Crankbrothers Highline Dropper Seatpost - First Ride

Apr 12, 2016
by Richard Cunningham  

Crankbrrothers Highline dropper seatpost 2016


Crankbrothers recently released what may be the most important product in the history of the iconic brand: the Highline dropper seatpost. I met with the staff at the Laguna Beach headquarters there to go over its functions and learn about its development – which reportedly transpired over a 30-month period. Afterwards, some of us, including Crankbrothers athlete Cedric Gracia, went for a spin on the local hills to get some time on the new dropper. It was impressive. The short version, is that the Highline was exactly what I was hoping to see: a brilliantly simple and well-executed design that feels and performs like it had been thoroughly field tested before it was sent to market. It was.

Crankbrothers Highline dropper seatpost 2016


Inside the Highline Seatpost

Crankbrothers’ global tech manager Tim Young talked me through the Highline dropper while he was installing it on my BMC Trail Fox. The key component is an easily replaceable aluminum cartridge that contains the pre-charged pneumatic spring, and the hydraulic metering systems which control and actuate the post. The cartridge is non serviceable, and carries a three-year warranty. The reason that Crankbrothers went the cartridge route was to make the Highline as user friendly as possible. I learned to disassemble and reassemble the post in about four minutes using one Allen key and one open-end wrench.

Rotary Valve: The Highline’s key innovation may be its rotary valve. Rather than pulling a pop-off or tapered needle, Crankbrothers devised a rotary valve to meter the hydraulic fluid. The cable-actuated remote pulls a spiral plunger which rotates a disc inside the cartridge.
Details:
• Weight: 580g (includes: remote, cable, and housing)
• Infinite travel adjustment - 5” / 125mm
• Diameter: 30.9, 31.6mm
• Length: 400mm
• 50mm clamp-head height
• Internal routing
• Quick-connect mechanism for ease of cable installation
• Quick-release, two-bolt clamp head.
• Jagwire Elite Ultra-Slick cable and Lex-SL housing
• Self-contained hydraulic cartridge
• Igus LL-glide bearing and keys
• Trelleborg seal
• Three year warranty
• MSRP: $350.00, €350.00
• Contact: Crankbrothers

When a hole in the disc lines up with a hole in the valve, fluid can pass, allowing the post to either be extended or retracted. Reportedly, the advantage of the rotary action is that the force required to open and close the valve remains consistent regardless of the pressure in the hydraulic circuit. Jason Schiers, head of US research and development, says that creates a consistent feel at the remote lever and also paves the way for a low-energy electronic remote control, should they decide to go that direction at a later date.

Crankbrothers Highline dropper seatpost 2016
The control cable pulls a spiral plunger (left) to rotate a disc-valve inside the cartridge. The plunger fits into a keyway, visible at the end of the cartridge-shaft (right).


Cable Actuated: The handlebar-mounted remote control lever is cable-actuated, and uses Jagwire’s top-of-the-line Elite coated cable and Lex SL housing. The gear-cable’s fixed barrel slips into the base of the seatpost without tools, and the cable-end is retained by a small Allen grub screw built into the handlebar remote lever. In this way, there is no possibility that pulling on the seatpost will accidentally yank the cable out of the valve body. In addition, using a conventional cable and housing eliminates the need to bleed or fuss with hydraulic hoses, and should ease the task of installing an internally-routed system.

Double Keyway: Both bushings and the keyed bearing elements inside the 7075 T6 alloy post are made from Igus composite material. Two keyways are used to minimize any saddle side play, and a high-quality Trelleborg dust wiper keeps crud and moisture at bay. The seal-head may be unscrewed by hand, and Crankbrothers recommends that the assembly be lubricated once each year.

Minimized Seat Clamp: Crankbrothers used the tried and true two-bolt seat clamp retainer for the Highline, but added a slotted hole in the rear-facing end. The clamp can thus be unhinged from one side to facilitate simple saddle exchanges. The low-profile clamping head is only 50-millimeters tall and it is centered, in keeping with the steeper-is-better seat-tube angle trend.

Multi-Adjustable Remote Lever: Perhaps the most user-friendly aspect of the Highline is its handlebar remote lever. It can be mounted lever-up, or lever down and on either the right or left side of the bar. A spherical swivel clamp enables the lever to be rotated 360-degrees, or angled up to 22-degrees to adapt to any brake lever and suit almost all rider’s ergonomics.
Crankbrothers Highline dropper seatpost 2016
The Highline can be disassembled in a few minutes using minimal tools. (From left). The remote lever, housing and spiral actuator; sealed, non-serviceable cartridge assembly; seat clamp head; stanchion tube with Trelleborg seal-head and Igus keys and bushings installed; and the lower slider assembly.

Crankbrothers Highline dropper seatpost 2016
A ball-and-socket clamp allows the actuation lever to be placed at more convenient angles - my fear that the lever would slip out of position was unfounded.

Crankbrothers Highline dropper seatpost 2016
The rear seat clamp screw swings free to facilitate saddle swaps.
Crankbrothers Highline dropper seatpost 2016
The two-bolt clamp head is only 50mm tall, with no offset.
Crankbrothers Highline dropper seatpost 2016
The Allen screw that retains the cartridge is below the clamps.


Why Crankbrothers Needs the Highline Dropper

Named after the famous slick-rock trail in Sedona, Arizona, the Highline represents an ideological turning point for Crankbrothers – a new period where intense product testing and manufacturing controls are pursued with the same vigor that it once bestowed upon its marketing and packaging efforts. The brand rocketed to prominence with a succession of vanguard high-end components, which included the breakthrough Joplin dropper post. But, Crankbrothers often faltered with quality control and follow-through issues – the worse example of which was the release of its Kronolog dropper post.

Conceptually, the Kronolog was a promising design. Unfortunately, the mechanical post was released with great fanfare and without adequate field testing. It was plagued with failures from day one. The embarrassment of the Kronolog should have spelled the demise of Crankbrothers, and if its Mallet pedals were not the first choice among pro gravity riders, it probably would have. To heal the self-inflicted wounds suffered from the Kronolog debacle, Crankbrothers needed to produce a “redemption dropper:” a bomb-proof-reliable, good looking, competitively priced, remote-adjustable seatpost that could right those wrongs. The Highline's performance and construction is head and shoulders above the Kronolog and if it stands the test of time (as it should), it will assure Crankbrothers fans that the brand is on the path to salvation..



