Biking

The 5 Best Dropper Posts – [2020 Reviews & Guide]

Every once in a while a new piece of technology comes along and completely changes mountain biking. Dropper posts were one of these.

Before droppers became standard equipment, riders had to stop before a technical descent to open a quick-release seat clamp by hand and push the seatpost down into the frame before closing the clamp again.

This might not sound like a big deal but until you find yourself doing it several times during a ride, or if you ride terrain with lots of short climbs and descents.

Lots of riders would not bother. For those that did, this was the only way that they knew.

Then the dropper post came along and literally changed the mountain biking experience. The first MTB dropper posts were operated with a lever underneath the saddle.

These early versions had some success but it was not until the development of a handlebar-mounted lever that interest in dropper posts got going.

Best Dropper Seatposts

 OneUp Components Dropper Seatpost V2ROCKSHOX Reverb Stealth Remote C1KS LEV Si Dropper Seatpost
editors choice
Travel:120, 150, 180, 210mm100, 125, 150, 175, 200mm65, 75, 100, 120, 125, 150, 170mm
Diameters:30.9, 31.6mm30.9, 31.6mm27.2, 30.9, 31.6mm
Cable Routing:InternalInternalInternal
Best For:Trail, All-Mountain, EnduroTrail, XC, All-MountainTrail
See OneUp Components V2 at JensenUSASee Rockshox Reverb at JensenUSASee KS Lev Si at JensenUSA

For more of my top MTB biking recommendations, have a look through these popular Outside Pursuits guide links: MTB Helmets, MTB Saddles, MTB Shoes.

Quick Answer: The 5 Best Rated Dropper Seatposts For 2020

  1. OneUp Components Dropper Seatpost V2
  2. ROCKSHOX Reverb Stealth 1X Remote C1
  3. KS LEV Si Dropper Seatpost
  4. Crankbrothers Highline Dropper Post
  5. Fox Racing Shox Factory Series Dropper Seatpost

Our reviews of the top rated dropper posts with our comparison table and buyers guide will help you choose the right one for you.


Dropper Post Reviews

#1 OneUp Components Dropper Seatpost V2

One Up Component V2

See OneUp Components V2 at JensenUSA

With the lowest stack height available and up to 210mm of travel, the V2 offers the most drop on the market.

While the design does require a bit more force at the lever to get the post moving, once activated, the movement is smooth thanks to the oversized bushings.

The lever itself must be bought separately. It is a great lever though. It sits close to the handlebar and the concave, textured paddle is comfortable to push.

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The internal cartridge can be replaced and should the need arise you will be able to do this at home. Like other (but not all) droppers, some lateral play can develop but this is not noticeable on the trail.

Return speed can be adjusted via a valve at the top of the dropper.

Four lengths are available; 120, 150, 180, and 210mm for 30.9 and 31.6mm diameters. The travel can be reduced by 10 or 20mm by adding shims.

This, combined with the small stack height, means that if you currently are restricted to a 100mm dropper, you could probably get a 150mm V2 and add one or two shims to enjoy more dropper length than before.

Consider the great price tag on top of all of this and you have potentially the best dropper post available.

OneUp Components Dropper Seatpost V2 at a Glance:

  • Travel: 120, 150, 180, 210mm
  • Diameters: 30.9, 31.6mm
  • Cable Routing: Internal
  • Best For: Trail, All-Mountain, Enduro

#2 ROCKSHOX Reverb Stealth 1X Remote C1

Rockshox 2

See Rockshox Reverb at JensenUSA

RockShox dominated the OEM dropper market for a few years.

Bike manufacturers that purchase forks and shocks en masse to spec on their bikes were not hard to convince of doing the same for dropper posts.

For a while, it seemed like almost everyone had a reverb. However, it also seemed like almost everyone with a Reverb also had an issue with it.

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The problem was that the hydraulic activation was prone to air contamination, with the consequence that the post would become squishy rather than holding the saddle up.

This was more often than not caused by the bike being picked up by the saddle.

This issue has now been resolved with the addition of the Vent Valve. This system enables you to release any air that may have got into the system.

You should still avoid lifting your bike by the saddle even if using this version of the Reverb, but it does get air inside, you can deal with the issue easily.

The Reverb C1 has a shorter total length than previous models and more travel options are on offer. 100, 125, 150, 175, and 200mm varieties are available in both 30.9 and 31.6mm diameters.

