Review: PNW Components' New Loam Dropper Post

Nov 16, 2020
by Daniel Sapp  


The latest addition to PNW Components' lineup is the Loam post. This new dropper is the replacement to the Bachelor, with a design that is lighter, more adjustable, and less expensive than its predecessor.

The Loam is available in three different diameters and four different travel lengths, each adjustable down by up to 30mm in 5mm increments. The post uses an adjustable alloy air cartridge to move up and down, sells for $199, and comes with a three-year warranty.
PNW Loam Details
• Travel: 125, 150, 170, 200mm
• Alloy air cartridge, adjustable return speed
• 30.9, 31.6, or 34.9mm diameter
• Internal cable routing only
• Tool-less Travel Adjust
• Weight: 532g (170mm)
• $199 USD (remote sold separately)
www.pnwcomponents.com




Construction

PNW's Loam post builds on their Bachelor with a refined design. The post has a shorter overall length across sizes; the 125mm travel post measures 385mm, including the actuator, while the 200mm post measures 540mm, including the actuator. All of the posts feature PNW's tool-less travel adjust, allowing riders to reduce the extended travel by an additional 30mm in 5mm increments. Insertion depth is less than the Bachelor, as is the overall weight. It's also $40 cheaper.

In addition to those features, the post's return speed can be tailored to a riders' preference by an air valve at the top of the post head. For the fashion-focused parts matchers, PNW now has color accent bands for the collar available in various colors that, unsurprisingly, sync up to their grips and Loam Lever's color palette.

The hydraulic cartridge is made by PNW's manufacturer, not Wintek like many other posts. It's covered by a three year warranty, and if it falls outside of that window PNW sells the cartridges for $75. To ensure that it function properly in colder weather, PNW uses a lower viscosity hydraulic fluid in the internal cartridge. The stanchion lube used is rated for a wide range of temperatures and conditions. The post's seals are made from a temperature-resistant rubber, which is claimed to remain more supple at lower temperatures.

Adjustable return speed along with customizable color bands set the Loam apart.


Performance
I have had the Loam post on my daily ride for several months at this point and have been riding it in poor conditions more than sunshine. The post's installation was a breeze, and it mated up nicely to PNW's Loam lever. The head of the post use a simply two-bolt clamp system; it's basic but it works. Changing bands on the collar is easy and simply required a pick to get the edge up.

The action of the post raising and lowering is smooth and consistent. When it comes to lever feel its actuation is not quite as smooth as some other posts, such as the Fox Transfer - the lever is a bit more difficult to push. The adjustable air pressure can give a good variance to the return speed, and although I left it more towards the conservative side, fans of a poppier return will have no issues speeding things up.

Adjusting the travel internally is easy and doesn't even require removing the post from the bike. The cartridge has performed flawlessly, and the main head seal has put up a winning fight against plenty of seal-wrecking, rain-saturated terra firma along with near-daily battles against my pressure washer.

How Does it Compare?

Comparing the Loam post to others on the market, it's one of the least expensive options available. PNW's Rainier IR is $20 less, but not as full-featured as the Loam. While it doesn't come with a lever, even adding PNW's Loam Lever on still has the dollar figure in the lower third of posts.

When you look at travel, OneUp's $209 V2 post is the next closest competitor. It offers 210mm of adjustable travel, and it's slightly shorter for the same amount of travel. The total length of the One Up post at 200mm is 530mm, vs. 540mm for the Loam post. It is slightly heavier, but not enough to make a difference; we're talking 12 grams or so. However, in my experience, that V2 post is more prone to returning slowly after being exposed to mud and grit. The seal on the Loam post seem more mud resistant and requires less maintenance.

If you're looking strictly at weight, and comparing other 170mm-ish posts, there won't be a lighter one until you double the price to $400 for a BikeYoke Revive. Travel wise, options are also limited to OneUp without, again, doubling the price. All things considered, the Loam post is arguably one of the best values out there.

Through plenty of muck and downright horrible conditions, the Loam has held its own.


Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesPNW have yet again come out with a great option for an affordable and reliable dropper post. The adjustability built into the Loam will surely be a selling point for many riders, as will the ability to add some custom color accents. While it doesn't possess the ultra-smooth actuation of some more pricey droppers, it's proven to be extremely reliable and I would highly recommend the Loam to anyone looking for a versatile, minimal-fuss post.Daniel Sapp







75 Comments

  • 132 2
 It’s nice to see prices are dropping
  • 25 85
flag stovechunin (Nov 16, 2020 at 8:43) (Below Threshold)
 Hope to be using this when riding is safer. Post Covid-19.
  • 39 2
 Yes - sounds like we'll be able to get a pretty fast return on that investment.
  • 22 2
 @hatton: I would like to see a group test of seatposts catapulting a nut
  • 20 1
 @pakleni: No need to bother, The Gravity Dropper Turbo can achieve escape velocity and resolve any disputes of paternity in a single lever throw.
  • 3 1
 @Fix-the-Spade: Even faster than the original command dropper?
  • 8 1
 @pakleni: At the Kona demo tent, we were launching empty beer cans with a stupid high PSI Specialized Command Post.
  • 2 1
 @hamncheez: That sounds like the start of a great experiment.
  • 9 1
 @FloridaHasMTBToo: If this was LinkedIn I would endorse you for Physics
  • 1 1
 @Fix-the-Spade: Where were you 11 years ago!! I could've been free!!! lol lol
  • 4 1
 @FloridaHasMTBToo: Yeah, all fun and games until it breaks! The day before a big race and 600 riders in town this guy brings in one of those and I am launching water bottles to the ceiling and laughing away!! Then the bastard breaks!! Luckily I was able to fix it but never again for me!! I was stressed the F out!!
  • 107 5
 They seem to be really setting one up as their target. And they top it by offering multi colored cock rings.
  • 135 3
 Maybe the cockring helps this post stay up for longer than others?
  • 3 0
 MELHOFF
  • 6 1
 Waiting for someone to complain about not having a 27.2 option......
  • 2 0
 @JDFF: THIS WON'T FIT MY 27.2 2008 YETI ARC-X WHAT THE HELL

Here you go mate.
  • 20 0
 So is this another Trans-X dropper? Or does "The hydraulic cartridge is made by PNW's manufacturer, not Wintek like many other posts" mean no?
  • 28 2
 Yes, it's just another Trans-X (JD) rebranded product. They look to have tooled their own cool coloured rubber bands, but other than that this is just an off the shelf product. Other brands have at least either tooled their own product to offer something unique (OneUp) or don't try to hide that they're just selling rebranded goods. Nothing wrong with rebranded goods as the consumer can get a more affordable product, but with better (and localized) customer service.
  • 6 1
 Are the Trans-X internals used in Brand-X droppers as well? I picked up one of them recently after having a good experience with them previously, only to find that the air cartridge had been replaced by a non-serviceable oil cartridge. That's a deal breaker for me as I like to add a bit of air to make my dropper snappy.
  • 7 0
 @adamweld: I believe the Brand-X droppers are TransX also
  • 3 2
 @trollman1738: how do we know? appearance/design or does something else tip you off that it's rebranded? tool-less travel adjust on Trans X too? i doubt it....
  • 10 0
 @trollman1738: it's funny how down in the thread someone was asking for an external routed version of this post and PNW says they'll pass that along to their development team... Smile

SO I guess that means as soon as TransX makes one they will rebrand it for ya...
  • 3 1
 @stiingya: pretty much every dropper on the market is a rebranded TransX. It's not a bad thing, what seperates them is the service provided by the reseller and if they bought one of the nicer posts or not.
  • 2 0
 @melonhead1145: For us USA folks we have this now:
na.tranzx.com