Crankbrothers Highline dropper seatpost 2016
Cedric Gracia wins again. He was keen about how easily that the Highline dropper could be modulated to stop at a precise mid-stroke position - a stand-out feature for me as well.


Ride Report

Dropper seatposts are not as easy to get excited about, now that there are a half dozen worthy contenders on retailer’s shelves. That said, the Highline has some features that immediately distinguish it as a potential winner, beginning with how easily the post’s action can be modulated with the remote lever.

Crankbrother’s post rises quickly, but not so fast that it cannot be stopped with relative precision at a designated point in its 125-millimeter travel. The comfortable feeling remote lever unlocks the post within a millimeter or two beyond its engagement point and releasing the lever locks the post with equal quickness and sensitivity. I quickly learned that I could choose an intermediate pedaling height with repeatable accuracy, similar to using the indexed stops of the Fox and Specialized mechanical droppers.

Unlike its popular rival from RockShox, positioning the Highline’s remote lever is not an either/or situation. Its slim handlebar clamp can be tucked discreetly on either side of the brake lever perch and the ball-socket feature lets the user choose where and from what angle the lever meets up with the thumb. I found that feature to be much handier than anticipated. Originally, the lever was adjusted with zero free play in the cable, which disengaged the post instantly when depressed. I discovered that I wanted a little free-stroke to signal my brain that I was indeed depressing the lever before unlocking the post. Either way, turning the cable adjustment barrel is all you need to find your sweet spot.

I prefer my dropper post to make an audible clunk to signal that it has reached full height. Posts that do not provide feedback often leave me questioning whether I am truly at pedaling height, or if in that split second after I depressed the button, that the seatpost did not make it all the way to the top. The Highline’s smooth and silent action does in fact make an audible clunk at the end of is stroke. Not loud, but a clunk nonetheless.

Is 125 Millimeters Enough?

Contemporary frame geometry is gravitating towards steeper seat tube angles, which force riders to raise their saddles disproportionately higher to achieve an optimal pedaling position over the crankset. That, combined with the trend for ultra-low stand-over heights in larger frame sizes, has created a need for longer-stroke dropper posts, and for longer seatposts in general. The Highline’s 400-millimeter length has the latter covered, but at present, its 125mm stroke is at the limit for some riders who want their saddles slammed for descending and set at full XC height for pedaling sections. The Highline’s length and stroke worked well for me (at 5' 7", with a 32-inch inseam - 170cm/81cm respectively), but taller riders who own low-clearance frame designs may find themselves wishing for a longer-stroke post. When asked, Jason Schiers said that a 150-millimeter version of the Highline was in the planning stages.
Crankbrothers Highline dropper seatpost 2016
The Highline's action felt precise and intuitive from the get-go.

Highline dropper 2016
I adjusted the cable tension to add a small amount of free stroke at the lever.

Highline dropper 2016
In profile, the Highline shares many features with the RockShox Reverb Stealth, but inside, it is entirely different.



First Impressions:
bigquotes Crankbrothers' Highline dropper has the right stuff. It is beautifully made and operates with the smoothness of a precision instrument. Anyone with a couple of Allen wrenches and an open-end spanner can field strip the post. Its working bits are sealed in a lightweight cartridge that carries a three-year guarantee, and its cable-actuation feature ensures that anyone can service or install it without a bleed kit or special parts. I'll be continuing with a long-term review in the future, but so far it appears that the new Highline is indeed the "Redemption Dropper" that Crankbrothers needed to get back into the game. - RC





247 Comments

  • + 135
 Are you taking trades on the old Joplins @crankbrothers ? Love to send it back to you guys....again
  • + 9
 What if they gave you a $20 discount on the current model for your old Joplin, would you send it in?
  • + 14
 I got 2 I can send back.oh and...u can just keep them crankbrothers.
  • + 4
 How about a 10% discount for every Joplin - I'll have a 20% discount!
  • + 63
 Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time.... Crank Bros./ Tommy Boy
  • + 6
 @RBWebb: this comment wins the day and I don't care about your upvotes/downvotes.
  • + 6
 Man, appears I'm late to the party with the exact same sentiments. Great looking, stylish design, works well (on a quick test ride) and I'm sure it has apple-esque packaging and a gorgeous box... but NEVER AGAIN CB!
  • + 13
 Crank Brothers: "Total Mechanical Failure" is our middle name!
  • + 3
 @nug12182: Hey, I have 2 joplins too and they both failed on me within 2 years. I'm not alone....
  • + 7
 Dear Crankbrothers... question. Will this dropper last me more than 2 or 3 months during a regular riding season and have quick turn around repairs if it does fail? I owned 2 joplins (bought one, you sent the other one after you lost mine that was in for warranty) and were out for repair for more than half my first riding season of actually owning a dropper. If so, I just might have to try one... wait, no, nevermind my LEV works just fine thanks.
  • + 1
 Best. Comment. Ever. I enjoyed sending mine back too. I kinda miss it.
  • + 3
 The thing is: the Joplin was designed and sold by Maverick in the first place. They did not innovate here.
  • + 9
 CB is not dumb. They realize they have some making up to do and are not going to flub another dropper. I will not be surprised if this thing is bulletproof and the bees-knees. Will keep my eye on it. I need a stealth dropper, I am sick of my cable dangling on my bike and getting caught in my bike rack.
  • + 2
 Internals look almost Identical to the Giant dropper post.
  • + 1
 make some cranks
  • + 1
 @RBWebb: Oh my God, that made my day!
  • + 5
 Some things in life are true to form no matter what. Arguing on the internet, taxes, and your crankbrothers shit will break.
  • + 2
 @RBWebb: just shit my pants
  • + 4
 RC pretty much jerked off Crank Bros in this post. Feels like paid article.
  • + 1
 @RBWebb: You sir, have made my day!
  • + 3
 c'mon man, my Joplin is 4 years old. It finally developed the side to side play last year but I can live with it, other than that its been great.
  • + 84
 Having just gone to a 150mm dropper, there's no way I'd buy a 125 one again, any new dropper coming out should be >150mm if it wants to compete with the best
  • + 3
 @Kimbers Agree 100%
  • + 16
 because size matters ...
  • + 25
 I used to have a 150, now I have a 125 on my new bike b/c the bike's seat tube is longer. I can't say I've noticed a difference and It seems like people are making a bigger deal out of this than necessary. The only time I've wished I've had more was during a bunny hop comp at a local festival. Yeah, you heard me right, a bunny hopping competition. That said, if my bike had a shorter seat tube, I'd be using a 150.
  • + 4
 They need to have a selection of sizes. Just as you wouldn't ride a 125 again, depending on the seat tube length, a 125 will leave me having to drop the post from full extension to get in a pedaling position, even with the seal head all the way against the seatpost clamp (though credit where credit is due, the seal head on this dropper looks considerably smaller than most, which is part of the problem with some posts.)

