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Innovation of the Year Winner


This year's three Innovation of the Year nominees couldn't be more different from each another, but they all share one important factor: they either provide a solution to a problem not yet solved, or they present a beneficial technical improvement by way of novel use of materials, technology or mechanical means. It also just so happens that one of the nominees is incredibly simple, another introduces technology from a different industry into the cycling world, and the third takes system integration to a new level.

The Huck Norris tire insert, Robot Bike Co's R160, and Eightpins' dropper post all hope to solve very different problems, or at least make our lives easier, but the question that needs to be answered is this: when it comes to the gear we might be using in the near future, which of those three products will (hopefully) have the largest impact?










Here's a list of things I'd give up before my dropper seat post: disc brakes; my big toes; my dog. Okay, some obvious hyperbole there but, aside from some salty holdouts who claim that they'd rather tall-post it 24/7, pushing a little button to make our seats nearly disappear has changed how a lot of us ride mountain bikes. I might even argue that dropper posts are one of the main reasons, along with smarter geometry, as to why so many people are on mid-travel bikes these days; they've simply made it more fun to ride everything and everywhere on a bike that can become extremely capable, up or down the hill, in a split second.

However, these saviors of speed, style, and safety have also been about as reliable as your local crackhead. But while Sketchy Steve might break into your truck for the $1.35 in the cupholder, at least he won't leave you twenty kilometers into the bush with a seat that's stuck down by five inches. The funny thing is that some dropper posts will last for three years without a hint of trouble, while the same model on your buddy's bike lasted three rides - there's so much inconsistency, and all of the major players are guilty of this.


Eightpins dropper post


The folks at Eightpins believe that system integration is the answer, and I'm inclined to agree with these Austrians that appear to be a whole lot smarter than some people out there designing bike components. Their idea is to have the frame and dropper post designed together to allow for larger, more robust internal parts and pieces, aka the bits that seem to die all too soon on our current droppers.

This system integration approach could also mean better seals, way more travel and, hopefully, fewer rides being turned into hikes. It should also be noted that with a simple shim and different seat collar, a traditional dropper can still be used in a bike that comes with the Eightpins seat post.

Here's how it works: rather than using the more typical double-tube design, the Eightpins dropper is integrated into the frame. This layout allowed them to employ an oversized 33mm post diameter, and to offer up to 220mm of drop due to the increased strength of the design.

A thru-axle runs through the frame and affixes the lower portion of the unit in place near the bottom of the seat tube, while a dust wiper occupies the spot where a seat collar would normally sit. The post is cable actuated, and it relies on mechanical internals that let it be stopped every 6mm as it's raised or lowered. An air spring raises the post upwards.
Eightpins dropper post

There will be four different travel options, with either 150, 180, 200, or 220mm of drop. The maximum drop a rider can use will depend on their seat tube length; since the post needs to go somewhere when the seat is in the fully lowered position, a post with 220mm of drop probably won't work on a small-sized frame. And don't forget that it won't work on designs that feature an interrupted or bent seat tube.

As of right now, the Eightpins dropper only fits Liteville frames, but the company is in talks with other brands. A few things will need to happen in order for this system to become the norm, including frame manufacturers bumping up the size of their seat tubes, and they'll have to make a concession for the post's lower axle mount. Major bike brands would also need to be open to not spec'ing something from Fox, RockShox, KS, Thomson, or any other established player. Basically, the long-running joke of a standard seat tube diameter would need to actually happen, which means that companies would need to *gasp* communicate with each other. However, there seems to be about as much disclosure between bike companies as there is between the US and North Korea, so that'd have to change.


Pinkbike’s Take:
bigquotesThere's clearly a load of ifs and buts here, but a larger and fully integrated dropper seat post represents our best chance at improving this now essential component. The Eightpins dropper is hopefully just the first look at a design that will eventually become accepted as the norm. - Mike Levy



Click here for information about the judging and selection criteria for Pinkbike's Year-End Awards




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156 Comments

  • + 213
 Meh.
  • - 70
flag T-Bot (Nov 30, 2016 at 0:33) (Below Threshold)
 What the heck is a Liteville? I assume it's a bike but I'm betting not many people own one to put this 'innovating' product into.
  • + 76
 @T-Bot: Might be the most German bike company there is, and very well respected in that country. Boutique aluminum, DEAD serious engineering. They have lots of interesting ideas - they don't sell at Spesh volume because they don't market at Spesh volume, but they put all that energy into practical and robust design.

www.liteville.com/en
  • + 3
 @T-Bot: there are a few in adelaide. they do seem like very nice bikes
  • + 35
 @T-Bot: They are a daughter company of Syntace. I own one and could nerd out for a good 20 minutes on why they are "DEAD serious engineering" as stated by @Bluefire.

