PNW Components Bachelor 150 Dropper Post - Review

Oct 6, 2016
by Vernon Felton  
PNW Components Bachelor 150 Dropper-Post


There was a time, not so long ago, when dropper post options were few and far between. That’s changed—particularly in the past year or two. Longtime players such as Crank Brothers, Fox, RockShox, Specialized, and Thompson have given their posts serious reboots. Moreover, just about everyone under the sun has decided now is the time to give this whole dropper post business a whirl. Ritchey, Raceface, and Shimano immediately are new players that come to mind, but there are smaller brands in the mix as well, including PNW Components.

PNW's latest offering, the Bachelor 150, is meant to go head to head with premium dropper posts. It only recently hit the market, though I’ve been riding this production version here for six months now. The Bachelor 150 retails for $380 USD. pnwcomponents.com


PNW Components Bachelor 150 Dropper-Post
The Bachelor 150 uses a fairly standard derailleur cable and barrel nut setup to activate the post. And, yes, (since someone with OCD will surely point this out) I've trimmed that extra bit of frayed cable since I shot this photo.
PNW Components Bachelor 150 Dropper-Post
Setup is dead simple. The barrel nut slips into the slotted stop on the actuation arm. Removing and reinstalling the post is about as challenging as eating a ham sandwich.


The Basics

No big surprise, the Bachelor 150 offers up 150 millimeters (six inches) of height adjustment. While it always feels silly to call a post with a static range of adjustment “infinite,” that’s the industry nomenclature so, yeah, this is an infinite-adjust post—you’re not stuck with choosing three or four pre-determined positions. Slam it, top it out or set it anywhere in between.

The post itself is constructed from 7075 aluminum and comes in either 30.9 or 31.6-millimeter diameters. Riders of steel hardtails will be bummed to hear that there isn’t currently a 27.2 model on tap and if you are running a frame with a bigger-than-31.6 seattube (such as an older Scott Genius), it’s time to buy a shim or get crafty with a can of beer a pair of tin snips. That said, 30.9 and 31.6 cover the bulk of aluminum and carbon frames out there.

If you’re running an older frame that hasn’t been properly Swiss-cheesed to accept internal dropper post lines, you’re shit out of luck here, as the Bachelor 150 is strictly stealth routed.


PNW Components Bachelor 150 Dropper-Post
The Bachelor 150 comes with this machined, aluminum trigger. Ergonomics are better than average. While I prefer an under-the-bar, shifter-style trigger, this is still the best option for anyone running a front derailleur.
PNW Components Bachelor 150 Dropper-Post
None of the silly, slipping creaking one-bolt nonsense on the Bachelor 150's head. It's standard two-bolt setup and it gives you zero headaches.

On Trail

Getting the party started, as with all posts, is as simple as pushing the trigger. For its part, the trigger is a well-crafted bit of 7075. The ergonomics are above average—the clamp itself is a minimal affair, yet the trigger is large enough that you never lose seconds searching blindly for your target. I personally am a bigger fan of under-the-bar style triggers that mimic front derailleur shifters, but if you aren’t running a single-ring setup, this is a solid option. I did have to fuss a bit with the trigger’s noodle, which didn’t get on terribly well with my Shimano XT brake lever, but the hassle was minimal. When it comes to actuation, I’d rate the trigger something like a 7 or 8 out of a possible 10. It's not as light and silky a touch as, say, the KindShock LEV Integra trigger, but it’s easily on par with the best of the rest. There’s no slop in the lever, and you don’t feel like you’re going to sprain your thumb getting the post to obey your digit's every whim.

There’s very little play in the saddle. For comparison's sake, there's less wiggle than what you experience with a RockShox Reverb, but a hair more play than the KindShock LEV. If that comparison means nothing to you, put is this way: PNW uses a keyed slider system to prevent twist and slop, and it works well.