Just as you wouldn't buy a 125, I'm not going to buy a post I can't get low enough at full extension. & even then, I want a little leeway to adjust up or down: not every seat is the same height, & I don't want to only have "thin" seats as an option.
  • + 3
 @groghunter: Totally agree with you! Some folks got super long legs, some people got stubby legs. It's not like we can only buy pants in one size...
  • + 4
 @jaydubmah: What they really need is to give us a post that can have it's top out point & bottom out point adjusted. that way, if you move it to a different frame, with different seat tube length, you can lengthen or shorten it, & on the other side, people who only want their seat to drop far enough to be at knee height can have that too.
  • + 2
 It really depends on the frame... I had frames (Intense Carbine) that a 150mm was way too high.. but now the newer geo on alot of frames and my current bike (evil following) are perfect for 150mm droppers... it's so nice being able to have your seat as low as if you were riding a DH bike when descending!
  • + 2
 i'm so glad i can buy 100mm now 125 is way too long, i barely can reach my pedals... Wink
  • + 1
 @Euskafreez: Not really, as long as it is long and thick.
  • + 1
 I got a 125mm Thomson Elite Covert a few weeks ago, and anything bigger would be too large for my bike ('15 Intense Tracer 275C, M frame) and my height (5'9"). I have the collar maybe ~1/4" off the clamp and that is the ideal spot for the seatpost being full extended.

I can see the 150mm being ideal when the seattube is shorter, but mine is just right.
  • + 1
 @cgdibble: What seat are you running?
  • + 1
 @cgdibble: I also have the same bike as you but in a large, im 6'1" and have the new 170mm reverb as I was feeling like my 150 ks was not enough, it barely fits, I have it slammed against my seat tube and it seems just right.
  • + 1
 @ktmrider173: Same question, what seat? Here's why I ask: if you're not already running a WTB Pure-V, you can't now: it's taller than almost every other seat on the market(& not exactly an obscure choice.)

Maybe not a concern for you, just illustrating a point I made earlier: if you buy a post that you have to slam to get to the right height, it can mean you're restricted on saddle choice. No big deal when a smaller size is available, but for someone like me, only selling a 125mm means I likely won't buy your product.
  • + 1
 @groghunter: im running an Ergon saddle in a medium width, I forget the model number at the moment but i did get the carbon rail version.
  • + 1
 @ktmrider173: yup. much shorter than a Pure-V.
  • + 1
 @groghunter: I have a WTB Volt.
  • + 1
 @cgdibble: Also shorter than a Pure-V, but it's possible you could squeeze it in. Of course part of my point is that I don't want to have to worry about it.
  • + 51
 Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
  • + 53
 fool me once shame on, shame on you, fooled me can't get fooled again
  • + 22
 fool me 3 times f*ck the peace sign
  • - 8
flag freerabbit (Apr 12, 2016 at 4:24) (Below Threshold)
 Crap in a new packaging is still crap ya know
  • + 14
 Load the chopper let it rain on you?
  • - 1
 @browner: GOLD. That skit is still funny.

Hold it. Hold it. Hold it. Just hold it. HOOOOOOLLLLLD. Start blinking a lot.
  • + 4
 @browner: That you, W?
  • + 2
 But look at that lovely blue plastic in the mechanism, look at the way it just screams quality and craftsmanship. They've clearly changed their ways.
  • + 3
 Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on you again... you're just an a-hole.
  • + 0
 @browner: Love George Bush
  • + 1
 @Fix-the-Spade: Hahaha. I thought the same thing. The first PB user that buys one should do a betting pool on how many rides it lasts....
  • + 0
 @browner: Props to the Scotsman for pulling out the definitive GWB line!
  • + 26
 how the hell is Crank Bros still in business? RC talks about how thoroughly tested this is; if that's true it would be the first product in the company's history that's undergone any testing whatsoever. I'm pretty sure the only R&D they've ever done is matching colors to purses or nail polish or whatever it is you guys worry so much about matching.

Who still buys their infamous 1-ride pedals? The only way I'd ever consider anything CB again is if they gave me a free replacement of everything I've ever owned by them. Seriously, this is the only company out there that could make a multitool that just falls apart.
  • + 6
 You are so right on so many levels! Unfortunatelly i can only give you 1 prop!
Owned Chronolog/5050 XX and one Shhitty Pump that only Chuck Norris can handle .
  • + 4
 After spending 120 bucks on a brand new pair of Mallet DH, I suffered a swollen FACE riding local BMX track because the axle completely broke apart as I was pumping, my FACE for Crank Brother's sake!
  • + 0
 they're still the only pedals with the right amount of float and a great feel that work well, are light, etc. I've had a new pair go bad after 1 muddy ride, but i've also had a couple pairs last years with no maintenance. It's worth it to me for the float and function.
  • + 5
 My experience with CB:

CB air pump = crap
Seatpost = complete crap
More expensive seatpost = lighter piece of crap
Multi tool = broke
50/50 pedals = Meh

