Pinkbike Awards - Component of the Year Nominees

Dec 28, 2015
by Pinkbike Staff  
new MTB awards logo 2015
Component of the Year: Nominees

After twelve months of traveling around the globe to trade shows and product launches, and countless hours of real-world testing, Pinkbike's technical editors selected three products that made a lasting impression over the course of 2015. There's everything from an ultra-reliable dropper post to the first electronic drivetain for mountain bikes, but the one consistent theme is that all of the items chosen can help improve a rider's experience out on the trail. Of course, in some cases that improved performance does come with a high price of admission, which is why we'll also be announcing our choices for the Best Value Component award in the near future. Until then, read on to learn more about the nominees for Pinkbike's Component of the Year.

Shimano Di2 XTR 2015

Shimano Di2 XTR Drivetrain

Shimano is the first company to bring electronic shifting to the mountain bike world with their Di2 XTR drivetrain, freeing riders from the possibility of muddy, gritty cables affecting shift quality, and ensuring perfect gear changes, no matter how ham-fisted your shifting technique may be.

Worries about battery life proved to be unfounded (we only needed to charge it twice in five months), and the water and mud the drivetrain was exposed to didn't affect its performance in the slightest. Di2's high price places it out of reach of most riders, but that's usually the case with emerging technology, and it's not unreasonable to imagine that it will eventually end up being available at a more affordable pricepoint, especially once SRAM returns fire with an electronic gruppo of their own.


Schwalbe ProCore Tire System

As advanced as mountain bikes have become, flat tires still haven't been completely eradicated, even at the highest level of the sport. The advent of tubeless ready tires and sealant has certainly helped, but it's still possible to lose air or even pull a tire completely off a rim, especially while cornering.

That's where Schwalbe's ProCore dual-chamber system comes in. The system (one of the nominees for Pinkbike's 2014 Innovation of the Year) uses a tire-within-a-tire design that effectively locks the outer tire into place, virtually eliminating the chance of pulling the tire's bead off the rim, even at ridiculously low pressures. It's not an entirely new concept, but it is the first time a dual chamber system has been readily available, rather than being reserved only for elite racers.

ProCore does add 200 grams of weight to each wheel, but if that extra weight means the difference between finishing a race or being forced to make the walk of shame down a track those grams become pretty easy to justify. While it may not completely eliminate flat tires, it's one step closer, and for that Schwalbe's ProCore system earns a nomination for Component of the Year.

9Point8 Fall Line review test

9Point8 Fall Line Dropper Post

For trail and all-mountain riders dropper posts are here to stay, and the days of trying to get through a technical descent with your seatpost halfway to the moon are fast becoming a distant memory. There are a number of good dropper posts on the market, but not nearly as many great ones. Reliability is still the biggest hurdle, and both cable and hydraulically actuated systems have their share of quirks that keep them from being 100% perfect.

9Point8's Fall Line dropper post was a standout performer this year, offering excellent reliability thanks to its cable-actuated hydraulic brake design. As an added bonus, there are multiple remote options, making it easy for riders to get their cockpit set up exactly the way they want. Other than being a little tricky to install, once it's up and running the Fall Line is as trouble free as it gets, making it one of the few posts that to earn a place in the great category.

Click here for information about the judging and selection criteria for Pinkbike's Year-End Awards.

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Must Read This Week

  • 229 3
 Need to complain about something, I just don't know what.
  • 91 2
 my complaint is that I can't afford any of them
  • 113 1
  • 19 3
 ^do you love lamp?
  • 50 5
 Looks like a Session.
  • 34 30
 Not a fan of the ProCore System. What it lets a top-level DH or Enduro racer salvage some minor points if they get a flat? Meh. Pass. If you're riding ProCore and your tire flats, its still flat, you're not going to be challenging for top 10 with a flat even with a ProCore. The margins between top 3 and top 25 in DH and Enduro are now fractions of a second in most cases. If you're a trail rider why would you need this? If you flat you're going to put a $3 tube in and lose 10 minutes of your ride. Big deal.
  • 32 5
 @zepper it's about avoiding flats, not finishing a run after the fact.
  • 10 0
 What he said ^ ...It's supposed to stop flats from happening in the first place, not act as a crutch to get down on after a puncture. It works to prevent pinch-flats and to hold the tire on the rim better in hard corners/g-outs etc...
  • 13 7
 The electric drivetrain gives me plenty to complain about...
  • 12 0
Ahem****Wheel sizes
  • 6 0
 Rabble rabble rabble...
  • 2 0
  • 48 1
 I'd like to see the "Complaint of the year" category
  • 3 0
 Looks like a.... big pile of money
  • 20 0
 $3 tubes?
  • 2 6
flag chyu (Dec 28, 2015 at 18:44) (Below Threshold)
 These awards similar to the story about rich man looking for a wife. No matter what good things all the ladies done, the man always go for the one with biggest boobs.
  • 4 0
 Also running lower pressure for better handling and not denying your rims or getting flats as easy because of the low pressure
  • 2 0
 Can you imagine the comment section for that article? Oh man.
  • 3 1
 @zepper there are other advantages to Procore other than flatproofness e.g. increased traction/grip
  • 1 0
  • 87 6
 gwins' chain
  • 13 2
 ..or the lack thereof
  • 21 1
 you mean gwin's balls...
  • 22 3
 gwin should start a new line of bikes w/o chains
then everybody would win
  • 17 0
 That's a revolution in bicycle technology. By saving ~350g in unnecessary weight, he was able to dominate the competition.
  • 5 1
 Don't forget the hundreds of (tiny) moving parts removed from the bike as a result: plates, pins, roller bushings, etc.
  • 13 0
 thats why he parted ways with specialized, to make a chainless bike company
  • 3 0
 downhill pushbikes for big kids!
  • 73 10
 Why no XT 11 speed? The first affordable, good quality 11 speed groupsets.
I'm sure XTR Di2 is very good but you can buy a half decent bike for the cost of the groupsets.
  • 28 17
 Because SRAM GX is just as affordable.
  • 32 11
 @Rubberelli - not even close. GX is a SLX competitor, and still significantly more expensive than XT.
  • 7 19
flag visser62 (Dec 28, 2015 at 11:25) (Below Threshold)
 So you're saying that GX is just as affordable as XT, which performs better? Nice logic.
  • 3 10
flag Rubberelli (Dec 28, 2015 at 11:26) (Below Threshold)
 When I proced the two out they were about the same. The XD driver being the only difference. You can use your existing cranks for both.
  • 14 2
 GX isn't even comparable to XT, as you still need the XD freehub or a new hub, and still excluding the the freehub, GX is around £100 more than XT, and XT needs props for being able to fit 11 cogs on a standard freehub while even 11 speed road cassettes need a wider freehub.
  • 3 1
 @rockmonkey if you read the first part of the article you would have notiuced it said "they will do an Affordable component award in the near future". Thats why these are all the best products opf the year
  • 13 5
 The "upgrade" kit (shifter, derailleur, cassette, chain)...aka the cheapest way to go prices:

XT @ CRC - $223.46
GX @ CRC - $282.96 + XD driver ($60-$200) = minimum $342.96

Again, i'd like to point out that GX is not an XT competitor. X1 is the XT competitor and is $504.31 + XD Driver.

To me, the best setup right now is XT with the OneUp 45t kit. Then you have more range than SRAM can offer, and you save about $200 over the X1 groupset (not counting the XD driver cost). I spent months researching and sampling parts and ended up selecting M9000 (XTR) shifter/derailleur with the XT cassette and 45t kit.
  • 13 3
 Actually 11-45 is NOT more range than 10-42. But who's counting anyway?
  • 7 8
 Many wheelsets come with the XD driver. Just because you need it doesn't make it a universal cost. Some may want compatibility with their reverb and.others may want the additional high gearing that XT cannot do.
  • 2 9
flag schofell84 (Dec 28, 2015 at 12:19) (Below Threshold)
 But aren't narrow wide chainring the limiting factor on 11-whatevers?
  • 5 5
 @UtahBrent - Ok I realize I misled. What I was getting at is that 11-45t gives you more LOW END range. Unless you happen to have a new direct mount crank, you are limited to a 30t chainring, so a 45t is the only way to get lower than SRAMs lowest gear (30/42t), which is not always low enough for a 29er on NE trails. But you are right, as I typed it, my statement is incorrect.

@Rubberelli - 90% of the world's riders are riding on Shimano or clone hubs. I know it seems like the majority of us use convertible SB hubs, but Pinkbike only accounts for a tiny fraction of the MTB riding public. For the overwhelming majority, upgrading to SRAM 11-speed means not only buying an XD driver, but a new wheelset too.
  • 3 0
 I second this. This is exactly what I did after a couple months of research and waiting for sales.
  • 3 0
 @TheRaven - Yes there may be more 10sp out there (hell, there may be more 9 sp than 10, IDK), but the people who own them are not riding them as much. This is why 26" tires are the last made in any model if at all. If you bought a hub or rear wheel in the last year, you had the option of XD. This is the same consumer who is replacing or upgrading to an 11sp set up.
  • 3 0
 xt 11 speed gets my vote, silly how far out of touch these product of the year choices have been.
  • 3 4
 @Rubberelli - Can't say it's the case where you come from, but in my region, 9-speed is still the dominant setup. Of the 20 or so guys i've ridden regularly with over the past 5 years, all but 2 are on 2010 or older bikes. All but 6 are still on some variant of the 9-speed drivetrain. All but 1 have non-convertible hubs, and that 1 guy JUST got a new wheelset this year. 3 of them are converting to 1x11 this winter and all three are going with XT because of price. As for other riders I encounter on the trails I ride, I would venture an estimate of maybe 2 out of 10 have convertible wheelsets.

I agree that for us guys who spend time reading and posting on Pinkbike, it sure looks like the majority of the MTB world is riding 2012 or newer bikes with Hope hubs and Stans rims, Pike/CCDB setups, and Reverb droppers. But in reality that's less than 1% of the riding public.
  • 1 0
 I have yet to see a Shimano 11sp setup yet on a bike. And the vast majority of tires are 27.5 in my local shops and drivetrain components are evenly split between 10sp and 11sp. Thus, that is what is selling. I had to order a 9sp shifter earlier this year.
  • 1 1
 Oh I see the same - in shops. And i'm sure shops are selling 1x setups. They are also selling 2x and 3x setups.

You haven't seen a Shimano 1x setup yet because they just came out. Unless you were looking at XC hardtails (and being a member of this site I would imagine you pass right by those), then you might have seen the new XTR, though it probably still would have been a 2x setup.
  • 1 0
 SRAM GX is not the same as Shimano XT m8000, plain and simple.
  • 4 1
 I don't need a 10cog... I spend my downs pumpin' rather than pedalling. Do you even gwinn bro??
  • 3 0
 Most excellent!!! According to @TheRaven I'm a 1 percenter! I knew I would get there someday just didn't expect it to come the way of Pinkbike. Way to close out 2015.
  • 1 1
 That's one way to put a positive spin on life.