As with most hydraulic posts, finding your perfect saddle height at any given moment is a painless affair. The Bachelor 150 works flawlessly in that regard. In fact, this is going to be a fairly boring review because nothing went wrong. The biggest gripe I can drudge up is that whenever I activated the post for the first time of each ride, it would inexplicably stop about a half inch from the top. I’d push the trigger again and it would go right to the top. From the point forward, it’d go straight to the top of the stroke whenever I pushed the trigger. This happened on every ride for the duration of the six-month test. First push of the trigger? Meh. Every push after that? Brilliant. PNW Components speculated that the test sample might simply need a bit more lube. Who knows. It was like that right out of the box and didn't feel notchy or slow anywhere else in the stroke or at any other point during the ride. I didn’t lose any sleep over it since the post would work perfectly on every ride after its first actuation, but since it happened on my watch, I’m writing about it.

If you’re a fan of a saddle that tops out in nano seconds flat, you might find the return rate on the Bachelor 150 less-than-satisfying. It’s not slow, mind you. In fact, I’m a fan of my gonads and wouldn’t want the saddle coming up any quicker than the Bachelor manages at top speed (which you can also adjust with the air-preload). But if you are all about posts that zoom back to their peak position with a satisfying crashing noise, I suppose you might find this one lacking in that regard. To each their own. It is a bit of a drag that you need to remove the seat in order to access the Schrader valve and change preload air pressure, though I was able to get four months of riding out of the post before I felt the need to actually take off my saddle and top off that preload air spring.

Durability has been excellent. The post hasn’t given me a bit of grief. If its hydraulic cartridge does, in fact, shit the bed, you can easily swap it for a new one. Replacement cartridges run $150 USD. As for weight, at 565 grams, the Bachelor 150 is, again, competitive with the better options out there.



PNW Components Bachelor 150 Dropper Post


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesWhat's lacking about the Bachelor 150? A big name and marketing budget. That's it. The Bachelor 150 works well and after six months is proving as reliable as the better posts on the market. To date, it's been a set-it-and-forget-it kind of component... something you can't say about every dropper post on the market. What could be improved? If you want an under-the-bar trigger option, you'll need to use something like a KS Southpaw remote, but other than that, there's little room for complaint. - Vernon Felton





93 Comments

  • + 80
 Removing and reinstalling the post is about as challenging as eating a ham sandwich. So very challenging if you're a vegan.
  • + 21
 Not vegan... just don't like ham. would feel challenged.
  • + 6
 Vegans can be rather frail and scrawny, so...yes!
  • + 4
 @Sprint36: that man is rather large.
  • + 3
 Hey, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'd never know 'cause I wouldn't eat the filthy motherf***er. Pigs sleep and root in shit. That's a filthy animal. I ain't eat nothin' that ain't got enough sense enough to disregard its own faeces.
  • + 5
 @onemind123:
You must like playing in the mud to if you ride mtb .
Never spent much time on a farm have you. Can't say cows chickens or sheep are particularly clean either. My only problem with eating pigs that there intelligent so feel guilty. You should do some actual factual reaserch on them. Plus they do taste amazing
  • + 17
 @markg1150: has not seen Pulp Fiction apparently.
  • + 1
 Processed food. Not working on WC racers.
  • + 2
 @Sprint36: The weights are fake, they're made from reconstituted radishes. And its a well know fact that although they look heavy, radishes are very very light. We re looking at a very crafty Vegan here, very crafty indeed.
  • - 2
 @onemind123: Is this response intentional, or have you knowingly ripped off a QT movie in an attempt to sound cool.
  • + 13
 Lol, Vegans don't ride MTB's. they ride Fixies!
  • + 3
 Hahahhaha I am so glad this Challenge post surfaced. Faith in pinkbikehumanity and humour
  • + 2
 @onemind123: Ironically if I recall a drunk conversation correctly, pigs are believed to be the next species to become "sentient" or aware of its self (like dolphins).
  • + 4
 @Shredthenoob:
Gone from dropper post to pigs to pulp fiction in a few sentences. This sounds like a drunk conversation to me
  • + 3
 @markg1150: shit happens when you party naked.
  • - 2
 @defineindecline: Carnivores can also be rather frail & scrawny, while vegans can also be jacked. So WTF's the point? In any case, that has nothing to do with the difficulty of changing the post. Eating a ham sandwich would be hard for a vegan, because they don't eat meat, not because of anything to do with physical stature or strength. Duh. :/

Vegans can also tend to be snobby & uppity, so maybe they wouldn't use a post without a fancy name. Hard to change a post you don't have to begin with, hmm? Ô.o
  • + 40
 $380 for yet another dropper that's cable-actuated with hydraulic cartridge--yawn. Seems like the price should be *dropping* on these post since now there's like 5 brands offering the same thing.
  • + 26
 I couldn't agree more... $200 msrp is where these companies should be aiming for imo.
  • + 5
 I was hoping the 150 in its name would have been its price.
  • + 20
 Understanding I run the risk of being "that guy".....OCD is a painful and debilitating anxiety disorder. It has nothing to do with being clean, detail oriented, type A, tedious, or pedantic. Glad you trimmed that cable.
  • + 4
 Well... OCPD is what he was going for, but you certainly know that colloquially, OCD is used synonymously with it. I guess as long as it's just a rethorical tool, the difference does not really matter too much. Also, your statement that it "has nothing to do with ..." isn't necessarily true, as eg the overwhelming need to wash your hands over and over can be seen as "tedious" or "pedantic" and "being clean" from a (possibly uninformed) point of view.
  • + 2
 Yeah, seems that people usually say OCD when they really mean OCPD (Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder)
  • + 10
 @bschleenbaker: Examples A&B ^^^^^^
  • + 1
 @scary1: Found the guy who did not understand what either is about.
  • + 16
 "And yea, I've trimmed that extra bit of frayed cable since I shot this photo." -not sure if I like the tone of this condescending acknowledgement of us PB'ers hypercritical commentary...
  • + 11
 Hmm, what other dropper is exactly like this but doesn't have a 150 option.

*Cough* command post *cough*

Spesh needs to get there shit together, a 125mm dropper on an XL bike is not ok.
  • + 2
 Nope. Command post isn't hydro... But I agree.
  • - 4
flag scotteh (Oct 6, 2016 at 14:04) (Below Threshold)
 @Grutten: command post is the same set up as this. mechanical lever, hydro post
  • + 5
 The Command Post has an annoying (for most of us) offset.
  • + 7
 Command Post is not a cartridge. Command Post utilizes an expanding collet, meaning preset "stop".

This is more similar to the Giant Contact SL or Crank Brothers Highline, but the PNW post has the most expensive replacement cartridge that I've seen at $150. The Giant is $50 and the Highline is $100.
  • + 3
 There is a new command post on it's way and it's going to be bigger in diameter than the 31.6
  • + 1
 @enrico650: Spec makes a really nice post but needs to offer a 150mm with no offset. Their trigger has the lightest touch I've found, which is a huge plus to me - I drop more than I shift. The speed of their return is adjustable and like the fast return. The Fox Transfer is really nice too, priced right, but just a hair slow on the return.
  • + 1
 @PHeller: Allegedly Highline cartridges are $50 under warranty but I have no source to back that up.
  • + 1
 @Shredthenoob: I think they are free under warranty and $100 after it.
  • + 1
 @PHeller: Hell yeah even better!
  • + 6
 Sounds like a sealed cartridge situation... Kinda like the great seatposts Giant make at about half this price. The Giant ones can also be run internally or externally routed.
  • + 8
 Nice review. Love the swears, comparisons and vibe of this article.
  • + 4
 I love Vernon Felton's reviews - they are always completely down to earth and reliable.
  • + 2
 @arna86: I was stoked to see when he came over from Bike and then all the PB keyboard warriors hated him from a short bit. Glad to see its turned around!
  • + 1
 @Shredthenoob: Yeah - I was pretty pleased when one day a while back, I saw his name on a PB article Smile
  • + 4
 I refuse to believe that the industry can't get the price of a hydraulic dropper down to the $200 dollar range. The technology is essentially a refinement of an office chair cartridge that likely costs 10 dollars to produce.
  • + 5
 The Ks eTen is what your looking for
  • + 3
 When is the last time you weighed your office chair mechanism or took it offroad?