Not likely to convince me to try anything from them anytime soon.
  • - 2
 @b26-4-Life: HT X2 are quite awesome. using them for the last 6 months and took quite some abuse in rockgardens and all
  • + 2
 We'd like to echo RC's article in that we understand the past issues with our product, but we’ve since committed not to take shortcuts for the sake of the company’s growth. We have new, strong leadership and a lot of capital invested in product development / R&D - both in new personnel and facilities. We love mountain bikes and we always want to be proud of our engineering - plus, we use the products ourselves and of course want to create goods that we'll enjoy. Crankbrothers continues to invest in engineering great products with the aim to have as many happy riders as possible, and of course product reliability goes a long way in that regard. We thank all of our customers who have stuck with us, and we're confident that our current and future products will exceed industry standards for reliability.
  • - 1
 @crankbrothers: Your track record leaves little hope you will succeed at creating reliable products. That and your cavalier attitude towards previous customers of your seatposts. Your "new strong leadership," has decided to not support or remedy the absolute failures of your previous seatposts. Currently there is no way to get your old post serviced by CB. I cannot even get a return e-mail. Never mind admitting the Kronolog in particular is a total failure that won't last any more than a few months of regular use. I'm sure your hoping you can wash your hands of your previous failures but how many everyday working mountain bikers have you given the finger to in not supporting your previous expensive products?
  • + 1
 @crankbrothers: Putting this as gently as I can: you guys should take a good look at how Sram brought RockShox into their fold. RS, for the last few years as an independent company didn't make the best products - not quite the caliber of shit that you guys made over the years, but well below par for the industry. What did Sram do? They smashed it out of the park with their first new products (Reba and Pike), and priced them way below competitors offerings. Fact is anyone who knows anything about bikes is going to be very skeptical about your new dropper post - the Kronolog might be the worst product in the history of mountain bikes, you aren't going to be able to sell them for $350. I could get a b>good/b> post for that. Something that I'd be confident will still be working a week from now; unlike anything with your name/logo on it.
  • + 0
 @crankbrothers: You're lucky to still be in business. As I said below, your stuff is pretty but lacks the right stuff to provide a reasonable service life here in BC Canada. You clearly overlooked function for form in the past.

A through and robust design verification and validation process is extremely difficult and expensive to do properly and you have no previous history of doing these things properly. Some would suggest you don't know where to begin to develop those processes.
  • + 0
 @winsail53: This man deserves an answer CB. You can't ignore these requests and expect anyone to trust you with their money again.
  • + 2
 @davemud: Crankbrothers reached out to me based on my post and made things right. To their credit the Customer support team seems like a bunch of guys who just want to make people happy.
  • + 2
 @winsail53: As they should but they did not/have not to too many others. Having been a warranty rep for a large bike MFG/Distributor and another after market component company for 7 years I know first hand things fail. The cost of failure can bankrupt companies as happened with the component company I worked for.

You are one step to recovery for CB but they have a very long way to go.
  • + 24
 I just managed to make one of these, using an office chair and two tent poles. Amazing!
  • + 25
 "most iconic component brand" - get real RC. CB are notorious not iconic.
  • + 7
 morewhitenoise ^^^ Both "notorious" and "iconic," perhaps. Crankbrothers blended innovative designs with sexy packaging and went wild on materials and micro-tech features, with pumps and tools that looked like Rolex made them (and priced them too), They may have pissed a lot of customers off, but look how many component brands have copied their style." Iconic" is an apt descriptor. With new owners, a huge investment in engineering, and with strict manufacturing controls in place at the factories, there is reason to believe that Crankbrothers is reinventing itself in a good way.
  • + 5
 Form over substance is now "iconic"? Murica!
  • + 2
 @RichardCunningham: Horst Leitner was an Orange County visionary as well but when the people paying retail are your R&D team that's gonna piss people off. I've owned some not so great products over the years, but Crank Bros. stuff has had the most outright failures.
  • - 1
 @RichardCunningham: Good luck with that just more rubbish and nothing iconic. Quirky maybe. Reliable absolutely not. They deserve to go out of business. I'm sure they gave you a free post. It makes for a good review but in the real world this will probably be their third overpriced un reliable post. I personally work too hard to waste my money on a company that doesn't care about the consumer. Form over function should be their motto.
  • - 1
 @RichardCunningham: Only time will tell if CB has reinvented anything about themselves RC. You're looking through rose coloured glasses provided by CB no doubt. CB didn't come close to the likes of Shimano or Fox let alone Rolex. Did you pay MSRP for that post CB put in your bike?
  • + 19
 It does look real nice, but I'm not even vaguely tempted until I've seen a few looong term reviews. Is a shame really because I'm in the market for a new dropper.
  • + 7
 KS Lev has been really good to me.
I have three KS Lev's, the oldest one is 3+ years old and I serviced it myself last year, works smooth.
I had a fourth one, a KS i950, worked well, but I sold it three years ago.
  • + 16
 "It does look real nice, but..." - applicable to everything CB ever made
  • - 2
 @abzillah: so what's your trick for getting the cord to the exxxact right length??
  • - 3
 Get anything else
  • + 8
 9point8 fall line man! It's reliable and is trusted on long term usage! Do it!!!
  • + 0
 I can vouch for the KS i950. I've only ever had one time when it stopped working, riding around Afan in horrible weather the actuation lever got jammed with sandy soil. I fixed it myself with minimal effort and was riding again the next day. I bought a 150mm version and handed my 120mm post down to my brother. It's still working perfectly despite his complete lack of bike maintenance.
  • + 3
 @GeeHad: matching my experience with several sets of CB pedals, wheels. etc. *SOOO* much effort spent on finding just the ride shade of anodized red/blue/orange but not so much on things like, say, tiny bolts & screws that back out and disappear into the wind
  • + 0
 @skelldify: The cord inside the dropper post, I used a ruler and followed directions to cut it the correct length.
It was too long, so I cut it a little more until it was the correct length.