and, PB even did an article on the entrance to the North American market in August.
www.pinkbike.com/news/tranzx-enters-north-american-market-offering-dropper-posts-starting-at-9900.html
  • 4 0
 @melonhead1145: Yes as already pointed out in this thread and several other posts on the page. My point was that it's a little disingenuous to act like they are going to develop a new dropper post when they are ordering them from another company. Perhaps they have a greater working relationship with TranzX than just ordering from a catalog? IDK. But just doesn't seem like "our development team" is an accurate description of how a new dropper post from PNW comes to life? Not that big of a deal, just funny...
  • 25 5
 why are there always these pnw “ambassadors” jerking themseves off in the comments?! Ive never seen this before
  • 19 1
 You should probably not click on a carbon rim review then Wink
  • 12 3
 Is the collar that big and fat just to accommodate the coloured bands?? or is there some performance benefit (seals or lube) Because... I think I'd skip this post just based on how big and ugly that collar is. With not much difference between this and the OneUp post... the OneUp post wins on looks. Maybe with the black band it looks better? Black is slimming...
  • 5 0
 The black one is pretty subdued
  • 13 1
 Loam (/lōm/): a soil with roughly equal proportions of sand, silt, and clay.
  • 27 1
 You should start a blog and write at length about this.
  • 15 1
 Good Job TranzX!
  • 4 6
 PNW handles the customer service and there is a lot of value in that.
  • 3 2
 @CobyCobie: $40 of value. Maybe it’s worth it but a good product shouldn’t need much customer service interaction...
  • 11 0
 @CobyCobie: If PNW would just outright acknowledge that their "development team" is TranzX, they could avoid all these comments. Its greasy, regardless of how good the customer service is.
  • 8 0
 Integrated c*ock ring... too many IPAs and this helps keep it hard at the local Enduro
  • 9 1
 Is it just me or is the post collar really ugly?
  • 5 0
 Nope, both are ugly.
  • 5 0
 Any reason why the Kitsuma Air wasn't included in the comparison? Looks like it's $40 cheaper. Asking because I'm in the market.

na.tranzx.com/collections/dropper-post
  • 1 0
 They are essentially the same thing from what I can tell. This has the travel adjust, so probably explains the extra cost
  • 8 0
 How many dropper posts does there need to be?
  • 13 0
 Yes.
  • 7 0
 people gotta just drop the punsSmile
  • 5 0
 First two posts!
  • 2 0
 Getting some Leverage over other punners
  • 4 0
 this is the way
  • 6 1
 Great customer service from these guys. My original Bachelor is still up and running smooth!
  • 4 1
 We're always stoked to help people get back on the trails and love hearing that you're Bachelor is still treating you well! May it live on for years to come.
  • 1 0
 @pnwcomponents: Hey Guys, I just preordered the Rainer, and it is shipping whenever you get them in stock, any chance to pay extra and get the Loam?