+1 for the eTen recommendation
  • + 1
 @LukeBurgie: 100mm only. ;(
  • + 3
 @jayacheess: The Giant one mate. up to 150mm drop. I bought one for like $240NZD last month. Only thing is they only make 30.9mm so you either have to have that sized tubing, or need to get a shim
  • + 1
 @TomShark: the Giant post is amazing. Arguably the best idea say. Most of the time it's more in the $300 range though, Which is still damn good if you ask me.
  • + 2
 Not certain if it was the internal routing on my frame, but my KS Lev Integra was not a light touch. In fact it would over time cause the cable to fray and the little barrel would drop out of the actuator arm and that would it for the seat post. Replaced with a new Giant brand dropper and now have a dropper that has a much lighter lever feel, all while using the same internal cable housing that was being used as the KS Lev Integra. FWIW, I like the designs that don't have the cable clamped at the bottom of the seat post but instead at the lever. The only downside the Giant dropper is that for the same drop capability the Giant dropper is longer than the KS Lev.
  • + 2
 Gawd, looking at this... $380/565 grams...

Not being facetious: It just seems so complicated for something that should be simple. Doesn't it seem like there should be a way to remotely raise/drop my current carbon seatpost without spending all that money? A spring in the seattube and a cable controlled collar?
  • + 3
 Orbea don't have it cable actuated yet or sprung but their digit post just needs a spring and a cable actuated clamp, it has stoppers so it stops at the highest point you want and at the lowest point you want, pretty cool and a simple design and cheap!
  • + 1
 @Scotj009: Cool! Thanks for pointing that out.

I used to have a swaged anti-theft cable that went from frame to seat, it happened that its max extension was my riding position. I think "Piece of String" is a good way to control travel, now we just need a way to raise and lower the seat without getting off the bike.

Could it be built into the frame? "New Patented Frame Spring Technology"? A small but strong spring (like the valve spring from a motor) could be bolted on the outside of the seat tube, presses a rod into the seattube, a pivot/lever could translate the spring force into seatpost lifting powah. Gotta cut the frame though... spring is heavy... existing droppers are already pretty simple...

But ya know... something like that... something simple that you'd see in a 100 year old factory that lets you use your existing expensive seatpost.
  • + 2
 X-fusion has a 630g dropper for $199, That's not much more than you'd pay for some carbon fiber seat post's at sticker.
  • + 1
 Speaking of cutting up frames, I am doing a frame for my a2 so we shall see about this, might be an angle I should look into!
  • + 1
 Hite Rite with a remote collar has been tried I think.
  • + 0
 "It just seems so complicated for something that should be simple" - because what "seems" here is that it seems simple to you while it is rather complicated. You got it the other way around Big Grin
  • + 1
 Was going to mention the old Hite rite, I see someone beat me to it.
  • + 1
 Is it just me or does nearly every small brand dropper look like an exact copy of the KS lev Integra. I have a KS and that cable attachment system is a pain in the hoop to connect. Usually taking me 10+ mins to achieve what is a very simple task that seems to require 3 hands but should only take 2 mins. Yet nearly every cable actuated brand has the exact same attachment system. Bet that factory is laughing all the way to the bank
  • + 8
 You're doing it wrong.
  • + 1
 @scotthy72: darn straight.
All you need is the set up "doofer" that comes with the integra. Doofer sits on teh end of the outer cable. You slid the barrel down the inner cable to the doofer which sets the height. Tighten. Hook the barrel into the actuator, slid the outer cable into place, tighten the lil 1.5mm screw so the cable doesn't pull out. And your done.!! ZOMFG so hard!
  • + 1
 This post looks exactly the same body as the Brand-X Ascend. Sadly the Ascend is only 120mm but will be available shortly for £110 so nearly a third of the dollar to GBP conversion of this one. However the remote on this looks better thought out than the Ascend.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton
Is 565g the full, operational weight of the dropper, with housing, cable, & lever?
Also, what diameter did you weigh, 31.6mm?
PB needs to lead the way w/ standardized weight claims for droppers w/ stock remote & uncut cables:
shaft-only weights are only relevant in bizarro world where people install droppers w/o a remote to operate them.
  • + 3
 Hopefully its better than the Raceface/Easton posts that are plagued with issues.
  • + 1
 Does anyone make a lightweight short travel post that is not remote operated? I want to try the simplest and lightest dropper, I don't need to constantly adjust it at speed (speed, me? Right....)
  • + 0
 gravity dropper descender
  • + 2
 KS Eten. Its not lightweight but its super cheap, and it works. Thats about it.
  • + 6
 @davidsimons I think you've just described a quick release seat clamp there mate :-)
  • + 1
 Pnw makes a 27.2 post called the Ranier. It has single bolt seat clamp which I don't like, but otherwise decent. They need and under bar lever. I used the Remount adapter
  • + 2
 What´s lacking? A 34.9 version and external routing... Ok, maybe it´s time for a new bike
  • + 2
 $150 for a replacement cartridge in today's market of $50 cartridges and $8 service kits.
  • + 1
 As a gravity dropper owner... who cares? any dropper posts that needs to be serviced or have the cartridge replaced is a poor design.
  • + 2
 @scottzg: Yes and no. The advantage to using a hydraulic cartridge is infinite adjustment. Otherwise, the Command Post is a good example of an air spring separate from position locking. It uses the air spring for return only, and the expanding collet just holds the post in place. As such, it has preset positions, just like your Gravity Dropper. The new E13 TRS Dropper will ditch the air spring, using a mechanical spring exactly like your Gravity Dropper, but will still only have 3 preset positions. It will probably look a hell of a lot more modern and clean than the old Gravity Dropper, but to each his own. I can understanding wanting infinite adjust, but I'm not going to pay a premium in terms of maintenance or repair to get it. Like I've said all along, the best post would be one that combines the E13 (or GD) mechanical spring with the 9.8/RF/Easton internal brake. No seals to replace or hydraulics to worry about and infinite adjustment.
  • + 1
 @PHeller: Agree 100%. A design like the old RASE posts would be alright too- lots of slots. Nobody cares if they can raise their post from 110 to 112mm, but it's strange that all the mechanical lock posts opt for only 2-3 positions.
  • + 1
 @scottzg: Or take the Command Post irCC and spread the "Cruiser Control" positions across the entire post. Heck, even having 6 or so positions across 150mm of travel be more than enough.
  • + 1
 @scottzg: any post? complex things need to be serviced, if they made the post a few mm more in diameter, added another 300/400 grams, it would be something that would need little service, but then you would complain about a 1 kilo post