For the cable length from handle bars to seatpost, I converted an old X7 front shifter as my dropper post button, and will use the cable tension screw on the shifter to adjust tension.

blog.artscyclery.com/mountain/how-not-to-convert-an-old-sram-front-shifter-into-a-dropper-post-switch
  • + 0
 @skelldify: you don't need to get the cable to the exact length. There is a barrel adjuster on the 90deg thing (not sure of the name) coming out of the remote. It's not super obvious that its there, so I didn't see it for the first year of ownership and actually installed my own. Took a friend to point it out. Have 4 KS LEV posts and all 4 function flawlessly.
  • + 14
 Do steeper seat angles require a longer seatpost? Surely the distance of my arse from the BB for an optimal leg extension is the same whether a little more forward or rearward? It's a radius? If you forget about all the craziness that off set seat tubes could bring to this theory for a moment...you're arse will be the same distance from the BB/ pedalling axis regardless of seat angle won't it? We need longer droppers for shorter seat tubes, taller riders and riders who like to be able to drop their saddle all the way to the frame. I've no idea what RC is on about with the seat angle thing?
  • + 1
 After few hours of pedal time so far back, behind the bb, you end up moving forward a lot, but then its uncomfortable because you're on the tip of the saddle, then you move back, end up moving like that the whole back country ride, multi + hours on bike you want your legs to work from that one sitting position to reduce unnecessary energy loss and not be strong for the rest of the day overall...
  • + 2
 @mirzamir: I'm not sure you got what I was saying - probably because I explained myself like I had half my brain removed. What I meant was that my optimal seat height to give the best leg extension and therefore the most efficient pedalling position is the same whether my seat tube angle is 73° or 75°. All that has changed is my body is positioned more over the top of the BB which I find a lot more efficient, particularly on climbs and that is where I (and a lot of other riders) do most of my seated pedalling - and that's why we're seeing more and more bikes designed with steeper seat angles. If anything because it's so much more efficient I'd say you could get away with a shorter seat post but that would just be daft. I can't get my head around why RC is saying you need a longer post for a steeper seat angle? I can't get my head around a lot of other things RC is saying though :-P
  • + 1
 As the seat tube angle gets steeper, the rider's seated position grows closer to his or her standing height. Track racers depend upon this, because the closer proximity of the saddle makes the transition between seated and standing instant and precise. The relationship is not exactly a radius.
  • + 5
 @RichardCunningham: hmm I understand what you're saying but not what you mean. But I'm not about to get into a discussion (argument) about it. You've been doing bikes a lot longer than I have and, as much as I sometimes disagree with you, I respect that. I can see how it wouldn't be a radius if the bike had an offset seat tube design but on a 'classic' straight seat tube design I thought it would just be a simple radius and that your legs would reach optimal extension with the same seat post length regardless of seat angle? Perhaps there is something going on that I have not experienced.
  • + 12
 I don't really get why all of crank brothers products are beta tested on the general public. Most companies try to get a product mostly working before they sell it to the public, crank brothers just put out to generations of shitty beta products and let the customers suffer, Egg beaters broke, joplins broke, 50/50s broke, mallets broke. It takes a few generations of crap before they get anything right
  • + 6
 Because people still buy it. Beats me why.
  • + 0
 Because it works for Sram
  • + 3
 because their stuff is always beautifully designed, and us apes love sh*t that's shiny and new
  • + 1
 To people considering buying a Crankbros product: note how plyawn said BEAUTIFULLY designed instead of WELL designed. Two very different things.
  • + 16
 You can't polish a turd but can roll it in glitter
  • + 6
 Mythbusters did Smile
  • + 10
 i had my Joplins and its just pain in ass, i have to service 2-3 times a year, and when i asked info from crankbrothers about service or spare parts they didnt gave me any info, had to write few emails to get some answear, very bad customer service, similar like with intense Frown in the end did it on my own.
so i have been f*** once, so 100% will not try this one Frown
  • - 6
flag NotDannyHart (Apr 12, 2016 at 1:53) (Below Threshold)
 Exact same as XFusion.
  • + 7
 Crank Bros hasn't had the best reputation with their dropper posts. Hopefully this one will work well and will last long! Only good thing that I believe has come from these guys are their clipless pedals, so we'll see if this changes my mind!
  • + 7
 And even their clipless pedals were hella shit to start with. Though it was always a laugh when mates were riding home on the axel of their eggbeaters' because the rest fell off.
  • + 9
 no. CB, you already fooled too much people with your fckin iodine wheels. Nobody trusts you anymore.
  • + 2
 Missus uses mine to hang pairs of knickers off.
  • + 9
 "The sport’s most iconic component brand finally gets it right."

Stop! My stomach hurts!
  • + 6
 I'm afraid that a company that can let it customers down so badly is unlikely to win them back.

If they were happy trying to sell the earlier model I am not confident in their latest products. Its as if they didn't even test them first, or try them out in difficult conditions - mud for example. Proper mud, like the mud we get in the UK.

Its like they are all a bunch of nice designers that only ride when its sunny and dry and once a month at most. Whereas their customers ride all year long, which in the UK means wet and muddy half the year.

For me their reputation leaves me seeing them as a joke. They have missed the boat on Droppers, the market is moving towards cable / hose free options now.
  • + 2
 Half the year? HALF THE YEAR? Whereabouts in the UK are you bud, I want to move there!
  • + 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: He's lying. It's wet and muddy 90% of the year.
  • + 1
 Yeah, rains every day, but at night the weather is glorious - half a year!
  • + 7
 Too late, CB. After 2 tries and late with coming up with a third, better version, you guys have got to lower your price to even be considered.
  • + 9
 Crank Brothers....reliability is our third priority.
  • + 5
 Stoked for them that they may be on track but glad I’m not in the market. @crankbrothers you might consider a subsidized trade-in program for disappointed Joplin and Kronolog owners. (I used to be one of them but now that KS answers their phones I’m currently content) If your new post is that good, a program like that would get a lot of them out in the field quickly.
  • + 4
 ????????????????. CB dropper posts? You couldn't pay me
To ride any of their crap. I drank the kool-aid a few times about 10 years ago, and after walking out with one pedal, breaking a multi tool, and endless Joplin services, I'm done for life.
  • + 4
 "Contemporary frame geometry is gravitating towards steeper seat tube angles, which force riders to raise their saddles disproportionately higher to achieve an optimal pedaling position over the crankset."
Eh?
Pinkbike. I really hope you don't pay this old arsehole for printing the utter drivel he constantly types.
  • + 1
 Funny, by my quick and fuzzy maths, it seems a steeper seat-tube angle would actually increase overall height, making the need for a longer dropper unnecessary.