But for most people, knowing that they have a 5 year warranty, and a 10 year crash replacement that is TRANSFERRABLE to a new owner if you decided to sell it, is good enough to get people oogling. On top of that, Liteville gives you their blessing and provides instructions on how to properly drill out their seat tube on earlier generation frames so you could run an internal dropper. Any other company would tell you to get ****** and to kiss your warranty good bye.
  • + 9
 I don't want to be like a dick, and be like, "oh I'm better than that innovation", but I do feel a little short changed in that there's how many billion people on earth? and the year's, "greatest innovation" is a seemingly minor improvement on an existing thing.
  • - 42
flag Mojo348 (Nov 30, 2016 at 4:46) (Below Threshold)
 @Bluefire: meh. Lightville claim to have good engineering, but I don't believe that they do. If you approach the engineering question of: How do we make the best, stiff, light MTB frame - the best material choice for that, hands down is carbon, not aluminium. What Lightville do is doggedly start with a material choice, and try make it work to the application. It's the wrong way round, and because of that dogged approach, if you a Lightville, you get a heavier, less stiff bike for the same money. Don't seem like good engineering to me!
  • - 2
 @Mojo348: carbon is not the material of choice when you ride alpine terrain (what litevilles are designed to do). Jagged rocks chew plastic fantastic to bits in no time
  • + 5
 @Mojo348: How do you feel about syntace's VR-3 test machine?
  • + 2
 Most boring first comment. But it was exactly my thought as well
  • + 12
 @Kramz: Are you unaware that Pinkbike is a mountain bike site and thus their innovation of the year will always be a minor improvement to a bike? Even if this was the first dropper post ever, it would be an improvement on a seatpost, saving you time from stopping and adjusting the height of your seat. This particular improvement allows bike manufacturers much greater flexibility in the design of their frames to allow much longer droppers.
  • + 5
 @shoshy: still finding it funny that most people will do anything for a plastic bike and knock it if it's made out of aluminum. People have told me numerous times that rocks hitting my aluminum frame are just as damaging as they are hitting a plastic frame. Usually I pick up the nearest rock and give my down tube a good wack then offer it up to them and say show me. Still haven't found anybody to do so. I've owned several bikes made out of a variety of materials. My plastic yeti and santa cruz are the only frames to have full "chips" taken out of them. I've had plenty alloy frames with gouges, scratches, and dents but never managed to remove a good bit of material in a single strike.
  • + 1
 @SeaJay: I think the distinction is that carbon and aluminum take damage differently. I'm convinced of the strength and impact resistance of carbon; it also has the advantage of a virtually infinite fatigue life. Abrasion is where it's weak. A deep scratch in an aluminum tube is just a scratch, but if you grind through a couple layers of carbon fibers, the tube WILL break eventually. I figure aluminum makes the most sense for the average recreational (slow) rider. Aesthetics are aesthetics, and weight doesn't matter as much if you aren't racing..
  • + 1
 @Bluefire: lol, tell that to Sam Hill.
  • - 1
 Does no one else keep misreading this companies name as Eightpenis?
  • + 1
 @Bluefire: Boutique aluminum? Its all made in China/Taiwan
  • + 1
 @Xyphota: WoW! Santa Cruz has a lifetime warranty on the frame, and give out free frame ballbearings for live. Also, good luck trying to buy a ball bearing removal press from liteville.. ( Santa Cruz sells theirs for $45)
  • + 1
 @JbalColgate: Are you referring to a bearing puller specifically for Liteviles? The only proprietary tool that I am aware of is the tool for swapping out the integrated headset cups in the frames for angle set cups. A fairly easy work-around though. All the other bearings can be replaced with any bearing puller, with the exception of maybe the giant needle bearing at the top-tube?

Also I have no hate for Santa Cruz, but you would be surprised how many of their frames have seized linkage bolts out of the box (atleast for the 2015/16 season), this does not really effect the end consumer if the dealer catches it, but I always thought this was fairly questionable.