While the hydraulic activation has less friction than a cable system, you will have to decide whether smoother lever action is worth the extra hassle of bleeding the system.

This is not something you will have to do often, but it is significantly more work than swapping a cable.

 

ROCKSHOX Reverb Stealth 1X Remote C1 at a Glance:

  • Travel: 100, 125, 150, 175, 200mm
  • Diameters: 30.9, 31.6mm
  • Cable Routing: Internal
  • Best For: Trail, XC, All-Mountain

#3 KS LEV Si Dropper Seatpost

KS LEV Si

See KS Lev Si at JensenUSA

KS Lev are known for their affordable dropper posts, as well as their higher-priced models. In fact, they were one of the first producers of the modern dropper with a remote lever.

Despite the affordable price tag, the Si has a smooth action that is hard to find on other posts in its price category.

Unlike more expensive posts from KS Lev, the Si does not contain their patented roller-clutch bearing. Instead, it has an air-sprung cartridge that you will not be able to service yourself.

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The Si includes a remote that pulls an internally routed cable to activate the dropper. While this remote gets the job done, it is quite stiff.

If you want an easier-to-operate remote, you can upgrade to the KS Southpaw remote, which will get you better action and ergonomics.

Many riders like their dropper post to make an audible clunk when it reaches the top of the travel so that they know it is there before they sit down.

The Si does not do this. However, it is so reliable that you will learn to trust it.

The low stack height and low insertion depth add to the appeal of the Si, as do the variety of lengths available. It comes in 65, 75, 100, 120, 125, 150, and 170mm versions for 30.9 and 31.6 mm seatposts.

There are also some 27.2 mm versions that will fit older frames.

 

KS LEV Si Dropper Seatpost at a Glance:

  • Travel: 65, 75, 100, 120, 125, 150, 170mm
  • Diameters: 27.2, 30.9, 31.6mm
  • Cable Routing: Internal
  • Best For: Trail

#4 Crankbrothers Highline

Crankbrothers Highline

See Crankbrothers Highline at JensenUSA

Older dropper posts from Crankbrothers were known for their unreliability. In contrast, the Highline performs excellently.

Installation is simple as the post comes with the cable installed. All you have to do is run it through the outer and clamp it to the included lever.

The lever itself offers tons of adjustability. In fact, it can be rotated 360 degrees and tilted 22 degrees, so you can position it exactly where you want it. You can even customize the paddle color.

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The Highline is available in 100, 125, and 165mm lengths for 30.9 and 31.6 diameters. Igus bearings give the post exceptionally smooth action and you will not be disappointed, even in terrible weather conditions.

The return speed is not adjustable but that is a small sacrifice for such a reliable dropper with reasonable pricing. You also get a three-year warranty.

 

Crankbrothers Highline Dropper Post at a Glance:

  • Travel: 100, 125, 165mm
  • Diameters: 30.9, 31.6mm
  • Cable Routing: Internal
  • Best For: Trail, All-Mountain, Gravity

Although the Transfer Factory has quite a big price tag, it builds on the reliability of the Fox D.O.S.S to deliver a dependable dropper.

Four lengths are available; 100, 125, 150, and 175mm for 30.9 and 31.6 mm seatpost diameters.

Exceptionally smooth and easily activated, this post remains that way, even in the wet and muddy conditions.

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This is what elite racers demand from their components, and this is exactly what you can expect from the Transfer.

There is no lever included, despite the high price. If you did want to save a bit of money, you can always go for the Performance model, which has a black anodized stanchion instead of a Kashima coating.

Whether Kashima is actually necessary on a dropper post is very questionable but if you have a Fox shock or fork with Kashima, there is something to be said for matching your dropper with them.

Despite the price, the Transfer is an excellent investment for anyone that wants flawless reliability from a dropper post.

