In this dropper seatpost Buyer's Guide, we are digging through everything you should consider before buying your next dropper post for your mountain bike. Of all the components on your bike, using a dropper seatpost that performs like you expect it to can truly transform your ride experience. There are a healthy amount of different dropper post options out there to choose from and at a variety of different price points. We want to help you understand what details to consider when either buying your first dropper post or just upgrading your current post. We have also highlighted our Top 5 dropper posts we think provide the most value so that you can find the best setup for your budget and your needs!
One of our Yeti SB130 builds with a very popular OneUp Components 180mm post
Using a dropper post on your mountain can really change your experience out on the trail. When climbing, the dropper post set at its most extended position allows you to be in the most efficient pedaling position possible. As soon as you get to the top of the hill and start descending, using your dropper post, you can lower the seat making it easier to get your weight back over the rear wheel. With the seat basically out of the way, it becomes much easier to maneuver and control the bike when descending. With a simple push of a button on your handlebar, using a dropper seatpost you can move the seat up and down almost immediately and with ease.
Dropper post in the "dropped" position (left) and the dropper post in the "extended" position (right)
Before you can decide which dropper post would best suit your bike, you first need to identify what diameter seatpost your bike requires. Second, it's also important to understand whether your bike accepts internal or external cable routing. Third, it will be helpful to know the insertion length of the dropper post and if your frame design causes any restrictions there. We are going to walk you through each of these different aspects of the dropper post below and also give you our top 10 favorite droppers broken down into three price categories.
Most all dropper posts come in a variety of different options, most usually broken down between the seatpost diameter and the post's travel. The seatpost diameter is the diameter of the post that gets inserted in to the frame, usually either 27.2mm, 30.9mm, 31.6mm, or 34.9mm. The amount of travel the post has refers to the total amount of up and down drop, most often either 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, or 175mm. The seatpost diameter is straight forward. If your bike uses a 31.6mm seatpost, then that's what size dropper post you need. When it comes to dropper post travel, you can imagine that as the travel of the dropper increases, the total insertion length of the dropper also increases. This is where things get interesting.
To know which travel dropper post to choose, you must first know what your saddle stack height is. The saddle stack height is measured from the top of the seatpost collar to the rails of your saddle. Remember that on different bikes, the top of the seat tube is going to be a different distance from the bottom bracket. This means that the same rider might measure different saddle stack heights on two different bikes. You can imagine that for taller riders, they will need a higher saddle stack height and vice versa. A general rule of thumb is to subtract 30mm from your saddle stack height and then go down to the next available travel length. For example, if my saddle stack height measures 210mm, I would be best suited for a dropper post with 180mm of travel or less.
One of the last important points to consider is the maximum allowed insertion length for your particular frame. This refers to how far down the seatpost can go into the frame until it bottoms out. Because of suspension geometry and frame design, it's crucial that the total insertion length of the dropper post be less than the maximum allowed insertion length for your bike. Although this is the case most of the time, you should be able to lower your dropper post all the way into the frame without it bottoming out. Because this isn't ALWAYS the case, it's important to measure the maximum allowed insertion length and know the total insertion length of the dropper you are looking to buy.
There are plenty of different dropper seatpost options on the market, and for the most part, they are either mechanically or hydraulically actuated. 99% of all dropper posts today are actuated with a traditional shifter cable. As you press the remote lever, that cable pulls through the cable housing and allows the dropper post to either raise or lower the saddle height. The Rockshox Reverb post on the other hand is one of the only hydraulically actuated dropper post. Just like a hydraulic brake, when you press the remote on the Reverb, the lever pushes hydraulic fluid through the line and prompts the saddle to either move up or down.
When it comes to servicing mechanically actuated dropper posts, it's very similar to changing the cable and housing for your drivetrain. Over time, the cable and housing tend to wear and not slide as smoothly through one another. This certainly affects the lever feel, responsiveness, and performance of your dropper. Swap the cable and housing, find the optimal cable tension, and you are back on the trail. With the Rockshox Reverb post, over time air may find its way inside the hydraulic line and cause the lever to feel spongy and unresponsive. Just like with hydraulic brakes, bleeding the hydraulic system for the Reverb will keep everything running crisp and smooth. There are tradeoffs to both mechanical and hydraulic actuated dropper posts. In general, the Reverb costs a bit more than other mechanically actuated posts but does offer a bit different feel.
