Spotted: A New Lightweight RockShox Dropper Post?

Jun 15, 2021
by James Smurthwaite  
Additional reporting: Brian Park

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool / Bartek Wolinski

We've already seen a blizzard of new bikes in time for the Olympics with Santa Cruz, Scott, Ghost and more unveiling their Tokyo-targeted tech. But what about other components on the bike? Cross-country is all about finding the most lightweight cocktail of parts and it's possible that RockShox may have given a new dropper post its race debut at last weekend's Leogang World Cup.

Spotted on the bikes of Lars Forster and Nino Schurter, the post doesn't have the battery pack and electronics in the saddlebag area we'd expect to see on a Reverb AXS and it also appears to have a smaller collar than the current double ridged one on the Reverb Stealth.

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool / Bartek Wolinski

So, what's going on here? Well, it certainly wouldn't be crazy for RockShox to target a lightweight dropper to compete with the recently launched Fox Transfer SL. Fox claimed that XC racers don't need the technical features that their 'full fat' posts have, and instead created a short travel, mechanical, 2 position post. With simplicity comes lightness and Fox was apparently able to shed 25% of the weight of a standard Transfer for the SL version.

From the pictures we have been able to source from the Red Bull Content Pool, it looks like the dropper post on Nino and Lars' bikes are also short travel, and we've no doubt it's a more lightweight option than the 676 gram Reverb AXS.

Nino's bike with a standard Reverb AXS installed. Photo courtesy Scott.

Is it a new RockShox post? We're not so sure.

But despite several commenters on Nino's recent bike check suggesting it's all but confirmed as a new product, we're not so sure. A RockShox representative had no comment, and it wasn't on our radar before this. Looking through Nino's Instagram it looks like there are no external electronic parts, and possibly no blip-in-grip as seen on his bike check bike. So assuming it's mechanical (either hydraulic or cable-actuated), it actually looks a lot like the Transfer SL that comes stock on the Scott Spark RC World Cup EVO AXS. The matte black finish is similar, it looks like there are some wrench flats on the collar, and Fox has a deep relationship with Scott.

transfer sl
The stock Scott Spark RC World Cup EVO AXS has a pretty similar looking post.

On the other hand, the post on Nino and Lars' bikes doesn't look much like the distinctive Fox head. It looks more like a bonded, two-piece affair. It also has silver/ti bolts rather than the black ones that come on the Spark RC WC.

BikeYoke DIVINE SL - dimensions
BikeYoke Divine

Another option is possibly it being a BikeYoke Divine SL. It's a lightweight, well regarded post, and the dimensions all look similar—the bolt colour too. However, its black finish is much smoother and shinier than the one on Nino's bike, and we don't see the external butting in the photos.

On the other hand...

Before today we'd have said it's unlikely for RockShox to go in the direction of cables and hoses after investing so much energy in a wireless system. It's entirely possible that RockShox has figured out how to hide the electronics while also making a lighter, simpler wireless dropper, but we are skeptical that all those things are possible at once.

If this is a RockShox product after all, it's more likely that it is a cable-actuated affair aimed at XC only. Something tells us that after so many years of hydraulic and wireless actuation, RockShox would need another factor to the mix in order to feel good about bringing a cable actuated dropper to market. We wouldn't be surprised if it was carbon, and had a few other tricks up its sleeve too.

If we see Nino and Lars with Reverb AXS posts at the next race, it's probably a signal that with the first race of the season, a new bike launch, and tenuous product availability, the team had to do some last-second debadging to run a third party dropper. But if we see any more of this dropper on race day, it gives a lot of weight (ironically) to the prospect of a new RockShox post.

We'll update this if we get any more information.

Yep Uptimizer 3.0 Dropper Post

Update: the tech team straw poll is now leaning towards it being a Yep post. If you squint so hard your vision goes blurry you can definitely convince yourself you see the Schraeder valve on Nino's bike.


