We've probably all talked about it at some point during a ride: Why the heck can't someone make a dropper post that lowers without needing your butt to push it down? Pinkbike photographer Andy Vathis spotted BMC's prototype Autodrop post at this weekend's Lenzerheide World Cup, which looks like it does exactly that.
The Autodrop post uses air pressure to lower the seat when you push the lever, and a coil spring brings it back up.
The Autodrop post integrates with BMC's frame, much like the Race Application Dropper (RAD) on their Fourstroke. And just like that RAD post, the Autodrop sports an oval-shaped upper tube to ensure that everything stays aligned without needing a bunch of brass keys.
Internally, a rechargeable air spring is used to literally pull the post down into its travel instead of the rider needing to push it down with their ass. A coil spring looks after rebound duties, which the air spring would likely need to overcome to lower the seat.
The Autodrop's inflator valve (left) tucks into the side of the frame, and a high-pressure floor pump is needed to recharge it.
The dual-stage remote lever (left). You push the paddle partway if you want to lower the seat with your ass, or all the way if you want it to lower on its own. Part of the valve system (right) that's connected to the flexible air tube and air reservoir.
There's a dual-stage remote lever with a single paddle that controls the post's action, and you have the option of using it as a regular dropper by pushing the lever only partway. Want it to drop on its own? Push the same lever all the way and the seat lowers without needing any assistance. The air chamber is concealed within the frame and can be re-charged with a normal floor pump, and BMC says that it'll hold enough air to last longer than an XCO race. It's still in development, though, so don't be surprised if the production version lasts longer.