FSA's New Dropper Post - Interbike 2017

Sep 20, 2017
by Mike Levy  
Interbike 2017


FSA has a brand new dropper post, one that replaces the previous model that we didn't have much luck with. Thankfully, it looks like FSA has addressed all of the issues that we had, as well as making improvements in other areas. The Flowtron takes its name after a fast, rolling flow trail near FSA's Pacific Northwest headquarters, and it will retail for $269 USD when it hits the shelves this coming January.

There will be two travel options, one with 150mm and the other with 125mm, and a new, lower profile head means that some riders who couldn't quite squeak the long-travel older post into their frame might now be able to get away with 150mm of stroke. Travel is controlled by a new alloy-walled cartridge (the old one was steel) with a 6mm shaft (the old one was 8mm) that helps to drop 90-grams from the design. Return speed is non-adjustable, with this being set by the charged cartridge.

One thing that is adjustable, however, is the force required at the completely redesigned thumb lever. This is tweaked by the wound return spring at the bottom of the post being set to one of three different positions, with the idea being that some riders like an ultra-light feel while others want a firmer push required at the lever. Adding return spring tension could also help overcome a bike's crappy cable routing that might add friction.

We've seen a few droppers employ some sort of linkage setup at the bottom of the post to depress the cartridge's plunger, but FSA has gone with a composite cam that accomplishes the same thing. Why composite? After testing this material against both steel and alloy cams, they found that the composite version showed the least wear by far, so there you have it.
Interbike 2017


Interbike 2017
Interbike 2017

Interbike 2017
Interbike 2017


The cable also mounts opposite to what was used on the Flowtron's predecessor, with its head fitting into a slot on the cam and being clamped by a hex screw up at the lever, something that should make getting the internally routed (sorry, no external option) housing cut to the correct length much easier. Internally, FSA has gone from two flat brass keys on the old dropper to using three round keys on the Flowtron, a change that is said to make for a much more robust design, and one that sees far less wiggle up at the head.

The new lever sits on a hinged clamp, and its textured thumb paddle is massive - there's no missing this thing.





66 Comments

  • + 29
 Nice, but just another dropper with very little innovation... I would love to read more about the tilting Specialized dropper....it sounds like a dream to me. And IMO it potentially could be the final solution for up/downhill geometry adjustment.
  • + 23
 I think the innovation is the price point. I grabbed an X Fusion Manic. 2.5 months and no issues... yet.
  • + 3
 I was thinking the same. Bummed the Specialized is 34.9 only.
  • - 8
flag RedRedRe (Sep 20, 2017 at 17:21) (Below Threshold)
 "Innovate" should appeal people in the 16-24 age group.
After that, you know it is just gimmick bs.
The tilting dropper is just plain stupid. Besides being just an anti climax to look at.
What an "innovating" dropper? I rather have it reliable.
Or functional like the German post you see on late liteville.
FSA has been working on this for at least few years I think, I bet it will be good.
  • + 10
 @RedRedRe: Innovative usually means expensive, and that does not appeal to the 16-24 age group.
  • + 8
 I had a chance to remove one of the new Specialized's new dropper to replace it for a Fox transfer and it's bad news. It's really heavy, great idea but people will be disappointed with the weight.
  • + 2
 @aaronfpeet: you mean those parents don't put that high of a price on love...there is such a thing as good enough, and if you need more, move out get a job and buy it yourself.
  • + 8
 Honestly though, why would you need you seat angle adjusted when it is down? It's solving a problem that isn't there.
  • + 4
 I wish there were more 150mm+ externally routed options for us folks with older bikes. Seems like it's just ks and Fox
  • + 1
 Tbh it looks cool but I couldn't see myself actually benefiting from the saddle tilted back a few degrees at the expense of extra drop. Even on my DH bike I prefer my saddle in a neutral position.
  • + 3
 @RedRedRe: I strongly disagree on that even tho i agree with the fact that reliability and low price need to be achieved for such basic equipment. But dropper post are far from evolved enough, next real innovation will be to not have to sit on the post to lower the seat. That will be real and needed innovation. Everything else is either marketing gimmicks or worse, patching what was a terrible design in first place (reverb remote, cables adjusted at the tube, shit remotes, poor reliability and so on)
  • + 6
 @b1k35c13nt15t: I would like them to invent a $150 price point.
  • + 2
 @chize: Giant too
  • - 5
flag XCAussie (Sep 21, 2017 at 2:15) (Below Threshold)
 @RedRedRe: @RedRedRe: If you can't see the benefit of a tilting dropper, I doubt you ride much.
  • + 4
 Do you people realize that Spacialzed made the tilting post just because they can only fit a 125 on their Enduro bike? And people are starting to avoid buying "enduro" bikes unless they can get a 150 dropper inside?

