We’ve come a long ways when it comes to dropper posts. There was a time when you could count the worthy options on one hand…or half a hand, really. Today, we’ve got a solid handful and a couple interesting fingers worth of options to choose from.
But while it seems like everybody and their kid brother now offers a viable dropper post, many brands seem to have stayed up all night designing the post itself, only to fall asleep on the couch when it came time to create their dropper's remote lever.
Wolf Tooth ReMote LA Details
• Works with any cable-actuated dropper post
• Large diameter, ball-bearing pivot
• Low-profile, Light Action lever
• Integrated, cable-tension adjuster
• Breakaway axle pivot
• Weight: 36 grams
• Available in universal hinged clamp (tested), as well as Shimano and SRAM direct mount
• MSRP: $69.95 USD
Here are some potential sins of a crappy lever: They refuse to play well with different brake levers, they don’t offer enough leverage, their cable tensioning adjusters are poorly designed or their ergonomics are just….let’s be frank, shit. Wolf Tooth Components claims that their ReMote is designed to address those problems. The company offers two versions: a standard unit and a Light Action model, which I’m testing here. Out of the Box
If you have a cable-actuated dropper post, the Wolf Tooth ReMote will work with it. Simple as that. Hell, if you have RockShox's hydraulically-actuated Reverb dropper, you can still use the Wolf Tooth, though you'll need their ReMote Sustain conversion kit to make it all work. Here's RC's review of the hydraulic-to-cable converting Sustain.
But let's get back on track here. Since the dropper cable is attached at the ReMote lever, the ReMote is compatible with both dropper posts that sport barrel adjusters at the remote and those that feature barrel adjusters on the post itself.
The Light Action version of Wolf Tooth's ReMote features a longer lever that, according to Wolf Tooth, reduces the amount of effort required of your thumb by roughly 30 percent. The Light Action lever is best suited for posts that feature a stiffer internal spring or for riders who have thumbs that aren't rippling with, uh, thumb muscles, I guess. Not sure where you or your current post sit on the spectrum? Wolf Tooth's handy chart (at left) that shows the ideal pairings. I originally bought this Light Action unit to work with a Thomson Elite dropper (I'm not a huge fan of that particular post's lever), but I've used it since with both a PNW Components Bachelor 170 post and a Giant Contact dropper post.
Getting your dropper post lever to mesh with your favored brake lever can also be a challenge. I opted for the standard, hinged version (since I swap posts from test bike to test bike), but the ReMote LA is also offered in versions with clamps that integrate with SRAM (MatchMaker X) and Shimano (I-Spec A, B and II) brake levers. The standard (not Light Action) version of Wolf Tooth's ReMote is also offered with a clamp that's Magura brake-friendly version. While I'm all for a clutter-free cockpit, I've used the basic, hinged-clamp version you see here with all of those brakes and have encountered zero problems. The hinged clamp takes up very little room on your bar. It's a solid choice if you are the kind of rider who changes brakes from season to season.
I tested the universal, hinged version. The ReMote is also offered in Shimano...
...SRAM and Magura-compatible versions that mesh nicely with those brands' brake levers.
Here (see image above) are the basic components of the ReMote: the lever blade, lever bearing, the breakaway axle pivot, barrel adjuster and cable-clamping bolt and washer. The most obvious thing here is that bearing. By Grabthar's Hammer, that sealed cartridge bearing is massive! It is, in fact, 21-millimeters of silky smooth, overbuilt-for-the-application awesomeness. The clamping bolt and washer deserve mention as well, because, unlike a lot of set screws on dropper remotes, these hold your cable fast without mangling the cable itself. It's a small detail, but a thoughtful one.
A view (from below) of the ReMote.
The breakaway axle is designed to, you guessed it, break in the event of a hard crash (saving the more expensive components, such as the lever). You can order replacements from Wolf Tooth for $4.95
What's up with the "breakaway axle pivot"? The basic idea here is that people crash and that dropper post levers sometimes auger into the dirt and get banjaxed in the process. Wolf Tooth decided to make an inexpensive sacrificial lamb here that breaks away during a bad crash and saves the rest of the lever components. In short, the plastic top hat-looking thing here is designed to go snap-crackle-pop instead of, say, your lever bending and going all pretzel-like on you. Should you, indeed, break the axle pivot, it costs a whopping $4.95 to replace. In fact, you can replace many of the ReMote's components of the lever for similarly paltry sums. Wolf Tooth sells replacement parts for every single widget associated with this thing. Bought the hinged clamp and now you want to go and get the sleek MatchMaker X or Shimano-compatibl clamp instead? You can buy it here
too. In short, if you lose a bolt or a washer or the cat eats your ReMote lever, you can order anything you need directly from Wolf Tooth's website.
Dropper post remotes are simple devices, but some are easier to install than others. The Wolf Tooth poses no challenge at all. I may have spent 10 minutes installing it and a lot of that time was actually devoted to me geeking out on the lever assembly's various components (a hazard of the profession). The Wolf Tooth ReMote features an integrated, barrel-type, cable tension adjuster—always a good thing since shift cables always stretch. The barrel adjuster is easy to turn and offers a ridiculous range of tension adjustment (far more than you'll likely ever need). I normally would gloss over this "feature," but I note it since I have fiddled with my share of crappy tension adjusters on other dropper posts.
Cable stretch? Not an issue, thanks to the barrel adjuster.
Though the Light Action ReMote is supersized, it still strikes a decidedly low-profile pose on your handlebars, making it less of a target for your kneecap. I also had no problem finding the sweet spot for the lever itself.
How does it actually function? The lever shaping is excellent. There's plenty of real estate for your thumb to stab and the machining on the business end of the lever reduces the risk of your thumb slipping even when your mitts are plastered with wet mud.
Here's the bottom line: the Wolf Tooth is smooth and consistent. Admittedly, the lever doesn't return to its home position with a great deal of "snap" to it; there's no spring assisting that action, but as long as the cable tension is properly dialed (again, easily achieved) it's not sluggardly either. On the Thomson and PNW Components posts, the Wolf Tooth ReMote Light Action definitely decreased the amount of effort required to convince those posts to do their up and down thing. It was, in short, a very noticeable improvement. I've used dropper post remotes that have lighter actions (the KindShock comes to mind), but the lever shaping and clamping system on the Wolf Tooth are considerably better.