Thank you,
Don
  • 5 1
 These will be a hit in the UK as they can colour code them with all the gaudy ano stuff they love so much, bright colours do look nice against a Grey sky though.
  • 6 5
 I have had a 210mm OneUp post on my bike since it came out and it has had the cartridge fail twice already. OneUp is great about customer service, but the post failed for the second time 4 days before a race and I had to scramble to find an alternate in time. The seal head on the OneUp also requires very frequent maintenance to keep the post running smooth and if you want the post to return quickly you really have to crank the PSI up on the cartridge; which makes it kind of a pain to push down by hand. I'd be interested in trying out this post in the 200mm version if it's smoother than the OneUp and can go more than a few weeks without needing the seal head cleaned and re-lubed.
  • 3 0
 That's too bad. I haven't had the same experience as you with oneup. Always worked perfectly, developed a tiny bit of creaking after a couple seasons use. Stripped it down, cleaned and lubed, and now it's ready for another few seasons without attention.
  • 25 0
 Very sorry to hear that Jake. Our cartridges will typically run for many years without issue. We had an unfortunate batch of cartridge valves where the oring was easily damaged. I expect this was the issue you saw. We stand behind everything we make and hope to gain back your trust. email us at info@oneupcomponents.com if there is anything we can do.
  • 2 0
 That stinks, I’ve had the oneup since launch and no issues with the cartridge. I do agree the seal does develop quiet a bit of drag especially in colder weather. That’s the only area where I think it could use some improvement, also mine always seems to unthread a little from seat rocking.
  • 2 0
 I've only had my one up a couple of months and it developed a 'stiff spot' in the last 40mm or so of compression, sometimes it wouldn't drop all the way and get stuck slightly raised, was a little disappointed after years of hassle free performance from my brand-x dropper, but unscrewed the seal head and put in a bunch of stendec shock grease which seems to have fixed the issue for the time being.
  • 2 1
 The 170mm PNW cascade external post is about 200$ with a lever. Not to mention that it uses a string as an acuator for the hydrualic catridge inside the post. It's great to see that you can now get an internal post that has an air cartridge, and that is also light, and for cheaper than a Fox transfer. It does seem like a pain when it comes to adjusting the air pressure since you have to remove your seat and then have to redial in your seat angle etc.
  • 2 1
 Yup PNW customer service is top notch. Got a new designed actuator for my Rainier Gen3. Sticky sometimes. Love the Loam Lever. Way better than a Reverb in cold weather, or should I say better all around.
  • 1 1
 Wish they'd have an external routed option for this post. I have their cascade and it's awesome, but not adjustable. I've had a couple of interactions with PNW's customer service and they are the best service I've ever dealt with. Prompt, friendly and extremely helpful.
  • 1 1
 We've actually had a few requests today for an externally routed post with similar capabilities as the Loam Dropper so I'll be sure to pass it along to our development team. We're happy to hear that you're liking your Cascade though! Cheers!
  • 1 0
 @pnwcomponents: Thanks!
Appreciate you guys taking feedback from site like Pinkbike.
More of that stellar customer service everyone has been talking about.
  • 1 1
 I still think the Transfer is the best and most reliable in the market. I used to be a huge Bikeyoke fanboy, but after 2 Revives failing on me within a year(not together), I thought to myself, 'the Transfer on my other bike has been working with zero issues since day one, and still continues to work today, two years later, with no service. I'll stick with this from now on.' For the record, I did get my Revives serviced when they failed, but they also sagged like 2mm when I got them back. In Bikeyoke's defense, my Revives were gen 1. I heard that gen 2s are a lot less prone to issues like I had.
  • 4 0
 bikeyoke or nothing. buy once cry once.
  • 3 0
 Just a note, the PNW Rainier gen 3 does have a 200mm option
  • 1 2
 The Loam and Rainier Gen 3 are both available in 3 sizes and lengths from 125-200mm. Same warranty, same tool-free adjust. Only discernible difference I can find is 15mm in overall length in the 200mm version (loam is 15mm shorter) and a $20 difference in price.

www.pnwcomponents.com/collections/shop-all-droppers

The Rainier Gen 3 came on my new Esker Rowl and it's rad. Very similar to my first gen oneup in operation but with easier travel adjust. Their tool-free travel adjust is the best available for any post, imo.
  • 1 0
 Hey man, how are you liking the Esker Rowl?
  • 1 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: It's rad! I got to pedal maybe a half dozen rides on the Elkat prior to the Rowl. The Elkat was super fun and playful. Very quick. The Rowl feels a bit bigger (although I'm on a size larger than the Elkat) and really fast. The suspension feels great -- pretty stable for pedaling but also stable in high speed chunder. I got about two months on it before the snow fell and I'm stoked on it. I think their builds are on point and as good a value as almost anything out there.
  • 2 1
 Haven't had much luck with dropper posts in the past. So the extended three year warranty sounds like a convincing argument on why to consider this product.
  • 11 12
 All our bikes have PNW droppers; Bachelors and Rainiers. The folks at PNW go above and beyond in providing world class customer service. I can't wait to get the Loam dropper installed!
  • 49 14
 omg wow im sure it will change your life
  • 5 6
 @housem8d: it sure did son!
  • 17 0
 Make sure to use your GoPro to capture the moment!
  • 4 7
 @onemind123: Great idea Michelle! Thanks for the suggestion.
  • 2 2
 Is there a remote chance people can stop dropping these pins?

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