The ball bearings for life is pretty sick, Santa Cruz does this to be pro-active about having to replace frames. If the bearings seize in the carbon frame, the forces that the suspension members experience changes quite a bit, so they can end up cracking due to the different loads. Pretty cool how much engineering goes into the laying of the fibres.

The lifetime warranty is nice, and a few other companies offer this, (such as Kona, but not for their carbon frames), but I think a crash replacement is very valuable. Warranty does not cover failure from exceeding the number of stress cycles a product has, but a crash replacement would.

Lastly, Liteviles are made in Taiwan, but that has little to do with the quality of Aluminum. The most experienced craftsman are all in Asia.
  • + 62
 This will never become the standard. It's not only about the required diameter of the seat tube. It needs to be completely straight as well and there cannot be any linkage bolts blocking the lower part of the post. I think this will put too much restriction on the frame design.
  • + 9
 It has to be as straight as if you had any other dropper posts and the inside has to be as smooth as if you had any other dropper posts...
  • + 4
 @cvoc - hamen! To me the biggest question aside of that is why would you have such a long fricking dropper? Then what issue exactly does it solve that a standard post doesn't? It's just more sht to deal with for bike mechanics. It's like inventing a one sided swingarm with integrated axles. Very very weird. The reason most current frames have interrupted seat tubes is that suspension layout and back wheel at full compression gets in the way.

Zee Germans at Syntace already failed with procore. You are overthinking it guys.
  • + 11
 Yes

"And don't forget that it won't work on designs that feature an interrupted or bent seat tube."

Like most modern mountain bikes.
  • + 10
 @WAKIdesigns: I agree with up to the procore. While procore is stupid expensive and nothing new, moto riders do it. It inspired me to try ghetto procore (look on YouTube) I run a tubular tire inside a tubeless tire. For my am bike its a small weight penalty for my dh bike its actually a weight savings (not to mention ghetto procore is lighter than legit procore). I fricken love it. I can run whatever pressure I want, will not flat, pinch, burp. I am a big guy and can run sub 15 psi. I even ran it flat as a test, and worked tho not perdered. Procore is stupid expensive and too complicated but that lead to ghetto procore. Innovation of the year
  • + 15
 @cvoc, all dropper posts (and seat posts for that matter) need to be straight... Granted, a frame with a bent seat tube might not be able to accommodate an Eightpins with 220mm of drop, but I think there is still potential for its use with a variety of frame designs.
  • + 8
 @Gasket-Jeff: I meant just that with Procore: overcomplicated. Yes it did lead to other designs that are better and changed the way people ride bikes. Dean Easy seem to be a great example of simplifying the design and getting rid of the actual flaw that is too high pressure that is not contained by a rigid chamber, which leads to rim failures. Running whatever pressure you like is still a myth. Grip doesn't only come from the tyre patch, it also comes from knobs digging in and settling in. So while you mitigate burping and punctures to the point where you run the tyre 10psi lower than normal, even on thinnest of tyres, but you still don't solve the tyre roll, that can be solved only with thicker sidewall and adequate pressure. Remember the formula of many pros: run pressure as low as you can until you start puncturing OR you get too much tyre roll. So yea, awesome thing but I wouldn't run my tyres more than 3 psi lower than normal. Maybe on xc bike (little travel + little tyre knobs = lesser speeds) I could think about going down by 5-6.

