The KS LEV Integra dropper seatpost is a real contender when choosing a new dropper post for your mountain bike. With so many different options available like the Rockshox Reverb and Fox Transfer dropper post, the KS LEV Integra has still managed to make its way into the conversation. Here in this review we are going to highlight the key features of the LEV Integra post and discuss how it held up to a year of abuse.
The seatpost used here is the 125mm travel version and is on my personal Santa Cruz Bronson. The LEV Integra is also offered in 100mm and 150mm options. Being 5 foot 11 inches tall (180cm), I prefer the 125mm model given the length of the seat mass on my bike itself. The key here is to make sure the seat post can both be high enough to be pedaling comfortably when fully extended and also low enough for descending when in the dropped position. If you are a taller rider, the 150mm travel model may work better for you. If you need help figuring out which size dropper post you need, check out our blog on how to choose to the correct size dropper post.
I chose to pair my LEV dropper post with the KS Southpaw Lever. Now that most high end mountain bikes utilize a 1x drivetrain, the Southpaw lever fits perfectly where the front shifter used to be.
The most important part of the installation of this seatpost is getting the correct cable tension in your cable housing. If there is too much tension, the seatpost may go up and down when you don’t mean for it to. And if there is not enough tension, there will be some play in the actuation lever before the seatpost moves up or down. There is also a barrel adjuster on the southpaw lever to adjust this tension. Included in the packaging is a plastic guide that tells you exactly how long to cut the cable in reference to the cable housing.
First, I started by mounting the southpaw lever to the handlebar in a position I could reach comfortably with my thumb. Once I had the lever mounted, next you can run the cable housing through the frame and cut it to length. Then, run the cable through the southpaw lever, cable housing, and metal cable clamp. Now use the plastic guide and tighten the metal cable clamp the correct distance away from the end of the cable housing using a set of allen keys. Finally, the cable clamp can be placed into the bottom of the seatpost and you are just about ready to go. Make sure to set your seat to the correct height while the seatpost is all the way extended for the most comfortable and efficient pedal stroke.
The southpaw lever is in a very natural position on the handlebar. There is no fumbling around trying to find the lever here. I found this to be really helpful when going from a technical punchy climb straight into a downhill section where you need to put the seat post down quickly. I much prefer the shape and style of the southpaw lever compared to the stock KS lever or the Rockshox Reverb remote lever.
The LEV Integra always had very smooth actuation up and down. Just by keeping the cable and housing relatively fresh, this dropper post has never failed for me on the trail. It just always works regardless of the temperature!
This seatpost also makes a loud enough top out sound on the way up, that way you know exactly when the post has returned to its highest position. This is something I had never really thought about until writing this review but it’s certainly helpful on the trail.
Originally, the clamp on the southpaw lever would slide down on the handlebar. The unique clamp design uses only one bolt to hold the lever, clamp and handlebar together. Because of this, you really have to torque this bolt down tight. I have ended up putting a couple layers of electrical tape around the handlebar so the clamp itself has more to grab onto. This may or may not be different on your bike because some aluminum handlebars have an anodized finish that provide more friction while other carbon bars use a slippery gloss paint finish. I haven’t had a problem since adding the small piece of electrical tape.
When the seatpost was brand new, it would sometimes stick down in the lowered position. This really only happened the first time I would get on the bike that day for the first month or so of riding. Once the seals on the seatpost got broken in, it has been smooth sailing.
I would highly recommend this seatpost to any mountain biker looking for a reliable dropper post that requires very little maintenance. The KS LEV Integra post looks sharp and works great. The ergonomic feel of the southpaw lever puts the rider in control, making this post that much easier to use.