Really it just comes down to the fact that there are not that many people crazy enough to spend $3000+ on a BIKE (don't misunderstand, i'm definitely crazy, as I have three). Maybe if we didn't spend so much money on bikes, we would be ACTUAL 1-percenters.
  • 1 0
 I've been running a shimano 1x setup for several years now. I modified an xt crank to fit a single 36t NW ring. Put a bottom roller on it for tension and ran a zee shifter/ mech combo. Xt 11-36 cassette and I'm gold. I have had my remedy set this way for almost 5 years and without a single problem. The tech was there long time ago
  • 1 1
 not really. 36 is nowhere near enough foe most consumer's steepest climbs. You can get up to a 45t cassettw cog, which ia vastly lower gearing.
  • 1 0
 I have ridden bikes with that size gearing and it was quite amazing. But I didn't pay outrageous prices for mine. It could be the terrain I ride here but I've only encountered a couple climbs that I would have really appreciated the extra gearing. This includes long fire roads with 1500' gain.
  • 34 3
 9point8 without a doubt, the best example of the "by riders - for riders" principle;

The droppers out there are shit - couple of normal guys get together, build a dropper - dropper gets shitty reviews - a new dropper is designed - new dropper gets rad reviews - everyone is stoked - the droppers out there are still shit... except for the 9point8 one, that is.
  • 5 0
 I just picked a 9point8 up and it really is a stellar seatpost. I am floored by the quality of build. And it is such a smooth post. I have to disagree with pink bike on installation though. It could not have been simpler. It went together in a snap and worked perfectly... Way easier than my KS LEV external post.
  • 15 3
 while im sure the 9point8 is a great dropper. I have allot of friends myself included with zero issues on other brands of dropper. So no they are not all shit. You had bad luck with another brand that sucks. but that doesn't mean they are all shit.
  • 3 6
 You just wait. KS lev was great, but then it started acting up and moving on me as I rode, replace the cable, seemed to work, but eventually had to get it serviced. They replaced the piston. 150 later... it works.
  • 10 0
 @Jokesterwild You said it. I've had my Gravity Dropper for at least 5 years, and it's required about 5 minutes of work since I bought it. I've changed the cable once, and poured some lube on it a couple times, and it's worked perfectly.

f*ckin' ugly though.
  • 9 6
 Thomson one IMO
  • 8 4
 Had great success with the Specialized droppers
  • 8 0
 @TFreeman I'm on my 3rd year with my KS Lev 125mm dropper.
I had to service it this year, and it took me about an hour and $20 for the parts.
It's working as good as new. Maybe you should learn to wrench on your bike and not pay $150 to someone else to do it for you.
  • 5 0
 I have had really great success with the specialized command post as well. Very easily serviceable and works like a charm. I just feel like the 9point8 is the best built and most refined post out there. I've tried Thompson, Fox, Rockshox, CrankBros, KS, Specialized and now 9point8. The Fall Line has to be my favorite, but the specialized is really good too. There are a lot of great options out there and they are just getting better.
  • 3 1
 doesnt the commandpost send you into space at the press of a button? that or rupture your rectum.
  • 2 1
 I have the xfusion hilo and 2 yrs and it is working flawless, now that I say that something will happen.
  • 6 1
 The market needs more 27.2 droppers, get on it 9point8!
  • 5 1
 @DarrenV, why bother with a 27.2 when you could have a 27.5? It would have more, umm, unidirectional stability. You would just need a new frame.
  • 1 0
 Does anyone know when the longer extension (175mm) posts are coming? Help me 9point8!!!
  • 1 0
 @Crankmiester trying and owning dropper posts are quite different (if you've owned all those droppers YOU are the 1%). When I bought my Norco Sight the boys at my LBS told me to go with a Reverb. I didn't really want one as I was one of the few guys I ride with that hasn't had any dropper issues (I was running an old KS, others were running Command and Reverb). In the end I got a "deal" on a Reverb. That awesome dropper has been rebuilt by Rockshox once (gone for three weeks, which was awesome to ride with no dropper) and rebuilt by the shop once, and now isn't working (possibly because of cold weather?). Meanwhile, my old KS i900 sits on my sons bike. Man, I wish 9point8 was out a few months earlier.
  • 2 0
 I have owned the CrankBros, LEV, Eten, Command Post, and now the 9point8. I'm not bashing any of them. I'm merely stating of the ones I've owned and tried I like the 9point8 best.

As far as the Reverb goes the first thing I would try is bleeding the hydraulic line. There are great tutorials online how to get it done it looks like a pretty simple process that fixes 80% of the issues reverbs have.
  • 1 0
 I would put money on it needing a proper bleed. and then adjustment at the trigger. mine wasn't working the first cold day, adjusted the speed and bam working as per usual.
  • 1 0
 Another shitty rock shock story. What is up with their gear?
  • 1 0
 The Reverb is universally loved by those who don't own it. Its a nightmare for those who do.

There's also the very strange irrational love for all things SRAM/Rockshox on this site. This is the only place i've seen it, but it's pretty rampant. In the real world (meaning not the internet) the Reverb is known as a "part-time" dropper (it works for half your ride), and the Pike is a great fork when it works. I have a Pike RCT3 on my 29er, and have been through 3 Reverbs on bikes that i've bought and sold. The Pike has already been back to Rockshox (for three weeks, mind you) despite the fact that it's not even a year old, and all three Reverbs had to be rebuilt.

