Recently, Daniel Sapp set out on a mission to test enough dropper posts to fill a tool box
. One post that unfortunately wasn’t on the list was an offering from the Swiss brand, Yep Components.
Andrea Chiesa, the man behind Yep, actually came through life as a race car driver. Like most professional drivers he started in go-karts before climbing the ranks to eventually compete at a Formula One level back in the early 90s. After that he moved to endurance racing, competing at legendary events like the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Nürburgring driving for Porsche, Ferrari, and Spyker race cars.
Uptimizer 3.0 DetailsDiameters:
30.9mm & 31.6mmTravel:
80, 100, 125, 155 & 185mmWeight:
498 to 585g depending on model, 27g for remotePrice:
From €420More info: Yep Components
Based out of the Ticino region of Switzerland that borders Italy, Yep has been making dropper posts for a while now, and with their Uptimizer 3.0 seem to have piled on all the experience and ideas that have been accrued from all the previous projects.
We took the Uptimizer 3.0 for a long-term test in the steeps of Champéry, as, what goes down, must go up. And the ups are no less steep than the downs in this quiet and unsuspecting valley.Construction and Features
The Uptimizer 3.0 comes in 30.9 and 31.6 diameter options and has 80, 100, 125, 155, and 185mm drop options, as well as the ability to fine-tune the drop internally. The post itself is a hydraulic system using an air spring with an external valve for easy access.
Yep have their own remote to mechanically actuate the post and it can be stopped anywhere in its travel. When fully dropped, it’s also locked and the bike can be hung from the seat in this position.
And if you like a bit of color on your bike Yep has eight colors to customize the post and lever.
Most of the parts are manufactured in Switzerland, or just over the border in Italy, with assembly being completed at the Yep headquarters in Ticino. The head and shaft of the post are made from a single piece, allowing for a stronger structure and a lower overall height.
With there being a constant hunt for claiming back a millimeter here or there to reduce the overall length of a dropper post, Yep also sought to find a balance with having good bushing overlap in the post. This is especially important given the lengthy drops that are now commonplace on a lot of bikes with short seat tubes.
Keeping a good distance between the bushings reduces the potential for play and brings reliability into the post. In some cases, Yep actually increased the bushing overlap compared to their previous posts, keeping the two main parts more rigid, allowing less system play and opportunity for ingress of air and debris, and putting less stress on the internal components.
The overall length of the extended post is a bit longer than the competition, but this comes from Andreas' focus on having a balance of short length with good bushing overlap, sighting that the overlap is going to help the post in the long run in terms of wear, play, and ingress of contaminants.
Fully slammed, the stack of the post is a bit shorter than the likes of the Reverb AXS and new Fox Transfer and in line with the wired Reverb and Bike Yoke posts. Compared to the OneUp, there’s a bit more stack, with that post having a very low height when fully compressed.
The mechanism length, at the bottom of the post, is quite short and can easily rotate. Once again, it’s a little longer than the super short OneUp and in-line with the Transfer and Reverb AXS.
One point to note is the relatively short minimum insertion needed on the Yep - 90mm. The OneUp and Bike Yoke posts all need considerably more insertion for similar drop lengths. Just a point to consider with the shortening seat tubes we see on modern bikes.
The main development focus for the Uptimizer 3.0 was that it could be easily serviced. Many posts employ a non-user serviceable cartridge, and while this does work fantastically for a lot of people, it also leaves a gap for the posts that can be easily disassembled and taken care of by home mechanics out there.
And by user-serviceable, it’s not in a way that you need two degrees and six pairs of hands. The main seal collar on the post is designed to be tightened by hand and gives easy access to the top bushing and wiper seals for cleaning and regreasing. And with the bushing having a split design, it’s easy to replace it when it’s worn out without entirely dismantling the post or even taking it off the bike.
One of the plagues of a hydraulic dropper post has been the separation of the oil and gas (mostly air) on the inside of the post. If some of the gas gets into the oil then the post can develop unwanted squish and be a pain when you’re out riding. Some posts have measures to address this issue, either internally in their design or with a user-operated release valve. Others, with the sealed cartridges, require sending off for service.
