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Droppers: really worth it?

HOME FORUM RIDING FEELS GOOD FORUM TECH TALK Droppers: really worth it?

This topic contains 12 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Whynot 4 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #807951

    jcitizen
    Participant

    I know a bunch of you swear by them, but wanted to get some stories about droppers, good and bad. Feel like it’s become mandatory gear, but I really wonder if I would use it enough to justify the cost (not that I can justify most of my bike, haha). Seems like one will inevitably be on my bike, but who knows, one of you may help determine when.

    #807952

    caRpetbomBer
    Participant

    I just got my first dropper post on my Banshee Prime this July. At first i didn’t really use it that much. Maybe cause i was to big of a newb of understanding you should be more centered behind that bike bombing a hill. So now i really cant live with out one. I’m going to pick up a Thomson dropper for my winter bike. I don’t feel comfortable being pushed forward going down hills. I would say a dropper is one of the top over looked upgrades on a mountain bike.

    #807953

    Durham Rider
    Participant

    Once you get one and as long as you use it, you probably won’t want to go without again.

    I picked up a used KS Lev after following a fellow rider around Hardwood Hills who had a dropper.
    He made all the techy stuff look so easy while I was doing my best to not kill myself. The next day I was on the search for a dropper.

    As I mostly ride in Durham Forest, when I first got the dropper I didn’t use it much but on a road trip to Kingdom Trails and especially Millstone, I quickly got in the habit of dropping the seat. What a difference it made in the technical rock sections. Once you learn to not grip the seat with your thighs even when the seat is down, your riding will improve. It allows you so much more freedom to move around. I am so used to it now that even on flat twisty sections the seat is down.

    It does take some getting used to but once you do there is no looking back.

    @carpetbomber, good choice on the Thompson dropper. I recently picked up a Santa Cruz Solo that came with the Thompson dropper and I like it a lot. I have the KS Lev on my old bike and I liked it quite a bit but the Thompson is just that little bit nicer. It seams a little smoother and just feels more refined. Sort of like everything that Thompson does.

    I would also agree with @carpetbomber‘s take on the dropper being an overlooked upgrade. For a long time it has seemed that the only upgrade that anyone was willing to do had to do with dropping weight, not dropping the seat. It might not be as sexy as some new blingy carbon wheels but it definitely ups the fun factor.

    #807955

    aerius
    Participant

    It depends on your riding style, your trails, and your bike. Some people have no use for one since the terrain they ride and/or the way in which they ride it doesn’t really benefit from using a dropper. For instance I have a bike that pretty much gets taken out only for gentle Sunday cruises, I’m just cruising along at 60% and taking it easy on the technical sections. Putting a dropper post on that bike doesn’t make sense since I’d probably break the wheels if I rode it hard enough to need one.

    On the other hand a dropper is mandatory on my Norco Range since I ride like an maniac on that bike, I need the seat out of the way so that I can smash out downhills, air out jumps & drops, and do all the other fun stupid things that the bike makes me do. Riding it without a dropper would take 90% of the fun out of it.

    Then there’s my trail bike, if I’m riding with my crazier friends the dropper post gets used on every downhill and technical section. If it’s a more XC-ish ride I barely touch it. And that could be on the exact same trail, I’ve done rides on the Don where I’ve hit the magic button on every downhill, then on the exact same loop with other people I didn’t even touch the dropper since the group was just cruising easy on the downhills instead of charging into them at full speed.

    Only you know how you ride and how you want to ride. Give it some thought and you’ll know if you need one or not.

    #807957

    micah356
    Participant

    IMO it is a huge upgrade, especially for a hardtail.

    I am 100x more confident on downhills on my hardtail with a dropper than I was on my previous full suspension bike with the seat up.

    You are basically using your legs as suspension, so the extra room to move around makes a big difference.

    It’s obviously not mandatory, but neither is anything on a bike. Do you use a rigid fork? No. So get a dropper.