Yet reading here you'd think that both are the best there is.
  • 2 0
 i never get the extreme love of sram products... they all seem to be very very good but only for a short time. and reliability is one of the most important things for me
  • 1 0
 @jordanneddsafork I have no idea what people say when they say sram doesn't have reliability. I had x9 drivetrain on my old rig and now xx1 on my new rig. and neither have had any issues. I ripped one x9 derailer apart in a crash that I don't think anything would have held up any differently. I ride the north shore on a regular basis, and i'm not nice to my bike I must admit. I have zero issues with my guide RSC brakes as well. I get that sometimes you can get a bum product.
  • 1 0
 @Jokesterwild I don't think it's really true that SRAM stuff is "unreliable". I think it's more that it's "less reliable". Most of my riding buddies have switched over to Shimano over the years, but there are two (soon to be one) still left on SRAM (both X9) and they haven't had any MAJOR issues (ignoring the terrible Juicy brakes, of course). Nothing has broken. However, we have never been able to get the setups shifting perfectly, and they need constant adjustment. The shifters do not have consistent action and very vague feel. I think this is what he's getting at, as it is the overwhelming majority of the negative comments I hear in person from riders I know and meet on the trails.
  • 1 0
 Each there own. My personal experience has been great. and my experience with shimano has been great as well. I didn't think the XT brakes were all that great but as far as reliability they had that going for them. I don't think one is vastly better than the other in any of the products.
  • 23 0
 Can I just shout out Sealskinz?? The amount of times I hear about droppers and new tech etc, but every winter I am thankful for dry feet due to this genius product.

Cheers and happy new year
  • 2 1
 damn yes.
  • 2 1
 Had my first ride with some seal skins yesterday. It was fantastic!
  • 6 0
 Your family must have been confused when you were so pleased to receive socks at Christmas!
  • 1 0
 Got say, I've zero experience with Sealskinz because my full collection of socks is U.S. Made merino wool Darn Tough. Good socks are worth every penny.
  • 3 0
 @speed10 Dude, Merino wool is not waterproof like the Sealskinz.
  • 1 0
 @LiquidSpin - totally understand and agree. The boots I use are waterproof. For that reason my socks don't get wet.

My assumption would be if my shoes were wet and out in the cold they would pull warmth from my foot regardless of my socks. Therefore, waterproof socks never occurred to me.

If you are saying I can put on soaking wet fivetens and Sealskinz socks and be warm, you've blown my mind. That would sell me on your socks.
  • 1 0
 @speed10 that is exactly what they do, I put a thin pair of regular socks underneath and I'm toast

Watch this from 4 minutes in
  • 2 0

Well, the warmer the sealskin socks you want the more expensive they become. The cheaper ones do not keep your feet warm but dry.

I think for many people buying waterproof shoes can be a lot more expensive than buying waterproof socks. Also, low top MTB shoes still can get wet since the water may splash and allow water to get inside. I personally ride in shorts even on the coldest of days. easy remedy would be to throw on some waterproof pants and cover the top of the shoes.

I personally use Sealskinz and stick a thin wool sock underneath for added warmth. I have low top 5 Tens and no matter the splash of water my feet stay warm and dry Smile
  • 1 0
 @sewer-rat On very chilly days those thin sealskinz socks he tested will definitely not keep your feet warm. Trust me I know. Which is why I upgraded to these:

Riding in sub 20 degree weather here is awesome with these on~
  • 2 0
 Wow we don't get that pleasure only cooler rain lol with temps typically 10C
  • 1 0
 @sewer-rat Lucky! Yeah during February and March it can get into the teens here (USA) So that would be like in the -9 C but not very often, I try to ride in any condition but rain.
  • 1 0
 Freezing temps I can cope with, it's rain and gale force winds that I can't stand riding in. Shame I live in England where we have weeks of non stop wind and rain
  • 1 0
 Sealskinz users,

no issues with wear or washing? Can they be thrown in the wash or do they take special care? Does the waterproofing fade? Do they smell? Can I wear them a few times without washing? The reason I love my Darn Tough socks is that they are pretty much indestructible and can be worn 2-3 times without washing.

Thanks for your useful reviews thus far. I'm a gear nut and I love it.
  • 1 0
 I haven't washed mine in ages but yeah regular wash is fine, I just dry em out in the shed after each use and throw them over a regular pair when I go out.
  • 1 0
 Generally I just stick to a quick rinse in washer. No detergent etc. I haven't had them long enough to see how the waterproofing fades.
  • 2 0
 @speed10 The waterproofing is done by a mid layer that is waterproof like Gore-Tex. It doesn't fade by washing them. I would avoid using any fabric softener. Low tumble dry. I seriously doubt you need to add any DWR treatment as they are socks and you'll just waste money by adding a DWR layer on them.

All socks can smell if you don't wash them Smile

Can you ride them a few times without washing? Sure you can just depends on the activity and how bad you can tolerate the smell.

As for durability I only use these when biking. So I hardly ever walk in them. Walking in them is the true test as you can wear out the fabric and create holes over time. They feel durable but I've worn durable socks before that I had to throw away due to holes in the heel. So I can't help you there. Since these are $50-$60 socks I'll use them only when needed to extend their life Smile
  • 21 3
 9point8 FTW!
  • 18 10
 "We just shed half a pound off each wheel by getting rid of tubes and it's been reliable for a few years... let's add it all back with a stupid f*cking complicated procore system!!"

