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MTBR.com Dropper Post Review

MTBR.com Dropper Post Review

Wow, what a fantastic honor to have Francis Cebedo, the founder of MTBR.com, review and enjoy our Rainier dropper posts. Here's the full review:

 

PNW Components Rainier dropper post review

Quality, reliability, and affordability in the dropper post category?

Lowdown: PNW Components Rainier Dropper Post

Dropper posts have risen in popularity over the years as riders have discovered the benefits in almost all aspects of riding. But cost and reliability have remained an issue, as many cost $400 and up with reliability continuing to be an issue. As a result, some riders still hold out, or at least don’t install them on all their bikes due to cost and maintenance.

Weight of the 27.2 is 583 grams.

Weight is 583 grams for the 27.2 model(click to enlarge).

PNW Components is an upstart component maker from Seattle, which has a wealth of bike industry experience. They’ve taken their know-how and overseas manufacturing relationships to deliver a dropper post called the Rainier. The post is infinitely adjustable and has an externally routed cable. They have two posts, one in the hard to find 27.2mm diameter with 80mm travel for $275; the other a 30.9mm with 120mm travel for $270.

Stat Box
Diameter: 27.2 or 30.9 Travel: 80mm (27.2) / 120mm (30.9)
Total weight: 583g (27.2) / 753g (30.9) Post length: 330mm / 425mm
Price $270 / $275 Rating: 4.5 Flamin' Chili Peppers 4.0 out of 5 for the 27.2 model

 

Pluses
Minuses
  • Infinite adjustment
  • 80mm and 120mm travel a bit odd
  • Damped action
  • External routing only
  • Easy lever actuation
  • Rise speed/pressure not adjustable
  • Robust design
  • 30.9 difficult to push down for lighter riders
  • Minimal post wobble
  • 30.9’s long post may not fit all bikes
  • Can’t pull up post from down position
  • Good value

 

Review: PNW Components Rainier Dropper Post

Some believe that the dropper post is the greatest advancement in mountain biking. But the category is not perfect, as there are issues such as price, functionality, and reliability. Over the past 5 years, we’ve been plagued with $450 posts that frequently break down. And functionality has not been perfected, with posts that are only three position, are undamped, or exhibit a lot of play.

Post and lever are mounted on a Trek Fuel.

We mounted our test post on a Trek Fuel (click to enlarge).

The folks at PNW Components aimed to address these issues of price, reliability, and functionality with the Rainier post, which costs $270. Then they followed it up with an infinite position post that locks in place at any position. Light lever action controls the damped rise of the post.

But to offer a product at that price, PNW had to pick their battles. They’ve succeeded in bringing an affordable and functional post to market, but it does have its shortcomings, including the fact that it is external routing only. This can be a problem when the post is dropped and the cable gets in the rider’s way.

Outer shell, retention system and spring/damper are shown.

A look at the post’s outer shell, retention system, and spring/damper (click to enlarge).

PNW also chose to use an internal spring instead of an air pressure cartridge to drive the return mechanism. This is very reliable, but it is not adjustable and can be heavy. This doesn’t seem to affect the 27.2 model, which weighs 583 grams. But the 30.9 model weighs in at 753 grams, a little heavy for the category.

With a damper unit in the post, the 30.9 can be a little long at 425mm in length, which means rider’s with bikes that have interrupted or curved seat tubes will need to check for clearance.

The cable is routed near the front of the post.

The cable is routed near the front of the post (click to enlarge).

What We Liked

The price, packaging, and instructions are top-notch. The post also had minimal play, which is confidence inspiring compared to those with a lot of wobble.

Lever action is very light and post action is extremely smooth. It has action similar to more expensive posts on the market. Raising the post is a very controlled, damped action. Fast, but also smooth and consistent. And thus far, reliability has been flawless. It’s seen three months of use, and is as good today as it was the first day we installed it.

Bottom line, we love the PNW solution, especially in the 27.2 size. While not a best-of-breed product, PNW clearly defined its parameters and delivered a functional and reliable post at great value. Alternatively, the 30.9 is a good post but is a bit heavy and can be hard to depress for lighter riders. But the 27.2 doesn’t suffer any of these weaknesses and is our favorite 27.2 model made to date.

For more information visit www.pnwcomponents.com.

 

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.