Dropper posts have become standard equipment on all but the shortest travel bikes, with even entry-level mountain bikes getting one. And with XC riding and racing getting more aggressive, even the pros are running them.
Whether you ride a cross-country bike on local trails or race downhill or enduro, there are several reasons you might want to replace or upgrade your dropper seatpost. First, they don’t last forever, and those most can be rebuilt. But, second, the models listed here make great upgrades over the often basic models that come stock, with better features or lower weights.
Third, there are plenty of cases where the post that comes on your bike is too short or too long for you, making proper bike fit impossible. Product managers deal in averages, and they don’t always work for taller and shorter riders. Or, maybe you’re just breathing new life into an older bike for a friend or child, and droppers are a great way to help them feel way more comfortable on descents (or just stopping at an intersection!).
Here are our favorite MTB dropper seatposts for every type of mountain bike and rider. Scroll down for our Buyer’s Guide and Frequently Asked Questions about sizing, maintenance, and features of dropper posts, too…
BEST OVERALL: OneUp Dropper V2
The OneUp Dropper V2 packs tons of great features and is still one of the most affordable dropper posts. Starting from the top, a downward sloping seat clamp head and lower profile collar let you eke out a bit more travel…or just fit a dropper, period, on smaller frame sizes. This is a big deal since many smaller riders struggle to find a dropper post that can fit them and their frame.
It also has the longest (210mm!!!) travel of any post here, and you can easily customize the travel in 20mm increments with internal shims. The OneUp post is surprisingly easy to service at home, thanks to replaceable air cartridges that can be quickly swapped out if you run into any problems.
- Weight: 480g (30.9, 150mm travel)
- Travel: 120mm, 150mm, 180mm, 210mm, adjustable
- Diameters: 30.9mm, 31.6mm, 34.9mm
- Post length: 360mm, 420mm, 480mm, 540mm
- MSRP: $215 (remote not included)
PROS: Great price, easy to service, low stack height, tons of adjustable travel
CONS: None, really
Best High Tech: RockShox Reverb AXS
It’s a wireless dropper post that works, need we say more? If you want things as simple as possible, spend a bit more and go for the Reverb AXS from RockShox. It has all the benefits of the Reverb Stealth (below), but with a completely wireless actuation so you don’t have to run any wires, cables, or hoses through your frame.
It’s by far the quickest, easiest post to install, so, you can quickly move it between bikes. And the simple button tap that actuates it blows away any standard remote lever, bar none. You can even pair it with other AXS parts to mix and match it with drop bar and Blip Button shifters for hybrid, monstercross builds.
We’ve found them to be highly reliable and sturdy, too, and the dual saddle adjustment makes it easy to lock in the angle before tightening the clamps to set your fore-aft position. Their new Vent Valve Technology allows for a quick reset if it starts sagging, and without having to remove the saddle like on the standard Reverb. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Yes.
- Weight: 676g + 25g battery (701g total, 170mm, 31.6)
- Travel: 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, 170mm
- Diameters: 30.9mm, 31.6mm, 34.9mm
- Post length: 340mm, 390mm, 440mm, 480mm
- MSRP: $816, including remote and battery
PROS: Easy to install, ultra-quick actuation with great button ergonomics, great saddle tilt adjustment mechanism, best wireless dropper yet
CONS: Expensive, heavy, tall stack height, shape of head may interfere with some saddle bags and accessories as well as low profile saddles depending on seat tube angle and saddle angle
Most Durable: 9point8 Fall Line
If you want a dropper post that’ll last longer and hold its position even if things go terribly wrong, the 9point8 Fall Line series has your back. Available in three versions (two “regular” ones with 75-150mm travel or 150-200mm travel, plus a lightweight Fall Line R model with 75-150mm travel), several unique features that make them stand out.
First, the internals use a mechanical locking mechanism, so even if the air spring or damping fails, your saddle won’t fall. You can also lift the bike by the saddle and it won’t raise the post, something few other droppers claim. This means, in the unlikely event that the internals fail, you can manually raise and lower the post and it’ll hold its position.
The clamp head allows independent fore/aft and angle adjustment, too, so you won’t mess up one adjustment to change the other. The collar twists on and off with your hand, so no special tools are needed to service or clean it. And it’s air damped, so there’s nothing to leak. Lastly, the cable connection uses a quick-connect design that easily lets you move this post between bikes if you want, just install a remote on both bikes and move the post between them.
The Fall Line R (which we reviewed here) has a much lighter weight design and lower clamp head, which makes it the better choice for just $70 more. The only complaint is the clamp and collar are tall, so you’re losing a bit of travel or height to that, so some riders/bikes may give up a bit of travel.
One more bonus: They offer straight and setback clamps, with options or adjustments to fit round and oval carbon saddle rails.
