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School me on dropper posts

Old 01-17-21, 10:28 PM
  #1  
zjrog
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School me on dropper posts

I have a 2010ish Performance Access XCL 9r that was a gift a few years ago. I've ridden it as is ever since...


Well, the stem riser was a temporary sacoriliac issue solver... It has been removed since this picture.

Bike has 3x9 mix of parts and Avid BB5 brakes. I have enjoyed riding with the Salsa Woodchipper bars and Sora brifters, but I'm changing things to move to flat 750mm bars Deore XT brake levers and Microshift 3x9 shifters for now. Perhaps Advent or Advent X later. The switch is because I'm needing more leverage on tighter trails than the drop bars give me. As I am looking at tighter, faster trails. My son and his kids are starting to ride trails, so I need to be a good dad/granddad...

Wondering if a dropper post will be something I want or need later. It's a 31.6mm post, It has a road bike style seatpost clamp currently, but looking to swap a quick release clamp whether I go dropper post or not.
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Old 01-17-21, 11:29 PM
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It all depends on what kind of riding you'll be doing. If you'll be riding a lot of technical downhill portions or even fast downhills, then yes on the dropper. Easier to shift your butt over the rear wheel. PNW makes some inexpensive ones. I have a TranzX on my 2001 Stumpjumper and love it.
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Old 01-18-21, 02:25 AM
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Droppers get the seat out of the way when you want to move around standing on the pedals.

You should do 1x and the dropper at the same time. The lever takes the place of your front derailleur pull lever, and the cable routing goes about the same way (assuming bottom pull derailleur). You will need an external routed dropper. Most of them now are internal or ďstealthĒ

How much travel you can use depends on your fit. You can get an overall max length for you, and compare it to whatís published for your post. It might be blocked from full depth by a bottle boss especially on a medium frame.
https://pnwcomponents.zendesk.com/hc...me-and-height-

Your bike has kind of a mast at the seat tube and not much post showing so Iím guessing you will be doing 125 mm or 100. Itís possible to cut the mast down if you are ambitious.

Nearly all droppers are zero setback so consider that for the fit.

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Old 01-18-21, 05:46 AM
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Pass, you don't have enough seat post length with your current setup. You might get 20mm of saddle drop with a dropper.
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Old 01-18-21, 09:43 AM
  #5  
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Dropper posts are used for downhill riding. Given the geometry of that bike and the handlebars...I wouldn't be riding that thing down hill.

Get yourself a real mountain bike.
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Old 01-18-21, 04:09 PM
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As posted in #4 you have your seat so low that you'd probably never find a dropper that would work. 50mm of drop is useless anyway.
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Old 01-18-21, 05:43 PM
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Old 01-18-21, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 2cam16 View Post
It all depends on what kind of riding you'll be doing. If you'll be riding a lot of technical downhill portions or even fast downhills, then yes on the dropper. Easier to shift your butt over the rear wheel. PNW makes some inexpensive ones. I have a TranzX on my 2001 Stumpjumper and love it.
PNW and TranzX are in my price range. I'm not going to do any super technical stuff. I broke my back 9 years ago so no big air or high speeds on down hills. I also have a hard brace fr my left ankle that really limits the out of the saddle time. So being able to get it down for trails and up for bike path riding, would be good.

Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Droppers get the seat out of the way when you want to move around standing on the pedals.

You should do 1x and the dropper at the same time. The lever takes the place of your front derailleur pull lever, and the cable routing goes about the same way (assuming bottom pull derailleur). You will need an external routed dropper. Most of them now are internal or ďstealthĒ

How much travel you can use depends on your fit. You can get an overall max length for you, and compare it to whatís published for your post. It might be blocked from full depth by a bottle boss especially on a medium frame.
https://pnwcomponents.zendesk.com/hc...me-and-height-

Your bike has kind of a mast at the seat tube and not much post showing so Iím guessing you will be doing 125 mm or 100. Itís possible to cut the mast down if you are ambitious.