Rockshox Reverb AXS Dropper Post is completely wireless and cable-less
Depending on the bike you are using, you will either need a dropper post featuring internal or external cable routing. If your bike does feature internal cable routing, just like the shifter cable and rear brake line run through the frame, the dropper post cable housing will also run internally through the frame and in to the bottom of the dropper post inside the seat tube. Most modern mountain bikes generally use internal cable routing for a tidy and clean aesthetic. If your bike doesn't allow for internal cable routing, most of the popular dropper post are also offered with an external cable routing option as well.
To learn step by step installing an internally cable routed dropper post, check out our Fox Transfer Dropper Post Install Video!
Choosing the best dropper post lever to suit your needs is arguably just as important as the dropper post itself. Having a high quality dropper lever can absolutely have a direct impact on the ergonomics, ease of use, and overall performance of the dropper post. It's not at all uncommon that the dropper post and dropper lever are sold separately, giving you the opportunity to mix and match posts and levers to get exactly what you want. Of course there are some exceptions and other things to consider, so let's get right in to it.
If you are using a Rockshox Reverb AXS dropper post, then of course your only option at the moment is to mate it with the Reverb AXS controller. If you are running an older Reverb post, because the Reverb is one of the only hydraulic actuated posts, you are required to use the Reverb dropper lever. Outside of the Reverb hydraulic post, most all cable actuated dropper post can be interchanged with different dropper lever. One thing to think about here is whether the cable end mounts to the dropper post or to the lever. This isn't the case for all dropper levers, but thankfully most current dropper levers can accommodate both cable orientations. Some of our favorite dropper post levers are the Wolf Tooth ReMote, PNW Loam Lever, and the OneUp Components Dropper Remote.
PNW Loam Lever (left) has loads of adjustment and offers premium craftsmanship, the Wolf Tooth Dropper Remote (middle) is one of the classic aftermarket remotes and still remains a top performer, and the RockShox Reverb AXS remote (right) is the only remote you can use with a Reverb AXS dropper post
Walk through our top 10 list of our favorite dropper posts, broken down between three different price points, to hopefully find a dropper post that fits your exact wants and needs.
The Bike Yoke Revive dropper post is filled to the brim full of performance features, all of which make the Bike Yoke Revive a premium product. Unlike many other dropper posts where an Internal Floating Piston (IFP) separates the hydraulic oil from the pressurized air, the Revive post uses a non-IFP design with only 2 dynamic seals. This gives you a highly reliable system with smooth action. One of the most innovative features on Bike Yoke's dropper post is its Revive-Valve system. Sometimes air does get in to places it doesn't belong, and the Revive-Valve system allows you to bleed off that air and return it back in to the pressurized air chamber. This can all be done with a 4mm hex key without even removing the dropper post. Bike Yoke also includes its Triggy remote lever as well as cable and housing with every Revive post.
The Rockshox Reverb AXS is certainly the most interesting and unique dropper post on this list. The Reverb AXS, just like the rest of the Sram AXS family, uses electronic-wireless actuation. Without any cables what so ever and a wireless controller that is effortless to use, the Reverb AXS is as sexy as a dropper post can get. Installing the Reverb AXS is as simple as sliding the dropper post into the seat tube and pairing the wireless controller just like you would with a bluetooth speaker. No messing with any cables or cable housing puts the Reverb AXS in a league of its own. The Sram AXS handlebar controller is almost effortless to use and integrates with Sram's AXS connectivity platform that allows you to customize each of the control's function.
The Fox Transfer dropper post has proven to be one of the most, if not the most reliable dropper post on the market. The Transfer post arguably offers the most value head to head against any other dropper on the market. Combining both reliability and performance is something that can be difficult to do, but Fox has managed to do just that. The Transfer is offered in both Factory Series and Performance Series models, bringing two different price points for almost identical products. The only difference between the two models is that the Factory Series uses genuine Kashima coat on the upper post where the Performance series uses a traditional black anodized upper post. All Fox Transfer posts use a tool-free disconnect, are easy to modulate the return speed of the saddle, and require very low lever force to actuate the post. Fox offers a both 1x and 2x compatible dropper lever sold separately.