  • 103 33
 I’d be content if all droppers shaved weight and only had a fully dropped or fully extended positioning, I never use anything in between.
  • 18 0
 right? I would love to have the Transfer SL in a 150 an a 175
  • 47 2
 I remember the old Specialized Command Posts that had three mechanical stops: up, down, and almost all the way up. I would love for that to come back. The amount I used that slightly dropped position for technical climbing was unreal. And now with the "infinite adjust" posts I only really ever use them all the way up or down.
  • 22 2
 @ScandiumRider: Right? Other than the tendency to "Flo Payet" your genitals, those were actually pretty good dropper posts, and fairly light if I remember.
  • 4 0
 the OG fox DOSS was actually such a work horse, I truly enjoyed the 3 position settings. Do however wish there was a way to perfectly set the middle position. Also it was an air preloaded dropper you could top up with your fork pump to adjust hard hard you wanted to bag yourself.
  • 27 4
 I disagree I love that my dropper can stop wherever I need it. When I first got my bike I was too short for the dropper to be all the way up so I had to stop it a little lower then full extent.
  • 1 0
 @AFunFox: Most droppers these days have travel adjust so you can get it the right height.

I do actually use the ability to stop it half way up in flat pedally bits when I'm just chilling. Could probably live without it if there was significant weight savings but not for like 10 grams.
  • 27 0
 I use my dropper at various levels all the time - just drop a little, but still have good leg extension to hammer over technical or lower it a bit for a corner.
  • 4 1
 I like the in between setting, but only if it's notched. Fine tuning high with your ass is ridiculous
  • 4 2
 3 positions are the sweet spot. Ideally with a lever where you can feel the current position. The cca 75% extension possition is really useful for very technicall trail riding and climbs. .... currently i have an infinite height post and I always struggle to find the middle possition I need quickly enough (and I don't know anyone who can do it instantly when riding anything more bumpy then a fire road.
  • 3 0
 @ScandiumRider: I do miss the 3 position post but I don’t miss its ball smashing extension force. I wish someone else who makes good posts would make a 3p post again
  • 4 0
 Hi everybody, Hi Dr. Nick!
  • 2 0
 @ScandiumRider: Specialized command post ftw! That and the black lite are still the best droppers I’ve used to date
  • 4 0
 @ScandiumRider: Agree, the three position posts were the best and that middle position was perfect for tech climbing. I still use a slightly dropped position for tech climbing but I wish it was consistently in the same spot.
  • 1 2
 @AFunFox: you need a different dropper or a different size bike
  • 10 0
 @hi-dr-nick: I’m 14 I bought my bike in January and grew almost a foot since then.
  • 3 0
 @ScandiumRider: I say this all the time. That's really all you need, and it's way handier to have the ~25mm drop (almost up) so you have a consistent position instead of trying to get it right while pedaling and maneuvering the bike.
  • 5 1
 Scott Bikes: Sounds good, we’ll add another 2-paddle lever to the bars
  • 1 0
 @samdeatley: am the same
  • 3 0
 @bsavery: To "Flo Payet something or someone"...This is becoming a thing.
  • 4 0
 You have to hope this sort of thing is coming. It was discussed in one of the PB podcasts, and I think there is a huge market for reasonably priced 2-3 position dropper that shaves a little weight and has a significant drop on it that would suit trail/enduro riding. Literally any manufacturer could develop this in a few months and provided they either made it the same weight but pretty and bombproof or lighter than the "any position" posts, they would at very least get some attention.
  • 2 2
 Forget that, I'd rather have a dropper post that actually drops on its own over that. Woo, I dropped 120 grams, I'm so much faster! Yeah, no
  • 1 2
 Then you aren't riding it right; unless straight up on a road and not technical single track, then straight down is all you ride.
  • 1 0
 I’d be more impressed if they had a spy shot of a rock Shox dropper post that worked.
  • 62 24
 Reverbs have made me second guess riding a Rock Shox fork. There’s absolutely no way I’ll ever have a bike with a RS dropper on it. It’s the same reason I refuse to ever buy Crank Brothers stuff ever again, if a company is ever okay with producing garbage then I will lose trust forever. Is that what a grudge is called???
  • 22 3
 No, that just experience...
  • 16 0
 RS is not all bad, I think their portfolio is way to big and they find ways to make truly cheap ass versions of there high end forks which don't always hit the target right. I'm a huge fox fan, but the original CTD system was balls, there forks still creak like crazy (might be resolve with the new 38 Steerer tube, so far so good). Ultimately, ever manufacturer has their faults.
  • 27 6
 The AXS reverb post is amazing. Expensive for what it is? Probably, but I absolutely love it’s functionality and needing essentially zero service. My pike ultimate? Also amazing, fox fork users have no idea what small bump compliance actually is until they use a rockshox fork.
  • 11 0
 Their suspension is light-years better than their dropper. I also hate Reverbs, I hated them before owning one and now that I have one I loathe it. Their suspension is really nice tho.
  • 12 2
 Ironically, the Crank Brother's post is probably one of the most reliable droppers out there.
  • 4 10
flag friendlyfoe (Jun 15, 2021 at 13:50) (Below Threshold)
 @Fullsend2-13: Their shocks are a joke. Most people have a knocking sound when changing direction. And the lack of HSC adjustment on what should be a high end shock is an embarrassment. I actually really am enjoying my super deluxe ultimate and all it took was sending it to Vorsprung to have most of the internals replaced.
  • 10 13
 Feel like I have to assume that if it could be the most unreliable rock shox dropper yet.

