Remember what mountain biking was like before dropper posts? Arriving at the top of a technical downhill section meant you either needed to dismount and lower your seat by hand, or try to make it to the bottom with the seat bouncing against your chest, a position that's anything but confidence inspiring. These days it's fair to say that most riders see dropper posts as a necessity, right up there with disc brakes and front suspension. They're still not cheap, and reliability issues remain a little too common, but on the whole they've made riding even more enjoyable, and allow for frame designs that wouldn't have have otherwise been possible.
Now that dropper posts are the norm, the amount of travel they have has begun to increase, a change made possible by new frame designs that lower top tubes and shorter seat tubes. Kona was one of the early adopters of this idea with their Process line of bikes, and the last few seasons we've seen more and more companies alter their geometry to make running a 150mm post possible.
Kona was one of the first companies to fully commit to the use of a dropper post.
In recent years others have followed suit, including the new Santa Cruz Bronson, which was designed to accommodate a 150mm dropper.
What's next? It doesn't look like the limit has been reached yet, and now that RockShox offers the Reverb (one of the most commonly spec'd posts on the market) with 170mm of drop, expect to see it start appearing on more bikes in the future.
There are also smaller companies offering posts with even more travel – in Canada you have 9Point8 with their Fall Line dropper in 175 and 200mm options, and in Germany there's Vecnum with170 and 200mm versions of their Moveloc post. And don't forget about Eightpins and their integrated dropper post, which makes it possible to have up to 220mm of drop, although you'll need a special frame to go along with it.
How much drop do you want?
Now, not everyone needs 200mm of drop – a lot of this is height dependent. For smaller riders, 125mm is often plenty, lowering the seat to below knee level, but for the longer-limbed that amount of drop will only move the seat to around mid-thigh at best, which is better than nothing, but still not ideal. That brings us to this week's poll question: