Bikepacking With a Dropper Put up Information

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Bikepacking with a dropper put up will be revolutionary, particularly when the journey includes singletrack and technical descents. A few of us on the group place a excessive precedence on integrating a dropper seat put up into our path and gravel bikepacking setups, however there are a number of components to think about earlier than leaping in. How do I choose the precise dropper put up? Which of them are sturdy, dependable, and highly effective sufficient to hoist a load? Which seat packs will work? Right here’s our full information…

The dropper seatpost is arguably one of the important improvements that’s been developed within the mountain bike business. Over the past a number of years, they’ve began discovering their method onto gravel bikes too. And for good purpose. They’ve primarily modified the best way we journey, offering a large number of advantages. For many people on the group, utilizing them has almost turn out to be simply as a lot part of the biking expertise as shifting gears.

The apparent benefit is that droppers let you decrease your middle of gravity and keep management over technical terrain. However additionally they let you keep snug, relaxation your again, and provides your palms a break by offering the chance to shift your driving place whereas freewheeling on descents. As well as, they make it simple to drop your saddle and comfortably relaxation when stopped and make getting on and off the bike that a lot simpler. One other perk for these of us with lengthy inseams is the power to get the saddle out of the best way when tackling technical obstacles. This makes an enormous distinction, even on climbs.

Bikepacking with a dropper post, video

All that mentioned, till only a few years in the past, it was difficult to understand these advantages whereas bikepacking. When working a seat bag, it was often essential to swap the dropper for a inflexible put up to keep away from the beefy seatpost strap damaging the dropper stanchion. And, until you’ve got the inseam of an NBA participant, giant seat packs usually restrict the power to make use of a dropper put up in any respect. Moreover, dropper posts haven’t traditionally been dependable, and taking one on an extended journey overseas or deep into the backcountry was a dangerous proposition. Happily, droppers have improved enormously, bag makers have began to provide streamlined, dropper-specific seat packs, and there are a number of wonderful rack programs accessible, as properly.

On this information, we’ll discover some particulars, together with what to search for when shopping for a dropper and a roundup of probably the most dependable seatposts in the marketplace. Plus, we offer perception and hyperlinks to the baggage and programs designed to make use of with them. We’re not making an attempt to make converts out of people that’ve but to attempt bikepacking with a dropper put up. As an alternative, we need to present mountain bikers who’ve already grown accustomed to utilizing a dropper put up that it’s doable and that each one these nice path rides don’t should be restricted to a single day.

Bikepacking with a Dropper Post, best droppers

Is there a “greatest” dropper seatpost for bikepacking?

The Gravity Dropper was the primary considerably mainstream dropper put up. It got here alongside within the early 2000s, but it surely wouldn’t be till later within the decade that the thought really took maintain. RockShox and Fox each entered the dropper market, every vying for mass adoption inside the mountain bike scene. Even so, it didn’t take lengthy for the dropper seatpost to develop a stigma primarily based on a number of early fashions that had been vulnerable to failure. Today, there are a ton of choices, most of that are way more superior and dependable than their predecessors, and every is a bit completely different in design and performance.

Whereas most dropper seatposts rely on an air spring to maneuver the put up into the up place, a number of manufacturers have engineered different programs for controlling the put up’s journey. Some are totally hydraulic, some are purely mechanical, and others depend on a completely sealed hydraulic cartridge that’s actuated by a cable. A few of these programs are higher than others, and whereas a number of have discovered success, there are different posts that we merely can’t suggest for bikepacking. Particularly, some totally hydraulic actuated posts, such because the outdated KS Lev Integra and Rock Shox Reverb, as their inside floating piston system depends on a seal between the hydraulic piston and air spring. A majority of these posts develop points when the bike is lifted by the saddle, or there may be some upward pressure on the saddle—say, by a bouncing seat pack. Air will be sucked previous the seal from the spring into the hydraulic piston, leading to journey loss and a squishy put up. As such, most of the extra dependable posts used a sealed cartridge actuated by a cable. We’ve put a ton of miles on varied choices, and all have their distinctive set of strengths. Learn on to seek out a few of our favorites which have confirmed themselves over hundreds of miles. However, earlier than we dig in, listed here are a number of components to think about:

Fox Transfer Dropper Post Review


When selecting a dropper seatpost, size of journey is definitely crucial variable. Droppers are available all sizes and styles and are trending towards longer journey on account of riders’ need to slam them as far down as doable for max impact. In our opinion, it’s fairly essential to have as a lot journey as doable. However, on the identical time, of us with shorter legs solely have a lot usable journey.

