Let’s say you’re new to biking or have been riding for forever but haven’t upgraded your bike in years. You may have noticed this new(ish) component you can buy: a dropper post. A dropper post is one of the biggest cycling innovations in the last decade. It has made riding all types of bikes easier, safer, and more efficient. If you’re curious about how they work, why they exist, and who they are for, we are here to answer those questions.
The Dropper Post Basics
So what is a dropper post and what do they do? A dropper post, commonly referred to as a dropper, is a replacement for your bicycle’s seat post and allows for quick adjustment of saddle height without requiring you to get off your bike or even stop moving. Most droppers work through cable actuation, although there are a handful of electronic/wireless posts. We’ll focus on the cable-actuated dropper posts. As you may have guessed, a cable connects the dropper post to a lever, which is typically located on the handlebar. Pushing the lever pulls the cable, which tugs on the dropper post actuator and allows the dropper post to move up or down. Simply stated, when riding in a seated position, push the lever and your body weight will drop the post all the way down. While standing, push the lever again and the dropper post will pop back up into a pre-set riding position.
The Benefits of a Dropper Post
The main benefit of a dropper post is increased safety while riding. As mentioned above, the lever system allows you to quickly move the saddle out of the way when approaching descents or trail obstacles. With the saddle out of the way, you’re able to be in the appropriate riding position to handle upcoming variations in terrain without fear of your saddle pitching you over the handlebars. When not riding trails, dropper posts are super handy at crosswalks, stoplights, or in other situations where stopping is necessary. Simply drop the saddle and you can now put your foot down while remaining seated.
Dropper posts are also incredibly convenient. Having the option to adjust your saddle height on the fly means you no longer have to interrupt your ride and get off the bike to do so. Once you clamp your dropper post to your preferred climbing height, it will always return to that position at the push of a lever. A consistent saddle height for climbing or seated riding can also help you avoid aches and pains in your knees and back.
Is This For Me and Where Do I Get One?
We love dropper posts because they are a unique tool that make cycling more fun and accessible for all people and we believe they are great for anyone that owns a bike. Have an older, beloved bike? Slap a dropper on it and experience a new way of riding. They originally became popular in the mountain bike industry, but have spread throughout the cycling world because they are beneficial to all riders. If you’re like us and believe safety and efficiency are more important than saving a bit of weight, a dropper post could be right for you.
If you’re interested in purchasing a dropper, you can find one here on the PNW Components website or in your local bike shop. As some dropper posts and levers will only work on specific bikes, we recommend checking out our “How to Choose a Dropper Post” blog and “How to Choose a Dropper Post Lever” blog from more info on what dropper and lever set up is right for your riding.
Have questions? Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, take a look out our “How to Size a Dropper Post” blog for further information.