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How We Tested Dropper Posts

Monday November 14, 2022
dropper seatpost - lower seat=more fun, its science.
Lower seat=more fun, its science.
Credit: Heather Benson

It's safe to say that since we've started using dropper seatposts we've become addicted to them. We raise and lower our seat for nearly every rise and fall in the trail because we can. We've grown accustomed to the convenience of having that power at the tip of our thumb.

Testing Process

Our testing process is multi-faceted, and we do everything in our power to find each post's strengths and weaknesses. We started by installing each dropper on our test bike ourselves to assess the ease of installation. Then, during field testing, we use each seatpost for hundreds of miles over the course of several weeks riding the trails of the Lake Tahoe area and northern California to evaluate every aspect of its practical performance.

We keep our thumbs on the triggers to raise and lower our seat at even the most subtle of elevation changes. We take detailed notes during this process to remember the nuances of each post. We scrutinized every last detail from the ergonomics of the remote, the ease of actuation, the speed of compression and extension, to the free play in the saddle. We keep our ears open for noise and our eyes peeled for leaking fluids.

dropper seatpost - lowering your saddle improves your body position for steep descents.
Lowering your saddle improves your body position for steep descents.
Credit: Heather Benson

It's a challenge to compare each product to the others in the field, so in addition to our lengthy ride time, we mount the dropper posts side-by-side on a custom made OutdoorGearLab test apparatus for further evaluation in a controlled environment.

Testing Metrics

This allows us to examine each post's performance as it compares to the others. This truly gives us the opportunity to feel the subtle differences in each seatpost's smoothness, compression, extension, actuation force, saddle play, remote ergonomics, and top out. It also gives us a visual comparison of their ride height. We've never seen dropper posts tested this way before and we believe that it has given us great insight into the workings of each post. We hope our extensive testing and detailed analysis help you decide which dropper seatpost is best for you and your budget.

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GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

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