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Dropper Seat Post for Road Bikes - Has Their Time Arrived?

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Dropper Seat Post for Road Bikes - Has Their Time Arrived?

Old 12-02-20, 10:27 AM
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rsbob 
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Dropper Seat Post for Road Bikes - Has Their Time Arrived?

On my mtn bike, a dropper Post is almost required for steep descents. Lowering the center of gravity is key. At 6’2” I am way off the ground on a bike and lowering the seat makes a significant difference in stability. On my road bike I am still way off the ground and it never becomes more evident when bombing down a technical/windy descent with tight turns. Of course I get on the drops, lower my body position, put the outside pedal down, use my inside knee, yada yada, but still feel like an upside down pendulum. Read this article which sounds promising https://www.cyclingnews.com/features...dropper-posts/

Additional weight penalty aside, do you think they will take the serious road riders by storm like they have done in mtn biking? This is more directed to forward thinking tech types rather than the “my bike has had two wheels for the last 100 years and that’s good enough” crowd.
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Old 12-02-20, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
On my mtn bike, a dropper Post is almost required for steep descents. Lowering the center of gravity is key. At 6’2” I am way off the ground on a bike and lowering the seat makes a significant difference in stability. On my road bike I am still way off the ground and it never becomes more evident when bombing down a technical/windy descent with tight turns. Of course I get on the drops, lower my body position, put the outside pedal down, use my inside knee, yada yada, but still feel like an upside down pendulum. Read this article which sounds promising https://www.cyclingnews.com/features...dropper-posts/

Additional weight penalty aside, do you think they will take the serious road riders by storm like they have done in mtn biking? This is more directed to forward thinking tech types rather than the “my bike has had two wheels for the last 100 years and that’s good enough” crowd.
No.
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Old 12-02-20, 10:41 AM
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rsbob I can see the dropper post migrating to road and gravel - maybe gravel first. But - and it's a big but - it will be the younger crowd and those new to road cycling.

I'm 52 and have been riding consistently for 47 years - raced BMX then MTB then road, then gravel... For years, I thought dropper posts were a joke - "Man up and ride the &$^@ing bike." Then last year, on a borrowed (badass) mtn bike, after climbing to 12,000' at full post extension, I dropped the post and descended. I was SOLD. For my southeast riding, I'll stick with the fixed post. But, I don't look down on those with the option.

For those road rides in the mountains - climb for an hour, descend for 15 min - It'd be hard to argue the advantages of a dropper post.

But, that first "but"... I'm an old guy... I'll stick with the fixed post ;-)

I've had bike mechanics say they wished my bikes had dropper posts ;-)

Last edited by Zaskar; 12-02-20 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 12-02-20, 10:41 AM
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dropper posts for drop-bar bikes are already available. I can see these becoming popular for a certain segment of the road-going population who rides routes like the one you describe, but I think most roadies will not bother with them. I use a dropper on my mountain bike (hardtail) and I'm 5'9", but I can't see any use for it on the terrain I ride on my "gravel" road bike, even on singletrack. maybe I'd grow to appreciate it if I had one, but it's doubtful that it would be a game-changer like it is on my mountain bike.

the other segment I see is urban bikes, especially for shorter riders. when I got my wife, who is quite short, to try out a mountain bike with a dropper post, she was super excited about the opportunity to drop the saddle for mounting and dismounting the bike. PNW is marketing the Coast seatpost to this segment.
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Old 12-02-20, 11:12 AM
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no.


There is no need for a dropper post on anything that doesnt have steep technical descents. Roadies dont need to get their weight low and over the rear wheel on pavement.
Im still confused as to why droppers are spec'd on some gravel bikes. I get why they are added by some riders, but it seems to be very regional specific and almost exclusively in SoCal where there is no gravel and the bikes are used on steep fire roads that suffer from washout and whatnot. My guess is that they are spec'd on some gravel bikes as stock more for image than need. Since my gravel roads are roads that are gravel, I have 0 need to get my butt low and behind the rear axle.

A bike that is ridden on roads, paved or gravel, just doesnt need a dropper post. I have no idea why someone would want to drop their saddle height while pedaling on a road(straight or twisty).
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Old 12-02-20, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
no.


There is no need for a dropper post on anything that doesnt have steep technical descents. Roadies dont need to get their weight low and over the rear wheel on pavement.
Im still confused as to why droppers are spec'd on some gravel bikes. I get why they are added by some riders, but it seems to be very regional specific and almost exclusively in SoCal where there is no gravel and the bikes are used on steep fire roads that suffer from washout and whatnot. My guess is that they are spec'd on some gravel bikes as stock more for image than need. Since my gravel roads are roads that are gravel, I have 0 need to get my butt low and behind the rear axle.

A bike that is ridden on roads, paved or gravel, just doesnt need a dropper post. I have no idea why someone would want to drop their saddle height while pedaling on a road(straight or twisty).
I agree, but apparently some people think it's an advantage in twisties and such (on road bikes), I couldn't really tell as I don't do dedicated hobby bikes.
I know that on my mini-velo, it could potentially come in handy due to it having such a short wheelbase and rutted trails. Not sure it would be worth it on longer-wheelbase bikes.
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Old 12-02-20, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
no.


There is no need for a dropper post on anything that doesnt have steep technical descents. Roadies dont need to get their weight low and over the rear wheel on pavement.
Im still confused as to why droppers are spec'd on some gravel bikes. I get why they are added by some riders, but it seems to be very regional specific and almost exclusively in SoCal where there is no gravel and the bikes are used on steep fire roads that suffer from washout and whatnot. My guess is that they are spec'd on some gravel bikes as stock more for image than need. Since my gravel roads are roads that are gravel, I have 0 need to get my butt low and behind the rear axle.

