KindShock Debuts Lightest Full-Travel Dropper Post and New Budget Model – Taipei Cycle Show

Mar 22, 2017
by Vernon Felton  
2017 Taipei Cycle Show

Kindshock LEV CI Kindshock LEV SI
Dropper posts add weight to your rig—it's a ridiculously self-evident fact that most of us have come to accept because, well, until we start fabricating the guts of a dropper post and its remote out of thin air and fairy dust, the grams are just going to add up. Simple as that, really. This doesn't mean, however, that we can't shed some weight from our droppers. The real question is how. KindShock's approach, when they debuted their LEV C (external cable routing) and LEV Ci (internally routed) models a year ago, was to craft the seat post's mast from unidirectional carbon fiber. They also lopped 50 grams from their original cable and remote. The total weight for their original LEV Ci model? 436 to 450 grams.

There was just one hitch—the thing only offered 65 millimeters of seat height adjustment.

Palm, meet forehead. Forehead, meet palm.

In a world in which riders are clamoring for at least 125 millimeters of adjustment (if not 150 millimeters or more) a mere 65 millimeters doesn't cut it. That's why KindShock originally marketed the LEV CI as a cross-country post. Well, the LEV CI will now offer between 100 and 175 millimeters of seat height adjustment. In other words, it's no longer just for XC racers. KindShock claims that the post is at least 100 grams lighter than their next closest competitor.


Kindshock LEV CI Kindshock LEV SI
Kindshock LEV CI Kindshock LEV SI

The new LEV CI will sell for "mid to high $500" (depending on which travel package you pick) when it hits the streets. Expect to see it in shops before summer rolls around.


From the Lightest to One of the Most Affordable...

Thoughts of a $500 to $550 dropper post don't arouse your inner weight weenie? Too busy seeing that price tag and thinking, nope, you'd still like to have money for things like food and shelter? If that describes you, KindShock's new LEV SI model is probably welcome news because it promises to lower the price ceiling on long-travel, internally routed posts.

The new model will sell for between $269 (100 to 125 millimeters of height adjustment) and $289 (150 millimeters of height adjust). The LEV SI doesn't feature the company's patented one-way roller clutch bearing, opting instead for a new, internal bushing system that KS says will still keep annoying side-to-side play to a minimum.

As with its more expensive stable mate, you can expect to see the LEV SI sometime between Sea Otter and the start of summer. In other words, it's coming soon and it'll add a bit more competition to the mix. X-Fusion is currently leading the cost-conscious game, with its $200 Manic post, followed by the LEV SI, then Giant's $300 Contact SL Switch and Fox's $329 Transfer Performance.

Competition is always a good thing.
Kindshock LEV CI Kindshock LEV SI

KS Taipei 2017
KS LEV CI



83 Comments

  • 163 0
 I was like who's kindshock? oh I have one on my bike
  • 12 2
 lol I 2 years ago they had a 120 dollar post I have rebuilt it twice and it still works great
  • 82 3
 Whoa dork disc.
  • 23 0
 Right? Really, on a show bike?
  • 8 1
 All the cool kids are riding with those these days.
  • 9 1
 I actually put one on my bike.
  • 6 2
 I actually put one on my bike. I ride in enough brushy trails that sooner or later a derailleur will be forced into my spokes even if it is correctly adjusted.

