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Suspension dropper seat post not just for hardcore offroad

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    Suspension dropper seat post not just for hardcore offroad

    Several months ago I stumbled across a review of the PNW Coast suspension dropper seat post and it sounded like it may be just the ticket. I have them on both bikes now and love em. I'm around 50 and 250 and would not be out if it wasn't for E bikes. I have a fully rigid fat bike I ride in the mtn bike parks on mostly green and a few blue trails which is where I put the first one Loved it so much also got one for the pavement bike.

    Off road it gets used as intended which is to drop it out of your way so you can shift your weight without hitting the seat as needed to stay on the trail. Snow, mud, and sand you can drop it so you can basically drag both feet and throttle through the loose stuff. On the pavement its great at stop lights and signs to drop it so you can stay seated and be flat or almost flat footed. And a part they don't market at all is for people that are a little less flexible than they used to be its great to drop it to just get on and off the bike. Its a lot easier to swing your leg over the seat if its 4-5 inches lower than the ideal ride height.

    Lots of people make droppers some as cheap as $100. $200 seems to get you a lot of options and I assume you can get a crazy carbon titanium one if you wanted. As far as I have seen PNW is the only one making a suspension one. Lack of a suspension one is why I never really considered a dropper in the first place. Its not only suspension its air suspension. You need a 'shock' pump to adjust it but those are widely available. I'm also told that PNW is one of the few or maybe only people that make a dropper in a 27.2 diameter, the suspension version is one that is available in 27.2 which is awesome because my Surly is 27.2.

    I should add that to make it work you also need a 'remote' which is the lever you mount on your bars. The one that was recommended to me and has worked well is the Crank Brothers Highline. It's unique feature is its ball mount that lets you mount it on the left, right, above, below, and has some distance from the bar flexibility. This is a key feature for us E bikers that tend to have cluttered bars. Most of the levers are designed to replace a left trigger shifter which is a popular spot for a throttle for E bikes.

    Most post don't come with a cable or lever so its not a big deal to mix and match as long as you have the correct types. The cable for the PNW Coast both internal and external posts is a standard shifter cable. The ball end goes in the post and the lever then has a clamping screw. Internal is for if you have a frame that has the hole drilled at the bottom to feed the cable through. External has that little nub sticking out just above your clamp where the cable attaches. There are some posts that the clamp is on the post and the lever is basically a shifter but this seems to have been an earlier style.

    The way these work is if you don't press on the lever they are locked height wise. If you press the button they unlock. They have a spring in them (even the non suspension ones) so if you don't have any weight on it it will pop up. If you want it to go down you lift your weight off, press the button then put your weight back on till you get it where you want then let go of the button and it will lock there. You would normally set it so when its fully extended that is your full height that gives you full leg extension on the pedals. Idea is you can set it wherever you want when you are doing unusual stuff but its always easy to get back to the optimum for pedaling height when you want it.


      Just goes to show you that intended use is not always the only use, right? The dropper post doubling as a suspension component is a pretty clever option.


      • 73Eldo
        73Eldo commented
        Editing a comment
        Since there are maybe 100 different dropper posts on the market I'm surprised there are not more with the suspension. You already have the sliding mechanism, all they have to do is grab what I imagine are fork guts and you got it.

      What a great idea.


        73Eldo - In the suspension/dropper you linked to ( is the 40mm of suspension included in the dropper travel - if you lower it 100mm does it still have the 40mm of suspension?


          I was just thinking of coming back to this post. To answers AZ's question I would have to go measure to be sure but I suspect that the suspension number is included in the overall travel number. If you drop it all the way yo get no suspension. So in the case of the 27.2 model if they say its got 100mm travel and 40mm of suspension I think that means you can only drop it 60mm before you start cutting into that 40mm suspension travel. Again I have not measured that but according to my carefully calibrated ass if I drop it a smidge I still have suspension but a skoach I can tell I'm loosing suspension. I notice that less on the 30.9 bike but that has the extra 20mm.

          Overall I really like them and have got very used to having them. As I mentioned its great for just getting on and off the bike as well as being able to stay seated with both feet fairly close to the ground at stop lights. I have also found that just being able to move by an inch can really help ass and hand numbness on long rides. It must allow your weight to shift just enough that it takes some pressure off some areas.

          I do really notice the difference in travel between the 27.2 and 30.9 models so if you have the option to get the bigger ones I would go for it vs. getting the smaller one and a shim thinking you would maybe move it between different bikes. Maybe not a big deal if you are shorter anyway? I'm 6.2.

          Another feature about these I like is how the tilt adjusts. I have seen other seat posts that do this its just these are the first I have had that do it this way. There are 2 bolts and you do the tilt by tightening and loosening them rather than what seems to be the more common style where there are teeth that you have to loosen then re engage. You can do very fine adjustments this way.

          I also can't decide where to run the pressure. Being a larger person I got to be at or just over the edge they designed for so there really isn't a lot of adjustment room for the air pressure. My second one I have not touched since I took it out of the box, its running on factory air pressure what ever that is. The other one I have messed with and have been thinking about trying it higher which IIRC may mean setting at the max. You do seem to loose a tiny bit unhooking the air line so you do seem to need to over shoot slightly. I assume its the same with the shocks? The volume is so low it doesn't take much to loose pressure.


            Just bumping this thread to get more people to see it. I don't think I could ride a bike without a dropper post anymore. I barely know I'm operating it now. Coming up on a red light my brain just goes into auto mode and shifts to an easy gear and drops the seat. About half way across the intersection its back up and I'm shifting gears again. Its great. In my case its also got suspension in it which is also nice. I have not been riding as much this summer as I did last summer and I won't say that my ass doesn't get sore at all but its the sort of thing where I can just stand on the pedals for a few minutes and throttle and I'm fine.

            Another aspect of the dropper is being able to just make slight height changes for comfort reasons. Your ass or hands maybe start getting slightly sore just moving the seat an inch for a couple miles can really make a big difference. That inch can totally change the amount of pressure on your hands or back.

            I have not tried any other brands or models but so far the PNW's are fine. One I have never touched the air pressure, its still at its factory setting. The other I played with a bit when I first got it but have not touched it since. I will say that the 27.2 model has a very slight rotational slop to it that the bigger one doesn't have. I think its always been there so it must just be a clearance issue trying to jam all that tech into a small space. It doesn't seem to hurt anything its just slightly weird that your seat feels loose.


              Just another bump because I think a dropper is a great add onto a street bike especially if you are not as flexible as you used to be. I really like the lower swing over height and being able to touch the ground at stop lights. The suspension is also nice in my case with the model I got. I did bump up the pressure on the street bike. Not sure if it maybe leaked a bit over time, if I gained weight, or the slight change in my position due to the new fork and slightly higher bars. Likely a combo of all 3. Where I have it now I sometimes think its not working but when I do hit bumps its for sure doing what its supposed to do. Before I added the air I could feel it bouncing all the time and then on the bigger bumps it would bottom out.