I wonder how much Schwalbe paid to have that product included in this...
  • 7 0
 I run procore. Set up is a breeze, super reliable, and my rims haven't gained any new dents in 6 months
  • 1 0
 I stopped using procore after really trying for 3 months. You can still flat the inner tube with nails or thorns... and fixing that is a real nightmare.
  • 3 0
 I only run it on my big bike for racing so I can mob a low pressure and keep my wheels safe. I would never run it on a trail bike. It wouldn't be worth the hastle if you sliced a tire.
  • 1 0
 Toby Hendersen had rims like pro-core. Where are they now?
  • 1 0
 Toby's rims didn't work
  • 9 2
 Di2 is the ultimate in luxury bullshit you dont need, by the time it actually becomes affordable enough to be worth it there will probably be a mainstream system that finally ditches the derailleur altogether. Its a fine thing to have if you have nothing else to spend money on but its just luxury and doesnt change anything about how you ride, 2015 must have been a slow year for innovation if this made the top 3.
  • 3 0
 good points here man!
  • 2 0
 I leave my phone at home when I ride. Why the eff would I want Di2
  • 8 0
 The real potential design flaw with Di2 is that the vast majority of riders just don't care if they ever have it. Better shifting is about the 30th most important thing to me in riding my bike.
  • 8 4
 Why do Pinkbike feel they have to put forward products to be a "Component of the year" and all these this that and the other of the year awards. I understand everyone has their own opinion and this is pinkbikes' take on their products of the year, but after all these great reviews Pinkbike produce people can make their own mind up on products of the year. Every time I see a "insert bike related article" of the year post, its nothing but the biggest load of bollocks of the year. Then again this is just my opinion. Just stick to the news and product reviews please.
  • 7 1
 There is little enough to talk about at this time of year to begin with. I welcome the discussion that ensues.
  • 3 1
 cause the people who pay to keep pinkbike fully staffed and up and running are the manuracturers. they want things like this to happen. of course they all think their product is the best so they all want it to go ahead also. its exposure of products. literally what the industry pays pinkbike to do
  • 1 0
 I like the awards because it focuses on some of the exceptional products out there. Often reviews are done in a short testing window, but over the course of the year it's the reviewers' feedback AND other users' as well. Bike of the Year is a tough category. It would be great if they did a top five in each of the riding disciplines.
  • 3 1
 Ah......because people enjoy reading these articles?

The idea that this is driven by companies is asinine. If that was true, why would Pinkbike want to alienate every company that advertises here but didn't make these lists?

I think reader interest is what drives this.
  • 1 0
 @jerrytek - don't get too annoyed. The conspiracy theories always surface in the Fox-related articles. Remember, Fox pays out big for every word of praise spoken. I mean how else could anyone ever like their products? They had a bad run in 2013 so all of their products must be terrible forever.
  • 10 1
 WUT NO 27.5+ BIKES?
  • 4 0
 May I humbly claim that the ks eten remote dropper should have been on this list? An affordable, simple, relatively reliable dropper post for the masses....$130

and also one you can remove on the street if you have to park it outside. Love this little thing....not prefect by any means...but perfectly usable and convenient.
  • 3 0
 Got to agree, the e-ten is affordable and is faultless so far!
  • 1 0
 I realized though it's been out for at least a couple years....right?!?!
  • 2 2
 Because it's the worst post ever made. That's why. Sure, you think it's faultless, for now. But just you wait.....

First ride in sub zero weather, and it fails to work. Not only does it fail, but it goes into OOMF mode. Whats that? It's called 'Opposite Of My Function" mode and it's when the post does the exact opposite of what you bought it to do. It extends when you get up, then drops when you sit. So in other words, it not only completely ruins your ride but leaves you stranded with a dangerous post that you can't sit on and is fully extended in ball smack mode. This is due to the design of the internal mechanism. Now, this happens in cold weather, then it creeps into warm weather until the post is broken and it does it all the time. I had to ram a portion of an inner tube into the oring to slam it down so I could get out of the woods without a fully raised post. The next stop for it was the trash, because that's where it belongs.

Now you may say, it's just yours. it wont happen to me. but you wait and see. Google it. it happened to everyone who got one, just a matter of time.

It also can't be rebuilt. Is very heavy compared to every other dropper post, and the lever is cheap plastic that breaks if you look at it wrong.

So, yea. Worst seat post ever made. Literally. it does the exact opposite of what you bought it to do almost exactly 1.5 years after you buy it. Good luck, the rest of us weren't so lucky.
  • 2 1
 it can be rebuilt. just not by you.... my plastic ks lever has survived more then my body has in a wreck..... sounds like someone had a smig bit of trouble and threw a temper tantrum in the comments. my 2.5 month old ks lev failed. sent it in and had it back in 7 days. not temper tantrum here.
  • 2 0
 Haha! I have to laugh at that first line. @atrokz

Well...I have to remember your words and come back in 1.25 years. Though I ride a lot so maybe I'll find out sooner. : |

In my defense, I've owned other dropper posts that did almost equally shitty things that were nearly three times as expensive--and that cost almost as much in time, effort and parts to service as it does to buy a new one of these.

Also...I live in California and in the SF bay...we don't have subzero temps.

My bike already weighs basically 30 lbs...I can deal with a post that's 1-2 pounds heavier if it keeps my wallet thick. But as you said...I'll just have to wait and see!

Crashed a few times including some big stacks...lever ok thus far!
  • 2 0
 @cptstoney. Just, no. 1st off, how is it rebuild-able? Would a certified tool and die maker, former team mechanic, and manufacturing engineer have any trouble with the rebuild? Assuming you've done it? Please show me where I can get the part that failed...... I can't seem to find it or any information from KS regarding spare parts for the ETen or a rebuild spec sheet other than one video that only shows the tear down procedure but doesn't show how to fix the locking mechanism. Also, tantrum =/= an attempt at humor. Learn the difference Wink
  • 1 0
 @pancakeflatted Glad you got the humor. Yea, I was right frustrated. I hope yours turns out for the better. Keep it out of the freezing cold and it may last longer. I got a Lev now, and I'm going to try this 'rebuild' on the ETen for poops and giggles......
  • 2 0
 let me know how teh rebuild goes @atrokz ... sounds like I'm gonna need it....or maybe I'll just buy a new one on sale somewhere!!! : )

If @cptstoney is anything like his name...he prob just zoned out for a minute at the beginning and end of his comment... he's likely ok now....
  • 1 1
 The guys at ks have no issue rebuidling em jackass...