- Weight: 510g (150mm, standard) and 441g (150mm, R version)
- Travel: 75mm, 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, 175mm, 200mm
- Diameters: 30.9mm, 31.6mm, 34.9mm
- Post length: 275mm to 560mm
- MSRP: $319 to $399, depending on offset and rail clamp (remote not included, options from $25 to $65)
PROS: Super durable, easy to service, great features, excellent in cold weather
CONS: Slightly less travel per length than others
BEST FOR XC RIDERS: BikeYoke Divine SL
If you’re looking for an XC dropper post with just enough travel for tough courses without turning your race bike into a trail bike, we love the Divine SL from BikeYoke. They’ve been among the longest-lasting droppers any of us have used. They’re also the posts the choice for several top World Cup racers.
What makes this unique is that they’re purpose built for shorter travel applications. The overall post length of the Divine SL is longer than average, so taller riders can still get proper saddle height and seatpost extension. But, the lower tube can be trimmed to shave weight and height if the full length of the post isn’t needed for your frame.
One of our favorite features is the “Tech-Climb” capability. This middle-height position is great for technical climbs where you want just a bit of drop (~1cm), and adds a little suspension to soak up the bumps. But at full drop or extension, it’s locked out like normal.
- Weight: 435g (100mm, 31.6, but can drop under 400g if cut)
- Travel: 80mm, 100mm, 125mm
- Diameters: 30.9mm, 31.6mm
- Post length: 400mm, 420mm, 445mm (uncut)
- MSRP: $330 (remote sold separately)
PROS: Great for XC, lightweight, customizable length
CONS: Limited travel options
BEST FOR WEIGHT WEENIES: Fox Transfer SL
The Transfer SL from FOX is THE weight weenie option at 352 grams for the biggest diameter and longest travel option. That’s a whopping 128 grams lighter than the standard Transfer post. But it’s not just that it weighs less, it also works great and feels great.
Besides weight, what makes this special is that there’s no hydraulic damping or locking system, so there’s very little to go wrong. It’s a simple air spring that locks into two positions – fully extended, or fully dropped. There are no intermediate positions, but that’s fine because it’s such a short travel post aimed at the XC crowd.
But, it’s also one of the only MTB dropper posts that has a 27.2mm diameter available, and travel as low as 50mm is available. That means you can use it on a gravel bike as well as your mountain bike. Light weight typically means a high price tag, but this post still comes in at only $359, making it one of the middle-range options on this list.
- Weight: 352g (100mm, 31.6)
- Travel: 50mm, 70mm, 75mm, 100mm
- Diameters: 27.2mm, 30.9mm, 31.6mm
- Post length: 350mm, 370mm, 355mm, 380mm, 430mm
- MSRP: $359
PROS: Ultra lightweight, smooth action, gravel-friendly 27.2 option
CONS: Up or down, there’s no middle position, the older head design isn’t as low-profile or as easy to adjust as new Fox Transfer (non-SL model)
BEST LEVER FEEL: RockShox Reverb Stealth
No dropper post list is complete without the RockShox Reverb Stealth. It’s now several generations in and keeps getting better, with features like a quick Vent Valve reset to remove any air from the damping oil, smoother seals, and a lower-profile clamp head and design that gives you about 20mm more travel for the same length compared to the prior generation. Check our Reverb tech video to see all of this in detail.
Rockshox also has travel options from 100mm to 200mm, hitting all the sweet spots. But the biggest reason we like the Reverb is its hydraulic remote control. Rather than pulling a cable, it pushes fluid to release the post, which has a dramatically smoother, easier feel than any cable. And, you can turn a dial to control the return speed way more accurately than having to tweak air spring pressure. Bonus points that it’s included with the post, saving you $30-$70 compared to others that sell their remotes separately.
The only caveat: If you’re not comfortable bleeding your brakes, you won’t want to install this yourself as the hose will likely require a bleed to setup, and then occasionally for maintenance.
- Weight: 516g
- Travel: 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, 175mm, 200mm
- Diameters: 30.9mm, 31.6mm, 34.9mm
- Post length: 301mm, 351mm, 414mm, 467mm, 519.5mm
- MSRP: $356-$407 (depending on size & options; includes the remote!)
PROS: Huge range of travel & sizes, ultra-smooth lever is included in the price
CONS: A little heavy compared to other options, more complicated to maintain
BEST BUDGET POST: TranzX Skyline
For just $119, this is a great dropper post for privateers and budgeteers. It feels like an expensive post, has a replaceable sealed cartridge, infinite adjust within the travel, and a two-year warranty. All those reasons are why you’ll find this post spec’d on a lot of bikes at a lot of price points…it gets the job done.
The only downsides are that it’s heavy, and there’s only one travel option – 125mm – and only in 30.9 or 31.6 diameters. So, if you like the idea but want more travel or less weight, also worth checking out their Kitsuma posts, which range from $159 to $185 and are still less expensive than anything else on this list.