    #807971

    jcitizen
    Participant

    @micah356 etc. good input. Very rarely do I put my seat down for decents/jumps as I guess most of what I rode just never demanded it. This is year is actually the first year I’ve had moments where I want that damn thing outta the way. The last turn on foreplay in particular. Maybe I’m just finally riding stuff that warrants it? I guess the biggest thing is that I can clear basically anything I ride regularly, except quads or big shit like the ejaculator, so I keep wondering if spending 3-500 bucks is gonna add that much more fun to my ride. Sounds like I definitely won’t be sad I bought one, just wish it was a bit less of a financial commitment.

    Thanks team dropper.

    BTW the 9Point8 is what I think I’d get if/when I “drop” the money on one of these things. http://9point8.ca/
    @matty-f do a review for us (me)!~

    #807972

    Matty F
    Participant

    BTW the 9Point8 is what I think I’d get if/when I “drop” the money on one of these things. http://9point8.ca/
    @matty-f do a review for us (me)!~

    We actually did try and get one of those for review. Things never really snowballed. However, that didn’t stop me from ordering one for myself in the end. Should show up any day now!

    Really, though, the thing that sets droppers apart at this point is mostly how long they last, and what their failure mode is. Most of them function pretty well. Reverbs work great when they are in prime shape, but people often have to have the cartridge rebuilt twice a year, and they often end up blowing all their oil inside the frame. So really to do a valuable review of a dropper I’d want the solid chunk of a season on it.

    #807975

    caRpetbomBer
    Participant

    9point8 fall line dropper. Availability: 2-3 Weeks. I might pick one up. For some reason people on pinkbike are sleeping and not responding.

    #807980

    secret agent
    Participant

    I agree with everything said above about the utility of a dropper. However, they are not trouble free by any stretch. I had a season and a half out of my Reverb and then it has been in twice. Once under warranty. My friend bought the Thompson at the beginning of this season and already had to send it in under warranty. When I brought mine in, I was told that they had 3 other Reverbs and a Thomson to go back. Apparently they send back units almost every week. My Reverb is beginning to act up. I looked at the tech in the 9point8 and I am pretty sure that I am going to go that way as well not if, but when my dropper seat fails again. I was under the impression that these were available now. I saw something or other a couple of weeks back stating that they are available.

    #807983

    EnduroRider
    Participant

    Just got mine as I am sure you are aware and i’m just starting to get use to peddling and dropping the seat. But it does make a huge difference on the technical sections. The last corner you speak of on fourplay I noticed in particular this weekend as it was a bit slick and made a huge difference.

    #807985

    jcitizen
    Participant

    Droppers are like:
    A- The best thing since front suspension
    B- The best thing since disc brakes
    C- The best thing since tubeless tires
    D – The best thing since bar ends

    ?

    #807986

    BlurredLines
    Participant

    C – you wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.

    #808018

    Whynot
    Participant

    I think it is mostly a function of where and how you ride. I was ecstatic to have a dropper on the last new bike I purchased. But honestly, I barely use it. And (a reverb) it still needs a rebuild after barely any use over two seasons.

    I ride primarily Durham, and there are few (more now than ever) descent-specific sections of trail. Mostly it’s a series of ups and downs. Sitting down to drop the seat is more inconvenient to me than just riding with the seat in a static position that may be slightly lower than ideal for cadence but allows for fun when the trail provides opportunity.

    If you’re riding Kelso, humping the climb to run the descent, you’d love a dropper. I can’t imagine living anywhere with access to decent elevation without a dropper (although I do wish there was a way to make one that retracts and extends with the push of a button)…. but I live in Southern ON.

    Also consider the frame’s geo. My Fuel EX has enough angle on the seat tube that when the seat is lowered it moves considerably forward relative to my body position on the bike. I actually feel less in control of the bike with the seat down because it feels like it shortens the cockpit, making me less comfortable.

    I’d get another dropper if there was a quality offering around the $150 pricepoint. To me, any more $ than that and I wouldn’t get value from the upgrade and would consider a dropper post optional equipment.

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