Dork? Yup. That's me.
  • 28 1
 @bbeak: *cough*...dork...*cough*
  • 6 2
 some pro mechanics still use them in certain applications so what,s the issue ???
  • 24 0
 @billyballa33: I leave mine on now, just so I look like a newb... throws people off. Not to mention better resale... "like new, mechanic owned, still has plastic thingy"
  • 7 0
 @manchvegas: "This bike has a dork disc, it couldn't have been ridden hard"
  • 2 0
 @manchvegas: HAHA! That's awesome. Just throw on new tires with the "fuzzies" still and its like a bike straight outta the shop! Sell it in no time!
  • 3 8
flag projectnortheast (Mar 23, 2017 at 9:40) (Below Threshold)
 @billyballa33: I do the same thing with my forks... I custom build all my bikes, I leave the stickers on the spokes (of complete wheelsets) and the sticker on the fork axle. I recently brought my pike in to have it lengthened for a new frame up build AND THEY RIPPED MY STICKER OFF!!! I was pissed and I told the shop that I want another one haha! it was on my OE pike fork for over a year and was still mint
  • 3 0
 @LemonadeMoney: eeeexactly... 150lb guy with dork disk and caution stickers still on...
  • 4 1
 Cassette Rotational Anti-jam Protection. aka C.R.A.P.
  • 2 0
 @billyballa33: once you own one, you'll never go back...trust me!!
  • 22 0
 Best thing about KS in my recent experience, as opposed to the ‘old’ KS, is that they now answer the phone when you call. That’s biggest selling point when shopping for a dropper in my book.
  • 7 2
 But if they didn't break, we might not have to call...
  • 3 0
 I've sent my KS dropper in for service twice in two years, both times they did it for free. I dunno why, I never talked to them. Just filled out there online form.
  • 3 0
 @Rucker10: Wow, nice. I've never had to send my KS in, but have sent my reverb in twice both times it cost me. The last time I just had my LBS rebuild it because the extra $ was worth not being four weeks without a dropper.
  • 4 0
 @Rucker10: Yeah they're good but weird like that. Mine came on a used bike and I even explained that when I filled out the RMA form, then they called me a couple weeks later to make sure I wouldn't be mad that the new cartridge they were installing had a different stanchion color! Got the post back another week later working perfectly, no charge.
  • 1 0
 @melanthius: That is the exact same thing that happened to me. I put on the form that I got it second hand and never even got a phone call. I'm not saying it's the norm, but hey I'll take what I can get.
  • 4 0
 @NRogers27: They all break, all of them, all brands. Some fair better than others, but I've seen issues with all of droppers. It's a tall request of abuse for such a lightweight item to bear. One day, my friend....
  • 2 0
 @Beau-Doug: Very true. Wasn't harping on KS specifically but indeed, here's to hoping. I bet if someone made one that was bulletproof, people wouldn't care too much about it being a couple grams heavier (hint, hint bicycle industry)
  • 20 1
 Brand X Ascend! Only 120mm of travel, but solid performance, internal routing, and a 2 year warranty for 150$.
  • 6 0
 They sure forgot about that one! Really nice dropper.
  • 2 0
 I actually just got this post a couple of weeks ago from CRC and the thing is just awesome. Still can't believe it was only $150. The other companies need to figure this out
  • 2 0
 Really solid. Love it!
  • 2 0
 I just got a Brand X for my XC bike and a BikeYoke Revive 160mm for my trail bike. Revive is a nicer post, but Brand X is decent and a great value for the cost. Revive was ~300usd shipped, which I also think is a pretty good deal given the post's functionality and quality. Wish the lever was a bit more substantial though.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: try out the wolftooth remote. I coupled it with my Brand X and it's the best remote I've used by far!
  • 2 0
 @kleinbc11: $60 remote for a $150 dropper?
  • 6 0
 My experience with KS last summer what at one point having 8 customers 3-6 month old LEV's off for warranty repair after all the fluid blew out the bottom. And the warranty center not having parts for two months.... Hopefully these are better.
  • 7 0
 I ordered some parts for my Lev around 1.5 years ago... Still waiting on one of the back ordered parts believe it or not (ended up kludging my own replacement part instead). KS clearly had no interest in helping me.

Now I have a 9.8 on my new bike.
  • 4 0
 I had the"internals" of my KS Lev post changed twice within 3 months. Then I got my RaceFace post ... no troubles for 10 months now
  • 6 2
 In all fairness to KS I bought a LEV in 5/14
Wasn't holding height and was just out of warranty when I sent it in. They replaced it w. a brand new post w. upgraded internals. Not what I expected/was impressed.
I'd buy one again with that kind of service.
Am riding once a week usually fall/spring, if not more during the summer w. longer hours after work.
Your mileage may vary.
  • 6 0
 Props for getting "weenie" and "arouse" into one sentence without making it sound like porn. Mad writing skills.
  • 3 0
 Anybody using a 175 mm or 170 mm dropper post and running it all the way slammed in the seat tube on a size large frame?