Now if we're talking about a lower top-tube and lower top-tube/seat-tube junction, then yes, you will need a longer drooper.
  • + 2
 steep SA isn't a "trend", it's a necessity for pedaling a long-wheelbase, short-chainstay bike up steep hills if you're over 5'7".
  • + 1
 @G-A-R-Y

Speaking of "old arseholes"...
  • + 1
 @Klainmeister:
For a total BB-saddle rail height of 800mm (ie. an 18" frame with 340mm of post showing) steepening the seat angle by one degree will move the saddle forwards by around 14mm and will raise the saddle height vertically by around 0.1mm

Less than the thickness of one sheet of toilet paper

Mindblowing eh?
  • + 1
 @G-A-R-Y: Wow, makes it borderline unrideable, thanks!
  • + 7
 "My new Crank Bros ___ is/are the best ____ I've ever owned" said nobody ever.
  • + 5
 A brand that's infamous for making unreliable components releases a dropper post - a component that many respected companies have struggled to make reliable. What can possibly be the outcome???
  • + 4
 I never hear about the Easton/Raceface dropper. No user reviews and hardly anything from the top bike reviewers.

When I first got mine I had to send it back because it would not hold air. It was a big disappointment but the new one works as advertised and so far it's been good.
  • + 1
 @TheFunkyMonkey: They use the same technology sure, but they are made by two completely different companies and should be slightly different. Which is why I'm curious to hear what other people's experience is with the Easton/Raceface dropper.
  • + 1
 @LiquidSpin fair enough. Love my Fall Line and it has worked flawlessly for the last 5 months through one of the wettest winters/springs we've had (relative, I know).
  • + 1
 @TheFunkyMonkey: Haha thanks but I'm not asking for a review on the Fall Line dropper.

Easton and Raceface both make their own dropper post...one called the Haven and the other called the Turbine (yes they are both owned by Fox and yes the dropper posts are completely identical)

I am just curious why there's no reviews on these specific ones.
  • + 2
 @CaptainSnappy: Is it just me or is no one understanding or reading my posts correctly?

Why on earth did you send me these 2 links when in my post I said they were both owned by Fox?

Pinkbike is acting strange this week.
  • + 1
 As far as I know, the dropper posts themselves are identical, just the remotes are different. Not 100% sure though.
  • + 1
 @Kainerm: I think you're right. Easton only makes one and it's alright but it can be a little slippery when your hands get a little sweaty. I wanna add a little patch of grip tape to it but I don't feel like buying a whole roll of grip tape on amazon.

As for my original post about not being able to find any reviews on my dropper....VitalMTB finally has a review.

www.vitalmtb.com/product/guide/Seatposts,30/Race-Face/Turbine-dropper,16690#product-reviews/2400
  • + 4
 Tried to buy a pair of Mallets a while ago, of the 20 pairs they had in the shop not one had good bearings in it. And after my friends experience with their wheels, pedals and dropper posts I don't trust at all. Friends don't let friends buy crank bros.
  • + 7
 Cedric definitely would be happier with 150-170mm drop. 125mm looks ridiculously short on his bike
  • + 3
 seatpost height like setup jaroslav kulhavy bike
  • + 5
 They pay him, so it doesn't matter what height dropper post they give him to use.
  • + 0
 Esp whilst in laguna. Extremes either way. Most over 6'1" need to double drop...160-170plz!!!
  • + 4
 The only way I would spend my hard earned money on a CB dropper would be a 5 year payment plan. I will happily pay 1/5th of the RRP on the anniversary of the date of collection for 5 years. If it failed I would happily send it back to CB and call it quits. CB requires some serious damage control before anybody will take their droppers seriously.
  • + 4
 "...the Highline represents an ideological turning point for Crankbrothers – a new period where intense product testing and manufacturing controls are pursued with the same vigor that it once bestowed upon its marketing and packaging efforts." Why would I want to trust a company that admits they sold pretty s$%^ that wasn't produced with integrity for the consumer but has now seen the light over companies that have shown integrity to the buyer from the start? Either way I hope it is a stellar product and many enjoy it but it won't be the first on my list if I'm in the market for a new dropper.
  • + 3
 A company like CrankBros should be asking all the idiots like me who bought a Kronolog if we would like to trade in our box of trouble for a heavily discounted new model because at the end of the day the warranty should cover it if it`s a pile of scrap i think we the buyer should be able to expect a company like this to be asking us to have another to keep us sweet if you buy an inferior product like a frame and it breaks you take it back and get a shiny new one surely?????
  • + 3
 The only thing worse then the Joplin was their service when it failed... twice. Second time was during my first ride after paying 150 to rebuild. Never returned my calls. They seem to have a great reputation though! Lol. They'd be better off if they changed their name to "We are a*sholes who overcharge for crap, then don't stand by it" Bike Parts. At least they wouldn't be tied to the Crank Brothers name anymore.
  • + 3
 What I really like about this dropper:
- no setback (only slackens your SA, why would anyone do such thing?)
- the lever looks like a simplified shifter, same ergonomics but perfectly simple, cleaner and lighter. I'm surprised how retardedly most companies design the levers for their droppers, but this one actually is easily reachable with your thumb.
- the adjustment bolt on the lever.

