The announcement of a new dropper post used to be a fairly big deal, back when you could count the number of reliable models on one hand. Nowadays, there's no shortage of decent options on the market at fairly reasonable prices, which makes it harder to make a splash, especially if there isn't any electronic gadgetry in the equation.
Pro's Tharsis 200 dropper post relies on the tried-and-true cable actuated design, but it does have a silvery stanchion color that helps it stand out among the sea of black or Kashima-colored options. It also has titanium seat fixing bolts for another dash of fanciness. Inside, it relies on a sealed aluminum cartridge for either 200 or 160mm of drop depending on the model.
Pro Tharsis Dropper Details
• Aluminum cartridge
• Titanium bolts
• Travel amounts: 100, 160, 200mm (tested)
• 30.9 or 31.6mm diameters
• Weight: 587 grams (200mm drop, 31.6mm)
• 2-year cartridge warranty, lifetime on rest of post
• MSRP: $339.99 USD
• More info: pro-bikegear.com
The Tharis post's dimensions are competitive, measuring 297mm from the underside of the collar to the bottom of the post. That's the same maximum insertion as OneUp's 210mm post, although Wolf Tooth's Resolve post does come in at an even shorter max 289mm length.
The Tharsis retails for a penny under $340 USD without a remote, and is covered by a two-year warranty for the cartridge and a lifetime warranty on the rest of the post. INSTALLATION
The Tharsis 200 was a cinch to set up – the fixed portion of the cable connects to the bottom of the post, and the other end runs to any compatible remote. I went with a Fox remote, since I'm a fan of its ergonomics and fairly small size. There are indicator lines at the back of the post, although I wouldn't mind if there was a number or letter at each line to make it even easier to remember the ideal height.
One feature the Tharsis doesn't have is any way of adjusting the amount of travel; the stroke is fixed at 200mm. That worked great for me and my long(ish) legs, but riders looking to maximize the amount of drop they can run for a given frame size may want to consider an option that can be shimmed down – OneUp, BikeYoke, Trans-X, and WolfTooth all offer posts with that ability, among others. PERFORMANCE
The Tharsis arrived last fall, just in time for the wettest, muddiest, and darkest rides of the year. Throughout all of those mucky rides the return speed was consistent, and the action remained smooth. That consistency is what impressed me the most - all too often droppers start to get a little hiccup in their stroke and stop returning to full travel after a Pacific Northwest winter.
Overall, the action of the post feels very regular, in a good way – it worked exactly like a modern dropper post should, with a little 'thwunk' at the top of the stroke to indicate that it's fully extended. The force required to lower it for the descent feels right too; I never had to do any double seat bounces to get it out of the way. ISSUES
I did run into one issue with the post – wear marks in the form of long vertical lines started to develop in the snazzy silver-grey anodizing. Pulling the post apart for a basic service would likely be an easy way to prevent this – the simple procedure only takes 20 minutes or so – but it's worth noting that several dropper posts from other brands were exposed to similar conditions for longer periods of times without developing any stanchion discoloration. In addition, another Pro Tharsis 200 post that a colleague has also developed a similar mark on the stanchion after an even shorter time period.
According to Pro they haven't seen this issue in the two years that the post has been on the market. They also said it wouldn't be a warranty issue, which I can see as being frustrating news for someone who purchased a post that says it has a lifetime warranty.
Smooth, consistent action+
Easy to service+
Stanchion anodization developed wear marks