In a world of almost endless available mountain bike upgrades, the dropper post remains one of the most popular, and one of the most important. Dropper posts are now seen on all kinds of mountain bikes and even gravel bikes - allowing the rider to adjust the saddle height when riding, making the switch between riding easy terrain and technical terrain incredibly easy.
Why use a Dropper Post?
Dropper Posts provide a massive number of advantages to the rider. Dropper posts allow the saddle height to be kept in a higher position when cycling cross country and when cycling ascents. This allows efficient pedalling to take place. A dropper post also allows the seat height to be very quickly dropped - allowing you to move your weight around on the bike, with a lower saddle height when travelling down trails and descents.
Prior to dropper posts being invented, riders would typically have to stop and change saddle height manually when switching between easier off-road terrain and riding technical terrain. Competitive mountain bikers benefit most from using a dropper post, but recreational mountain bikers also benefit, with increased efficiency and enjoyment from not having to pause the ride to change seat height.
Although dropper seat posts are heavier than standard seatposts, the additional weight is well worth the convenience and time saving of using a dropper post.
Dropper Post Size Guide
Selecting a dropper seat post in many ways, is the same as choosing a normal seatpost. Firstly, you need to find out the internal measurements of your seat tube. This is usually written on the seatpost in use, or you can have a look at the technical details for your MTB to find this information. Common sizes include 27.2mm, 30.9mm and 31.6mm.
Long Travel Dropper Seat Posts
It’s always recommended that you buy the longest travel dropper seat post that you can buy - allowing you the broadest range of fitting. The largest dropper seatposts offer a massive 200mm of travel. Your bike frame and saddle may not be able to accommodate this amount of travel, so it’s essential you check if the dropper seat post can fit your bike.
Longer travel dropper posts also need more frame to slide into - so the maximum depth of the frame needs to be considered.
Internal VS External Routing Dropper Seat Posts
Whether you can route a dropper post internally, or externally will depend upon your bike frame. If your frame has internal routing available, there will be a small hole near the bottom of the seat tube to allow the cable to exist. Most modern bikes have internal dropper routing available, and although it can be trickier to initially set up - the neat & tidy finished job is well worth the extra effort.
If no internal routing is available, you will need to use an externally routed dropper seat post - which does not look as neat and tidy - but still functions absolutely fine.
Dropper Seat Post Remote Guide
There are two choices for activating a dropper post, there are bar mounted dropper post remotes as well as remotes which are fixed to the post. The advantage of bar mounted dropper post remotes is obvious - you do not have to move your hands off the bars to operate the post, allowing you uninterrupted riding and increased levels of safety. Mounting the remote for dropper posts is pretty simple, and most riders choose to fit the remote to the left hand side of the handlebars. If space is at a premium, many remotes are designed to sit either slightly above the bar, or slightly below the bar.
Cable VS Hydraulic Dropper Seat Posts
The vast majority of seat posts use a cable to operate the action. Cable dropper seat posts are simpler to maintain and cheaper to fix if anything goes wrong - but hydraulic dropper posts do have their advantages, such as less dirt and grime ingress. There are also wireless dropper posts available, which use batteries to operate the dropper posts.
Do you really need a dropper seatpost?
Dropper Seatposts can be expensive, so it depends on how much you value the convenience and speed gains of a dropper seatpost, VS changing a seatpost manually. Those obsessed with the weight of a mountain bike, will avoid dropper seat posts - as even carbon fibre dropper seatposts are more expensive than standard seat posts.
At Westbrook Cycles, we believe that dropper seatposts are a great investment - and we stock and supply a complete range to suit all riders and all mountain bikes.