What I dont like:
- it doesn't fit my 27.2mm frame.
  • + 2
 No 27.2mm love from anybody lately. We are stuck shelling out a lot of money for the Thompson, or saving a lot of money and going to the Gravity Dropper.
  • + 2
 @valtra: my 5 year old x fusion works good Although it took a long time to bed in and a few rebuilds experimenting with different fluids ect. wish it dropped further than 100 tho. Ks do a 27.2 called a crux only 100 drop aswell tho
  • + 1
 @markg1150: I looked into the Hilo but it got mixed reviews, and they dropped 27.2 sizing for the second version. If I buy one, it will probably be a Gravity Dropper but I'd like to cut off the pig ugly rubber protector.
  • + 2
 @valtra: just checked their website,they still make the 27.2mm option: www.xfusionshox.com/products/seat-posts/hilo-100-125
  • + 5
 When it comes to Crank Brothers its worth reading this review first : theteamrobot.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/breaking-news-from-team-robot_20.html
  • + 0
 " Novatec, we have Kyle Strait, win Rampage. What Cranksbrother have? They have Richie Schley on homepage right now."
  • + 0
 My abs hurt now.
  • + 3
 This post should come with 2 cartridges since they require factory service. send one in while you continue to ride the other. Yes, the Referb(Reverb) requires a fair amount of service but at least I can do it myself
  • + 4
 Surely you mean start the ride on one, finish the ride in the second. Maybe sell them after market so you can carry a couple of spares in your pack with the emergency tube from 2008 that's still in there.
  • + 3
 If my memory serves me correctly, Hans Rey was pushing how good the Kronolog was (undoubtedly compensated). Almost convinced me to buy one. ALMOST, thankfully!
As cool a guy as Cedric is, I'm very skeptical.
  • + 2
 I rebuilt my Kronolog in the end and have it working reasonably well now as long as you keep the crap out and service it regular it stays working?Not well but working and that will do me but am not throwing any more at CrankBrothers for a while till i see a long term test on it!!!
  • + 2
 Never tried a crank brothers product and judging from all of these comments i shouldnt. Especially for something at this price point. If only it had a lifetime replacement warranty. Or even 5 years..... Wouldnt be so worried about trying it out
  • + 5
 Didn't even bother in read the article. It will fail as everything from CB does
  • + 6
 Didn't read the article, just here for the comments. /popcorn
  • + 2
 I have had multiple crankbrothers seatposts. 1st joplin then joplin 4 then kronolog. Customer support kept on replacing my posts which never lasted over 1 year. Now NO support for Kronolog. You would have to be an absolute fool to buy another one of their fiasco posts. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!
  • + 4
 Just imagine is CB made the most reliable dropper post. How amusing would that be.
  • + 1
 What I want to know when the post is in the low position and you're not sitting on it, can you pull up on the seat without the post rising. This action is really annoying on the reverb, anytime you're doing a hike a bike.
  • + 4
 Looks like the Giant Contact Switch. Few more fancy parts. Giant's post just works. This might also then?
  • + 3
 Just got my '16 125mm Switch for this season and have high hopes for it. After 2 Reverbs, I don't think I can be disappointed. Can be setup with internal or external routing, is one of the cheaper ones out there and in case of catastrophic failure for the price of 1 Reverb rebuild which is inevitable anyway, I can get essentially 2 brand new cartridges for the Switch. I guess the only drawback is 30.9 only. Will see how it turns out this season...
  • + 1
 Yeah but why when you can get a giant on ebay for under 200 with 100, 125, 150mm drops or buy local at a shop that will always be able to help if it breaks, since every giant shop stocks them.
  • + 1
 I can recommend the contact switch. Retail on the contact switch is $300 which i bet is less than this post will be. I have the original 100mm contact switch and it has been very reliable for 2 years. I recently upgraded to the 2016 version with 150mm drop.
  • + 1
 @simonayrton: Even less by now, I got mine for $259CAD from my LBS.
  • + 2
 Thats so funny i ve never tried anything crank brothers and from reading all of these posts its not looking good for me to ever bying there products There getting bashed up pretty good Lol !!!
  • + 1
 In our region, Vancouver Canada including the Fraser Valley, North Shore, Squamish and Whistler Crank Bros Kronolog was just one of their products that suffered from poor quality and durability in our wet rugged conditions. The Joplin was dismal and their pedal bearings and axle assemblies wear out so fast shops order repair kits in bulk. Crank Bros makes pretty stuff but they generally don't have the right stuff to survive here. Lets hope this new post is the start of better design verification and validation prior to releasing their products to the market. If CB proves they are doing this it will be a great thing.
  • + 1
 To give CB due credit, while my first Kronolog duly failed after 10 days, the replacement worked fine (apart from getting a bit sticky after a week in the desert, fixed by a good cleaning), and I now have Kronologs on 3 of my 4 bikes (the other is a Joplin 4), just looking for a good price to make that 4/4.

I did try other brands, but they each had their own issues.

But no denying CB'siffy track record; I guess it's a hidden cost of pimping up your bike.

My favourite CB design disaster is still their delaminating crankset, and the new multi-tools are hit & miss -- B-Series impossible to use in most situations, but the Y series works really nicely for me.
  • + 1
 So Crankbrothers made a reliable dropper post with 125mm of drop...tell me again why I should be impressed? If it actually dropped without the need to weigh the saddle THEN it would be "the most important product in the history of the iconic brand".
  • + 3
 Odd...the cartridge looks just like the one Giant uses in theirs, which is the least expensive and most reliable post on the market.
  • + 2
 That's what I thought seems to look the same when taken apart, and you can find a giant 150mm length dropper for 179.00 on ebaySmile
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham did Crank Brothers give you any indication of how much a Highline Cartridge might cost after 3 years? Under warranty I'm digging how quickly you could be back on the trail, but if that cartridge costs $100 at year 4...then I might have some concerns.
  • + 1
 I had someone ask for a quote for a Thomson service with the replaceable cartridge and it came up to 175US. It's almost pointless to have it service and just get a new take off for a few more dollar. Great idea until you need to replace it.
  • + 6
 Only 125mm... Frown
  • + 3
 No Crank Brothers, No! No...no... Cranks Brothers... no... No! No. Noooo... Crank Brothers No!
  • + 0
 We'll see where this in a year or two...more like two. Then I "might" consider it. "Might!"

In their defence, I'd have to admit they treated me right with my Kronolog issues. Problem is, they had lots and lots and lots of practice.
  • + 5
 More garbage
  • + 1
 I don't know if its fair to say that seats are going disproportionately high these days. I think we are basically making bikes that climb like road bikes and descend like squishy bmx bikes.
  • + 5
 over my dead body
  • + 2
 Until I see some lonnnnnnnnng term reviews, I'm not owning a product that is notorious for failing from a company notorious for making products that fail.
  • + 0
 The reverse threaded lever is a real problem. Having the cable anchor at the post means you can't easily swap out with any other options. No modified front shifter. No SouthPaw. No Command Post lever. Only seen with Gravity Dropper. Oh so modern.
  • + 3
 Can someone just manufacture a 27.2 drop post that wont cost half the price of my bike?
  • + 6
 Gravitydropper still has those. Works perfect, only the rubber is ugly.
  • + 5
 KS E ten? Only 100mm but not too expensive
  • + 1
 Get a Satori Sorata, or RSP plummet. Mechanically actuated, dead easy to service, cable attached to the lower portion of the post. It has endured over two years below 95 kg of lazyness and bad landings. Plus it's below 100 US dollars, even ordering it from ubyk.co.uk.
  • + 2
 X-fusion Hi-Lo, but I think they're not being made anymore. In case you find a second hand one immediatly (!) replace all the bolts because the original ones are made from cheese. You'll either break the head off the bolts or round the hexagon and it will be stuck in there forever.