I've had ok luck with their shocks but it's notable that the two most unreliable yet well spec'd parts in mtb history are from SRAM: The Reverb post and Avid Elixer brakes.
  • 2 1
 @friendlyfoe: well what do you need high speed for? Also their new ones will have it.
  • 1 1
 @Fullsend2-13: So of course a 200lb rider is going to need a different amount of damping from a 140lb rider. From stock the shock had no mid stroke support, which is why most people I've talked to end up filling them with tokens to get them to work. If I tried to dial in more than a few clicks of LSC from wide open the shock kind of felt like it was packing up on repeat hits, but I wouldn't trust my ability to verbalize what was happening. Total lack of support. Total lack of adjustment with the top model. Sent it to Vorsprung and now LSC is dialed half way in and the shock just works.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: depends on the progressiveness of your shocks linkage too. Some bikes work better with certain shocks. Their just tuned to better suit that bikes kinematics. I have the super deluxe on my Process 153 and it's great yes I'm 150. My cousin is 210 and he rides an '18 sentinel with a CC link and it's more linear feeling so he puts tokens in. His bike is still less progressive than mine with the stock link. So like I was saying it can depend on the bike. It's not fair to make broad sweeping statements about a shock. Also Rockshox designed the MegNeg to help with this problem.
  • 2 1
 @Fullsend2-13: Yes different kinematics also require different amounts of damping which the super deluxe lacks the adjustment for. I don't know how you can say that it working properly on only some bikes is somehow okay. And I tried a Megneg before getting it custom tuned. Trying to use the air spring to make up for a lack of damping is a terrible solution. It made the problem less bad but it sure as hell didn't make the shock work properly.
  • 3 2
 Agree. I actually love my Lyrik and my Pike, but I can't really look at them without hating them because they come from the same company that produce Reverb.
  • 3 0
 Had a reverb, couldn't get rid of it quick enough. In no hurry to get rid of my Pike though.
  • 2 0
 My original Reverb lasted 6 months. Replacement lasted until I sold the bike 3 years later, with no maintenance. Ridden once or twice a week, including British winter and racing. New bike also has a Reverb. Got a little bit slow and graunchy after 18 months. I've done a ghetto service just adding some lube to the keys from underneath. And it's lasted the last year with nothing else. I'd say that's actually not bad breakdown: effort ratio. Cable would still be easier than hydraulic though...
  • 2 0
 @Fullsend2-13: You need it so you can properly set your compression so that the low speed compression circuit can be tuned for pedaling and preventing you from going too deep into the travel over mild stuff, while the high speed is then tuned for the bigger hits.
Otherwise you're compensating with pressure and tokens to make the shock do what the low speed compression would do to keep yourself higher in the travel.
  • 2 2
 Reverb was the tipping point for me for all SRAM products with the exception of forks which I've had a good experience with. IMO over-marketed products that often under perform. Albeit, RS was one of the early companies to mass produce a dropper and we shouldn't expect perfection, but to have the same issues for nearly a decade is unacceptable and a testament to the mentality of that company. You'd never see big names like Shimano produce crap like that... quality is a culture... some companies have it and some don't.
  • 2 0
 @hi-dr-nick: ohlins has entered the chat
  • 2 1