Yep designed their own cartridge that can be bled in minutes with only a hex key, a syringe, and a shock pump. You don’t even need to take the post off the bike as all the access is directly under the saddle. Taking the post off the bike, however, allows you to separate the main post body and cartridge with only a pair of snap ring pliers being needed. The process is a little more involved than the bleed procedure but is still a simple one.
With the damper separated from the external post, it’s another hand tight fit to separate the two shafts of the damper and get access for a full service. The post's internal air spring also acts as the pressure on the IFP, so once all the air is out of the post the system isn’t pressurized and there’s no risk of coating everything in the workshop with oil. Yep also designed a new valve to control the oil flow inside the post. It not only makes the remote force needed to actuate the post very minimal but also keeps the oil flow the same throughout all the different air pressures the post sees during operation, keeping the post and lever feel the same no matter where you are in the drop.
With Yep aiming to offer a more reliable dropper post from the start, the amount of service needed is reduced. But if you do need to bleed the system then it’s a doddle and there’s a handy tutorial on how to bleed the cartridge.
Designing a post to be easily serviced at home also opened up the door to some other unique features.
With a dropper post essentially being a suspension component, the air spring adjustability that we’re all familiar with from forks found its way inside the Uptimizer 3.0. Pressure can be adjusted between 150 and 220psi via the easily accessible valve at the head of the post. And, through the use of snap-on volume spacers, the air spring progressivity can be adjusted. Out of the box, one spacer is installed with options either way for tuning. Yep made use of all the available space for the air spring, meaning that without spacers the feel is very linear but can be tuned to have more ramp-up in the stroke as you compress.
It’s a novel feature and might only be used by a few, but it was interesting to play around with the feel of the post from linear to progressive and the increase or decrease in force needed to push the saddle down when out riding on the trails.
Travel limiting spacers can be added to adjust the drop, and subsequently the overall length of the post. To do this requires a bit more disassembly and the use of shaft clamps; 5, 10, and 15mm spacers are included in the box.
With it being such an easy procedure to bleed the system, it’s also just as easy to swap out the stock oil for a lighter or heavier weight to further tune the feel of the post on the way up and down. This can also come in handy for users living in the extremes of temperatures where they might need a thinner or thicker oil to get the post's speed in the right operating window. A syringe comes in the box with the fitting to screw into the post, although any current SRAM brake screw-in fitting will also work. The post is spec'd with 5wt oil but it could be swapped out for 2.5, 7.5, or 10wt fluid.
The Uptimizer uses Yep's Joystick remote, which can be actuated in all directions. Casually hooking or flicking the remote with your thumb or index finger is easy and provides you with more options to get the post up or down when desperately needed.
The lever can also be used with other mechanically actuated posts on the market and cleverly allows either the head of the gear cable or the end to be used depending on how the post is set up. If the free end is clamped at the lever, the cut end is also neatly stored away behind a screw-on cap, ensuring you never stab a frayed piece of cable right in your finger.Installation
Yep have a handy video tutorial
for the installation and there are a couple of neat features that are included on the Uptimizer 3.0 to help installation and further use.
There’s a grub screw that holds the outer cable to the post, meaning you can easily push the post in and pull it out of the frame when checking the outer cable length and then installing the inner cable.
The lever clamp snaps around the handlebar and means that it remains captive once you detach the rest of the lever, helping you not to lose it under the heaviest appliance in the garage or even in the grass if you have a problem on the trail. The post is no harder to install than others out there, with the only potential headaches coming from your frame’s internal routing. The job can be done in less than 30 minutes from start to finish, including installing and adjusting the saddle.
If you’re fine with changing an internally routed gear cable on your bike, then you’ll have no problems with installing the Yep. Riding
Starting at the lever, it’s really light action. Combined with the endless ways you can stab or flick the lever to actuate the post means you can do it in any riding position, and it's very easy to micro-adjust your saddle height in the middle of a climb or technical section of trail.
