Dropper lever remotes come in many different shapes and sizes. Recently, PNW has entered the remote game and is making a statement with their Loam Lever. With a perfectly shaped pad for your thumb, it combines cool styling with comfort. In this review, our customer David picks one up for himself. Check out his review to learn more!
As a relatively budget minded rider, I've always been a bit hesitant to adopt new technology or brands. I remember trying all the major brands' version of dropper posts before finally purchasing my first KS Lev post. Since then I've tried and owned several different posts, from Rockshox Reverbs and the KS Lev, to a PNW Cascade and Race Face Turbine. The latter of the bunch by far being my most temperamental post. While the Rockshox and KS had their typical failures the Race Face seemed to just never stay adjusted correctly. Couple that with a terrible lever, I mean stab you in the knee cap terrible, it hasn't been my favorite post. I'd tried everything suggested from local shops and Race Face to remedy the situation but they never seemed to keep.
Enter the PNW Loam Lever. As I mentioned above, I already owned a PNW Cascade post and was quite pleased with its performance and ease of installation. Thus far it's been the easiest to set up and get on the trail with, of all the posts I've personally installed or owned. So I decided that if they could make a post that easy, surely their lever would be top notch as well. The first thing I have to mention is packaging, as I ordered the lever along with a shifter from a major drivetrain manufacturer. Now I understand that packaging plays a part in a brand's marketing image. You can't expect everyone to just pack everything in the smallest most condensed post-consumer recycled box. The difference, however, between PNW and the other company was HUUUGE! The PNW Loam lever came in a tiny, brown cardboard box neatly packed with all the contents secure including the new cable. In fact, the box was small enough that I decided to keep it in the toolbox with all the spare matchmaker parts I had after installing the lever.
Installation of the dropper lever was, as I expected, a breeze. The fact that you can run the cable either direction is a huge bonus as I could run the cable through the housing and to the post without it being attached to the pinch bolt, should I need to fine tune the cable beyond the barrel adjusters range. Of course, I did not need to. I installed the new cable per the Race Face instructions and tightened the cable to the lever. Made a quick adjustment to the barrel, and voila! The post worked! Now by this time I'd gotten pretty good at adjusting the tension of the levers on this post that I could usually get them to work initially. What I didn't expect was for the adjustment to keep. Somehow the "brake" on the Turbine would always need resetting before and during a ride. The Loam lever has somehow eliminated this. I've set it once and it has kept through the three rides it's been on thus far.
If your post already works great then you may be thinking what do I need a Loam Lever for. Well, aside from the super easy installation, it is really well made. The huge bearing in the pivot makes for smooth lever feel and operation. The precise machining looks great and fits perfectly on my Matchmaker clamps and offers tons of adjustability to customize the reach. The last huge benefit, in my opinion, is the silicone grip. If you ride in any kind of inclement weather or dirty conditions the combination of the grippy lever and precise bearing mean you lever is going to work every time (even in the gritty sands of Ft Ord here in NorCal).
Check out our employee review of the PNW Loam Lever