When looking for a dropper seatpost for my aluminum Specialized Epic I did not want to drill holes in the frame for internal cable routing. Having a 1X drivetrain there was a free path for the cable from the abandoned front derailleur. Looking at externally routed posts I did not like the ones attaching the cable under the seat due to the cable loop that forms when the seat is down. This left me only with a few options with the cable is attached above the seat clamp. The PNW Cascade dropper seemed a reliable inexpensive although somewhat weighty choice. I got the 125mm version that is sold with standard (not 1X) lever.
When looking at the post, I noticed that the cable attached on the front side about 45-degree offset from the center. However, I wanted to run the cable in the back of the seattube to where the front derailleur was. I asked PNW if the cable attachment point can be moved. It indeed can but you cannot just install the saddle backwards, it requires removing the bottom part of the post and reassembly with the cable mount backwards. The disassembly is described in the service video https://youtu.be/iaoweE8ZRaQ. The attachment point will still be offset from the center but at least in the back.
After preparing the seatpost this way I was ready to install. This was easy, the seatpost just slides in and the saddle angle can easily be adjusted with 2 screws. I used 2 extra stick-on C-clips and needed a longer cable but hey- no finicky internal cable routing! The lever screws on without problems, however, I found the cable lock on the lever difficult to close and the adjustment screw on the cable housing spins without extending. The cable nipple at the seatpost can be removed and it is possible to move the post between bikes by just having a second lever and cable.
On the trail the post works flawlessly, it moves up and down easily and just fast enough. I used it during 5 rides, one was a mud-fest but no problems. Since it is spring driven I don’t expect sag. The 125mm travel is ideal for me, any more would be too much since the post would travel to far and fully extended be too high. The lever, however, is junk, it has a spongy bottomless fell, that comes in part from the cable slipping off the guide within the lever. I am also not a fan of the large arched metal tube that comes out in the back or the lever. After 1 ride I replaced it with a PNW Loam lever- now there is a defined end of the stroke and the positioning is just like a shifter. This one is much easier to adjust, too but also 1/3 the price of the post.
So far I am happy with the post and would buy another one. The only worry I have is that there is a nylon cable that runs internally from the cable connection to the bottom of the post (see service video) this seems to be a likely point of failure.
- Cable mount at seat clamp
- Bad lever
- Internal nylon cable might be a point of failure
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