The action under your ass is also very light while compressing, but there’s never any feeling of play vertically or side to side, and when extending there’s enough of an audible clunk to let you know the post is at full height.
The lightness of the Yep is juxtaposed by the solidness of the package. The lever and the post itself have a feeling and look of quality to them, and the countless small details all over the system show incredibly high attention to detail.
That light and solid feel of the post remains after many months of use, too, never once needing any attention or tweaking of the cable once we’d taken up the initial slack at first installation. In a way that a lot of Bike Yolk users describe their experiences with the system, I foresee it being the case with the Uptimizer that it just keeps on working and working, with only the most minimal intervention for a quick clean once every blue moon.
Even the inner and outer cables and ferrules that accompany the post are high-quality pieces, with the inner cable having a slick coating and the ferrules being metallic rather than plastic.
While the vast majority of users would just run the post as it comes out of the box, it’s an interesting prospect to tinker and adjust it to your liking. I ended up with the post at the max air pressure of 220psi, and settled back at the stock setting of one volume spacer and the quite linear feeling, matching the light action of the rest of the system. That lightness again allowing you to micro-adjust saddle height with such finesse and ease.Maintenance
Having zero issues with the post while testing meant that it was only our curiosity and need to comment on the service procedures that had me taking it apart.
Bleeding the post is as simple as it looks in the accompanying video from Yep. Removing your saddle is only two bolts and it’s easy to note your saddle rail position and angle with iPhones having a built-in spirit level. Using a zip tie or rubber band around the lever holds the valve open; then it’s only a case of releasing the air pressure, opening and removing the bleed port with a 4mm hex key, and attaching an oil filled syringe.
Cycling the post up and down several times pushes oil from the post into the syringe and back to the post, taking with it any trapped air. You can also use this opportunity to swap for some fresh oil of the same weight. After that, the post is compressed and filled with oil and then the lever released. After refitting the bleed port, you pump the post up to around 100psi, extend the post and re-inflate back to your desired pressure.
The whole process is simple, and with a bit of paper towel, mess-free. And if you’d like to swap the oil out for a different thickness to change the posts function, then you can turn the bike upside down to let all the oil drain before bleeding the system. Changing the air volume tokens is a bit more involved, and there should be a video on the Yep website soon to help illustrate the procedure. But if you’ve undertaken a bleed of the post without a problem, then it’s no more complicated to get inside the cartridge to adjust the volume spacers.
It’s also easy to disconnect the inner cable from the post’s mechanism, separating the two without the need to undo the cable or refit a new one.How Does It Compare?
Compared to the Fox Transfer and RockShox Reverb the Yep has a lot lighter feel to the lever and post action. And lighter too than even the One Up.
The lever action of the Yep is also slightly ahead of the others for me, with that ability to actuate the lever from more angles and directions with either your thumb or index finger if needed. That ability leads to more fine-tuning the saddle height while out riding with less conscious thought to do it. While it’s also relatively easy on the others, more so on the Reverb 1x lever or something like a PNW Loam Lever, it’s just a pleasure to do on the Yep.
Having had several Reverbs over the years, I’ve inevitably incurred some squish in them. But there was never a hint of this on the Uptimizer. And while the Transfer is a more robust post than the Reverb, it did develop some stickiness at the top of its travel from all the grit that found its way either up the post or past the seals. Again, the Yep remained smooth and trouble-free.
While the Uptimizer 3.0's price might cause some predictable comments, it can definitely be seen as an investment. From our experience, the post's quality and function out of the box is fantastic and has remained that way throughout testing. And if the day does ever come when it might need some TLC, the steps to clean, re-grease, and even bleed the post are easy, which some of the other posts out there can't claim.
All individual spare parts and even some of the sub-assemblies are available to purchase from Yep too, covering you for every possible eventuality for a long time to come.
Light lever and post action+
High quality feel and function+
Trouble free use+
Ease of serviceability and adjustability
No 200mm drop option