A bike that is ridden on roads, paved or gravel, just doesnt need a dropper post. I have no idea why someone would want to drop their saddle height while pedaling on a road(straight or twisty).
Many of the gravel roads an easy ride from my door have very steep descents and big time washboard at the bottom. Going down close to gonzo works but doing anything remotely civilized is very difficult. More effective braking power would make those roads far more appealing for a lot of us.
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Old 12-02-20, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Many of the gravel roads an easy ride from my door have very steep descents and big time washboard at the bottom. Going down close to gonzo works but doing anything remotely civilized is very difficult. More effective braking power would make those roads far more appealing for a lot of us.
To be fair, his very first sentence was this (my bold):

There is no need for a dropper post on anything that doesnt have steep technical descents.
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Old 12-02-20, 12:03 PM
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All the naysayers should try it sometime. Forget technical descents or any of that faff-- dropping the saddle and just sitting down at a stop light feels almost like luxury. Pedaling while standing feels like a whole different ballgame.

While I do recognize that this is the 41, not every last human on a "road bike" is obsessed with shaving grams or minimizing drivetrain friction losses. To a great number of people, a road bike is one that is ridden on the road. Some conveniences are welcome.
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Old 12-02-20, 12:09 PM
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Hmm, never considered the stoplight situation. I can't tippy toe on the left side (prosthetic), so I always have to do it to the right. Hmm, now to consider if the extra weight and hoses are worth it for that little bit of extra options.
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Old 12-02-20, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
All the naysayers should try it sometime. Forget technical descents or any of that faff-- dropping the saddle and just sitting down at a stop light feels almost like luxury. Pedaling while standing feels like a whole different ballgame.

While I do recognize that this is the 41, not every last human on a "road bike" is obsessed with shaving grams or minimizing drivetrain friction losses. To a great number of people, a road bike is one that is ridden on the road. Some conveniences are welcome.
I'm really trying here, I just don't grasp what the conveniences are.
I haven't been at a stoplight and thought 'man, I wish I could sit with both feet on the ground.'
How is pedaling while standing different with a dropped saddle? I'm not using the saddle in both instances.

It may be one of those things where I have to try it to understand.
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Old 12-02-20, 01:34 PM
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I just looked for some to see how heavy they'd be. The lightest ones are around 515 grammes, which seems a tad heavy to be honest - and some even don't count the weight of the "trigger".

Add to that, that people report rattling with most dropper seatposts I looked at, which is something that would drive me absolutely crazy, because that means the saddle will move around when you sit on it - to add to the noise issue. I can see the point in mountainbiking, despite the rattling and whatnot.
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Old 12-02-20, 01:52 PM
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I may be crazy, but I prefer to stand at a long traffic light. Gives the ol' sitbones a break.
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Old 12-02-20, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I haven't been at a stoplight and thought 'man, I wish I could sit with both feet on the ground.'
No, but how about "Man, I wish I could sit with both feet on an ottoman." That would be killer.
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Old 12-02-20, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Reflector Guy View Post
I may be crazy, but I prefer to stand at a long traffic light. Gives the ol' sitbones a break.
if the light is long enough i am with you.
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Old 12-02-20, 02:23 PM
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I'm begrudgingly shopping for a dropper for the MTB because I can't deny how sweet it'll be to have one. The price tag and 300g weight gain kills me though.

So that's a no for me on a pure road bike, don't feel the need.
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Old 12-02-20, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I'm really trying here, I just don't grasp what the conveniences are.
I haven't been at a stoplight and thought 'man, I wish I could sit with both feet on the ground.'
How is pedaling while standing different with a dropped saddle? I'm not using the saddle in both instances.

It may be one of those things where I have to try it to understand.
This.

At a stoplight, I want to be straddling the bike, with one foot on a pedal in the forward position, as that allows me to accelerate rapidly when the traffic starts to move.
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Old 12-02-20, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
This.

At a stoplight, I want to be straddling the bike, with one foot on a pedal in the forward position, as that allows me to accelerate rapidly when the traffic starts to move.

Well, if you had some PittBull pedals... ;-)
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Old 12-02-20, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
No, but how about "Man, I wish I could sit with both feet on an ottoman." That would be killer.
You're REALLY close to inventing the Recumbent!
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Old 12-02-20, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Reflector Guy View Post
You're REALLY close to inventing the Recumbent!
No, no, no. I don't want to ride a La-Z-Boy, I just want to put my feet up at stop lights.
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Old 12-02-20, 07:22 PM
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On a bike like a Zipp 2001, a dropper mechanism would have very little weight penalty. And then you could ride that puppy off a two foot dropoff.
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Old 12-02-20, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
This.

At a stoplight, I want to be straddling the bike, with one foot on a pedal in the forward position, as that allows me to accelerate rapidly when the traffic starts to move.
Why would you need a dropper post to do that?
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Old 12-02-20, 07:46 PM
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Sifn't trackstand like a champ
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Old 12-02-20, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
This.

At a stoplight, I want to be straddling the bike, with one foot on a pedal in the forward position, as that allows me to accelerate rapidly when the traffic starts to move.
Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Why would you need a dropper post to do that?
You should read the thread. That was precisely my point.
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Old 12-03-20, 06:28 AM
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I would consider one for the gravel bike, but the cost (both in terms of $ and weight) vs benefit wouldn't be there for me on the road bike.
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