Dropper or not?

Discuss light weight issues concerning mountain bikes & parts.

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SpeedyChix
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2006 1:34 pm
Location: Midwest USA

by SpeedyChix

For XC riding with infrequent steeps or need to get behind the saddle, is a dropper worth it?

Proficient and quick on twisty stuff and not sure if it'll be a benefit or a distraction.
What's the exerience of riders here and if you're using one, what's been the best for performance and minimal service needs?
adrenaline junkie

mattr
Posts: 4673
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

I've been experimenting with one that i got on the cheap, TBH, when i switched back to the race bike this spring, i didn't *actually* miss it that much, if at all. I'm going to carry on switching back and forth and see if it does get more use when i get a bit fitter.
Lots of short steep (near vertical) drops round here and lots of fast rolling singletrack, so you'd think they were all but essential.

by Weenie


SpeedyChix
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2006 1:34 pm
Location: Midwest USA

by SpeedyChix

Thanks. I've encounterd a couple of nasty drops this year that might have been a bit safer / tidier getting down with a dropper but so far that's it.
adrenaline junkie

mr2scott
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:39 pm

by mr2scott

I've been anti dropper for a while. I've had droppers on multiple bikes, they are always sticking, malfunctioning and loosing me more time than they save me.

I only ever wanted a dropper for huge roll downs and drops.

I just put a Bike Yoke Devine SL on my XC bike and I'm sold on it. It's the only dropper I've used that actually works well, it always goes down and always goes up. It's only 80mm of drop which is more than enough for me and it's lighter than most. HIghly recommended if you want to add a dropper to your light weight XC bike.

sandbox
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:30 pm

by sandbox

I just got one for the 1st time. Been pretty anit-dropper for a long time. Old and stubborn I guess... I really like it now. Took a couple rides to "get it", but I use it a ton now. Even in flat, flowly sections, I'll drop it 1/2-1", just to lower the BB a touch and get better traction. Pretty cool tool. Ultimately, Id like to have the wireless one that RockShox/SRAM put out. Just for ease of taking on/off.

Besides- Kate C just won a World Cup on one.

d36
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:56 am

by d36

I'm getting rid of mine for a couple of reasons

Im short and my position is fairly foward so I have no trouble getting behind the seat
Pushing the seat down with your bum takes extra energy
They also seem to break at really annoying times (I had to ride with a seatpost that kept drifting down 3 hours into my last xcm event)

TheRich
Posts: 416
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:36 am

by TheRich

d36 wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 1:37 am
I'm getting rid of mine for a couple of reasons

Im short and my position is fairly foward so I have no trouble getting behind the seat
Pushing the seat down with your bum takes extra energy
They also seem to break at really annoying times (I had to ride with a seatpost that kept drifting down 3 hours into my last xcm event)
A lot of problems come from installation (like inadvertently activating them because of cable tension) or lack of maintenance (Rockshox hydraulics), but if yours doesn't work, get one that does. I've never had a problem in years of use, most people never have a problem.

When it comes down to it, there's a level of confidence, and therefore speed and safety, without a dropper post, and there's a higher level you can achieve with one when used properly. It's not about simply "getting behind the saddle," it's about lowering your CoG. It's about getting the saddle out of the way and using the best technique possible for the situation, and for technical sections, that technique is NOT standing on your toes with straight legs.

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prebsy
Posts: 875
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:52 pm
Location: PHL

by prebsy

If you have extended runs of downhill I find it pretty useful, like over a minute. I have found they aren't as useful if your drop is in the middle of pedalling sections and you are wasting more time preempting the drop and then re engaging after. You spend more mental energy using the dropper than if you just focused on huckin that shiz.

TheRich
Posts: 416
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:36 am

by TheRich

prebsy wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:44 pm
If you have extended runs of downhill I find it pretty useful, like over a minute. I have found they aren't as useful if your drop is in the middle of pedalling sections and you are wasting more time preempting the drop and then re engaging after. You spend more mental energy using the dropper than if you just focused on huckin that shiz.
Practice and familiarity makes that a non-issue in most cases.

