We love our local bike shops and we're always filled with warm and fuzzies when it turns out that the feeling is mutual! One such LBS is The Lost Co., which is located in Bellingham, WA, and if you're unfamiliar with The Lost Co. we highly recommend that you check them out. Not only is the shop a fantastic place to have your ride tuned and taken care of by a crew that absolutely shreds on bikes, but they also operate a killer online store and their social presence (links below) is geared towards educating you about all of the latest MTB related products instead of trying to sell them to you.
We're lucky enough to have had our product in The Lost Co. for the past several months, and are even more lucky that Mike, founder of The Lost Co. has taken it upon himself to review the Loam Lever. From adjustability and aesthetics, to functionality and product packaging, Mike covers it all! If you fancy yourself more the reading type, we've gone ahead and typed up the full video transcript below.
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Dropper posts are awesome and have definitely changed mountain bikes for the best. Unfortunately, some stock bikes and even some aftermarket dropper posts come with a pretty chincy and un-ergonomic dropper post lever to make the dropper post go up and down. Luckily a couple of brands have created dropper post levers that mimic the feeling of the shifter on the right side of the handlebar to keep your cockpit feeling symmetrical and super ergonomic. One of those brands being PNW Components who have created one of our favorite dropper post levers on the market, the Loam Lever.
I’ve been running the PNW Components Loam Lever on my personal bike for several months now and to be honest I thought it was pretty gimmicky at first. I’m coming off of the Wolftooth ReMote Lever, which in our opinion was the only aftermarket dropper post lever to consider, which is a simple black CNC’d lever body with a sealed cartridge bearing and some knurling cut into the end to give you some grip on your thumb. When taking a look at the PNW Loam Lever it looks like it’s basically the same thing but with a rubber colored thumb pad on the end. So our initial reaction was that another small component company came out with a lookalike to the Wolftooth ReMote but with a rubber colored thumb pad.
However, I did decide to run the Loam Lever on my new bike build because we had a bunch of customers coming into the store that purchased the Loam Lever from us and told us how much they liked it. When I was building up my bike and put the Loam Lever on I thought, “Man, that looks really, really nice and it matches my bike perfectly,” but I had no idea that I would actually love how this thing feels after riding it for a couple months. Well here we are six months later and we’ve expanded our [list of] top 1 dropper post levers to consider, to our top 2 dropper post levers to consider. So let’s take a look at the PNW Components Loam Lever.
PNW Components is a small hard goods company based just south of us down in Seattle, WA. They’re best known for their line of dropper posts, so you know they’ve put quite a bit of thought into their dropper post levers. This is actually one really cool thing about the mountain bike industry right now is that there’s a bunch of small players stepping into the game and actually make some components that work really, really well and aren’t just totally gimmicky.
Since PNW is obviously based out of the Pacific Northwest just like we are, they know that it’s super rainy or muddy here most of the time that we’re riding our bikes, and their overall goal with the Loam Lever was to create a dropper post lever that was smooth all year long no matter how much it got pounded with water. The lever body is fully CNC’d and comes in this cool gun metal grey color and inside of that is a pretty large, sealed cartridge bearing to give the lever actuation a super smooth feel. Plus that cartridge bearing is sealed up nice and tight so water doesn’t make its way inside, meaning that this lever is ready to be ridden in the rain and mud, and washed ride after ride.
When looking at this thing the most obvious part of it is the injection molded thumb pad. At first we all thought the rubber thumb pad was going to be slippery when wet, but we were all just straight up wrong. The rubber is super soft and tacky and keeps your thumb in control when you’re out riding in the rain or are super hot and sweaty and riding without gloves. And even though the rubber is super soft, mine hasn’t shown any wear and tear after using it for about six months. The Loam Lever is also available in a whole bunch of different colors and sometimes they’ve got limited edition colors, so that means you can match pretty much any color of any bike that you’re building!
When it comes to nice aftermarket dropper post levers, adjustability is key and the Loam Lever has tons of that. First off you can adjust the side to side position to be able to both avoid hitting your thumb on it but also to sit exactly where your thumb naturally extends to. And second, there’s a small set screw on the back of the lever body so you can adjust how far the lever sits forward or backward, meaning you could tuck it under the bar if you’d like. This is actually the only dropper post lever on the market with this adjustment.
The length of the lever itself is pretty perfect in regards to how much cable it pulls. It’s not too long, not too short, and overall just feels really good. I’m running the Fox Transfer post and it actuates this thing as perfect as possible. The lever body uses a 3mm clamp bolt which clamps the cable down to the body and this means that the Loam Lever is pretty much compatible with every cable actuated dropper post in existence and it’s super easy to install.
For mounting, the Loam Lever is offered in a 22.2mm bar clamp mount with a hinge so you don’t need to remove your grip and brake lever to install it. Or integrated mounts are available for Sram Matchmaker or Shimano I-Spec 2 or EV mounts.
PNW keeps their package super minimal and everything is *recyclable. The box also includes a Jagwire cable inside and this is sweet because most dropper post levers don’t include one in the box.
*At this point in time we have nearly eliminated plastic in our packaging and are hoping to have this process completed by the beginning of 2020. The last piece of the puzzle is removing the plastic sleeve that holds the Jagwire cable and replacing it with a paper sleeve.