I'm 6' and ride a large size frame. I would love to ride a 175 post slammed but I'm not sure the seat tube would be long enough. I ride a 150 KS lev (all of my KS droppers have been great FYI) but if I run it slammed I don't get full leg extension for the climbs. When it's time to go DH mode I end up loosening up the seat collar to slam it all the way to get the most clearance as possible. This is annoying.
  • 2 0
 They will be releasing a 175mm Integra or equivalent in a few...
  • 1 0
 That will depend on the bike you want to install the dropper, some brands like Giant and Trek dont have straight seat tubes so you are limited on dropper sizes, other brands like Santa Cruz do have straight seat tubes therefore you can run larger dropper posts, another thing to consider is that if the frame you have allows you to run your dropper cable internally then you have to see where the cable comes out from the frame, what I mean is that you will want the bottom end of the dropper to be above the hole provided for the cable, otherwise your cable or "hose" (rockshox) might get pinched and then your dropper might not work properly.

Hope this helps
  • 1 0
 When you have yours set for proper leg extension, is there 20mm of post showing above the seat collar? If so, you can run a 170mm.
  • 1 0
 @TucsonDon: I get what your saying and I have anywhere from 20-30 mm of post showing. But I think Oznomad hit it on the head. Depending on the actual seat tube length of the frame and if it has an bend or pivot going through it will depend on if you can insert the dropper all the way down. My problem is finding out the actual length of the dropper post from the collar down to the bottom of the post where the cable inserts. That information is not available for the various 170mm and 175 mm dropper posts available. If some knows please share!
  • 4 0
 KS is a hit or miss. I have 2 of them. One bike its flawless no issues....other bike it has been fixed twice in 1 year under warranty.
  • 34 0
 All Droppers are hit or miss!!
  • 2 0
 @stiingya: This. I don't care what brand they are I say they have a 10-15% failure rate when a customer buys one so they have a realistic expectation. Also that they do need to have it rebuilt once a season if they want to keep it working. Alot of people who complain about their posts breaking have had them 2-3 years without touching them.

Some of the new stuff coming out like the Fox/RF/Easton one, the new x-fusion and a few others are sounding promising however
  • 1 2
 @stiingya: I've never had one myself and its staying that way.
  • 7 0
 Most droppers seem to be a bit up and down...
  • 5 0
 The original remote (not the southpaw) is still my favorite. Literally no effort just flick it!
  • 1 0
 U gta get the crankbros lever to go with ur ks! So nice
  • 1 0
 @jrocksdh: nope. Don't like the shifter style levers.
  • 1 0
 @andnyleswillriot: gotcha. What makes the cbros one diff is its adjustability.(ball joint) Can set it so u barely need to move ur thumb from grip position. Less 'thumb war' exercise.
  • 2 0
 So the one-way roller clutch bearing is patented and obviously there on purpose? I always thought it's a weird ass solution and the rollers are oriented in the wrong direction. Does anyone know what it's actually supposed to do?
  • 1 0
 It's a one way bearing that loads the post against the anti rotation keys, supposedly taking out the slop.
  • 2 0
 3 seasons ago I paid $110 for a KS Eten and haven't had any problems. Maybe once a year, I tighten the cable to get the release lever on the head to have less travel before it opens. Other than pulling the cable slack, I haven't had to do anything to it
  • 1 0
 I've had a KS lever operated dropper for 2 years on a bike I bought second hand. It's been through a lot of dropping and rising but hasnt skipped a beat. Zero maintenance too. I'm not tempted to get a new one purely because the one I have is showing no signs of crapping out.
  • 1 0
 Have three E-tens, one was $134.00, other two $150.00, for over three years now, Zero problems, Thought when I bought them judging from how many problems they had with their big buck posts, that i had bought a three month then toss but to my and my wallets surprise, they are still working just fine. Wonder if they put their best engineers on the cheap posts and their new guys on the big bucks. Funny.
  • 1 0
 re: "Thoughts of a $500 to $550 dropper post don't arouse your inner weight weenie?"