 I'm probably one of the very few that will defend the reverb, but the thing works pretty damn well with a wolf tooth cable conversion. Yes, they get squishy, but they're not that hard to service for a home mech with some patience. Sure, they're not the best post on the market but they can be made to work pretty damn well.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: I think that some bikes do have a tendency to fall through the mid stroke. My current Mega and previous Whyte both did it, so maybe it's a Horst thing? (Warranty) upgrade to an SD Ultimate with compression adjustment helped, but MegNeg fixed it properly. Suspension specialist actually told me to get a MegNeg rather than pay them to adjust the compression damping. And they were right.
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: how much do you weigh? Adjusting the progressiveness of the air spring will never be a substitute for an underdamped piece of suspension, so your suspension tuner must have felt the shock was properly damped for your weight/bike/riding style. Like I said I ran a Megneg before getting a custom tune and it made the issue less bad, but the shock still didn't have proper support. Custom tune where I asked for it to be on the firmer side and actually had to go back to the stock can. Shock is better in every single way. More support, rides higher in its travel, and running the lsc adjuster half way in (recommended after the tune) the shock crushes fast rough dh, but if I dial it most of the way out get a cushy ride for more chill days.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: I'm about 75kg. For me, or more accurately, my bikes, I think the issue is around the leverage ratio doing something funky in the mid stroke, which I've fiddled with MegNeg bands and volume spacers to compensate for. Plus I'm fairly tall, and run my saddle up high, so my weight's further back on the climbs, and both bikes don't have much anti squat. I've lost some of the "plough through anything" feel, but I have a more supportive platform to work from. TBH, I now find the rear ok, but struggle to get the Lyrik to stay propped up while not being harsh. I'd personally say the stock damping on that is further out than the Super Deluxe
  • 2 0
 @vtracer: Considering you now get the same or better performance from almost any random brand dropper from Taiwan that costs half the price and is cable actuated... No I don't think it is acceptable that the Reverb has the same issues it did when it was introduced 10 years ago
  • 1 0
 @SonofBovril: My point is more so if you already have a reverb specced oem there is little reason to toss it in favor of a chinese cartridge dropper because with just a bit of labor investment they work just fine
  • 30 0
 If you order online the shipping automatically redirects the package to SRAM's warranty department.
  • 22 0
 I've said it before and I'll say it again, but it blows my mind that World Cup XC racers are using an AXS dropper post that adds nearly a pound over some of the lightest options. It's giving up half the weight advantage of a hardtail just to be sponsor-correct.
  • 7 8
 My words. Even worse the electronics are prone to jamming, unreliability and battery issues. I really don't see any advantage apart from slightly less effort to press the lever. And maybe installation (but that's debatable, on the other hand you need to be checking your batteries are chargedall the time).
  • 4 1
 @IluvRIDING: This is how I feel about eTap generally (and I own it). But I see the appeal of the dropper for installation, since routing internal droppers is terrible. But so heavy, so expensive, and so ugly.
  • 7 2
 @IluvRIDING: Which reports have you heard of axs droppers failing? In my experience it's one of the more reliable posts on the market.
  • 2 2
 @hmstuna: Loads. Every time they run out of power. With reasonable service a cable is bullet proof on the other hand.
  • 4 0
 @IluvRIDING: As a professional reliability engineer I find the question funny. How can customers possibly know if a product is a reliable when it's been in the field for like 2 years? You can know from anecdotes if something is terrible, but not really the other way around.
  • 1 0
 @IluvRIDING: I was asking about the jamming, not running out of battery, because it isn't a failure mode I have seen or heard about. Do you have reports of that?

