Gravity Components Adjustable Seatpost - Review

Dec 19, 2016
by AJ Barlas  
Gravity Components adjustable dropper at 125mm extension


Gravity Components first showed off their adjustable seatpost at Interbike in 2015. While the post was not quite complete at the time, with the lever and some other small details yet to be finalized, what was seen during the show was pretty well what you see here. The stealth routed, cable actuated post relies on a hydraulic cartridge, and is available with either 100 or 125mm of travel.

At a time when it seems like nearly every brand is releasing a dropper post, have Gravity produced a relatively affordable option that is able to withstand months of regular use without issue? At $299 USD it appears that they're at least partway to their goal, but the claim of producing an incredibly reliable option is what remained to be seen.
Gravity Adjustable Post Details

• Intended use: all-mountain
• Compact alloy remote
• Adjustable cable tension
• Internal cable routing only
• Infinitely adjustable through stroke
• Replaceable cartridge
• Stroke: 100mm, 125mm (tested)
• 30.9 and 31.6ø options
• Weight: 738g
• MSRP: $299 USD
ridegravity.com/ / @ridegravity

The Gravity Adjustable Post does suffer a bit in the weight department, coming in at a claimed 738g for the 31.6ø x 409mm length version. By comparison, Fox's Transfer post weights 588 grams and costs $329 USD, Specialized's Command IRCC weighs 586 grams and costs $350 USD, and a RockShox Reverb Stealth weighs 560 grams and will cost you $471 USD. The post is also limited in terms of serviceability and instead will require the replacement of the cartridge if things go south, although that's not uncommon with this type of design. However, it is possible to replace the brass keys, seals, and small parts like the cable attachment, with Gravity supplying the parts. Replacing the cartridge will cost $25 USD and some time mucking about with the post.


The posts sturdy two bolt head has a lot of material bonding it to the stanchion
The post's sturdy, two bolt head has a lot of material bonding it to the stanchion.
Gravity Components adjustable seatpost lever
The finished lever is a sleek little number.

Performance

The first thing I noticed once the post was installed was the small amount of play out of the box. When seated, this is minimized beneath the rider weight and the play is not large enough to easily be felt while pedalling. When it was really obvious was when out of the saddle. There was enough play that it caused a rattling sound and feeling that reverberated through the bike. It was enough that it made my bike, which is normally as quiet as possible, feel like a shopping cart as I rode along some of my favorite trails—the sound only made me cringe more.

Avoiding how my bike now felt and sounded, the rest seemed to be more bearable when thinking of the cost savings. The post was reasonably smooth in operation and the lever felt great, but extension was slow and depressing the post required a little more effort than with others. The internal routing is also nice, keeping the bike looking clean. Unfortunately after only a couple of rides the post began to slowly lower under my weight, before becoming completely unusable only three rides in. It seemed that the cartridge in the first post had failed, quickly, and as I tried to complete my ride with a post that no longer wanted to remain extended, my frustration began to grow.

The post dropped its full 125mm
The post dropped its full 125mm.
Gravity Components adjustable dropper at 125mm extension
...and at full extension.

A couple of weeks later a replacement arrived, as did a fresh outlook. After all, how many of the problems present in the first post were a result of the issue that caused the premature failure of the cartridge? After installing the new one it quickly became apparent that the answer was most. The play in the post seems to be inherent in the design, with the new post still featuring the same amount out of the box as the first, and subsequently, the same noise and ability to make my bike feel like a clapped out department store bike, one that had been ghosted off a cliff numerous times, when on the trail.

The new post was still quite slow in its extension as well, and required the same extra effort to depress it into its travel. With a focus on creating a more affordable post, features like adjustable speed are something I don't think we can expect, but one that could be a problem for some (in which case, prepare to spend a little more). Had the speed been quicker but still not adjustable, the post would be more appealing, but as is, the Gravity post was too slow to get the seat extended in an appropriate amount of time, a problem more obvious when riding unknown trails. The second post did last the duration of the test, unlike the first.
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In a market where everyone is scrambling to make an adjustable seatpost we now have a lot of options available, which means a new post needs to be nearly flawless in order to stand out from the crowd. Generally speaking, Gravity hit a lot of points right, with a great, small lever design, simple cable actuation, infinite adjustment within the stroke and covering both 30.9 and 31.6ø options. Being heavier at such a price point is not something that should be held against it, and neither should having only 100 and 125mm strokes, depending on who you chat with (and there is a 150mm option on the way). But is reliability really attainable at such a competitive price? It would appear not given my experience. Maybe that was an anomaly, and nothing is perfect, but when there are a number of decent options available for not much more, it's hard to ignore the issues had here.