Voila... it is "110 drop, but 150 effective!".
150 drop in the rear and 60 drop in the front?

Ever lowered the seat to do trials moves and hop on big rocks?
Ever looked at photos of ews pro bikes? Wonder why the saddle looks so high?
Because at full extension is only used to climb. 1cm lower for everything else.
Can't sit on this post any lower than full extension because it will tilt as soon as it drops.
Ever ridden with the post down a little bit?

Weights 700+ grams, it is only 34.9 -not possible to make it smaller- cost more than a 9 point 8 (best dropper in the market imo). More pivots=more things to go wrong. And it is ugly as hell.

@aaronfpeet: 16-24 was a marketing term few years ago to describe "easy to impress future buyers", but I agree with you.
@XCAussie: if you understand the need of a tilting post on your XC bike, good for you
@Balgaroth: I like to seat on the post to lower it, so I can choose exactly where it stops.
  • + 2
 @RedRedRe: presets positions would probably work better for a dropper dropping alone. I can see the benefit of it when racing blind and you come full speed into something gnarly. Happened to me few times and seating down to lower the post was either super sketchy or would have mean really slowing down. Same as for HxR cranks, really good when racing blind, I suppose not a problem if not racing or racing with a training day.
  • + 1
 @RedRedRe: Interesting point. Never thought about it. Enduro really can't fit a dropper longer than 125mm?
  • + 2
 @chize: Giant contact
  • + 3
 @Balgaroth: Agree 100% that the next big innovation is the saddle dropping on it's own. There are few places where I ride that I know a tricky section is coming and I still sometimes get caught out needing to push the seat down and it throws off my flowjo.Would love to not have to push it down with my ass.
  • + 2
 @jollyXroger: KS e10. Heavy, but it works reliably.
  • + 2
 @RedRedRe: Thanks for the info. Seems you don't like the Specialized post. But I have 125mm drop, and if it could tilt, it would be spot on. +150~200 grams for a game-changing feature is acceptable for me. And btw. I have a 34.9 diameter on my Scott, so no problem fo me. Should I be in the market for a new "enduro" bike, this seatpost could be a reason why I would buy it.
  • + 1
 While I agree with you as far as interesting reading, it's still good to see everyone making droppers now.... it drives innovation up and costs down, even if there's tons of these relatively similar droppers being pushed out.
  • + 3
 @gtill9000: if it's going to go down on its own (and rise on its own) it needs an external power source. Isaac newton says so.
Potential for a full di2 system in the future, seatpost, gears and suss lockout all off the same battery
  • + 2
 @AyJayDoubleyou: the Magura post already use electric. That would be the only reason you would ever see a battery on my bike, and i won't buy a new dropper before this is realised as no new dropper offer a real advantage over my old reverb.
  • + 1
 @AyJayDoubleyou: that's not always true have you considered a pressure swing system valves can easily be switched on and off via cable or oil by opening positive air to move up and a negative air spring to drop. You could have a post that sucked down fast and returned slow or vise Verasa.
  • + 2
 @chize: Magura has a remote post...
It's light and look's sweet.
Excellent option for older bikes without cable routing.
  • + 9
 The gravity post was the worst fish bonker I've ever ridden. Broke within a week. It got so hard to push down that you'd have to jump and bounce to lower the seat (uncomfortable for the package)
  • - 1
 FSA is a road bike co first!
  • + 4
 I had a "gravity" crankset that lasted half a run. One slight pedal strike and it was bent to shit.
  • + 2
 Same experience with an FSA Adjustable seatpost. It's by far the worst bike product I have ever owned.
  • + 1
 @dthomp325: weird I've had a gravity moto x crank on my dj for 3+ years now with no issues
  • + 3
 Gravity stem here 3+ years no issues.
I'll show myself out...
  • + 7
 I don't care what it's called as long as it works well and lasts. And what is the diameter?
  • + 6
 Both 30.9 and 31.6mm. My bad.
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: no sweat, thanks!
  • + 1
 anyone know the weight?
  • + 7
 That reminds me, it's time to ride up there. Flowtron rules.
  • + 3
 its open again.
  • + 2
 @jojotherider1977: Woohoo!!! It's a little bit of a drive for me but such a great spot through the winter. I love the east side but need to explore the west more.
  • + 1
 Unfortunately, Flowtron is overgrown with thorn bushes as of today. Enough that we stopped and hiked back up before reaching the ravine. Luckily Derby, Roller Derby, OGDH, Megawatt, and Goose Chase are all running great. Moved a small downed tree outta the middle of Megawatt just after the stump drop. that good Tokul dirt was dialed.
  • + 1
 @getschwifty: any work parties you know of?
  • + 1
 @DrPete: Not that I know of, but there is a group on Facebook called Tokuls Only that people post work parties on. The stepdown on goosechase is really dialed right now.
  • + 1
 @getschwifty: where's the stepdown on goosechase? The log one that hips to the left?
  • + 1
 @jojotherider1977 @DrPete @getschwifty Sounds like we need to organize a Flowtron work party. I'm going to get after it tomorrow (Sunday) morning (9ish), if anyone else wants to join with machete or something to chip in and get that classic TKE trail flowing again!
  • + 3
 After running a few different posts over the years (started on the original Gravity Dropper when it first hit the scene) the Fox Transfer has proven the best.