- Weight: 571g (actual, 30.9mm post)
- Travel: 125mm
- Diameters: 30.9mm, 31.6mm
- Post length: 415mm
- MSRP: $119 (remote sold separate—$39 for Kitsuma 1x remote)
PROS: Super affordable without feeling cheap, very smooth travel, very easy (and quick) to service
CONS: Heavy, limited sizes, only one travel option, actuation isn’t quite as fast as more expensive models
Buyer’s Guide for Dropper Posts
Riding style/terrain. The steeper the terrain you descend, the longer the dropper post you’ll want. If you’re more of a cross-country rider who rarely hits huge descents, you can get away with less travel, since you’ll only need a bit more room to move over your saddle in technical sections.
But generally speaking, we suggest getting as much travel as you can fit on your bike. There’s no downside to having extra travel, other than a few added grams. If you’re unsure how much travel is ideal for your local terrain, ask the mountain bikers you know, or ask your local bike shop for a recommendation.
Your current bike. Not every dropper will fit on your bike! Your seatpost diameter is the first thing to check, as some XC bikes are designed around a narrower 27.2 post and there are far fewer dropper posts that offer this size.
Next, you need to make sure the depth of the post’s shaft will fit far enough to the frame to still allow the proper saddle height. You also need to make sure there is ample room above your seat tube clamp for the post’s travel and stack height—for example, you may have 130mm of useable length between the top of your seatpost collar and the saddle rails, but if that 125mm travel dropper post has a 140mm stack height, then it will be too long for the proper fit. We’ve seen 150mm travel droppers with similar stack heights to other 125mm travel droppers, so it pays to do your research here before purchasing.
Most brands offer all the measurements you need on their websites, then read our guide on choosing the right size dropper post for how to check those on your bike.
Weight versus budget considerations. For the most part, the weights are relatively standardized across the different brands and options available, with notable exceptions like the Fox Transfer SL. But you may prefer ease of operation versus saving a few grams, which could point you to Reverb’s wireless option at a much higher price.
Choosing the remote. Each model requires a remote to operate it, and the remotes are often sold separately since many options are available. Pay attention to lever shapes and placement, they need to work with anything else you have on your bar and your preferred ergonomics. We like the ones that offer the most lateral and angular adjustment so we can really fine-tune their position.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dropper Posts
What is a Dropper Post?
A dropper post replaces your bike’s regular seatpost (the post that connects your saddle to the bike frame) with one that uses a mechanical, pneumatic, or hydraulic system to move up and down via a button on your handlebars.
This allows you to push your seat down and out of the way when navigating a tricky descent so that you can move your body over and behind your saddle without getting caught. It improves your center of gravity when pointing down, and makes it easier to maneuver the bike, whether you ride a cross-country mountain bike, a downhill bike, or an enduro-style trail bike.
What is a “Stealth” dropper post?
Almost every dropper post is now using a “stealth” design. This simply means that the cable or hose that links it to the remote lever is run inside the bike’s frame and connects at the bottom of the post.
When dropper posts first debuted, bikes weren’t designed for internal routing, so the remote cable connected at the top of the post and had to run outside the frame. There are a lot of drawbacks to this, namely aesthetics and having a giant loop of cable that could dip down into the way of the rear tire or just rub your thighs. About the only reason you’d need a non-stealth dropper now is if you’re retrofitting an older frame or one that doesn’t have internal routing ports.
Do I need a dropper post?
If you have a mountain bike, the answer is probably yes. Even for XC riders, you’d be surprised how handy it is once you have it. That said, a dropper post doesn’t magically improve your riding technique if you don’t learn to use it judiciously.
It does take some getting used to, though once you figure out how to use it at the right time, it can be hugely beneficial. But if you’re just getting started on the MTB and already feeling overwhelmed by all the gears (and the gear!) required, you can certainly wait to add a dropper seatpost to your bike (though beginners often benefit from droppers since they can easily lower their seat to make it easier to touch the ground when learning to ride).
How to install dropper seat post?
Assuming you’ve measured to make sure that the dropper you’ve chosen will fit on your bike, installation is relatively easy if you’re comfortable routing cables through your frame, or you’ve opted for a wireless model. (This video from Diamondback provides a simple explanation of how to install a dropper seatpost.)
Or just leave installation to your local bike shop mechanics, since installation can be tricky. If you would use a mechanic to change out your drivetrain, you probably want one to install your dropper post.
Will a dropper post work with any saddle?
No. Most dropper seatposts’ saddle clamps are designed only for traditional round saddle rails. So, if you have a bike seat with round metal rails, those will almost certainly work.
If you have a carbon fiber-railed saddle with the oblong 7x9mm rails, you need to make sure that the clamps will work. Don’t try to force it to clamp onto a carbon rail if it’s not designed for it! Some brands, like Fall Line, offer carbon-specific or universal clamps that are shaped to work with “oval” rails.