Or the Thomson Elite dropper. That one costs double the price of your bike. Might be worth the extra money on the long term. Pretty much every user review is very good, apparently it lasts for super long and doesn't develop any play like every other post does. It comes in 125mm on 27.2 which is more than any of its competitors, and it is also only around 450g iirc. The couple of bad user reviews I read received a new one after they sent it for warranty and didn't have any problems with their new ones. It's double the price of its competitors, but it seems like it will also last at least twice as long as any other 27.2mm post. I'm actually saving up for one. Way too expensive but if it really lasts for a long time it should be worth it on the long run I hope. Retail price is roughly $450 USD.
  • + 2
 @southoftheborder: The new RSP Plummet is even better! Its no longer a clunky 2 position but its a smooth hydraulically damped cable operated post for the same money as the old one. www.shopraleigh.co.uk/Product.aspx?pc=2&pt=384&pg=10587
  • + 1
 @going-downhill: Hell yeah, thans for the heads up. I wasn't aware they made a new version. It fails to meet @DarrenV's 27.2mm diameter, but looks sexy as hell for such a low price.

I dremmeled a couple more positions on my Plummet since I wasn't using the full dropped one. I like to steer the back of the bike with my inner thigs pushing on the saddle while going downhill.
  • + 1
 edit: double post
  • + 1
 @Mattin: just search Tmars dropper on ebay. Works great for me and my fiance. Super cheap too.
  • + 1
 @metaam: made of pig iron.
  • + 4
 Crank Brothers = Cool looking stuff that usually doesn't last long.
  • + 4
 I was about to say the exact same thing. Reliability isn't part of their vocabulary...
  • + 1
 A fair comment, but is that going to get in the way of my colour-coordinating my components? Hell no! Wink
  • + 2
 I guess if always putting form over function ensuring certain failure on every thing CB makes you iconic... If the comments are any indication I think not.
  • + 2
 Just look at CG's sad / contemplating face ... and you know something 's not right there
  • + 3
 10 times bitten by that crap.....100 times shy
  • + 3
 Crankbrothers? Never again. Had two posts...both failed! : (
  • + 2
 "Is 125mm enough?" Ahem...Maybe, but does it come back up when you need it to? That's more important.....
  • + 0
 needs to be competively prices, the reverb is the cheapest of the current crop of quality posts in the UK. I need a 150mm post for my hornet but I won't be getting a reverb again.
  • + 1
 Did they consider and establish a working temperature range for the post? Can the cartridge survive in freezing temps without seal failure?
  • + 3
 Will the post last more than a week?
  • + 3
 I remember seeing some positive initial reviews for the Kronolog.....
  • + 3
 Those were "initial" reviews" indeed...
  • + 2
 On Mythbusters they legitimately polished a turd. Crank Bros is no Mythbusters.
  • + 1
 Maverick Speedball > all other posts.

That said, I really like the KS E-Ten on my ML8. It's heavy for sure but it works without faff!
  • + 1
 I just don't get infinite adjustable posts. When most people admittedly only use full up or full down. Then people shit on posts that have stepped drops...
  • + 3
 No thanks. Will well and truely stick with Rockshox .
  • + 2
 Is this going to work this time? I had the previous three products and they have all failed in so many levels.
  • + 0
 3rd time lucky?

I like the lever design, I'm sure quite a few people will be using them with other posts soon. But for me I'll be sticking with my Reverb for a while to let others give these a long term test.
  • + 0
 Actually, nobody will be using this lever with other posts. It's reverse threaded, as the cable anchors at the post rather than at the lever like almost every other brand. So, no using a Southpaw with this post. No using a ghetto rigged front shifter with this post. No using a Command Post lever with this post. Poor decision.
  • + 1
 @jm2e: then I guess they better make sure it works better than their other attempts
  • + 1
 What's the point in "field stripping the post", when all "its working bits are sealed in a cartridge"?
  • + 3
 to get your weed stash out from inside there
  • + 1
 @FarmerJohn: ha ha. Or your lick pipe.
  • + 2
 Kronolog= worst dropper post ever.

Great lever though.
  • + 2
 Isn't this like their fourth attempt though?
  • + 1
 Never forget the Kronolog. It's the last CB product I will ever buy. Fool me once and all that.
  • + 1
 Boy, the stuff from this company sure does have a terrible rep. Does the journo know this?
  • + 1
 Dave, read the article.
  • + 0
 Looks (potentially) good! KS Lev was great fore 3 years and still going when I sold the bike... But much more of a PITA than this looks to strip...
  • + 2
 Best part... price 350$ = 350 euro. Welcome to CB economy 101.
  • + 1
 You didn't calculate shipping costs, import taxes, storage, extra middle person taking a percentage....
That's actually very reasonable, it seems like they will make less money on the ones they sell in Europe to keep the price competitive over here.

If you'd import one piece yourself, expect to pay €60 for import taxes and at least the same amount for shipping.
  • + 1
 @Mattin: I know. I was aware of the shipping costs etc. However, usually the price is rather lower in euros than in $ despite all the extra costs.
  • + 1
 As a Canadian who frequently goes cycling in Western Europe and the US, I've noticed all parts cost 30-50% more over there compared to the US, so given current exchange rate, that's a very reasonable convversion.
  • + 2
 Do they sell the lever on its own?
  • + 2
 Cartridge looks the same as in giant contact dropper.
  • + 2
 better than Joplin or Kronolog??? hmmm
  • + 0
 @crankbrothers

The same price in Dollars as Euros? Looks like I'm getting one from the states then Smile ..
  • + 0
 This reminds me of "World full of hate" by the Fartz. Feel me? Didn't think so
  • + 1
 The trail is actually 'Hi-Line'
  • + 1
 Isn't that a Speedfox Trailcrew?
  • + 1
 Cb has the best lever in the game.
  • + 1
 Looks like a suntour cartridge.
  • + 1
 Sealed non-serviceable cartridge???? That's a nope for me....
  • + 1
 I don't think this will drop me down to CrankBros level...
  • + 1
 Original Joplins still going on many bikes!
  • + 2
 Reverb
  • + 0
 Reverb all the way..... Wink
  • + 0
 I like their multi-tools.
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