@mikekazimer - by no means I am criticizing the choice of Pinkbike with this award. But super long travel seat posts are like gearing range recently - it's like megapixels in cameras. We're back at how many gears does your bike have. You of all should see through that Wink The only use for 200mm dropper a man could have would be trying to ride a dirt jumping/ 4X bike in the woods... some EWS pros put travel limiters on their posts and vast majority of skilled DHillers, even at the local level, run their posts just below the grip height. Please note here that cockpit height on DH bike is an inch taller than on Enduro bike... latest first world problems of MTBers: dropper travel, rear cog sizes and too much rear end travel
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Not trying to be a dick or looking for a quarrel, but I for one actually do see a ton of sense in having 220mm of drop available at the push of a lever (while, on the other hand, being totally on board with you regarding the gearing range and megapixelsWink ) To bring the seat down as far as it can go on my Chromag I would actually need all 220mm of drop and perhaps even then some (I measured itSmile ) I never quite understood why one would ride downhill with the saddle only halfway down, which is exactly what 125-150mm drop will do for you on a lot of frames? We never did that back in the day, when we still had to stop on the top of the climb and manually lower the saddle before riding down; the way I see it, the best position for the saddle on the downs is as low as it will go and out of the way. Of course, that is just my subjective opinion and something that seems to work for me. I am sure it also depends on the riding style and terrain too, though, so my 5 cents might make more sense for the straightforward pedal-up-ride-down type of riding, which is what I love and mostly do.
  • + 2
 No it won't be the standard, because Specialized, Giant and Trek will have their own 'standard' that doesn't fit this one, or any otehr one.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Difference in saddle height between my park bike and trail bike is 190 mm, with the former being just below the bars...
  • + 3
 @Unkas: what do you mean, you don't want to start a quarell! I need troll food damn it! I see where you are coming from with HT but at the same time I had 150 dropper on ht and it felt more than plenty. Rode 170 dropper this summer and it's been ridiculous for me at 180cm. To the point where it seemed bottomless. I need saddle to steer the bike.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: actually my friend waki I expected exactly what you described, tire roll bring an issue and knobs not hitting. However for more rocky terrain bite is less of an issue. And I also found (I have only had a chance to ride the system three times now winter finally came) that tire roll happens at a lower pressure point. The inner tire makes contact and prevents tire roll I think, though im know engineer or rocket Dr. I did find that I had could ride at lower pressure than standard tubeless and grip was good. Could be placibo but I swear by it to date. Need more experience with it. I think the inner tire provided direct pressure on the knobs perhaps. Was a hell of a lot cheaper than deaneasy and from what I gather easier to install than real procore. Including sealant I paid leas than $25 cad per wheel. Wasn't super easy to install.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: there are plenty people out there who are taller than you ! I'd love a 170 dropper
  • + 46
 You know you are struggling to find 'innovation' in mountain bikes when the best 3 products are a dropper that only fits one bike,a $5.5k frame no one will buy and a bit of foam.
  • + 4
 Yes and the tyre pattern of Maxxis Minion remains the same since 2001... Gary Fisher pushed 29ers, Kirk Pacenti pushed 650B and Colin Bailey pushed Minion DHF. Which man did more for MTB wheel performance and who the fk knows Colin Bailey?
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: "who the fk knows Colin Bailey?"

You for one, obviously.
  • + 3
 @truffy: that man is a hero
  • + 35
 Has Pinkbike even tested the bloody thing???
  • + 4
 that is my thought, they are praising reliability on an untested dropper (as far as I can tell). If reliability of droppers was an award it would go to the old fox doss (i like the transfer from them but i dont like the remote as much it feels flimsy)
  • + 5
 It is about innovation, not execution. The idea is what matters for this award. It is not product of the year.
  • + 3
 @Patrick9-32: the point i was making is it is hard to call a design innovative (obviously what was written was geared toward reliability). there are already some very reliable posts that don't require the frame to be designed around the post.
  • + 25
 Are we forgetting that until recently you just had a quick release seat clamp and when you were catching your breath at the top or high fiving at the bottom of a descent you just took a few seconds to adjust your seat? Then if there was a short climb during the descent you just stood up on the pedals and got on with it.
I now own a dropper post and yes I love it but I do feel like comparing them to running your post high 24/7 is unrealistic.There are other options.
  • + 3
 @ollieF Yep, we are. After buying a 27.2 seatpost hardtail one of the first things I started having a look around for was a dropper. Then I rode it. Stopped looking after that.
  • + 3
 @jimmyconnors: I've been riding without a dropper since I started mountain biking 20 years ago. Having to stand and pedal is good for fitness and overall strength and I don't feel like fixing additional shit on my already overcomplicated bikes.
  • + 9
 @WestwardHo: no one needs a dropper until they use one. after that, youll wonder why you didnt get one sooner.
  • + 2
 @WestwardHo: yep. The third thing I started looking for was a suspension fork, after that a drivetrain. Then I rode it rigid and singlespeed, stopped looking for them too. I lost four months riding to warranty on my full sus, there's something to be said for wiping down your forks and chain and having a beer.
  • + 1
 @lyophilization: I don't know, I'm on the fence. I've been riding without one for the last few months due to a knee injury and don't miss it that much. I could do without it.
  • + 1
 @jimmyconnors: droppers were around 20 years ago?! (cue someone to link to a very old version that was available but no one really had...)
  • + 1
 Recently? I've had a dropper post for 12+ years now.
  • + 1
 @The-Sober-Fox: The droppers we have now started in the early 2000s I had a gravity dropper around 2000......but adjustable height post started in the mid 90s with the "Powerpost"
  • + 19
 "And don't forget that it won't work on designs that feature an interrupted or bent seat tube."
So thats almost every full-sus bike made today...
  • + 3
 A counter argument would be that current droppers still require a certain length of straight seat tube to be inserted. As the eight pins dropper on a litevile frame allows you upwards of 220mm of travel (frame size dependent), it doesn't seem impossible that a frame with a bendy seat tube would just limit the travel.
  • + 12
 List of things to do:
1) Create industry standard for bottom brackets
2) Create industry standard for tire sizes
3) Create industry standard for seat tube size
4) Try to live long enough to see any of the above
  • + 3
 @Patrick9-32: LOL! Well played sir!
  • + 11
 If this is seriously the best innovation this year we're all fucked. Another stupid standard that requires a specific frame. There's nothing wrong with the standard configuration of dropper. Just make it more reliable.
  • + 8
 Did you even read the article? Greater reliability is what they are trying to achieve here.
  • + 2
 @lostlunchbox: Greater reliability was achieved a zillion years ago. it was unpopular with the fashion-forward mtb cognoscenti, and has since been abandoned.
  • + 4
 @lostlunchbox: with zero testing data!
  • + 4
 @lostlunchbox: greater reliability at the cost of standard sizing isnt innovation. kudos for them trying to do something great, but they started in the wrong place.
  • + 2
 @lostlunchbox: reliability has anyone even ridden one? Anyways this was a poor pic by pinkbike the chances that this will take off are about zero.

