
Joined: June 24, 2010

As far as I can tell, the issue with the notching may not lead to the entire quill becoming notched, but rather deep notches in the positions that are used most often. This would not be a problem for the top and bottom position, but it negates the idea of "infinite adjustment" and would likely cause problems attempting to lock in at the middle positions that a rider likes to use.

The idea of a gunked up cable is mentioned in the section on lever feel, and I think it's worth considering that an actual gunked up cable would create a similar over-tensioning to that which results in many Kronolog "failures" being reported.

flickr

Oct. 18, 2012, 5:52 p.m.
Posts: 2313
Joined: Sept. 18, 2008

very fair review stuart.
i love their position: "problem? what problem?! there's no problem!"

be interesting to know what fraction of their budget goes to marketing vs engineering compared to most component companies. i suspect there's roughly an inverse relationship.

Oct. 18, 2012, 9:04 p.m.
Posts: 1044
Joined: May 30, 2004

@clarklewis, I think we all know how much money goes to engineering at Crank Brothers - $0. They might do some industrial design and fit some stuff together but there is no real engineering when you look at the constant failures of their products. No matter what they say, these posts are not designed well and should not be getting all notched up. Those notches will damage the seals and grunge will get inside the post.

Oct. 19, 2012, 6:16 a.m.
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug. 13, 2012

Crank Brothers is and always has been about marketing and image first, function and engineering second. ANyone thats spent any time on 50/50s can attest to that.

Saying that the setup is the reason so many posts are failing is the same as Apples "you are holding it wrong" excuse. If your product cannot deal with even slighly out of perfect setup, then its a failure on your part. You don't see other posts having similar issues and excuses.

Crank Bros needs to get their shit inline. That said, I'd imagine from the high sales figures they seem to have that its not a priority to fix their issues, as they sell product regardless.

Oct. 19, 2012, 7:20 a.m.
Posts: 10309
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

for those calling poor setup an excuse on CB's part, do you bitch at rockshox for having to bleed a reverb?

Check my stuff for sale!

Oct. 19, 2012, 7:50 a.m.
Posts: 14543
Joined: Dec. 16, 2003

for those calling poor setup an excuse on CB's part, do you bitch at rockshox for having to bleed a reverb?

if you don't bleed a reverb, or bleed it incorrectly, does it destroy the post?

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