Nearly all droppers are zero setback so consider that for the fit.
I have the seat lowered for riding in the dirt, riding on pavement, I have the seat nearly 2" higher. So a quick release post clamp is still needed, though with the dropper post, the existing clamp is fine. External is good, watched a few videos, I can live with that.

Basically, wanting to keep this bike on the trail another year or two. At least. I know it's not a serious name brand gonzo machine, but that isn't what I want or need. SO it is tough to justify the expense of a new "REAL" MTB... And besides, my next bike is more than likely going to be fat bike.

I can see having the 1x and dropper done at the same time is a good idea. I haven't decided yet on how many teeth chain ring to get. But understand the narrow/wide concept.

Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
As posted in #4 you have your seat so low that you'd probably never find a dropper that would work. 50mm of drop is useless anyway.
I mentioned above, for trails, I have the seat lowered in the pic. I usually have it 2" higher for more paved riding.

Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Dropper posts are used for downhill riding. Given the geometry of that bike and the handlebars...I wouldn't be riding that thing down hill.

Get yourself a real mountain bike.
Ah, the proverbial "REAL" MTB... I broke my back 9 years ago in a cycling crash, so no gonzo riding for this old man. This machine is just fine for my needs. And as I mentioned above, my next bike is more than likely going to be a fat bike. I dare say this bike is every bit as real as my old 1990 Trek 7000, or my 1989 Trek 950. Or my 91 Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo. On the other hand, I am keeping my eye out all the same for a killer deal, just in case...

I also have a nice Cannondale CAAD8 for speed, a couple older Cannondale road bikes (97 and 98 R series bikes) and my first real road bike, an old 1986 KHS... Just no budget for a new bike right now.
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Old 01-18-21, 10:25 PM
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Just ignore the "real mountain bike" stuff. Not only would you need to buy a real one but it would also have to be expensive as well.

I can see how a low travel dropper could be used in this case to make a more trail capable gravel grinder rather than a full on technical mtb. You want aero positioning for the flats and some drop for downhills. Perhaps consider a wider set of dirt drops instead of flats so you don't have to change the brifters. If that works it will be cheaper.

As noted, you could probably cut down the seat mast a bit and would have to consider whether the bottle boss lower in the seat tube will limit how far into the tube the dropper will go. That would give you at east about 100mm of travel.

Basically, it would be a one size fits all generalist bike. Not the best technical downhiller, nor the best pure gravel grinder. But, if you don't need uber bikes for each of those activities, and just want one general bike that does both instead of two specialized bikes, then a low travel dropper and wider bars might give you a little more control.
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Old 01-19-21, 12:50 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Just ignore the "real mountain bike" stuff. Not only would you need to buy a real one but it would also have to be expensive as well.

I can see how a low travel dropper could be used in this case to make a more trail capable gravel grinder rather than a full on technical mtb. You want aero positioning for the flats and some drop for downhills. Perhaps consider a wider set of dirt drops instead of flats so you don't have to change the brifters. If that works it will be cheaper.

As noted, you could probably cut down the seat mast a bit and would have to consider whether the bottle boss lower in the seat tube will limit how far into the tube the dropper will go. That would give you at east about 100mm of travel.

Basically, it would be a one size fits all generalist bike. Not the best technical downhiller, nor the best pure gravel grinder. But, if you don't need uber bikes for each of those activities, and just want one general bike that does both instead of two specialized bikes, then a low travel dropper and wider bars might give you a little more control.
The wider bars would be good, but I've never been happy with the pull the brifters have with the disc brakes.. Sora 3500 with Avid BB5 brakes.. I even snagged the road bike calipers, and just couldn't get them dialed. Hoping to fix that with V brake compatible MTB levers.