and GDs needs to be serviced, as they sell spares ...........
  • + 2
 @lesz42: 9 years/12k miles on a GD without service or cleaning, and it's 100g lighter than this one. Since the GD was the first to market it seems like anything that can't approach those benchmarks is a crappy product. It would be nice if GD posts were pretty, but form follows function.

150$ for a replacement cartridge is fine if you never expect to replace the cartridge, but if you have to factor in the cost of a new cartridge/service kit in to ownership... that's a shitty post.

No hate on this model, it looks like it might be good, just unproven.
  • + 2
 I was getting nervous that I didnt have enough options. More choice is always better.
  • + 1
 Shit outa luck for me and my old school 27.2 Prophet. Looks nice other wise.
  • + 1
 Gravity dropper makes a 27.2 that's lighter, cheaper, faster, trail-rebuildable, and made in the usa. Only down side is 100mm drop only on the 27.2 model.
  • + 2
 @scottzg: another downside is gd are ugly as ass and the ladies won't be throwing their panties as you drop by.
  • + 1
 @scottzg: Who rebuilds their dropper at the side of the trail? And who would need to, given gravity droppers supposedly legendary reliability?
  • + 2
 XFusion make a 27.2 dropper also
  • + 1
 I think the lower cradle is designed to go the other way around, but I guess you could run it both ways.
  • + 1
 saddle clamp?
  • + 1
 @ColquhounerHooner: isn't that the same thing?
  • + 1
 @SCLuke: hey I was just wondering what exactly you were reffering too is all. I'm from Ostralia. Smile
  • + 1
 Is it any good in the cold winter for fat bike or it will freeze?
  • + 1
 No 27.2, no external routing. Hey go pee up a rope.
  • + 1
 At this stage I think a dropper post is going to be the thing that pushes me to buy a new bike just so I can have a normal seat tube diameter.
  • + 1
 $380.00??!! F%^& You!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 man up and pay

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