The adjustable or ‘upy downy’ seat post is a must have component for the mountain bike. You might not think this is true if you don’t have one, but once tried you will not want to go back to the dark ages of manual seat height adjustment. Like a knight closing his visor before going into battle, the contemporary mountain biker flicks the switch, drops the post and gets the shred on….
I’ve tried and broken quite a few upy downy posts. The Gravity Dropper is the best one I’ve used so far and after nearly a year of use it has not broken. Its beauty is in its simplicity. There is no air or oil, and therefore no seals to leak. The Gravity Dropper is mechanical. A magnet controlled by a cable, pushes in and retracts a pin to fix the seat in the up or down position and a spring allows the post to extend. It really is that simple. You soon get the hang of clicking the switch and using a bit of bum pressure on the seat to activate the mechanism for up or down.
Some people think that this same simplicity makes the Dropper ugly. It makes a loud clicking noise when the magnet moves the pin which some think sounds clunky. I find it a rather reassuring sound and along with my Hope hubs it helps announce my arrival. Similarly the rubber gaitor and externally mounted magnet housing do look a little quirky, but I think they add a sort of vintage custom motorcycle chic.
Maintenance wise, all I’ve done is clean and re-grease the post a couple of times when the action has become slower and gritty sounding. It’s a simple job which needs no special tools. I also had to clean out the bar mounted lever as grit lodged in there was preventing the cable from activating the magnet. There is a little lateral play in the post, as with all the adjustable posts on the market, but it’s not noticeable whist riding. While over in the alps recently working on the Trans Provence stage race, I met a crazy French goat of a man called Fred, the sweeper for the race, who does big alpine mileages. He’s been running a Gravity Dropper for 6 years with nothing more than occasional maintenance and he gave the post a big thumbs up along with various other positive gallic gestures.
The Gravity Dropper tested retails for £229.99. It’s the Gravity Dropper Classic Standard, with 4 inches of drop, which means the seat is either all the way up or all the way down. There is a Multi version which can be set at two different heights. There are also 3 inch and 5 inch drop versions. Mine is the 4 inch drop. I wouldn’t want any less than than, but also couldn’t fit the 5 inch drop version with my frame and stumpy little legs. All in all then lots of useful options.
Gravity Droppers come in 27.2mm and 30.9mm sizes and can be adapted to any seat tube size by the use of shims. The post I have been testing is 27.2mm shimmed out to 31.6mm.