We reached out to Gravity for more insight, and received the well-worn "pre-production" excuse, despite the fact that we were never alerted to that being the case prior to testing. According to Joel Richardson, Gravity's brand manager, "The original adjustable post tested was pre-production. We're experienced an issue with the cartridge related to extension. These cartridges had air in some cases, resulting in poor performance. We sent a second post that was from first production and had an improved cartridge. We saw some slow extension and low hold or lockout on these post due to tolerance stack between the actuator pin length and the end cap thread depth. We have updated these two components and have not had any issues since. These are current production for both aftermarket and OEM. PB did not receive this last update.”

Gravity Components adjustable seatpost lever
Another look at the comfortable, minimal lever.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesIt's hard for me to recommend the Gravity Components adjustable seatpost, even with its low cost. Additional weight and slower return speeds are something that many can get on with when taking price into account, but with the first post failing in a matter of only a few rides, and the noise it makes on the trail, there is too much of a negative effect on the experience. Add that the failure comes from a post that is being touted as reliable and great value, and it becomes hard to stomach any associated cost. Honestly, there are better options available for not a whole lot more upfront, and while nothing is perfect, they're more likely to keep you riding than my experience here. - AJ Barlas


An Update from Gravity:

''Since this product was submitted to Pinkbike, the Gravity adjustable seat post has been substantially updated. Riders experiencing reduced performance are encouraged to contact the sales channel they bought the product through for service with improved parts.''



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92 Comments

  • + 155
 No Thanks!!! But thanks Pinkbike for having the courage to give it to us straight.
  • + 20
 You can also thank Pinkbike for these posts becoming unbelievably dirt cheap in the very near future. I can already see the writing on the "Pinkbike Online Deals" wall now.
  • + 11
 Hopefully, BP would be equally fair with a bad product from the big boys
  • + 24
 @gapos999: Boston Pizza is rarely fair.
  • + 2
 @tkrug: ha, you've got me there ;-)
  • + 2
 @gapos999: I thought fsa was a big boy...
  • + 47
 Agreed, good to see an honest review. Appreciated.
  • + 35
 You'd think the one thing you'd want to do when getting a new product out there is bend over backwards to make sure an influential site like PB has everything they need to give the thing its best chance. Ball dropped big time. "PB did not receive this last update.” 'We gave them two shitty versions and decided to skip giving them the one that worked'.
  • + 46
 Note to makers of dropper posts: stop making shitty dropper posts.
  • + 4
 Yeah. I can't like this. Not a pun guy, but I could see the gravity of this type of mistake costing someone a job. I mean, who in their right mind would pay any money for this?
  • + 17
 Anyone else think the whole 'pre production' line is absolute bullshit and wouldn't buy from a company that uses it so their sub par product doesn't flop instantly? I for one see that and discount the brand straight away, I don't want shit excuses I want good products.
  • + 4
 "Anyone else think the whole 'pre production' line is absolute bullshit"

Sometimes...on the other hand, most bike and bike parts company's product development cycles probably look like this:

1) Borrow a bunch of money (or put down your own) to develop and test a new something
2) Set up a manufacturer to build it (which takes a helluva lot longer than you might think)
3) get a first run of samples off the line
4) mass production

#3 is probably what is used for demos and reviews. Those get a shakedown test to make sure they match the prototype and then sent off to people who aren't paying customers. Maybe minor design tweaks are needed but often the manufacturer is just learning how to build it chance of failure will be higher on unit 10 than unit 10,000. Why not wait until mass production? Well, interest has been building on #1 the whole time, the space between 3 and 4 can be months and waiting till #4 means you'll lose production sales to your demo fleet while a bunch of perfect(ish)ly good pre-production samples clutter up the warehouse. Not to mention delays in everyone's favorite: promotion, reviews and advertising because somehow you have to let people know you have something you think they might want to buy.