Most dropper-specific seat packs require between 5-8” (13-23cm) of clearance between the rear tire and the saddle. So, when you solely have that a lot area and also you’re considering bikepacking with a dropper put up, you would possibly think about a rack and small panniers. However, if in case you have a foot of area (~30cm), you need to be capable to get away with utilizing many of the journey in a 150mm dropper on a hardtail with a smaller seat pack. Or, on a full-suspension bike, with the identical quantity of area, you would think about setting your rear shock to the agency setting (if it has one) to restrict its journey and use half of your dropper put up’s journey. As well as, with a bikepacking load, it’s acceptable so as to add 10-20 psi of air stress to your rear shock to compensate for added weight.

Wolf Tooth Resolve Dropper Post Review

Shorter Stack, Longer Journey

Dropper posts are getting longer and shorter, which means journey is getting longer, and corporations are competing for the shortest stack top. In abstract, this implies droppers are being designed with flatter decrease clamp assemblies and smaller heads so there’s as little stack top as doable between the middle of the saddle rail to the underside lip of the top (the utmost insertion level) once they’re dropped fully. These extra compact designs maximize the quantity of journey you’ll be able to have and make posts a lot friendlier for shorter riders. For instance, Virginia was in a position to simply get away with a 150mm journey mannequin of the brand new Fox Switch on her Why Wayward, whereas with earlier dropper designs, she was restricted to 125mm. Precise stack heights range primarily based on mannequin and generally put up size, however on the time of publication, the brand new Wolf Tooth Resolve has the shortest stack top in the marketplace at 31mm. OneUp boasts a 33mm stack, and the Fox Switch has a 38mm stack top.

Bikepacking with a dropper post, video

Adjustable Journey

A number of newer dropper posts provide a journey adjustment function that permits of us to maximise the quantity of journey they’ll squeeze out on their bike. For instance, when you can solely match a 110mm journey put up, you would probably cut back a 125mm put up as an alternative of getting to get a 100mm journey model. Quite a few dropper posts now present this selection. One of many first was from PNW; a number of of their droppers have a tool-free adjustment dial permitting you to scale back the journey in 5mm increments as much as 25mm. The OneUp V2 dropper put up (extra on that later) additionally has a tool-free adjustment system utilizing pin inserts. This lets you cut back the journey in 10mm increments as much as 20mm. The brand new Wolf Tooth Resolve put up has an non-compulsory spacer package that permits journey to be lowered in 5mm increments as much as 50mm in complete, though it requires disassembly and instruments.

Tumbleweed T Rack Review

Energy & Load Weight

When testing a number of dropper posts with seat packs, we tried to maintain the pack and cargo to about 3lbs 8oz (1.6kg), which appears to be weight for many of the dropper posts we’ve examined and just a little a lot for some others. Most of them had sufficient energy to hoist that load again as much as the totally prolonged place. Nonetheless, ee’d in all probability suggest capturing for a weight round three kilos even, which needs to be just a little higher for many dropper posts and maintain bulk to a minimal, enabling extra of the dropper for use. All that mentioned, that’s a fairly mimimal load, so a heavier handlebar bag setup, fork luggage, and/or giant body bag is likely to be required. The opposite possibility to think about is utilizing a rack with a dry bag or small panniers when you want further carrying capability on the rear of the bike.

Many people on the web site have grown fairly hooked on this comparatively easy—and nowadays, rather more dependable—part and are hellbent on making them work on all of our bikes, from full-squish path bikes to gravel rigs. In a associated YouTube video, our host Neil Beltchenko covers all the things it’s essential learn about bikepacking with a dropper put up. Watch it beneath, then scroll all the way down to study dropper-friendly seat luggage which are accessible.


We’ve had the chance to attempt dozens of dropper posts over time. Some have had points, and others carry on ticking. Listed here are a number of of our favorites.


To begin with, I’ve examined a whole lot of droppers, placing many hundreds of miles on some whereas bikepacking and path driving. I’ve additionally killed a number of of them. These embody an outdated Rockshox Reverb (in fact), an e*13 mechanical put up, a PNW Rainier, and a Thomson Elite, to call a number of. With that mentioned, reliability is the primary issue for my favorites checklist. The second issue is size. I’ve an enormous 34” inseam, so there’s a whole lot of seatpost to take care of, and the extra journey, the higher—a minimum of 170mm on mountain bikes. Thirdly, I exploit a dropper frequently whereas driving—even on rolling descents and technical climbs. So, I like droppers that pop up fairly shortly. There are a number of droppers which have impressed me on all these factors over the previous couple of years:

BikeYoke Dropper


The BikeYoke Divine options the right quantity of energy and pace, and it apparently self-bleeds to maintain it working easily. Plus, it’s comparatively reasonably priced and is available in a beneficiant 185mm journey size, which is sweet for my 34” inseam. BikeYoke is thought for simplicity and reliability, and it’s confirmed itself after a whole lot of use. I’ve put greater than 1,500 miles on this one, and it’s nonetheless going robust. I’ve even by accident left it dropped and winched the bike as much as the ceiling utilizing my DIY storage system on a few events. There have been no points with it creating any squish because of this.