Not that there has really been a big year in innovation with a load of bs "standards" and incremental improvement if this is the best we can come up with it is a pretty sad state in the mtb world.
  • + 1
 @lostlunchbox: Gravity Dropper exists, greater reliability was not the objective, no matter how many time some talking head insists otherwise this thing will not be more reliable than a GD.
  • + 11
 Sorry but innovation of the year IMO needs to a benefit or be available to all not just people who ride a certain obscure brands frame
  • + 2
 Eightpins is giving liteville exclusive rights for 2017 only. Anybody else can hop on board afterwards if they wanted.
  • + 1
 Whatever you think about Liteville, but this Brand is anything but obscure.
On the other Hand, i´ve been asking myself the same question like someone above:
How to adjust your individual saddle height?
  • + 1
 @Werratte: If you look into the eight pins website, I believe you actually have to physically cut the "stanchion" (seatpost) so as to limit its maximum height. Not super stoked on that, but I guess it would be similar to cutting handlebars.
  • + 5
 @Werratte: seem obscure to me, I have never seen one on the trails and until this article I had never heard of them
  • + 4
 @Werratte: maybe not obscure in germany, but last i checked there were a few more countries in the world.
  • + 1
 @Xyphota: I sincerely hope nobody does. Consumers would be better served by a move towards 40mm internal dameter seat posts and beefier internals on droppers than by weird attachment systems that make seat posts (f*cking seat posts!) into a proprietary system. I'm waiting for some chump to come up with a frame specific bar and stem combo...
  • + 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: "I'm waiting for some chump to come up with a frame specific bar and stem combo"

Not quite, but is this still close enough for a cigar?
www.pinkbike.com/news/all-about-unno-2016.html
  • + 7
 Had the same gravity dropper post for over 10 years without having to dork with it... it's hard to get excited about a new design that does the same thing but requires a proprietary frame with unproven durability. Awesome reliable dropper posts were figured out 15 years ago, and marketing has lead us astray. We won't know if this is 'innovation of the year' until thousands of riders have been running them and they're still psyched. It's too soon to call it.
  • + 4
 I'd say one of the more interesting innovations of this year is e13's new TRS dropper that is a new take on the old Gravity Dropper. Mechanical spring, mechanical locking mechanism, and internally routed.
  • + 5
 Gravity Dropper has been producing reliable and trouble free dropper posts for years. I have been using one that I bought used for $100 over 6 years ago. It has moved from frame to frame and I have had it serviced once in that time only because i thought I should not because it let me down. They may not be pretty enough for the fashionista but if you believe in function over form all this talk of unreliable dropper posts is ridiculous.
  • + 5
 Thanks for solving the problem no one has... More integrated = more problems finding replacements / quick fixes = less rides when shit hits the fan.