To stay in business you generally have to take the risk. And the number of companies that have a "pre-production problem" yet remain in business tells me that most do take that risk and do work it out in production. A bad review will hurt but not having cash flow to pay off the bank is certain death. So it may be annoying to hear the same excuse but if it makes you feel any better, the ones making the most profit off this system are probably the banks.
  • + 1
 @Sardine: I get that, and maybe if it had been declared as a pre production sample upon arrival it would be a different matter, if it was my product id want everyone testing one to know that because that makes the difference between a flawed product and one with promise. The fact gravity is a pretty well established brand with some solid components at decent prices means theres a level of expectation. I'm not disputing its hsrd for anyone but the big biys, but in such a saturated market with numerous over priced under performing sest posts is there really room for a sloppy post with fewer features than the not too much extra cost competition (fox for 50 dollars extra? I think so considering the doss' reputation).
  • + 17
 Can we at least agree to call these things by one name? I literally spent 5 minutes reading the article trying to figure out how an adjustable seatpost was different from a dropper post.
  • + 13
 I did the same thing but then realized calling it a gravity dropper would be really confusing.
  • + 10
 Allright then. The name "(height) adjustable seatpost" covers it better than the marketing term "dropper post". So let's stick with adjustable seatpost from now on. After all for proper mountainbiking the saddle is low by default. What these adjustable posts allow you to do is to raise it. But a "raiser seatpost" will never sell. That sounds like "razor seatpost" and everyone will be scared of any hidden qualities.
  • + 7
 A dropper by any other name is still a dropper.
  • + 2
 Agree! I thought why is someone making those weird 2 piece posts like we all needed in our old Norco vps frames!
  • + 1
 @vinay: Agreed, but yet they switch halfway through and start calling it a dropper again.
  • + 9
 Why do companies send pre-production samples to the journos to test and review? All issues you currently are solving for the final product are going to end up in the review, putting potential buyers off. I'm no potential buyer for any dropper post (I just lower the saddle and leave it there) but I feel sorry for those at Gravity. Joel Richardson owes them an excuse for sending PB a faulty sample.
  • + 10
 How about the new Manic dropper from X-Fusion? $199 USD. It looks great, let's just hope X-Fusion doesn't send in a pre-production post for testing.
  • - 2
 It does indeed but only 125mm afaik. Real shame. Hope they've got other lengths in the works.
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson: They do. 150mm.
  • + 1
 @passwordpinkbike: are they available? I haven't found any info on them. I like the look of em but it needs to be a 150. Any links or info welcome :-)
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson: I mean is in the works. Sorry xD
  • + 1
 @passwordpinkbike: aw yeah I see what you mean now. Thought there was some kind of secret internet that only the bros could access. This 150mm in the works is mentioned where pls? In a PB review with no back up info or are there actual details on it?
  • + 1
 One of my buddies has that post, and it's painfully slow to go up and leaks air until empty every few weeks.
  • + 1
 Giant Contact 150mm. Great product, very reliable after 6 months of treating it with disdain. Cheap as chips on AliExpress. Only comes in 30.9 though. But... pack it out with 2 layers of Red Bull can and it works great ;-)
  • + 1
 @NWuntilirest: don't think it's the Manic dude? It'll be the older one. The Manic isn't in the shops yet afaik.
The big appeal of the Manic to me (besides the price) is the low stack height of the collar (similar to the Fox Transfer). Means a short rider like myself can get it lower.
I don't know why all droppers aren't just 30.9 and come with a shim in the box, that way it'll fit both common sizes and no worries when you switch bike. Of course you could just buy a 30.9 and a shim ;-)
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson: 61mm is a low stack height??? Kindshock LEV Integra has 51mm, and BikeYoke REVIVE has 41mm. 61mm is anything but a low stack height, sorry...
  • + 6
 fair play pinkbike for speaking openly about the drawbacks of this and its not all doom and gloom for gravity. They could submit a better offering and make good on there goals. I am happy to buy a product from a company that shows its keen to learn from mistakes and takes fair criticism on the chin. thank you pinkbike its reviews like this that do help our sport develop for the better and is far more encouraging than the often used product Y is better than product X only to be told months later that Z is better than Y because its got the best bits of Y but also all the really good bits of X that we all miss.
  • + 8
 Is 300$ really cheap? I just ordered a highline for 200€... And from what I've seen and read, it should be a very decent post, unlike this one.
  • + 1
 I bought a TranzX for 120€ two months ago...it works fine and it has the same features of that
  • + 6
 $400 CAD is not cheap. Why are dropper posts so expensive? For the$400CAD this costs, you could probably find a good lockout fork that has to do a lot more than go up and down once every few minutes. Why the price discrepancy? As posted on another seatpost review, if Ikea can make a dropper office chair for $50, what do theyknow that bike companies dont?
  • + 2
 The dropper mech in that chair weights 3 or 4 kilos...
  • + 1
 Because a lock out fork is something totally different and DOES NOT LOCK OUT 100%. Post have to have a 100% oil flow sealing, and that is a little bit different from a lock-out fork, where you won´t notice 5mm of play. Also the fork is always coming back up, once it is unloaded and then "locking-out" again. On a dropper post you are constantly sitting.
I hear those comparisons all the time. Forget about that. A lock out fork or shock has nothing to do with a hydraulically locked adjustable seatpost.
  • + 5
 All the posts pointing out that this is not the same company as the popular Gravity Dropper are falling to the bottom.
I feel this needs pointing out because I really thought that the good old company the helped revolutionise trail/am riding had really really f*cked up with this product...
  • + 7
 $100 more than a Giant Contact Switch SL, can't do standard routing, AND >100g heavier? Pass...
  • + 5
 whats with the clamp sleeve?