Fox Transfer Dropper Post Review


I’ve been extremely impressed with the newest Fox Switch. It’s one of many extra highly effective posts I’ve tried, has the right pop-up pace, and is available in long-travel 175 and 200mm variations. It’s additionally extremely well-built and has a very nice clamp design with captured {hardware}. I printed a full overview right here, however have since put many extra miles it, amounting to properly over 2,500 in complete. I’ve had no points thus far, put it aside needing an occasional “bop” to get it to pop up after the lubricant and seals dried up.

One V2 Dropper Post

OneUp Parts V2

I’d think about myself one thing of a zealot in relation to dropper put up reliability. I’ve been fairly vocal about points and findings with a whole lot of of us. In these conversations, a number of individuals have introduced up the OneUp Parts V2 dropper put up and expressed ongoing success with it. I made a decision to provide it a try to put in one on a construct I’m at present testing. After a number of hundred miles, it’s been good up to now. It’s fast, pretty highly effective, adjustable, and is available in journey lengths starting from 90 to a whopping 240mm. It’s additionally the least costly put up on my checklist (discover comparability chart beneath).

Wolf Tooth Resolve Dropper Post Review

Wolf Tooth Resolve Dropper Put up

I don’t have a ton of time on the brand new Wolf Tooth Resolve put up but, but it surely’s impressed me to this point. The Resolve not solely has the shortest stack top (see Size of Journey part above), but it surely’s additionally 100% user-serviceable and self-bleeding, so it removes air from the fluid chamber when actuated. I truly examined that function, and it really works fairly properly; learn the overview right here. The Resolve is available in 125, 160, and 200mm lengths and gives that fast and satisfying “thunk” when it’s engaged. I’m hoping that it proves to be very dependable because it definitely ticks all the opposite bins.


Reverb AXS


I do know what you’re pondering: actually? Sure, the Reverb AXS has been the most effective dropper I’ve used because it was launched greater than a yr in the past. Its actuation is quicker than any dropper, the lever really feel and click on is easy, it’s highly effective, and the benefit of set up and uninstall is simply as simple as mounting an everyday put up. The infamous points with the hydraulic-actuated lever and the sponginess from the non-electronic Reverb have been tamed with the AXS wi-fi actuation and air aid valve (see video right here) that shortly removes undesirable air. As a result of I’m not tremendous tall, I’m caught with utilizing a 125mm with bikepacking luggage, however I even have a 150mm for day rides, and it’s a cinch to swap between the 2.

Marin Pine Mountain 2 Review


This dropper is totally genius because it has the power to scale back dropper journey by 30mm in 5mm increments. In case you are shorter or on the lookout for a bit much less journey with out utilizing a Wolf Tooth Valais, this can be a nice possibility. For instance, when you had been on the lookout for a bit extra clearance for a dropper bag and the dropper was arrange at 170mm, you would in concept cut back the journey to 140mm, which might let you backside out a lot sooner, creating more room beneath. Adjusting the journey is as simple as unscrewing the mid-collar and adjusting the journey bushing inside.


Much like what Logan acknowledged above, the Revie is a dependable put up, however what units it aside from different droppers is the reset lever. Much like the Reverb, this dropper is constructed round an inside floating piston that separates the air and oil chambers. Every so often, air reaches the oil chamber, which makes the dropper put up turn out to be spongy. The reset valve means that you can take away the air within the oil chamber by a easy flip of a 4mm Allen key (see video right here), whether or not you’re on day 4 of the Colorado Path or in your storage, and that’s fairly superior.

Dropper Posts In contrast

I’ve added some numbers beneath for 5 of those dropper posts that we talked about that each one have an analogous journey size. These are all posts that we discover to carry out properly and have confirmed to be dependable over hundreds of miles*. ADJ=Adjustable journey; BL=Bleed possibility; SH=Stack Peak; WT=Weight.

Wolf Tooth Resolve 200mm (31.6)

Fox Switch 200mm (31.6)

BikeYoke Revive 213mm (31.6)

BikeYoke Divine 185mm (31.6)

Word that the Wolf Tooth Resolve not solely has the shortest stack top of the group, but it surely’s additionally the lightest—factoring in the truth that the BikeYoke Divine has 15mm much less journey. The one different level of comparability I’ll add is that the Wolf Tooth Resolve is the one 200mm+ put up right here that has the opposite two famous options. *Nonetheless, it’s additionally the one one which we haven’t put hundreds of miles of use and abuse on to confirm its reliability. We’ll make sure you replace this down the highway after much more ups and downs.