This bike IS a good all around bike. It is fast on pavement, though limited by MTB chainrings. While it rolls decent with the 700x54s, I have another set of wheels with 700x40s. It is good in the dirt and sand, depending on the tires I choose. I won't be riding through trees, but big rocks.

I just grab the bike I have for the ride I want, depending on who I ride with. My CAAD8 with 2x10 SRAM for now, only comes out with the fast guys, and I do my best to keep up. My old KHS, with 2x10 Shimano 105, is good for every day rides. My 97 and 98 Cannondales are both 3x7, and will stay that way, can't fit wider hubs for 9, 10, 11 speeds. The 98 is on semi-permanent indoor trainer duty, with lightweight older triathlon wheels. They look cool, but are too low spoke count for my Clydesdale self. The 97 is waiting on a few newer parts... I toyed with a Marin hybrid for gravel. Has a suspension fork, but is really quite tall. And limited to 1" steerer tube, and 700x42 in the chain stays. Not sure if I'll finish it or not. Though I can fit the 700x54s I use on the 9r, in the front suspension fork... At least it can use V or disc up front...

Yeah. Real bikes... I'm poor, and don't have bike envy issues. I'm poor because I have a Jeep...
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Old 01-19-21, 08:49 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by zjrog View Post
I dare say this bike is every bit as real as my old 1990 Trek 7000, or my 1989 Trek 950. Or my 91 Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo. On the other hand, I am keeping my eye out all the same for a killer deal, just in case.
The geometry on those bikes is horrendous as well for trail riding. Things have changed a bit in both components and geometry since 1990.

It's funny how people want to "mountain bike' and ride trails but never want to invest the money in the proper tool for the job.
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Old 01-19-21, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
The geometry on those bikes is horrendous as well for trail riding. Things have changed a bit in both components and geometry since 1990.

It's funny how people want to "mountain bike' and ride trails but never want to invest the money in the proper tool for the job.
It's funny how you can't understand anyone else's perspective but your own.
Dude isn't "really getting into" mountain biking and doesn't want to spend for a new bike. He's a grand dad (who broke his back) that wants to ride basic stuff with his kids.
The bike will do fine.
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Old 01-19-21, 10:00 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
The geometry on those bikes is horrendous as well for trail riding. Things have changed a bit in both components and geometry since 1990.

It's funny how people want to "mountain bike' and ride trails but never want to invest the money in the proper tool for the job.
Funny, how my Sears Free Spirit ten speed in the 70s worked ok on cow paths because the balloon tire bikes were too heavy. Or riding the gravel roads in rural Kansas where I grew up on that same bike, I guess I was cool before gravel was discovered (Hmm, maybe I should sue Dirty Kanza?). Or destroying rear wheels on 6' drops on non suspension MTBs back in the late 80s early 90s before suspension forks and bikes were AFFORDABLE... (Hint, large flange hubs and 4 cross spoke patterns stops MOST spoke breakage...)

I have no intention of riding serious gonzo trails, I'm too busted up to do that these days. But I can still enjoy riding easier trails with what I have. My 29er is an XL frame, might not be the most fashionable, but it is lighter than I expected. And works fine. My old Trek 7000 was fine for chasing my grandkids on a BMX track recently...

I was asking for opinions/advice on dropper posts, not full bikes...
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Old 01-19-21, 10:02 AM
  #14  
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I would consider it if you were doing a lot of downhill/singletrack. If it's more cross country, then stay with what you have. You could change to a quick release seat collar and manually drop before long downhills.
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Old 01-19-21, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by curbtender View Post
I would consider it if you were doing a lot of downhill/singletrack. If it's more cross country, then stay with what you have. You could change to a quick release seat collar and manually drop before long downhills.
That will likely be what I do for now, the QR clamp is cheap and pretty easy to do. After my crash, I cringe on downhills, grabbing lots of brake before I'm even doing 20 MPH nowadays. (crashed at 45 mph... Downhill...) Mostly cross country, but some single track/desert stuff. And groomed bike park trails...