One of my biggest issues with droppers is how low you can slam them, this is two steps back in terms of a desirable product.

Coupled with the round the bar lever too, underslung or gtfo
  • + 4
 Had a customer with one of these, it was crap. This - "Unfortunately after only a couple of rides the post began to slowly lower under my weight, before becoming completely unusable only three rides in." Also the saddle had 2 cm of rotational play in post and was definitely like riding a shopping cart.
  • + 27
 Wow, he must have been super unlucky to get a pre production one!
  • + 6
 Brand X dropper from CRC seems to be quite legit budget option. Would be nice to see it reviewed.
  • + 7
 yet another new post with only 125 mm travel.
  • + 2
 not everybody needs more.
  • + 4
 @badbikekarma That's what she said (sadly).
  • + 5
 @poah: That's what I said (to myself when looking for a new girlfriend).
  • + 3
 Thank you for a honest real review!!!!!! It's just too much when everyone's components have issue but every mtb mag. and publication never seem to have issues....thanks PB for being honest, I hope to see this more in the future.
  • + 6
 I must be the only one that thinks £250+ for a 'budget' dropper is a joke.
  • + 2
 +1 (Tmars)
  • + 6
 the pre-production excuse really drops the value
  • + 2
 What the heck am I missing? Put a clamp on top, a tube in a tube, add a cable and a lever and still 90% of these posts have reliability problems. Where the heck are our engineers? Imagine if front forks or rear shocks were that reliable.It seems we have the wrong people making these way overpriced turkey's. I've got a 27.2 and a 31.6 bare bones externally routed KS E-Ten's going on three years with zero problems at a $134.00 apiece. I've also got a $270.00 KS Supernatural that should have come painted yellow. Think we ought to get NASA involved.
  • + 1
 Seriously, chairs that raise and lower work much longer, and yes, I know chairs are not subjected to the elements and they are meant to rotate so rotational play isn't an issue. I clearly do not understand all the differences but why do you never have to put air in a chair but do a post?
  • + 7
 Ouch
  • + 2
 This is the first article i've read from AJ, and I would just like to take a minute to thank him for a very insightful and most importantly honest review. I was getting really, really tired of every single pinkbike review having basically the same conclusion.
  • + 6
 Wow... Product Manager nightmare review....
  • + 2
 an update from 2 years later. Been running a Gravity components Dropper as came OEM on my Devinci Marshall in Sept 2016. The thing has worked flawlessly now for 2 solid years, riding in the muckiest BC coastal gnarl, always muddy. No issues at all and I am 6 4 and 230 lbs+ gear, still riding it to this day. I'd say it is very similar to the Fox Transfer I have on my new Rocky mtn powerplay, so high praise.
  • + 1
 I have been wondering about this for a while now...I read and hear a lot about dropper post failures and repairs. Some brands you hear about more than others, but it seems fairly universal and no brand is immune. I have been running Specialized Command Posts since 2010. I have several of them (Gen1, Blacklite, IRCC) and all have hundreds of hours on them. I also have Giant Contact and the original Joplin. I have only had one post failure. And I will admit that it was 100% my fault.

I have a bit of a theory. At first I thought I was lucky. No Failures! Man, I hit the QC jackpot! Then I thought maybe it was the brand. Spesh quality is pretty good but I still heard about plenty of failures. What I began to realize is that no matter the post I have rarely ever let my post return to full height at full speed. I never hit the release and let it slam into the top position. I almost always control the return rate of speed with my inner thigh.