No! Not after being burned. @500 for a seat post it better last. My Kind Lev Ti gave up the goose after a season and a half and would not extend. I'm suspect of all dropper posts, though having better luck with my Reverb and Fox transfer on the other bike. The reverb sags a tad when sitting on it(~1/4inch), but still totally usable.
  • 1 0
 I've had several and they always seem to work but I'd rather have a Fox Transfer. The heads are notorious for creaking, bad design, and mine has a delay issue. Now I want 175mm travel but Fox does not offer that.
  • 2 0
 But yet you can get a magura FREAKIN WIRELESS GUY dropper for the same price as the entry level KS... hmmmmm.... haven't tried one yet but I'm tempted
  • 1 0
 Pretty stoked with my dvo garnet so far. Nice action. . Very pretty... should go OK if their other gear is anything to go by.
  • 1 1
 I would strongly discourage Canadians from buying KS until they are able to provide the distributor/service centre with spare parts. Mine and others have been out for warranty/repair since last summer. Sad!
  • 1 0
 Any idea when the integra 175mm is going to be available? Fed up of reverbs needing bled so I'm after one of these or a bikeyoke
  • 13 10
 Fox Transfer
  • 5 2
 A little Kashima coating never hurt anyone.
  • 4 1
 currently have two transfers (non kashima; blacks cooler) and would not hesitate to buy another. it would be hard to convince me that any other post is worth the $ at this point.
  • 4 4
 ks is by far the most unreliable dropper with the most preposterous support in germany i ever had to deal with. (11 motors germany)
  • 7 1
 care to ellaborate? we are able to provide service turn around times under 24 hrs and stock almost all parts. Please send us an email at ks@11motors.de and we can figure this out.
  • 5 2
 @meph: short story. the dropper of my girlfriend rusted inside. 11 motors, whom i sent pictures of the damage on the running surface told me that this is a warranty case an i should send the dropper in. then they mailed me that the dropper was washed with high pressure water and only ridden in the mud. (how could they know?clairvoyant?)

i explained very polite that the damage must be down to a bad seal because the bike was hardly ridden and my girlfriend ist scared riding in the mud so she did rode it 2 times in the rain. 11 motors offered the repair for almost the new price of the dropper. we payed the shipment back and bought a reverb.

i am an enduro/dh racer an i train a lot and very hard and beat the shit out of my components and i can't complain if something goes bad in no time. (my reverbs run flawless with a bit of maintenance for the whole season) but the dropper of my mtb beginner girlfriend goes bad after a few rides...life is to short to argue with a bad customer service who seem to know everything.
  • 2 1
 @derTetris: Unfortunately the seat post was in a condition that was not eligible for warranty. We were not able to estimate the damage from the pictures provided up front. The service fee included basically 80% of all parts at one third of the price of a new post. I am sorry that we weren't able to able you on this one. Let me know if you have any questions & ride on.
  • 1 1
 @meph: the rebuild + new seals + shipment to you and back is exactly 98,6% from the new price of the dropper we payed @bmo. Smile get a calculator and the bill i sent you ...do the math's Smile why you have to lie here? Frown

actually i have one question...what if i told you the truth? or even better what if YOU are right and this is not a warranty case. are ks seatposts meant to break and get water inside after. (looked it up on strava) 23 rides in the dry and 3 in the wet Smile man i put my other droppers in one enduro race in more stress and up down cycles than my girlfriend could in her 8 months she had the ks.

if you want to lose a customer lasting you give him the feeling he would lie.
  • 1 0
 @derTetris: Thanks for the feedback. I am sorry that we couldn't help you in this case. Please note that we have to assess every single warranty case and could not apply the warranty here. Please shoot me an email so we can reimburse you for the shipping costs you had.
  • 1 1
 @meph: keep the 15€ and don't ignore my qestion. do you think a dropper should last longer, before the first service ,than 25 rides?
  • 2 0
 @derTetris: it should and it will if it is maintained correctly.
  • 2 0
 derTetris Out of curiosity, which KS post was this? I've had 2 Supernaturals which have been great and easily user servicable. The only times I've had issues are when the cable has been old and gritty.
  • 2 0
 $550.00 for a seatpost..............no thanks.
  • 2 0
 E13- $279 with lever, fully mechanical
  • 1 0
 in europe who´s the most reliable KS partner to send my seat post to do some maintenance, and fix some lateral play? Thanks
  • 1 1
 They have never been kind to me, unless you consider amazing unreliability as kindness.
  • 1 0
 "arouse your inner weight weenie" best writing ever
  • 1 3
 Their "high end" posts don't work worth a damn, and now we're supposed to pay almost $300 for their budget version? Yeah, makes sense. Do yourself a favor and go with a Fox Transfer or better yet, a dropper from PNW.
  • 2 2
 US$269 is the "budget" version?
I pass...no thanks.
  • 1 0
 That's my wife's job.
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