We all have budgets, and if you need to save a few bucks on your dropper post, there is no need to worry. The OneUp Components V2 dropper post is still one of the most versatile dropper posts on the market. Not only does the OneUp dropper come in a variety of different sizes, you can even shim the travel down for each post by either 10 or 20mm. The version 2 dropper is offered in both 30.9 and 31.6mm options in either 120mm, 150mm, 180mm, or 210mm of drop. It's amazing to see this much adjustability and so many innovative useful features all for less than $250.
The Loam Dropper is PNW’s latest dropper post offering and takes the spot as the brands highest quality model. With an all new updated design, PNW has been able to drop weight, reduce insertion length, add in adjustable travel, as well as bring in some PNW flair with the option to easily change the color of your collar, more on that later. All these new features come in at a killer price point of $199. One thing we love about PNW is how they always seem to get riders the features and reliability they need without the insane price.
The Loam post started with an all new design over the Bachelor post, with a huge emphasis on shorter insertion depth as well as shorter overall length, both equaling more drop which means more party! Next, is the reduced weight across all travel options, again, lighter weight = more party! A feature that has been brought over from the Bachelor is the adjustable air cartridge, allowing you to control the return speed of your dropper post, something not found in the Rainier Gen 3. But a feature that is found in the Rainier Gen 3 post is the tool-less travel adjustment, allowing you to adjust your travel by 30mm with 5mm increments.
hello mountain bike friends in this video we are going to give you absolutely everything you need to know oh boy yeah yeah mate everything you need to know absolutely absolutely hello mountain bike friends in this video we are going to cover absolutely everything you need to know about dropper posts it is a buyer's guide per se we are going to cover a quick history on dropper posts and their current state of reliability we're going to tell you how to get the right size post for your bike and all of the compatibility issues levers slash remotes for dropper posts we're also going to tell you in our decade of experience of using selling and warrantying all different types of dropper posts our top five picks and finish it off with serviceability things to consider and final thoughts on these dropper post things boom let's do it
dropper posts have been around since the dawn of time in the 80s that was the first iteration of the drop the height right the height right so these things have existed for a long time but they really didn't become mainstream and just really popular and people didn't really see the immense amount of value in these things until probably the rockshox reverb put them on the map in a big way that was 10 years ago yeah about like late 2000s yeah i literally will not ride a bike without a dropper post now even my gravel bike has a dropper post on it it's just so convenient to be able to hit a lever push the seat out of your way and use the bike in a very different way than you would when the seats all the way up would you ride a bike with no dropper post i don't think so i tried and uh yeah no not not now can't do it can't do it so it's kind of a must have component when they originally released probably for about seven years after that especially the first five years they were just unreliable every brand had an unreliable dropper post um they were all terrible which what was your do you have any experiences oh i've had multiple experiences with uh with the reverb yeah the reverb kind of has the worst rap when it comes to an unreliable dropper post yeah well you know that's just like uh your opinion man but then remember it was also the biggest most predominant dropper posts so there was like tens of thousands maybe hundreds of thousands of them made and sold so their warranty rate if it's all percentage okay all right yeah no matter what dropper post you're talking about if you do some googling and dig in you will find dirt on it so there is not one single dropper post that's never had any problems and there is not one that only has problems kind of all have had their problems it's true houston we have a problem but that's the past in the last three years i would say these things have actually become reliable and what i mean by reliable is i mean there's a very very small percentage of every brand and model dropper post that has a warranty issue so for the most part stick with brand names stick with some good stuff you're not going to have any warranty problems they still didn't need to service them but they're pretty reliable wouldn't you say that's true i don't think i could have put it any better myself yeah so there you go it's been about a decade of dropper post of these like modern day dropper posts the last three years is when all sort of the top dog brands have made these things legitimately reliable so don't panic we got a nervous nelly here you're gonna get a good one no matter what you're upgrading to and if you have an old one that's not reliable just get a more modern one that's been made in the last couple years buy a good brand and you will be satisfied you'll thank yourself you'll thank yourself