Besides, unless your riding a first gen reverb, you've probably had little to no issues with your dropper post. I've ridden 4 years with zero rebuilds on my fox doss. This includes mounted on my fat bike all winter long.
  • + 7
 Still waiting for that mass produced gearbox bike that's affordable for the masses ... That would be true innovation
  • + 4
 No one wants to be stuck with one brand specially when it's integrated. Do you want all SRAM or SHIMANO on your bike? This is the last area of the bike to integrate specially with moving parts will fail at some point. The current dropper post can be trail serviced easily.
  • + 3
 These awards are losing any semblance of credibility. I can easily go buy any one of several excellent dropper posts that will swap from bike to bike, and work perfectly for several years. I cannot, however, choose among multiple pinch-flat protectors. Guess the engineering weenie in the office pulled rank on this one. Totally and utterly alienated from the perspective of actual mountain bikers.
  • + 7
 The journalism in this article sounds like something from the Lad Bible.
  • + 2
 I'm keen. 170mm posts get nowhere near my ass when they pop back up so I have to adjust them up and down anyway. Has led to pinching the stealth routing. Also the strain on the rear part of what is a very narrow seal/stancion is unbelievable on slacker seat tube angle bikes. It's like running 32mm stanchions for dh.
  • + 2
 Funny how I have ridden the same trails for 20 years, as well as all the new additions, without a dropper post. Flow trails are few and far between around these parts, rocks, roots, ledge, steep ups and downs, tight corners are the norm. More overpriced, unreliable, unnecessary, technology, deemed as necessary by the industry and media. No thanks!
  • + 2
 Seems like we could better achieve these goals by moving bikes to 34.9 internal seat tubes like the Evil Wreckoning? There will always be fit limitations with those 170mm+ droppers but that's life. 34.9 would offer more space for internals in every size.
  • + 1
 That's what I've always thought. At least it would be the first step taken my bike companies.
  • + 1
 Agree.
One of the great things about bikes is how modular they are. Being able to choose all of the components is part of the joy of building a bike.
More integration is like the proliferation of "standards", tying end users into fewer companies products.
  • + 2
 First, I would never give up disc brakes in favor of a dropper. Never.
Second, more proprietary components and new "standards" are the last thing this industry and sport needs. Getting the industry to agree on anything is like herding cats, and it wouldn't last more than a season.
Third, droppers are not essential for speed, safety or style, as Levy insists. They contribute to all 3 but are not paramount.
Finally, those who choose not to go this route aren't just salty hold-outs. They're Hite-Rite devotees.
  • + 3
 Really long list of comments, so I just gotta hope someone responds to me. If this is the 3 nominees, where is the comparison of the other two? Article only talks about the seatpost.
  • + 1
 There was an article comparing the 3 nominees a couple weeks ago. This article is just to announce the winner, so it doesn't talk about the other 2 products that didn't win. There's a link in the beginning of this article to the nominee article from a couple weeks ago.
  • + 1
 @wyster12: Not sure how I missed that, but definitely missed it. thx
  • + 1
 Gotta say, overall this year's Pinkbike Awards have pretty much been a yawn. Not sure if it's due to some odd choices by PB or just a larger scale general "reaching of the apex" of bike designs and all future improvements will just be minor improvements on existing products leaving the days of true innovation behind us?
  • + 1
 How does "larger internals leads to better reliability" make sense? If that's actually true, then fine, but PB hasn't posted any test of it so how do we know anything about the reliability. Also, being integrated it's going to be harder to fix them when they break.
  • + 3
 The biggest issue with dropper posts is how to package all the required moving parts and processes into such a restricted size which results in compromises between what works best am what fits. It's definitely true.
  • + 1
 Anyone who has yet to try a dropper will disagree with this winner, and I can understand that. Anyone who is familiar with droppers will likely agree this is well deserved and is in all likelihood the direction dropper will go. Larger diameter like your stanchions, less flimsy and more durable. Dropper are as amazing as the author states. Yet they are shit in terms of reliability.
  • + 1
 If this innovation turns out to be anything, and it does indeed make droppers more reliable, I think most companies will end up making their own versions for their own bikes, without the limitations of the Eight Pin design, and Eight Pin will be left out in the cold unless they do some wheeling and dealing now. Personally, I don't think this one has much of a future, but I've been known to be wrong.
  • + 5
 This poll was rigged....clearly Huck Norris won the popular vote.
  • + 3
 Great...its an innovation that 10 people use. Major brands are not going to redesign their frames around a dropper seat post....my 2 cents.
  • + 2
 Agreed.
  • + 1
 The Eightpins dropper Post is an evolution of the old non integrated design. Sure it will not fit every frame, so do old disc brakes before postmount. Or threaded forks before Ahead. A lot of innovative ideas seemed strange at first but are the norm now. Up to 22cm of saddle drop without sacrificing strength seems pretty awesome to me.
  • + 4
 I'm not going to be surprised within a few years when the innovation award goes to someone who re-invented the wheel
  • + 4
 A non backwards compatible solution that has not been engineered by Sram has to get some attention!
  • + 1
 In talks? Hello Paragon please fabricate a widget and turn the NHBSers loose. If Canyon or similar jumped on this for the masses? Um I didn't see the price. Gravel riders can pay the R&D on this. 3D forged seat tube with post, shock, pivot and bottom bracket please.
  • + 3
 It's surprising this dropper won. It's not needed and a useless invention. Maybe maxxis' new double down casing should have won.
  • + 4
 Not the huck norris? I thought that should have won.. the most simple.. why didn't i think of that invention this year
  • + 4
 So it's an innovation we can't even use unless we get a Liteville? Holy f*ck balls
  • + 1
 I didn't read anything to say why this post is innovative. I don't quite understand the riders that want to run their saddles at their ankles. Knee height seems to be just fine.
  • + 4
 I was waiting for the "almost plus" tire size to win this.
  • + 2
 For a minute there I thought installation required drilling a hole on the lower seat tube, then I realized it's just for that Deutschland bicycle only. #WeakSauce
  • + 3
 how do adjust for saddle height whilst still retaining the full drop length when you want to drop the saddle?
  • + 1
 I see why people would have an interest in this, it does have a nice aesthetically pleasing look to it. Personally I have had no issues with my reverb and like the notched look of its base, I see no need to change.
  • + 1
 "However, these saviors of speed, style, and safety have also been about as reliable as your local crackhead. "

