We’ve been hearing whispers about dropper posts not belonging on drop bar bikes and commuters. To our sensitive ears they feel more like shouts, and, to no one’s surprise, we happen to disagree. The argument against adding grams to a bike is understandable for the select few riders that monitor their bike’s weight for the sake of performance. But, for the everyday rider, those extra grams don’t outweigh the benefits (yes, we meant to be punny). Whether you’re a seasoned vet or just picked up your first gravel, road, or commuter bike, we think a dropper post would help improve your skinny tire experience.
Commute Like a Pro
Commuting will never be easier, or more fun for that matter, than after you add a dropper post to your bike. Gone are the days of awkwardly starting and stopping your ride when dealing with stop signs, crosswalks, and stop lights. Rules are rules and you still have to stop, but a dropper post will help remove the “awkward” from the equation. See a stop in your near future? Drop the post, skid to a stop like the cool kid you are, and put a foot down with your butt still firmly planted on the saddle. No more hopping around to find your footing or awkwardly standing over your top tube. When it comes time to get moving again, hit the lever, raise your post, and blast down the road without the slightest hiccup.
Get Rowdy With It
Drop bar riding isn’t always sunshine, rainbows, and perfectly manicured roadways or sidewalks. Sometimes the going can get rough, steep, or just downright unpredictable. A dropper post will improve your ability to handle the obstacles that lie ahead by enabling you to get into a proper attack position. Lower your saddle, bend your knees, and adjust your upper body for maximum output and you’ll be tackling swift descents, plowing through potholes, and hopping curbs like it’s your job. Without the use of a dropper, your only options are to stay seated (apologies in advance to your tailbone) or stand upright, destabilizing yourself as you shift your center of gravity away from the ground. Neither is ideal when rolling head first into intimidating terrain and should be avoided for your personal safety.
Maneuver at Speed
Just as your path may not be smooth, it isn’t guaranteed to be perfectly linear. Twists, turns, and off camber sections of trail demand your attention, more so when riding at high speeds, and you’ll need to shift your weight from side to side to handle them. With a saddle stuck between your legs, moving your body weight horizontally can be difficult. Oftentimes the best you can manage is a slight shift of the hips on your saddle. But, push your saddle all the way down and you’re in business. The additional clearance will have you leaning your bike like you’re racing in the motorcycle Grand Prix. Your tire’s side knobs may not be pleased, but your cornering skills and confidence through fast turns will skyrocket. Your bike will thank you for the additional exhilaration.
If your aim is to tackle the path ahead with as much confidence and skill as possible, then a dropper post may be the right addition for your drop bar bike, no matter your skill level. The trade-offs are minimal and the benefits of increased safety and entertainment are invaluable. Still hesitant to swap a dropper for your static seatpost? Read this article from PNW Squad member Delia Massey on her experience with dropper posts in cyclocross races and reevaluate your stance.