when it comes to getting the right size dropper post unfortunately it's not that easy is it easy it's never easy it's never easy sometimes it's easy some well wind no not often uh dropper posts are kind of complicated because there's a few things you well a few things a few dozen things you really need to consider some of the basics are diameter so every bike is i shouldn't say all of them but there's there's a few common diameters 30.9 and 31.6 those are the most common diameters on modern day mountain bikes which would be using dropper posts then you have of course 27.2 27.2 gravel bikes and hardtails ooh and 34.9 those are some of the more like rare diameters um you can't mess up your diameter the next part is actually how that cable is routed to the post so all these ones we have internal so that would be called an internal or stealth and most modern mountain bikes probably in the last five years have been making cable routings so you can route the cable internally internally in your frame through your frame yeah the cable connects to the bottom of the post bottom hose right here but you also have externally routed externally routed yes yep not as common nowadays but you'll probably you know some of the more entry level bikes you know they're not going to have internal routing you're probably going to want to use an external router post for those yeah and just like older right so if your bike was designed without a dropper post in mind it probably doesn't have a slot to route that cable into the bottom of the post so an externally routed post which you can see now the cable connects on the external on the outside of the post so you don't have to have a bike that has internally routed cable that's correct yeah that's important very important and then more details oh my god more details oh like the link more details so you're talking about so we wanted to make a droppers post buyer's guide video and that's what this is if you want to really dig into the nitty gritty of how to get the right size that could be a whole nother video 20 minutes long on itself we actually made one some years ago we have a really good article below in the video description that explains how to actually fit one of these things because you have to measure all sorts of various things so your total length total length your insertion depth insertion depth how far that thing can go into your frame you have to consider the travel that you want travel so travel is important because that makes a big difference in how the dropper post is going to function common travels these days 150 to 150 100 170 to 200 yeah uh 150 to probably 170 or the most common for mountain bikers what they're using these days you might see a hundred mil uh on a cross-country bike cross country or if your frame just has a really big c tube and you're maybe a little short for the frame and you can only fit a 100 you might only be able to fit a certain amount of travel on your bike maybe an older style bike yeah so consider that too with travel again this topic is confusing so the most common travel lengths for popular mountain bikes 150 to 170 200 but mess around with understanding all this sort of stuff look at the link below check out some other videos when you really get down to deciding which post you want and then how to buy the exact right one you can consult guys like us because we answer this kind of questions all day in our store um but yeah a lot of other articles on that topic exactly so not to punt this entire topic but it is a 20 minute video in itself so when you figure out which post you want then you can dive into which exact one you need in terms of diameter routing travel insertion depth all that other stuff and the exact bike you're trying to put it on that's right
so when you are looking at your lever options there's a couple of things to consider mainly the mounting type and that is going to basically come down to if your cable is cinched down at the remote or if the cable is cinched down at the bottom of the post like for instance this one here the race face a-factor remote the cable barrel the end of the cable goes into this one and this end yeah that's because the race face aeffect post is made for the bottom of that cable not the head of the cable but just the other bottom of it to be connected in the post so some posts that can enable the the enable the enable the enable connects at the bottom yes right in another post the canva connects at that at the top so the cable end like most posts like this you can see the cable end goes in here and then you cinch down the cable at the remote yep so don't forget that the dropper levers out there also known as remotes some of our favorites some of our favorites we made a video on the top three favorites about a couple years ago there's probably some new ones now yeah one up makes a great one pnw wolf tooth what other ones you like the new fox one's pretty great fox one is nice some of our favorites they have a bearing a sealed bearing in them which you can see on this one up one right here whereas like this race face one does not have a bearing it's just a bushing so it just goes like this
most of the time these are not sold with the post so you will need to buy a remote separately so when you do that make sure what you mentioned earlier the cable mounts accordingly typically the same brand that sells the dropper post the brand in model if you get the same brand and model post it obviously will work with that but you can get those aftermarket ones as well and then you might get a nicer lever which does make a very tactile difference in your uh feeling of dropper poses it definitely does ergonomics does come into play here for sure what's your all-time favorite oh my gosh wow i think it's a tie between probably the new fox one pnw and wolf tooth yeah what about yours what's your favorite i think my all-time favorites of wolf tooth really yeah it just looks cool has a really nice feel to it cnc machined and adjustable kind of a fan of that has a little breakaway point in case you're right that is true yeah it's a great point so there's a lot of nice dropper posters breakaway point we'll be here all day i have a hundred dollars right here for whoever knocks that loud my some [ __ ] out should we redo that one
we have been using selling and warrantying dropper posts for over a decade now and we've learned a lot from that and we're still constantly learning a lot from that seeing what people are enjoying what's coming back with warranty issues and like i said in the last three years dropper post warranties are minimal very minimal yeah like i mean microscopic