Dropper posts aren't an instant power-up, you have to learn the habit of using them to the point where it doesn't require mental energy.

mattr
Posts: 4673
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

TheRich wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:21 pm
Practice and familiarity makes that a non-issue in most cases.
Not really.

Finally got another discount code at the same time as they discounted the post, so a €160 stealth post has been fitted to the race bike.
And TBH, most of the time it's ok, but when you have long pedally sections (common) with a nasty little rocky drop in the middle, i have to press the button, sit down, release the button and stand up again. So thats ~5 seconds of not pedalling, and it's not like i can preempt the drop, it's a marathon event. Not an XC. So only one lap every year. ;)

I'll keep it on the bike, because those times it's useable, it's probably, on balance, worth having. 100mm drop is way more than i need though. 50-60 would be enough. But nevermind.

Ideally i'd like a switched dropper, press button, dropper drops to preset height, press button again, dropper pings back into place. But no one makes one of those.

TheRich
Posts: 416
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:36 am

by TheRich

mattr wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:00 pm
Not really.

Finally got another discount code at the same time as they discounted the post, so a €160 stealth post has been fitted to the race bike.
And TBH, most of the time it's ok, but when you have long pedally sections (common) with a nasty little rocky drop in the middle, i have to press the button, sit down, release the button and stand up again. So thats ~5 seconds of not pedalling, and it's not like i can preempt the drop, it's a marathon event. Not an XC. So only one lap every year. ;)

I'll keep it on the bike, because those times it's useable, it's probably, on balance, worth having. 100mm drop is way more than i need though. 50-60 would be enough. But nevermind.

Ideally i'd like a switched dropper, press button, dropper drops to preset height, press button again, dropper pings back into place. But no one makes one of those.
I don't know why you ignored this part:
TheRich wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:21 pm
Dropper posts aren't an instant power-up, you have to learn the habit of using them to the point where it doesn't require mental energy.
How useful they are depends on the trail, but they're no harder to use than a shifter. I put weight on the saddle, push the lever and it's down in a blink of an eye, I think about wanting to sit down and pedal, push the lever and it's there when my butt hits it. Like any other change, and it can be a pretty big change, it takes time to learn to take advantage of it.

You may need to slow down to figure out what the f you're doing if that's too complex, but if you're mentally maxed out, slowing down enough to figure out wtf you're doing may be a good thing because it allows you to think about what you're doing instead of relying on luck. You want to be able to use the bike without thinking, not the inability to use the bike because you can't think. Like anything else, it requires practice.

mattr
Posts: 4673
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

Yeah, i get that, i'm not mentally maxed out, it's not complex, sitting down and pedalling is sometimes not possible because of the terrain, TBH, some bits it's not even possible to sit down. Pedalling or otherwise.

Unless of course i want a trail bike with 150mm of travel at each end to ride XC on.

spdntrxi
Posts: 3115
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:11 pm

by spdntrxi

My plan to put a magura vryon 100mm dropper on my gravel bike. Where I ride it would definately come in handy. I dont want a MTB

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Alexbn921
Posts: 229
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:39 pm

by Alexbn921

Dropper will make you faster on almost all race courses. The weight penalty is always worth it.
Couple of caveats to this.
1. You need to ride with one on a regular basis so using it is second nature.
2. You don't need a lot of drop for XC, in fact 100mm is pushing it and beyond this you lose pedaling efficiency (yes you need to pedal going down hill sometimes). I have a 200mm on my trail bike.
3. It adds complexity to your bike and can break, usually at the worst time.
4. Even flat courses can benefit in flow areas.

Get one, train on it, race on it.

by Weenie


TheRich
Posts: 416
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:36 am

by TheRich

mattr wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 6:39 pm
Yeah, i get that, i'm not mentally maxed out, it's not complex, sitting down and pedalling is sometimes not possible because of the terrain, TBH, some bits it's not even possible to sit down. Pedalling or otherwise.

Unless of course i want a trail bike with 150mm of travel at each end to ride XC on.

I'm not sure you do. If you're charging into terrain when you're not ready for it, that's maxed out.

I used mine quite a bit at True Grit, on a hardtail, and I don't have a problem dropping it while in a decent either...and at an enduro earlier this month too.

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