What do all of the dropper posts specs mean?
Mostly, they’re referring to the size and shape, which lets you know what will fit your bike. Here’s the key terms you need to know:
- Travel: The travel refers to how far the saddle slides up and down on a dropper seatpost.
- Length: Post length is the total length of the post from top to bottom, including any protrusion at the bottom for attaching a cable’s remote. Keep in mind when calculating what length and travel post will fit that you also need to add the height of your saddle into the equation. And if you’re taller, double-check that you’ll have the minimum required insertion depth inside the seat tube. See below for more details on how to get the correct size post.
- Diameter: The outside diameter of the lower tube (aka shaft, while the upper part might be called the stanchion), which needs to match the inside diameter of your seat tube. Common options are 27.2, 30.9, 31.6, and 34.9 millimeters.
Are hydraulic or mechanical dropper post remotes better?
Mechanically actuated droppers can be more affordable and easier to install because you don’t have to bleed a hydraulic hose. But, they’re susceptible to cable drag, so depending on cable routing and how dirty your bike gets, the lever action can start to feel a little rough over time.
Hydraulically actuated droppers have a much smoother lever feel, but come with a higher price tag and tend to be a bit trickier to install and repair. Plus, there’s really only one that works this way, the Rockshox Reverb.
Is a dropper compatible with a bikepacking bag setup?
This depends on your bag setup! While you can fit anything you would fit on a normal seatpost/saddle on a dropper post/saddle combination, you may limit how much you can lower your dropper post. If you’re using a large rear saddlebag that extends far out behind your saddle, a dropper post might cause your bag to buzz your rear wheel when you drop your saddle. And if you have large rear panniers, a dropper post might be awkward to operate. But you can simply opt to leave your saddle all the way up and you won’t have a problem!
Can I use a dropper post for a gravel or cyclocross bike?
Absolutely—but you do need one that matches your bike frame’s ability to fit the seatpost. That’s why more companies are adding 27.2mm diameter options to their seatpost offerings, especially for the seatposts with less drop. Most gravel/cyclocross options range from 50 to 100mm of travel—you rarely if ever need more than that on a gravel bike, simply because your ability to stand/maneuver is also determined by your top tube height.
How do I choose a dropper seatpost remote?
We have a full guide on how to choose the right seatpost remote right here, but generally speaking, choose one that fits with your current cockpit setup and feels easy to use. You also need to make sure the remote will work with the dropper (hydraulic with hydraulic, mechanical with mechanical). It’s far more common now for remotes to work with both ends of a cable, but some only work with one end of the cable so you need to make sure to match that with the dropper you’re using.
How much travel does my dropper seatpost need?
While we generally say to get the maximum amount of travel that you can fit on your bike, if you’re trying to save weight, then there are a few other things to keep in mind. Your travel options are limited slightly by your seatpost diameter and bike’s seat tube length. Check our guide to which dropper seatpost will fit your bike for more.
How do I know what dropper post will fit on my bike?
Check this article right here for all the calculations you need.
Related, how long of a dropper post can I put in my bike?
What you’re really asking is, ‘how much travel can I fit in my bike?’ This depends on the length of the seat tube your frame has, and how much insertion depth it allows.
The longer the travel, the longer the post’s lower tube is going to be, and you’ll need to make sure that it can go far enough down into your frame to get your seat height where it needs to be. All brands list their specs, but several have great guides on how to determine which post fits in your bike. We love OneUp Component’s calculator to compare the options for your bike.
How do I maintain my dropper post?
Treat your dropper seatpost the same way you treat your drivetrain, clean and lubed. And maintain it like you would your suspension. After a dusty or muddy ride, wipe down the main seal with a clean rag, same as you would your fork seals and rear shock seal. But avoid hitting it with too many degreasers, harsh chemicals, or high-pressure washers. Wipe it down gently. Read more on dropper post maintenance right here.
What do I do if my dropper post stops working?
Like all bike parts, unfortunately, dropper seatposts have a lifespan. Parts wear out, seals wear down and leak, etc. Think of the loads your post is under on every ride, and it makes sense. A little rotational or fore/aft/sideways play is normal, that’s the gap it needs to move smoothly through it’s travel. But too much wiggle means things are worn out and need replacing. We have a bigger list of things to try if your dropper post stops working properly out on the trail.
What happens to my dropper post in cold weather?
Unless you have a hydraulic post, you shouldn’t have many issues. You may notice that the seatpost is working a bit slower than usual as the oil solidifies slightly. In truly cold temps—i.e. if you’re using a dropper on your winter fat bike—keep an eye on the rubber o-rings/seals, since they can become rigid or shrink, which can cause the internals to not function smoothly and bind up. (Find out more about cold riding and dropper seatposts here.)