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Old 01-19-21, 10:24 AM
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I noticed your stem extension and figured you weren't running on the double black diamonds. Giving you a for sticking with it.
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Old 01-19-21, 10:30 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by curbtender View Post
I noticed your stem extension and figured you weren't running on the double black diamonds. Giving you a for sticking with it.
I used that for a little while last year while fighting off a sacroiliac joint issue. This getting older stuff is no fun, worse when older injuries and mental head games take over... Thanks. If you stop moving, you stop moving...
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Old 01-19-21, 10:51 AM
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Old 01-19-21, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Dude isn't "really getting into" mountain biking and doesn't want to spend for a new bike.
Then if he isn't really getting into mountain biking then there is no need for a dropper post to ride flat trail systems.

However the dude indicated otherwise...

Originally Posted by zjrog View Post
The switch is because I'm needing more leverage on tighter trails than the drop bars give me. As I am looking at tighter, faster trails.
The dropper post was developed so that mountain bikes could be pedaled uphill with optimum power transfer (by having the seat higher) and then dropping it out of the way before hitting the downhill trail. If he's not doing any of that, then a dropper post isn't necessary. Especially on the type of bike he posted in that picture.
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Old 01-19-21, 02:38 PM
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I think a short dropper post would work on that bike. It's really nice if you might need to put your foot down. And also starting back up can be a lot easier. Doesn't take much for me.
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Old 01-19-21, 04:36 PM
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Iíve definitely found myself using the dropper post nearly all the time too. Even on rides with the kids to the park. The full height is only optimal if youíre in a steady cadence.
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Old 01-19-21, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by curbtender View Post
I would consider it if you were doing a lot of downhill/singletrack. If it's more cross country, then stay with what you have. You could change to a quick release seat collar and manually drop before long downhills.
That's the main consideration, I think, as a decent dropper is a $300 upgrade.
Everyone has their own set point for what they choose to spend their money on.
Fortunately, I am not the arbitrator of what is "necessary" for someone else.
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Old 01-19-21, 08:16 PM
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Droppers make any bike better for trail riding. 1990 Rigid, 2000 Hardtail, or 2020 FS bike, Wide flat bar, drop bar, any of these will benefit.

The main issue is going to be if you have enough room to run one. How much seat post do you have exposed when the seat is all the way up?

Your bike is fine to ride on real trails. Put a 750mm bar and short on that and you will have a more capable bike than I what was riding in the late 90s on the same trails people are now riding modern FS bikes on.... I was just slower.
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Old 01-20-21, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post

Your bike is fine to ride on real trails. Put a 750mm bar and short on that and you will have a more capable bike than I what was riding in the late 90s on the same trails people are now riding modern FS bikes on.... I was just slower.
yes - some of the trails i ride i was riding when i first started riding nearly 30 years ago

we all survived on full rigid machinery with 1.9 Panaracer Smokes, - guys with money might have had a Rockshox with 50mm of travel. Not saying todays bikes arent insanely better, but we managed to have a good time back then nonetheless
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Old 01-20-21, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Droppers make any bike better for trail riding. 1990 Rigid, 2000 Hardtail, or 2020 FS bike, Wide flat bar, drop bar, any of these will benefit.

The main issue is going to be if you have enough room to run one. How much seat post do you have exposed when the seat is all the way up?

Your bike is fine to ride on real trails. Put a 750mm bar and short on that and you will have a more capable bike than I what was riding in the late 90s on the same trails people are now riding modern FS bikes on.... I was just slower.
It may be fine to ride on real trails. The question then becomes is it enjoyable when compared to what's available on the market right now? Obviously something is amiss about this bike the way it is because the OP is asking about upgrades to make the riding experience more enjoyable. I guess if a person has never been on a newer bike for comparison purposes then "you don't know what you don't know."

If he has a bad back as claimed...the best thing he could do is get something with a little more squish that is easier on the body.
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