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
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. 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.
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.
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.” Pinkbike's Take:
An Update from Gravity:
|It'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|
''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.''
Visit the feature gallery for high resolution and additional images