they're just like any normal sort of suspension complicated mountain bike part right there's going to be some warranty issues but it's very very minimal across all the good brands whereas five years ago seven years ago more common that's all we did i think our business was warranting dropper posts and dealing with people who are mad about it so anyways to talk about some of the ones that we really enjoy and think are really high quality this is in no particular order because all of these are at very different price points and have various different features and serviceability and things like that so no particular order no particular order but first is the one up v2 the one up components v2 209 bucks really low stack height so you can get the most travel out of it given the amount of uh insertion depth you have while you're laughing no i'm laughing yeah i know yeah it's relatively lightweight as well right it's 209 bucks it's just it's actually it is a great price for a relatively lightweight adjustable low stack high just all-around really well-rounded great post yeah it is and second up fox transfer that's right the fox transfer aka race face turbine yeah it's the same thing fox purchased the brand race face i don't know four years ago or something which is this right here um yeah and then they basically just turned the race face dropper post into a fox transfer with a race face logo on it but anyways the fox transfer was one of the first really reliable good high quality dropper posts out there they've continued to iterate on it and make it lighter and better and fancier and even nicer just a really good one that we always recommend and have really good experience with always in this day then the reverb axs electronic cool let me tell you that is the dropper post yeah it's also 800 it is also 800 800 so it is wireless it goes with sram's whole axs ecosystem so if you want a wireless dropper post which is unbelievably simple and easy to install and set up um yeah that is the thing very cool so no wire no water cable nope wireless cable wireless cableless that is nice it's very cool then pnw oh come on give me a break pnw low amazing price very adjustable also lightweight i mean what more could you want out of a drop post [ __ ] 99 oh great price duh yeah a lot of travel options uh little what do you call this thing oh that's a accent ring yes you can change the colors of it check that out you can change the color over it to match your other pnw accessories come on it's awesome grebs bars are dropper lever from piano yes yeah that is nice it's very cool these are this is a really fancy post for a buck 99. it's really cool i'm totally impressed with the value you get out of this thing yeah no this one's mine so yeah you can get your own literally was like i'm gonna buy that after we're done filming this video um last but not least bike yoke this is 320 to 380. this has got a really interesting feature well probably multiple ones but the most interesting one tell them about that it's a bleed valve up here so with the most common issue with hydraulic actuated posts is you end up developing a sort of squish at a certain point where the air mixes with the hydraulic cartridge and then you get a little squish at the top when you sit on it well with the bike yoke it comes with a little tool it's very handy you just turn it up here at the top of the post push the post down and then your post has been bled and it is fully serviced yeah you don't have to take your seat off you don't have to take the post out of your bike it's actually a really cool serviceability feature so and they come in some really long travel options they were one of the first brands to make really long travel options this one's 213 millimeter travel look at the length on that guy that's what she said and if you ask me how they came up with 213 millimeters i do not have an answer for that why isn't it 215 220 or 200 210 maybe it's because two plus one equals three
final thoughts dropper posts what are your final thoughts final thoughts look at all of your options determine what's going to work best for you and your bike how much travel you need how much you're looking to spend how cool you want to look on the trail that yeah that is true cool factor is it does matter oh yeah um it is a complicated part so do consider you're gonna have to put in some research here or talk to an expert and figure out which exact one you need for your bike and your height and your size frame all of that sort of stuff also remember you do need to service these things it's a pretty complicated part with air and hydraulics and friction and seals and grease this one we have semi taken apart you can see on this pnw post how you can actually adjust the travel right here it's often fairly simple to do like a quick seal service on these things but it does need to be serviced so do remember that i think in the early days of dropper post people were buying them riding them for 500 hours and then they would fail and they'd be like warranty and it's like no they actually were supposed to service that every like 20 50 hours you know turns out um turns out so so just keep that in mind uh dropper posts are amazing they really make a huge difference in your bike which i'm guessing if you've watched this video you probably already have one you're probably just looking to upgrade or maybe not it's going to be your first one and it will change your life forever it'll change your life forever change your life forever uh yeah that's dropper post hope you guys enjoyed that thank you very much for watching uh don't forget to check the link below in the video description for the article that contains all of this sort of stuff and more in text and images and all of that that helps you figure out how to get the right one and which ones are the best that is 100 true that's all that's it that's all thank you we love you goodbye thank you we love you please share this with your mountain bike friend who's looking to buy a erecting dropper post share it with them