No one gives a shit if you are bad tool maker that doesnt make you gods gift to man. I can build a wheelchair better then you does that make me cool? No

Piss off with your holy then tho bullshit.
  • 1 0
 stfu @cptstoney KS uses non rebuildable carts that they replace, and as such it isn't 'rebuilldable' as you erroneously claim. you are clueless and the actual jackass here, clearly. look at the correspondence between me and pancake, who got the humor, and then you, the jackass angry clown. I'm cooler than you because I'm not a fool who starts arguments with people for no good reason on the internet, using incorrect and misleading information and feeble attempts at disparaging another person. Good bye, little man.

Pankacke sorry for the thread! I'll let you know how it goes. Hoping I can sort out the locking mechanism, and hoping it's not the cartridge. But i've read somewhere that someone tried a cart from another source and it worked, so if that's the case it'll be a simple fix.
  • 1 0
 @pancakeflatted upon more research, it looks like KS has upgraded a few items on the Eten since mine was released. There were a string of returns from the original runs (thread on MTBR shows a bunch of people with problems) where they replaced the cartridge, return spring, and mechanism. It should be noted that replacing a cartridge that isn't rebuildable makes this a non-rebuildable post, in the same vein that replacing the strut inserts on your car's front suspension isn't 'rebuilding' your suspension. You can service them, like KS will do, but KS will just replace entire sub assembly (cartridge) and items (springs, actuator, etc) vs rebullding them (like you would do with Blistein HD strut inserts, rebuildable) You are replacing the actual guts of the suspension. Same thing here. So you may be lucky in having a newer unit that doesn't have issues with the return mechanism or cartridge. If this is the case then I'm all for trying this again. It's cheap enough.
  • 1 2
 quoted directly from a dictionary, the definition of rebuild

"build (something) again after it has been damaged or destroyed.
"he rebuilt the cathedral church"
synonyms: reconstruct, renovate, restore, remodel, remake, reassemble
"rebuilding the barn"

swapping out a broken part for a working part is rebuilding. getting all bent out of shape over semantics is pointless.

and you still havent dropped that holy then tho attitude i see.
  • 2 0
 Drop it? Not for you little man. Let's explain it for stoners:

1: Your explanation is incorrect when it comes to engineering. You don't rebuild something by replacing it. You replaced it. Ask your mechanic if he is doing a motor rebuild when doing a motor swap. Or ask your bike mechanic if he rebuilds bikes when replacing the frame, or if he rebuilds your wheels when he replaces tires. This isn't a house which is a structure in itself that isn't modular. It's mechanical engineering. Arguing this may be semantics but you're the one whos arguing incorrect information. Replacing the actual assembly (not just a part) isn't rebuilding the post. Do you 'rebuild' your fork by replacing all the guts inside of it? No. You rebuild it by replacing wear and tear items like seals and oils. Not the cartridge which is the functional mechanism. On the other KS posts, these can actually be rebuilt. Not so on the ETen. You need to replace it, not rebuild it. Getting through to you?

2: You said 'not by you'. To which I replied with only a gander of what I do, which means 'hey, if it's rebuildable I would be able to do it'. That response to your vapid call out isn't 'holier than thou'. It's a logical response to you saying I can't do it when you have ZERO inclination of what I can or can't do. YOUR attitude is what's rotten here.

Feel free to check my tag on IG to see what I do. You make take it as 'attitude' but the correct interpretation is a professional is correcting your lame ass call out and you're trying to say he's the problem. Yea ok there hot shot.
  • 2 0
 @cptstoney It's to early for this. Let's have our coffees and enjoy the day! I'm sure you're a cool guy, it's the internet, lets give benefit of the doubt and pretend we're both awesome people. Cheers
  • 3 0
 Hey fellas. You've been busy since I was away.

I just have to weigh in at this point and say that @cptstoney you're acting like a tool and that @atrokz has basically handed you your ass. Seriously...and sorry if you can't see that.

In any event cappy, quoting the dictionary and thesaurus was alone enough to put the final nails in your rhetorical coffin. You might think you're in a fair fight, but you're surrounded. So just give up and come out with your hands up. It's okay. We forgive you already. You're probably a stand-up dude under pressure.

Thanks to atrokz for the actual information. I'm really just pulling for 6-10 months of use out of this thing before it starts to fail. Problem is that I'm an artist who's just not mechanically inclined at all; but I ride a lot and pass the supposed (and actual) service intervals on all suspension parts so quickly that I can't keep up in maintaining them. So until I'm on a team with a full-time mechanic, or I manage to have a slave, I will only run cheap, easily serviced (or affordably REPLACED, get that...REPLACED) coil suspension and can't foresee going back.

As for the seatpost, I'll report back to this thread when and if it decides to start dying off. Cheers mates!
  • 1 1
 opinions are like assholes everyone has one. no one won or lost we all look like idiots for fighting on the interwebs.
  • 2 0
 yes, but just like opinions not all assholes are created equally.
  • 1 0
 in your opinion....
  • 2 0
 how old are you cpt?
  • 1 0
 old enough to know you are baiting me into continuing the shenanigans i'll play though, 31
  • 1 0
 haha! evidence that the cpt is ok!
  • 1 0

dude. cue one month later or whatever....and my freaking KS Eten is now doing EXACTLY what you said it would.

what a piece of garbage.

