Selecting a dropper post for my mountain bike was one of the toughest decisions I have made in a while. I had to determine the amount of travel I needed, if I should run an internally or externally routed cable, a hydraulic or a cable operated post, and consider the lever to operate the post. Price was also a major factor, especially considering I am currently a graduate student operating on a low budget.
(If you need some help figuring out what size dropper post you need, check out this blog.)
After measuring my traditional, stationary seatpost and the seat tube on my bike, I knew what my limits were and thought I wanted 150mm of travel. My bike does not have internal cable routing but it does have a pre-cut slot near the bottom of the seat tube, which I assume is for routing an internal dropper post cable. With all of this in mind, I narrowed my options down to one post with few, but overall good reviews. However, the cost of the post was around $385 and it was covered by only a 1-year warranty. With my budget, and the history of dropper post failures, I decided I could not make this purchase.
A few rides later, and many “come to a complete stop, hop off, flip the quick-release lever, adjust saddle height, make sure it’s centered, flip the lever, hop back on” maneuvers later, I was back to looking at dropper posts. I had been hearing good things about the Crankbrothers Highline but wished it was available in 150mm. I set my saddle height 125mm below my preferred max height and ran through manuals, drops, and sharp corners and found that I could safely settle for 125mm of travel. The 3-year warranty from Crankbrothers and recent reports of satisfied customers sealed the deal.
Setting up the Highline was simple. I was a little worried about cable operation since I couldn’t find any documentation or reports of people using the Highline with cable routing like mine, but I have not had any issues with this setup. I did have to cut the cable housing a bit shorter than the manual suggests but this was not a surprise.
I now have over 90 miles and one crash with the Highline on my bike and I am extremely satisfied. Riding with a dropper post has not only significantly decreased the time transitioning between pedaling and downhill or technical sections, it has also increased the fun I have on my bike. When the post was brand new, it had only a very slight side-to-side rotational play. At around 1mm at the saddle’s nose, this is completely unnoticeable while riding, and even after 90 miles and a crash, the play has not increased. The post’s return speed has been said to be slower than some but I wouldn’t call it slow, and it is consistent throughout the travel. I just timed my post’s full rise time at 3 tenths of a second. I’m not sure how loud other posts are when they reach max height, but my Highline does have an audible but not obnoxiously loud pong sound, which I appreciate hearing on the trail.
I believe I made a great choice with the Crankbrothers Highline. Even though I initially wanted 150mm of travel, I have been completely satisfied with 125mm. The Highline feels very well built, and you can read about the lengths they went to develop a high-spec, solid dropper post. Sometimes products don’t live up to their specs, but in my experience, the Highline definitely does so.