I've got two - one from the first run which returned a bit slow, and lever throw a bit stiff. The latest model addressed those 2 minor issues. Matched with a Wolftooth lever they are dialed.

They've had zero issues and function perfectly.

If they came in a 160 or 170 the Transfer would be perfect.
  • + 2
 Can the air cartridge be replaced and how much does it cost? As a disgruntled Reverb owner a big selling point for me about the Bontrager Drop Line was how cheap and easy it was to replace the cartridge ($50).
  • + 1
 I have pretty much the whole gravity/ fsa groupo for both my dh and trail bike and have had ZERO problems with any part on either bike. I weigh 225 lbs and would like to think I can ride. Most of the time anyway. I have no worries about my equipment while out on trail. I have this post and it works fine. A little play side to side but what ever. The monies saved from other groupo sets I can have another fun weekend. The post won't cook my breakfast bit it will tap my sack if not careful. It also goes down when I tell it to. Pretty cool imo.
  • + 3
 Flowtron? Should have named it MidTown!
  • + 2
 Agreed. Or Crazy Ivan.
  • + 2
 @visser62: or Lower...crazy Ivan. see what I did there
  • + 1
 Ludicrous Speed.
  • + 1
 @DrPete: haven't checked out this trail yet. looking forward to it.
  • + 1
 @getschwifty: it's short but definitely quick if you perfect hopping water bars. Smile
  • + 1
 @getschwifty: it's a fun way down to lower Crazy Ivan.
  • + 1
 Hey FSA, where the hell's our royalty check for the HLC beer fund??
  • + 2
 Well priced, 150mm length, doesn't need a super log seat mast. Sign me up
  • + 2
 Another oversized shifter style lever to attack your knee.
  • + 1
 I think I'd like that lever on my FOX Cosh dropper...
  • + 0
 Flowtron = Best name ever HAHAHA
  • - 1
 Flowtron from Cybertron get some Energon! Cube that is. pffft!
  • - 3
 What a retarded name. Full speed ahead Flowtron! We must reach the valley before the dreaded Electronicons!
  • + 5
 Yah shoulda called it the Voltron.
  • + 5
 @rideonjon: Thats the wireless electronic version, coming soon™.
  • + 7
 Named after a local trail. So there's that.

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