  • 1 0
 My "rebuilt" ks is still going strong Smile
  • 1 0
 Told you! haha. I need to try cleaning mine out and seeing what I can do. Been so busy it's still sitting in my shops garbage.
  • 6 0
 So you've included something no one can afford, something that literally doesn't exist and something that's impossible to get. Genius.
  • 6 0
 at my first glance I thought it was an ass grater seat. Then I saw it was a seat post attached to an ass grater seat.
  • 7 0
 The wireless Magura dropper doesn't seem to get much press
  • 3 0
 ever since schwalbie first announced the duel chamber tyre i knew it was my kind of thing. im not exactly the lightest on my rear end at times and to get around that i run high pressure and life with it cause i cant afford tubes every day and pushing home sucks ass. infact its worse than sucking ass, trust me. then boom procore came out. id get a procore certainly. i must have popped enough tubes to cover the cost and i can run low pressures without killing my rims either!!! procore gets my vote.
  • 6 0
 2 products nobody has used and a dropper post - good job pinkbike
  • 2 0
 Pretty much. It's "product of the year that nobody will care for or actually use outside of a few fringe customers". Good job. XT would have been a good bet. Value 11spd. but no, electronic shifting nobody outside of a few dentists and pros will actually buy.
  • 1 0
 Interesting to see the 9point8 in here. I'm currently in the market for a dropper after changing my frame. Had a Thomson dropper in the last one for two years with no issues.
Has anyone ridden and tried both posts for comparison reasons?
Where do I need to spend my money people?
  • 1 0
 I'm surprise 9point8 made it in. I'm betting my money on Shitmano winning this category though! Although it's out of everyone's price range, it is a cool new feature that had no issues to report. One thing for sure is you'll never find me using an electronic system! Good old cable does it for me Razz
  • 1 0
 Not a terribly good year for component innovations.

I've gotta think that electronic shifting will be the biggest innovation in hindsight. Like others here, I wouldn't buy it in its current form/price point, but in 5 years I imagine that this tech will be very common.
  • 1 0
PB first said this:
"Reliability is still the biggest hurdle, and both cable and hydraulically actuated systems have their share of quirks that keep them from being 100% perfect."
So the existing dropper posts are unreliable due to being cable and/or hydraulically operated(btw, my KS Lev has a cable, and has never let me down, but I digress)
Then PB said THIS about the 9.8 'Fall Line' post:
" excellent reliability thanks to its cable-actuated hydraulic brake design"
So the reason(s) why every other dropper is unreliable makes this one 'as trouble free as it gets'
Firstly, they rip on all the others for not being 100% perfect, then give props to this thing for being 'as trouble free as it gets', and the reason they give for it being so good is the reason(s) they gave for all the others NOT being 'so good'.
They've got NO case for this thing being ANY better than ANY other dropper, and actually a case for it NOT being as good as the others, as even in their over-the-top fluffing of this POS, they gotta mention what a PITA it is to install.
Oh, but once you DO get it installed, it's as good as any other. uhhhhWHAT?!?!
Do these guys even read this crap before they publish it?
  • 3 0
 Yeah, nice to see 9point8 up there, now they just need to release the 175 or 200mm dropper.
  • 6 1
 i like men
  • 2 0
 Three items I have zero interest in. Ok, if this dropper came with external routing it'd already be on my bike. Sadly I don't have internal routing option.
  • 2 2
 All the products are good for sure. Procore issues are with the very limited choices with rims that are compatible with them. Di2 is just too dam expensive, and not having a 42 is a bit of an issue for my 1x heart. The 9point8 posts sounds awesome considering that race face sent the same post over seas to produce them cheaper. Good shoot out. I put my money on the post!
  • 3 3
 It seems like procore is just like a..........well i guess inner tube! So the fancy inner tube is product of the year? Also if you have electronic shifting you need electronic brakes and Edropper and Esuspension and guess what you got Epeddling (Ebike). Is anbody else tired of working to pay for this crap so Gwinn can get a raise?
  • 1 1
 The problem with Di2 (in addition to the price) is that it is wired. It is not just a matter of buying a shifter and derailler, you need a battery, expensive connectors, and possibly a display. Then you have to figure out the routing.

Make it wireless, ditch the FD option, and make the price XTR +10-20%....then we might be talking component of the year.
  • 2 0
 The day I trust my life to wireless drivetrain...well...that's never going to happen.

As a datacenter engineer who knows the complex internal workings of wireless data transmission - unless it's good old AM/FM or PCM, NEVER trust your life to it.