27.2mm Dropper Posts

Seatposts with a 27.2mm diameter are nonetheless frequent. They’re considerably normal on older metal bikes, in addition to classics such because the Jones Plus or first-generation Surly Krampus. And so they’re nonetheless prevalent on a whole lot of gravel and “Divide” bikes such because the Tumbleweed Stargazer. However, since most trendy path bikes are designed to run both 30.9mm or 31.6mm seatposts, there aren’t a whole lot of droppers accessible within the 27.2mm seat put up diameter, notably long-travel choices.

The longest journey 27.2mm posts we’ve discovered are 125mm, and there are two we’ve used fairly a bit. We’ve put hundreds of miles on the PNW Rainier, which looks as if an excellent alternative and has been pretty dependable, save one which had the interior cartridge fail. PNW was fast to switch it, and it’s seen over 1,000 miles since, with zero points. It weighs about 450 grams and sells for $200. One other one which we lately began utilizing is OneUp Parts’ 120mm mannequin. Much like the V2 we talked about above, it looks as if a promising possibility. It weighs 435 grams and retails for $230.

Many older bikes aren’t riddled with ports to help inside cable routing, which most dropper posts are designed for nowadays. Appropriately, there are a handful of the 27.2 droppers which are accessible that make the most of exterior cable routing. Two that we’ve had good luck with within the 27.2mm selection are the PNW Pine and the Thomson Elite.

Thomson Elite External Dropper Post Bikepacking


Whether or not a put up is routed internally by the seat tube or externally doesn’t make a lot of a efficiency distinction. Deciding between the 2 merely depends upon your bike’s potential. Most trendy mountain bikes are outfitted with a seat tube port for internally routed posts, whereas older hardtails and inflexible bikes aren’t. Additionally, if you want to have the ability to simply change from a inflexible put up to a dropper, externally routed is much simpler and gained’t require cable slicing for some fashions. We checked out a few exterior posts within the traditional 27.2mm diameter beneath.


There’s some notion that the added weight of a seat pack might harm a dropper put up. However, past the few exceptions famous beneath, we don’t assume that’s the case. The pressure exerted by a seat pack on a dropper put up will likely be lower than 5% of the pressure exerted on the seatpost by a 180-pound rider sitting on the saddle and coming up a bumpy path.

If you happen to truly need to quantify this, and even estimate these forces, recall highschool physics: Drive = Mass x Acceleration. However keep in mind, the related acceleration just isn’t gravity (9.8m/s^2), as you is likely to be tempted to imagine. Relatively, it’s the deceleration of your physique or the seat pack because it goes from transferring downward towards the saddle to changing into stopped (and maybe rebounding). The nylon straps on a seat pack ought to stretch to scale back its deceleration, simply as a saddle will flex a bit once you sit down onerous.

Now, if the path of the pressure of a bouncing seat pack is completely different than that of a pedaling human, there may very well be circumstances through which a seat pack might hurt the put up. Nonetheless, we’re not satisfied that seat pack sway causes extra rotational pressure than pedaling. However, the upward pressure of a bouncing seat pack doesn’t happen from common pedaling, which is why we suggest towards utilizing IFP (inside floating piston)-based seatposts for bikepacking. Any upward pressure, particularly by lifting the bike by the saddle when the put up is beneath full top, can draw air previous the seal into the hydraulic piston and go away you with lowered journey and a squishy put up.


The commonest challenge riders are more likely to face within the backcountry is squish, which could end in full seatpost failure. Some posts lock in place when the cartridge or air spring fails, and others default to slammed down (inside floating piston designs). For different posts that don’t have a fail-safe, the Wolf Tooth Valais can function an emergency clamp, which is required to be used with many dropper-specific seat luggage (discover extra on that in our Gear Index of Dropper Put up Seat Packs linked beneath). Within the off probability that your put up cartridge fails, the Valais can be utilized to maintain the put up prolonged so you’ll be able to comfortably pedal as when you’re on an analog put up.

Wolf Tooth Resolve Dropper Post Review

Typically talking—though these are extra essential components to think about with IFP droppers—there are a number of greatest practices for maintaining your dropper working easily. First off, don’t retailer it the wrong way up. Additionally, it’s greatest to not clamp a dropper in a motorbike stand. And, attempt to not raise up on the seat when portaging your bike over obstacles, particularly when the put up is dropped.


Dropper Post Seat BagsThere are a number of choices in relation to packing gear on the rear of your bike to be used with a dropper put up. The best is a rack with a drybag strapped to the highest, or small panniers, which doesn’t put any undue stress on the dropper. There are additionally specialised rack programs that may be hooked up with out conventional rack bolts. And, final however not least, there are fairly a number of dropper-specific seat packs in the marketplace. Discover the complete checklist and a deep dive into the choices in our Gear Index linked right here.

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