I come for the bikes, I stay for the writing.
  • + 1
 Every article that mentions the post here uses the phrase "thru axle" when perhaps "thru bolt" is more accurate. Does the post rotate around that bolt? Why call it an axle?
  • + 1
 Yes it should be more reliable, but it'll still go wrong, and then what? You're stuck with a single-supplier product that looks nasty to replace due to how built in it is.
  • + 3
 This is a great innovation for the Liteville marketing team
  • - 1
 Droppers are NOT "essential components" as Levy put it. Nobody uses them on DH or DJ bikes ! The negatives out weigh the positives IMO. Extra weight, reliability ( Reverb I'm looking at you ), you can't do certain tricks with them, another lever on your handlebar, etc...
  • + 2
 I think Tantrum Cycles should have been nominated. That's real innovation
  • + 1
 Absolutely! www.tantrumcycles.com deserves it as it must be the greatest mtb innovation if it turns out to deliver what it's designed to do!
  • + 3
 A seatpost really?
  • + 2
 pointless - trying to solve a problem that isn't there.
  • + 7
 Isn't that what the majority of modern mountainbike innovation is though?
  • + 0
 nope
  • + 3
 Tell that to anyone over 6ft 2 with a slack seat tube angle (every aggressive geo bike) who can't get the necessary travel out of a 170mm post.
  • + 0
 tell the bike makers to make bigger bikes.
  • + 2
 Should be concept on the year award.
  • + 1
 lol terrible statement....you can easily make a stronger more reliable dropper post without doing what they are doing here.
  • + 2
 Chuck Norris got robbed! Nah that wouldn't happen. Huck Norris did.
  • + 1
 Maverick integrated rear shock never went anywhere but was an amazing ride. Lets see how long this candle burns...
  • + 1
 How is this even innovation they have only fitted a dropper in a tube just like any other dropper post
  • + 1
 Meh. Should have gone to www.hexlox.com for solving a real problem in a brilliant way.
  • + 1
 Gravity Dropper *is* dependable (and has been for 11 years).
  • + 1
 I think he chose this just to feed the trolls...
  • + 0
 I think it's a legit innovation as long as they don't invent a hundred different "standards".
  • + 5
 hahaha we're talking about the bike industry here
  • - 3
 "Here's a list of things I'd give up before my dropper seat post: disc brakes; my big toes; my dog."
Dropper posts are completely overrated. In over 90% of MTB videos we see the guys stand on the top of the hill, tune on their GoPros and high-five each other. It wouldn't take them long to also drop their seat post and put it back up at the bottom.
Dropper posts are convenient I agree, but I have been on MTBs for 25 years and believe me, you don't want to go back to cantilever brakes on a rainy day in the Alps.
  • + 15
 ...Sorry about your lawn!
  • + 7
 As we all know all MTB components are only produced for video productions, and the riding depicted therein is the only possible use case for such bikes.
  • + 7
 I'm with you on this one. Dropper posts are good but there are far more important things like good brakes and good geometry.
  • + 1
 Agree 100%, with a little bit of practice you can even get the quick release lever down while riding the last meters here the descent
  • - 1
 On the top of the hill I always like to stop for a while, look at the scenery, have a nice drink, maybe take a leak and drop the post by hand. So yes I'm with you too, dropers are completely overrated, though not so stupid as carrying two liters of water on your back.
  • + 1
 @Benito-Camelas: Agree! Yep, I do have a dropper post and yep it keeps the ride going without a stop, but I'm stopping at some point anyway to get me breath back. For me, reliability is still an issue with the Reverb and Thomson ones I've had, with the former the worst (despite it always getting rave reviews). I like your point about water, don't know why I always bring water home with me!
  • + 2
 which is great for long climb/long descent rides. Friend of mine didn't have a dropper and we ride his typical loop. Ten miles of climbing followed by six miles of downhill. Other than the top, there was maybe one or two spots in each section where sale height might have been worth changing, but even then it didn't really matter.