Also, wires are a HELL of a lot easier to route than cables in housing, and having the battery centralized, rather than a battery for every component, is huge.
  • 3 1
 Or how about the new nobby nics.... They don't seem to puncture by just looking at them anymore.
  • 2 0
 Really happy to see 9point8 on here. I have one of those on the way. Awesome company.
  • 9 10
 None of the above. The only possible innovation here is electronic drivetrain, but it would only be a worthwhile mention if they could make it XT or SLX pricing. Schwalbe ProCore is three steps back in tube/tire evolution. No way it should even be on here. And the Fall Line doesn't have anything to write home about.
  • 4 3
 hahah, electronic shifting for MTB - good one buahaha. 500$ for a rear derailleur is fkng special. You know, when you waste it, then... the only thing fitting your shifters is... another 500$ rear derailleur! I tell you what, I heard that Shimano will make an electronic active clutch system, with own servo, activating clutch only when needed to not interrupt suspension action. I am going to write and draw an article about it. Such rear mech would be 800$ XTR 10000 series or just E-XTR
  • 1 0
 Electronic shifting isn't an innovation when it's been on road bikes for years, at best it is a lateral move to mtbs. And not even a realistic one for most riders at that.
  • 4 5
 Love them or hate them the Bosch-powered pedal-assist eBike has really caused a big stir this year. While many, myself included, don't think they should be on MTB trails but it doesn't negate the impact they will have on the sport. I think we are just seeing the beginning of it...
  • 3 0
 I don't see them even being the same CLASS of bike, let alone regarded alongside classic mountain bikes. E-bikes are nothing new. I had one in 2003, it was neat. They are experiencing a resurgence right now because of finally sufficient battery technology. They have a VERY long way to go before they can be placed side by side with a good modern mountain bike...if that even ever happens.
  • 2 2
 My initial reaction is to recoil when e-bikes are mentioned... But if more people perceive themselves as mountain bikers then that can only be a good thing for the coverage, revenue and investment in to the sport. It's a tough one!
  • 2 1
 I know eBikes have been around for a while but I feel like 2015 is when big companies finally started showing bikes modeled around the new technology (rather than adapted/converted). It's not 1 single component but the blending of many to create a very serious bike. if you don't think they can be placed side-by-side you weren't paying attention this year.
  • 3 0
 How many people have ridden Di2 for a season? *tumbleweeds*
  • 1 1
 I'd love to know how di2 made this list. Who has a set of these? Coz it's not me. Or anyone I know. Or an one I've heard of. How can they be making any decisions about it with so few out there...
  • 2 0
 I only clicked on this article to be entertained by those who complain about everything . Been disappointed so far...
  • 3 1
 Component of the year for Pinkbike should be a pair of luxury priced flat pedals. Seriously this place is a kook-fest
  • 2 0
 Procore - lauded by all magazines .... Not available in any local bike shops whatsoever in Canada lol , solid choice for # 2
  • 3 1
 Yawn. Not enough nominees by far.
  • 3 2
 Glad to see 9point8 on the list...had a feeling before clicking the link...good guys, excellent service and quality product.
  • 2 0
 Finally a good list of nominees!
  • 2 0
 Once again nothing to read even.
  • 2 0
 Wasn't procore up for this last year?
  • 1 0
 it said in the article... inovation of the year
  • 1 0
 The only one of these that gets me even remotely aroused is the 8" dropper. (#nohomo)
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 Procore does not even get used by their sponsored riders that get to use for free it is that good?
  • 14 12
 Procore ftw
  • 14 4
 Procore was announced two years ago and is still vapourware
  • 8 6
 What do you mean? It's widely available and works as intended
  • 10 2
 yes but it is heavy and you cant repair it on the trail and its super expensive
  • 5 1
 Yeah and they're nothing innovative. These are just internal beadlocks which people have been using in off road applications since like wwii. They're not as common but I have a buddy who's been using them on his yota crawler for over a decade.
  • 6 3
 It worked for me yesterday. There was a lot of snow, so I dropped the pressure to 15psi or less and also jumped into an exposed rock garden. No metal to rock clank! I would never try that on tubeless OR tubes. New or old technology, it simply wasn't available for bikes until recently.
  • 1 4
 I'm sure ProCore works great on trail bikes, but its best application would be fat bikes...
  • 10 2
 Yeah! Put it on a fat bike and burn it with fire. Best application.
  • 2 0
 @pike-x1 you can off set the weight easilly by running lighter rims as there is almost no danger of cracking the rim on a rock. the price for me would be easilly made up in the tubes and rims i go through and the idea is you dont need to repair it cause it shoudnt fail. if it were to fail a tubeless system would also fail cause it would involve a very sharp thing
  • 4 2
 The lightest tyre I would trust for riding in the mountains is 950g. Procore would add 200g to a regular setup with regular tube. So I prefer to run a regular 2ply tyre at 1300g if I want to avoid flats...
  • 2 0
 Most of todays light carbon rims will handle 6 Bar + ...we hope.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns rides 4 kph ON teh flats to avoid them. ; )
  • 1 0
 A whole lot of people will now be buying a new dropper post.
  • 3 1
 No boost..... Wtf!?!!??
  • 2 2
 Are those seat droppers really that reliable? Doesn't seem they've been out long enough to really say one way or another
  • 1 0
 Wait so the Magura electronic dropper was worth nothing now?
  • 1 0
 I have zero interest in a electronic drivetrain
  • 1 0
 Shimano Di2 XTR Drivetrain
  • 5 4
 No guide brake???
  • 7 7
 Seriously, I don't get why guide brakes and Sram gx aren't both on here.
  • 9 1
 Guide brakes were released (and nominated) last year.
  • 6 7
 Because guide brakes are utter garbage, try using em in the UK slop.Terribly inconsistent.Bled them too many times to get them feeling right.Hope all the way but interested in trying a saint out.
  • 7 11
flag cunning-linguist (Dec 28, 2015 at 11:19) (Below Threshold)
 Cos SRAM components are wank & last a tenth of the time of the shimano equivalent, at least they do here in the UK.
  • 5 7
 Because the Guides are just their Elixer trails with new bladders to hold air bubbles so you dont need a perfect bleed and GX is just lower cost like Shimano 11sp. No innovation.
  • 3 4
 I've had (and heard) of mostly good experiences with Guide brakes. But as they are more expensive than comparable Shimanos, and don't offer anything above Shimanos, they don't qualify.
  • 3 0
 Sweet guys I really appreciate the honesty in each and every comment. Seems like we all have different views of products.
  • 3 2
 Why are you rewarding a company for finally making a product work right? I got the Guide RSC and they are great. But component of the year......not even close. Plus the new Magura MT7 and MT5 are better.
  • 3 1
 i hear the maguta MT7s break all the time. doesnt danny mac use them and he broke like 4 sets in cascadia
  • 2 1
 Oh dear ...
  • 1 0
 blah blah blah
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