I don't know if this is a big deal or not but I would imagine that repeatedly jarring impacts to a post would begin to cause some mechanical stress and failure over time. Maybe, just maybe, they are not as shoddily engineered and built as we think but its more in how we (ab)use them? Has anyone else had this experience?
  • + 1
 Would you apply this same principle or theory to your suspension forks? I think the industry is still in the beta phase for dropper posts, but releasing products to people. Shame really.
  • + 1
 Since when is $300 cheap for a dropper? And this thing is a joke considering they couldn't even bother to send one out that actually worked for more than just a couple of rides. The side-to-side play would have been a total non-starter for me, specially for something right out of the box.
  • + 1
 Just got the Crankbrothers Highline last week, love it so far. You can find it online for $200-$250, it installed in 10 minutes, and the control is brilliant, it's super adjustable. It's not the lightest, but not the heaviest either. Definitely check it out.
  • + 2
 In a year or two they going to update it and make the head clamp shorter and improve it in general. They are in the same "still learning phrase" that others brands have going thru already.
  • + 2
 These problems which are addressed by PB could easily be found during testing by the manufacturer. Ore not?
Don't they test there products?
And what are the createria during testing?
  • + 4
 Is this where we go to completely dismiss the reviewed item and mention the one we like better?
  • + 3
 i may be wrong but looks alot like asian catalogue components not properly tested amd QCed , bit of a school boy error there gravity .
  • + 3
 The honesty of this review will probably bring gravity go back to the drawing board and hopefully make an excellent post in the future. Honesty is good in the long run
  • + 1
 Still waiting for a decent 27.2 mm dropper post, I hadn't even heard of these things when I first bought my bike, and everyone seems to have one. If i had known I would have chosen differently
  • + 3
 They should change their name to "City Dropper Posts"......
  • + 1
 Great to see pinkbike being honest about their review and final take. Looks like no amount of money can change their minds tup
  • - 1
 So this is a different company than the venerable Gravity Dropper that's been around for ages? Do they think that by stealing the name they can piggyback off the original's reputation for reliability? Total lameness and no respect from me.
  • + 4
 Well, the company is called "Gravity", and they've made quite a few components before this dropper post. Alas, I don't think they were exactly trying to steal their image - more likely it's just an unfortunate case of naming.
  • + 3
 first negative "pinkbike's take" ... ever.
  • + 19
 That's unfair - there's been a few.
  • + 1
 I think this line sums this post up nicely. "The post was reasonably smooth in operation and the lever felt great, but extension was slow and depressing"
  • + 4
 That lever though...
  • - 2
 Looks fucking nice!!
  • + 2
 @therealtylerdurden: No, it really does not.
  • + 2
 @therealtylerdurden: looks feckin great !!
  • + 2
 It's super loose and rattly too. I have one.
  • + 2
 @kanioni yes i smile every time i see the pricetag in these reviews and think of my brand-x
  • - 2
 Before I get devoured by every living soul on pinkbike, please consider for a moment what I have to say:
Since when have we gotten so lazy that we cannot even get off our bike and lower the seat for the descents? Would we really prove this fact by purchasing a $300 dropper?

Okay, it's all yours pinkbike.
  • + 2
 You have never ridden one have you?
After clutch mechs, they are the best mtb development since the suspension fork.
Thats my view anyway. I can remember my first suspension fork in '95 so for me thats saying something.
  • + 2
 It depends more on how you ride and where you live. My local trails, I almost never use it. When I travel to unfamiliar areas I use it a lot. I have 2 teens and before we all had droppers it was annoying to wait every time they had to lower the posts. Riding in a place like Moab, with many punchy climbs, took forever to get thru. Last summer was the first time we all had droppers, and it makes a huge difference in their confidence. (You can get a KS with lever on the seat for $150 if you wait for a sale, and it's just as good as my others; RS Stealth, CB Joplin)
  • + 2
 Not everyone rides terrain that requires long sustained climbs followed by long sustained descents!!! North East terrain for example is very undulating and rocky. With a lot of techy moves up, over and down really steep stuff. Lots of rock rollers etc. you can adjust your post literally several times in a minute. Having a dropper makes riding a whole lot better.
  • + 1
 I have been riding mountain bikes for over 25 years and can say without a doubt the dropper post is one of the best components to improve your riding abilities. On varied terrain where you climb and descend it is a game changer. They all need improvements and yes they are expensive but I would never go back...
  • + 1
 It's one of the must haves on my bike. It's absolutely amazing for riding here in the PNW and you can pry it from my cold dead hands. I can literally use mine several times a minute for a decent amount of time on a lot of the trails in my area and use it to keep the seat positioned perfectly.
  • + 2
 Are they still making "over" the bar levers?
  • + 1
 I blame The Team Robot... Maybe the extra weight is a little piece of Chaz's soul is trapped in each one.
  • + 1
 Sure miss the ROBOT. . . .
  • + 1
 So. Many. Damn. Dropper posts. I can't keep track of them!
  • + 1
 Go on home.....nothing to see here folks. Maybe next time.
  • + 1
 Meanwhile...My DOSS keeps on working.
  • + 1
 The @pnwcomponents Bachelor is ~200g lighter and only $20 more

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