While countless magazines and news outlets struggle to survive the era of electronic media, Freehub Magazine has continued to hold strong and steady. The quarterly magazine is in its tenth year of delivering the highest quality of stories, photo epics, and videos for its audience. Which is why we were absolutely thrilled to have a member of the Freehub team put the PNW Components Bachelor Dropper Post and Loam Lever to the test.
The following review was written by Mitchell Lee after several months of testing the Bachelor Dropper Post and Loam Lever in the Pacific Northwest's harshest weather. Photos by Jann Eberharter.
Freehub Magazine Review: Bachelor Dropper Post and Loam Lever
The first time one of my buddies rolled up with a dropper post I honestly laughed out loud.
“Really? We need to run another component and cable on the bike just because we are too lazy to use our quick release?” I laughed. How wrong I was. Now, I can’t even imagine going for a ride without a dropper post. I—like everyone else—have become accustomed to having the ability to change between climbing and descending seat heights without skipping a beat.
A David and Goliath reference might be a little extreme when talking about small companies taking on mega corporations, but recently there have been a number of home-grown brands entering the component game.
Hailing from Seattle, WA, PNW Components was born because the founders, Aaron and Emily Kerson, were tired of how expensive bike components had become—something we can all relate to. By focusing on keeping their overhead costs low and working directly with manufacturers, the team has found their niche in developing top-notch components at a reasonable price.
The all black Bachelor dropper post is sleek and simple with a subtle design that embodies the Pacific Northwest. The lightweight, yet durable dropper has a sealed damping cartridge enclosed in ultra-light 7075 alloys. This post is for bikes with internal routing, so if you don’t have holes in your rig you will have to look toward one of their other models. The Bachelor comes in your choice of 150mm or 170mm of travel and a 30.9mm, 31.6mm or 34.9mm seat post diameter.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out the new Bachelor post comes with PNW Components’ eye-catching Loam Lever. This is one of the best looking levers I have seen and a component I was thrilled to add to my cockpit. The Loam Lever has five characteristics that make it stand out—adjustability, weather proofing, no slip grip, “techy AF” and direct mount. All of these aspects together make it one of the first levers I have run that feels like someone actually put some thought into. The lever is light, weighing only 48 grams, and can be used with a standard 22mm bar clamp, or it can be used with Shimano I-Spec, or Sram Matchmaker setups. The Loam Lever is also compatible with any cable actuated dropper post—which is pretty neat.
Installing the Bachelor dropper and Loam Lever was about as simple as it gets. I set up a 170/31.6mm dropper on my 2017 Santa Cruz Nomad following PNW Components user manual. The Bachelor dropper posts, which come in 30.9 and 31.6, have adjustable air cartridges that live under the seat clamp. This allows you to adjust how quickly the seat post returns by adding or removing air from the main air chamber of the post with a shock pump.
On my first lap with the Bachelor, I honestly had to remind myself halfway through the ride that I was on a new dropper. The setup was so smooth and efficient I didn’t even notice it.
The Loam Lever is a big target that is easy to hit and has an immediate response with just a solid press. Thanks to a high-quality DU bushing inside, PNW Components have been able to eliminate the majority of play in the post. The Bachelor also features Infinite Adjust, allowing you to set your saddle height anywhere, which is pretty neat while trail riding. One thing I was pretty surprised about is there isn’t a spongy or delayed feeling in the lever when you’re trying to get it up in a hurry. I came away from the first lap with only positive thoughts on the post and lever.
Three months after the first ride, the Bachelor has stayed crisp and precise. The setup has held up through mud, rain and the traditional gloomy weather that sits over the PNW throughout the winter months. I have yet to fiddle with anything on the setup. It doesn't need constant adjustment and I can tell it’s not a component that is slowly losing its performance over time.
After riding the Bachelor post and Loam Lever through winter and spring in the Pacific Northwest, it’s apparent that this setup is as reliable as any other post in the market. The Bachelor post is smooth and consistent while the Loam Lever is ergonomically gripppy and looks sharp. If you’re in need of a post that is solid, reliable and competitively priced, look no further.