Fox Racing Shox Factory Series Dropper Seatpost
at a Glance
:

  • Travel: 100, 125, 150, 175mm
  • Diameters: 30.9, 31.6mm
  • Cable Routing: Internal/External
  • Best For: Trail, All-Mountain, Enduro

Dropper Post Comparison Table

Dropper PostsTravelDiametersCable RoutingRating
OneUp Components V2120, 150, 180, 210mm30.9, 31.6mmInternal5.0 / 5.0
RockShox Reverb Stealth C1100, 125, 150, 175, 200mm30.9, 31.6mmInternal4.6 / 5.0
KS Lev Si65, 75, 100, 120, 125, 150, 170mm27.2, 30.9, 31.6mmInternal4.7 / 5.0
Crankbrothers Highline100, 125, 165mm30.9, 31.6mmInternal4.5 / 5.0
Fox Transfer Factory100, 125, 150, 175mm30.9, 31.6mmInternal/External5.0 / 5.0

How to Choosw the Best Dropper Post – Buyers Guide

best dropper post

With the advent of the handlebar mounted lever it was possible to enjoy a whole ride without constantly stopping to adjust seat height as this was now done on the go at the push of a button.

Dropper posts have always been quite a pricey component but they are worth every penny. Prices have come down a bit in recent years due to more and more brands producing them.

Fortunately, at the same time, quality has increased and posts with longer travel have been developed. Let’s get into the details and find the right one for you.

Length or Travel

This refers to the distance that the saddle can be lowered. It is possible to find a dropper post with as little as 65mm travel and up to 210mm.

Some models allow you to decrease the travel by adding spacers.

The length that you need depends on your height, frame size, and tire clearance. Taller people have longer legs and ride on bigger frames.

Every person is different and there are also big differences in frame design.

The best way to determine how much travel you need is to measure how much seatpost there is between your frame and saddle when the saddle is at a comfortable riding height.

You will need to subtract about 50mm from this length to get the approximate dropper post travel that you need. The 50mm accounts for stack height (see below).

An important consideration for full suspension bikes is that the rear wheel moves towards the saddle when the suspension is compressed.

You do not want the rear tire buzzing or hitting the saddle as this can cause damage, so check how much clearance needs to be left.

Insertion Depth

When a dropper post drops, a stanchion retracts into the lower section of the post. You need to make sure that you can fit all the lower section into your frame, otherwise the extended dropper could be too high.

On hardtails, this is unlikely to be a problem, but on full-suspension frames, the seat tube is may have a bend in it.

Modern frames are generally designed with the ability to fit long dropper posts.

You can check what length you can fit in your frame by inserting a normal post as far as it will go and measuring the inserted length.

best dropper seatposts

Stack Height

This is the minimum amount of post between the frame and saddle when the post is lowered.

A low stack height is favorable to owners of frames with hight seat tubes, or those looking to get as much drop as possible.

Mechanics & Reliability

There are various ways in which a dropper stanchion can be lowered, raised, and locked in position. Air springs, hydraulic systems, and even electronics are in use.

They all get the job done but not every dropper is easy to service. Some have to be sent back to the manufacturer to be serviced while other brands pride themselves on their home-mechanic friendly posts.

Likewise, you want to have a reliable post. It is no good if your post becomes a pogo stick mid-ride and no longer supports your weight, or gets stuck while in the lower position.

Standing up to pedal all the way home is not fun and neither is regular fettling to keep the post working. Ideally, you want a post that you can install and then forget about.

Cable Routing

Pretty much every new bike now has internal cable routing for dropper posts.

This means that the cable enters at the base of the seat tube on the frame and connects at the bottom of the post.

Everything is neat and tidy. Some droppers have external routing and can be fitted to older frames without the relevant hole.

Seatpost Diameter

Frames usually have a seatpost diameter of 30.9mm or 31.6mm. Some have an even larger diameter of 34.9mm. Obviously the seatpost you choose needs to fit your frame.

You could get a shim to fit a narrower post into a frame but you will find plenty of options for both 30.9mm and 31.6mm.

Lever

Forget any dropper that is not activated by a handlebar lever. 1x drivetrains have freed up some real estate on one side of the bar, which can now be taken up by a dropper remote.

Many remotes come with adapters so that they can be fitted to the brake clamp in the place that the front shifter used to be.

This looks neater than clamping the remote to the bar and you may find it a bit easier to reach. Check with the manufacturer to see if your brake clamps are compatible.

Levers themselves are not all made equally. Some are sturdy and have smooth action, whereas others are not.

Most cable activated dropper posts generally allow you to choose any lever that you like.

Return Speed

Many posts have adjustable return speed to allow you to customize how fast or slow the post extends.

This is usually achieved either via a control on the remote or by adding or removing air pressure from the post.

Performance
Quality
Value

The OneUp Components V2 is our Editor's Choice for the best dropper post with its combination of performance, quality and value.

User Rating: Be the first one !

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