@nattyd: If you are referring to my question I'm not trying to claim that the Reverb AXS is the gold standard of reliability. If I had to make a guess I'd bet it's probably a gravity dropper or something similar. I was just trying to get a handle on the jamming and unreliability that IluvRIDING claims to have experienced. As someone who works at a shop I sell a lot of people a lot of droppers so it is good to know what issues certain models are prone to. Certainly in my experience, as well as internet posts (all anecdotal evidence I know), the Reverb Axs is substantially more reliable than the early gen Reverbs and seems to be about on par with the C1. As far as knowing if things are good with anecdotes I agree it is usually very hard to select the good and best. On the other hand, with droppers being extremely unreliable up until a few years ago having a post that doesn't immediately die is still somewhat of a win.
  • 1 0
 @hmstuna: Yeah, as an XC bro I was a late adopter and only caught the tail end of the terribly unreliable dropper era. I had a previous generation KS Lev Ci that eventually needed an expensive rebuild after about 3 years of heavy use. Not amazing, but not terrible either.

Seems like the earlier droppers were so bad that reliability issues were apparent pretty much right away. I have no idea about the AXS post, but guessing it beats that standard. I don't really have an issue with it from a reliability perspective. I just think it's amazing that so many of the SRAM riders are using it despite the enormous weight penalty. Also I hate the look of the silver collar, but that's a matter of taste.
  • 24 2
 Just give us a 200mm Reverb AXS.
  • 2 0
  • 2 0
  • 5 0
 The biggest part of this AXS unit is the battery isn't it, good for so many rides. I suppose for XC racers it doesn't hurt to run a smaller battery that may be good for only one single ride. If they can save weight this way. The rest is electronics and all and I trust they can make these smaller too with every bit of progression. Or at the bottom of the unit instead of at the top. Not sure how well radio reception is down there, but maybe it is better inside a plastic bike than it is inside a metal bike.
  • 2 2
 Elecronics? -no thank you.
  • 7 0
 I'll bet ya it's a Syncros dropper post.
  • 2 0
 I'm guessing it's a Fox SL. You can kinda see a 4th cable in the second photo. Assuming there's one for the brake, one for the front lockout, another for the rear lock, and a 4th for the dropper.
  • 1 0
 That's my guess too. Seat clamp area looks a lot like the Fox post too.
  • 5 0
 It doesn’t have to be lighter it just has to work…
  • 8 6
 You could honestly offer me a lifetime supply of reverbs and I'D decline everytime for my 100£ Brand X. They shouldnt be worrying about weight IMO.
  • 6 2
 I mean, the brand-x posts are awesome, but that sounds like an incredibly stupid thing to say.
  • 2 0
 I use a 125mm brandx on my XC bike it's not that heavy, about 515gr, way lighter than those axses.
  • 4 1
 @bmied31: not really, Reverbs still need bleeding every week and servicing every fortnight due to shitty design and stupid service intervals, I’d take an Brand-X any day of the week.
  • 2 0
 @xxinsert-name-herexx: sorry I thought you meant AXS reverbs, I agree with you, just add a better lever to brand x and good to go
  • 3 2
 I want a heavy ass dropper post that weighs so much it helps me burn fat off my butt. Fill the sucker with lead or even uranium. Stop talking about light weight parts @pinkbike we need real weights to gain strength.
  • 5 3
 Never mind a dropper post. What about a dropper stem? Would suit the upside down stem brigade a treat!!
  • 3 0
 You should have kept that quiet and had a go yourself. Stella idea
  • 3 0
 @dglobulator: Haha. There is actually already one out there in development. Saw it a while back.
  • 2 0
 @MattP76: haha, so your not an innovator more a plagiarist ;-)
  • 1 2
 "it certainly wouldn't be crazy for RockShox to target a lightweight dropper to compete with the recently launched Fox Transfer SL."

If this is how the bike industry works, Company B just targets whatever Company A does, that's sad. I'd like to think SRAM has been iterating on a lightweight short dropper for a while, as has Fox, and one just happened to come to market first. Maybe SRAM moved the launch after Fox released, but we'll never know and it doesn't really matter in the end. Everyone is iterating and improving, and new products are more than just targeting single competitor product.
  • 1 0
 I noticed Pauline had an all black dropper compared to all the other Sram riders she was with (Yolanda, Laura Stigger).
  • 4 0
 The BMC 4Stroke has a built in dropper
  • 1 0
 @pedalt0themedal: She rode the 2Stroke at Leogang, I think with the (extremely light) 27.2 mm KS LEV Ci 27.2 mm dropper.
  • 1 0
 KS Lev Ci, I believe, which is about a pound lighter than the AXS. Looks like the BMC 2Stroke is still 27.2 mm seatpost.
  • 2 0
 I like RockShox droppers. But PNW is better
  • 2 2
 Can some explain the short travel they use? If you’re going to run a dropper you might as well use one that gets the seat totally out of the way?
  • 3 0
 Long dropper = more metal = more weight
  • 1 2
 @xxinsert-name-herexx: Can’t be that much weight. What is it with roadies and half measures? If you’re going to sacrifice weight to run a dropper then you might as well run a dropper that’s fit for purpose not just one that’s slightly better than not having one.
  • 6 0
 More drop = Deeper Squats every time you drop your seat (100+ times in an XCO race?)

When we get self-lowering droppers (like bmc proto) more drop makes more sense.
  • 2 0
 100-125 drop is enough for xc-trail use
  • 1 0
 @Tollef: I keep hearing this argument about squats and droppers but I wonder how much difference it really makes? I get that we are min/maxing here at WC XC level, but these are pro athletes... I've never even heard normal people complaining about having to stand up from their droppers?
  • 1 0
 let s hope it s a good as a reverb.............
  • 1 0
 Yep, it seems like a lightweight dropper
  • 1 0
 Wow. Nice legs my guy
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
  • 1 0

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