Many of my rides have climbs interrupted by short but fast descents that are far more fun with a dropper, followed by climbs with a ledge drop into a short descent, followed by climbs with a longer fast slalom run. And throw in a couple puff rock gardens both up and down with singe good ledges. And that's just the first four miles. Having to stop and manually adjust the seat or have the seat at a poor climbing height or more in the way than it needs to be would suck on those trails.

Allot of the usefulness depends on the terrain.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: And good dogs...and good big toes.
  • - 1
 Dropper post are stupid and needless.
  • + 4
 Yeah yeah. No. dropper posts of course aren't necessary but neither are bicycles. But boy do they make riding more fun. My trails go up and down quite a bit and I probably drop and raise fifty times a ride. I'm not exaggerating either. If all you do is grind up a road then drop down a trail then yeah, not a lot of use. Most of the trails here in Whistler aren't like that though.
  • + 2
 @Someoldfart: you are completely right, but if confronted with the choice never I would consider one over disc brakes
  • + 2
 BOOOOF ......
  • + 1
 Ghetto procore ftw: youtu.be/OlrvET4BgN0
  • + 1
 Innovative and practical, I can't bore out my seat tube quick enough!
  • + 1
 220 dropper...Yes Please!
  • - 3
 basically what you do, you get a pivotal seat post, you put your pivotal seatpost into your Deity shim or Gussett shim, then you go on to EmpireBMX, Source BMX, Custom riders, 3Ride, any respectable BMX website, and you buy the sickest pivotal seat you can get. and you slam that bad boy. and you keep it slammed.
  • + 2
 Sounds like someone is on the wrong website
  • + 2
 @el-nombre: the pivotal seat post was and is far more innovative than a beefed up dropper post.
I also couldnt find anything saying pinkbike was strictly MTB only, so I dont think I am on the wrong website.
  • + 2
 @Theeeeo: not specifically MTB only but it doesn't take a genius to work out 99% of content is MTB related. Pivotal seats have been around for ages too so aren't really in the running for 2016 innovation awards and there's a very good reason why people don't want a permanently slammed seat.
  • - 1
 @el-nombre: 100% of the content is MTB and I find it incredibly narrow minded and boring.
  • + 2
 @Theeeeo: assuming you're joking then no, it is not 100% MTB. There was a video on the front page only a few weeks ago of a bmxer riding a one shot line through a city.

On the other hand, if you're being serious then my original comment still stands.
  • - 2
 @el-nombre:
"There was a video on the front page only a few weeks ago of a bmxer riding a one shot line through a city."
and my comments still stand too ;P
  • + 1
 Dropper seatpost, what is that??
  • + 1
 I think this is so cool!

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