Another weird and possibly wonderful product I have been testing on my EU-made Nicolai superbike
is this 200mm whopper-dropper from German brand, Vecnum.
The moveLOC has 200mm of finite drop, with presets at 0mm, 40mm, 100mm, and 200mm, a 30.9mm diameter (shims are available to fit 31.6mm and 34.9mm seat tubes), a user-adjustable air-spring and a claim to be the lightest 200mm dropper available at 560 grams. It's lined up against some tough competition; with a price of €369 it's directly in the firing line of SRAM's Reverb, Fox's Kashima-coated Transfer, Bike Yoke's Revive and the equally lengthy (and over 100 grams heavier) 200mm 9point8 Fall Line, which all retail within +/-€50.
Constuction and Details moveLOC 200mm Details
• 200mm drop, preset at 0mm, 40mm, 100mm, and 200mm
• External, fixed routing
• 30.9mm only, with shims to fit 31.6 and 34.9mm seat tubes
• Thumb or 1x style levers
• Made in Germany
• Two-year guarantee
• Weight: 560 grams inc. lever (actual)
• Price: from €369 EUR
Vecnum started manufacturing their design in Asia, but ran into production problems and had to rebuild every single post upon delivery to Germany. This meant massive delays and unhappy customers waiting for their droppers to arrive. A complete restructuring of their business model brought most of the machine work and assembly in-house to Germany, except the finishing process and the initial 3D-forging of the lower portion of the post. The lower is forged in Asia, then shipped to Germany where it is machined.
The moveLOC is made from 3D forged 7075 aluminum, with carbon-reinforced polyether ether ketone (PEEK) high-grade plastic internals for the locking system and gliders. The upper and lower tubes are designed to mechanically index using a series of holes in the stanchion, which is keyed to the lowers with two brass pins and a plastic insert to eliminate side play. The patented indexing system engages a locking pin that is located on the side of the post, where there is less force exerted on it from the rider.
The 16-gram trigLOC lever (available separately to work with other dropper brands) has a machined, ribbed finish and a precise feel. Its annoyingly small, 1.5mm grub screw rounded off the moment I got enough tension to hold the cable firmly, so I swapped it out for a more unsightly Allen bolt. There is also a radial lever option for those people hanging on to 2015 by their fingernails and still have a left-hand front derailleur shifter.
External cable routing on dropper posts has become increasingly rare, but personally, I didn't mind it. Yes, it's not so pretty, but the bike it's mounted on is no Mona Lisa, or even Picasso on a good day when he was deep into his cubism phase. The cable is fixed so there are no long loops of housing to keep under control or that can scratch your paintwork, which also saves headaches when it comes to installation – simply fit the lever and the post, run the housing and cut it to length then add the inner cable. Also, if you do have any issues with the cable or lever, the post can be actuated by hand on the trail as a failsafe. Unfortunately, if you are fan of this kind of cable routing like me, many modern frame designs do not have usable cable mounting guides as internal routing has prevailed.
Vecnum doesn't provide any details on their website explaining how to do a complete strip down and rebuild of the moveLOC, as they say it should not be necessary to disassemble the post for general maintenance. This can be done by the consumer simply by popping the top collar off the post with a flat lever, and then cleaning and oiling the foam ring. After about ten rides, my post developed a tiny bit (it was still functioning perfectly) of stiction which was solved in seconds using this method.
When the post does need a rebuild, (which Vecnum claim will be many years) this can be done by returning the post to Vecnum and paying €40 for the service, this is said to return the post in an 'as new' mechanical condition.
I stripped the post down anyway to have a mooch around at the internals. Vecnum said it's possible to fully disassemble the post with only a 2.5mm allen key, and they were nearly right. In fact, the most difficult part of the entire task was removing and replacing the circlip at the base of the post with my circlip pliers being in a toolbox in another country. Overall, the post is a very simple unit and was easy to put back together too.Performance
Compared to the silky-smooth motion of many well-refined modern droppers, the moveLOC is like an ode to the old D.O.S.S post from Fox. The lever action is very light, but the post's action is clunky when the pin connects and disconnects from the preset locations.
Was I bothered by the lack of infinite drop? Not really. In a way I prefer the preset locations; full height for pedaling, drop it 40mm for technical climbing and gentle trail riding, miss out the 100mm location and drop it all the way down for descending. Of course, the same is possible with infinite adjust, but over time you learn exactly what each height feels like, while with an infinite drop I often feel like I am always trying to find the perfect
The post's insertion depth could become an issue for some riders going for the 200mm post - I could have cut 90mm off the seat tube on this gate/bike and still have the correct ride height and not go past the minimum insertion height marked on the post. Luckily the Vecnum website has a configurator on their site to make sure your new post will work with your frame.
Do you need this much drop? I'm more than happy riding with a 150mm dropper, but if you really want to hit some real steep terrain on your trail bike, the 200mm just gives you that extra comfort and confidence on the descents.Pinkbike's Take: