e*thirteen TRS+ dropper post review

Simple, robust and very usable

Components
TRS+ dropper mounted on Pivot Switchblade with a 150mm on  a small frame.

TRS+ dropper mounted on Pivot Switchblade with a 150mm post travel on a small frame.

What is it?

It is a 125 or 150mm dropper post with a fully mechanical design. Mechanical cable actuation, mechanical spring and a key to hold and release the post. Thus, it is an indexed dropper with 4 distinct seatpost height positions.

Cable routing is all internal so the frames need to be designed with internal routing. Seat retention is performed by the reliable and easily adjustable two-bolt design.

It is a 4-position dropper instead of ‘infinite’. There are two indexed middle positions at 75mm and 125mm within the 150mm travel stroke.

Pros
  • $280 price with excellent materials and construction
  • Lever is one of the best we’ve used
  • Seatpost action is light and consistent
  • 2-bolt seatpost head is easy to adjust and secure
  • 2 indexed positions in the middle are ideally placed
  • Wobble-free performance
  • Installation is a breeze
  • Will never require a shock pump and will not lose air pressure or leak oil/li>
Cons
  • 717 gram system weight is heavy
  • 4 position post does not provide as many options as an ‘infinite’ position post
  • Post requires a longer insert length than a Reverb or Lev
  • Up action is not damped and can be too quick for some
Seatpost head is  the classic 2-bolt style with angled bolts.

Seatpost head is the classic 2-bolt style with angled bolts.

Mtbr’s Take

We HAVE BEEN impressed. Installation was easy as pie and we didn’t have to open up any instruction manuals or YouTube How To’s. It’s intuitively designed with cable routing set to ‘obvious’ mode. We tensioned the cable by hand before locking it and didn’t even have play with the barrel adjuster. Part of the success is the lever has an open bottom so you can feed the cable through easily and tension it well on the locking mechanism.

Seatpost Action

Action is remarkably good with excellent ergonomics and leverage with the lever. The seat itself goes down pretty easily as demonstrated on the video. The force required to drop it down is lower than most droppers and it’s consistent all the way to the bottom.

Slamming the seat down with one’s body weight results in a big ‘thud’ but it does seem like those parts were designed to handle that collision. Raising it up is quick but it doesn’t crash up at the very top at ballistic speed.

Play and wiggle on the saddle is on par with the higher priced competition. It creates a good, secure contact point.

Dropper lever mimic'ed our  right side XTR shifter very well.

Dropper lever mimic’ed our right side XTR shifter very well.

Details

Burly – Everything about this post speaks quality and robustness. Clydesdales rejoice as this post looks like it was made to handle abuse by aggressive descenders.

Heavy – At 717 grams (with uncut cable housing), it’s no lightweight. This is for the 150mm drop 30.9 diameter model.

Indexed – It’s indexed as opposed to infinite in terms of drop positions. There’s 4 pre-defined saddle positions actuated by the lever. We haven’t used an indexed dropper post in a while so we’ll see how this one works out. We are pleased though that there are 4 positions as 3 simply isn’t enough these these as there’s always debate on where the middle position should be positioned.

Amazing lever – Finally, we’ll comment about this gem. It looks like a thing of beauty, better than most of the levers we’ve seen out there in the market. Size and position are perfect and the the paddle has a grippy material on the surface to aid traction with the glove. The action too is oh so smooth with 3 bearings inside. The barrel adjuster is best-of-breed as well with an easy to grab interface.

Complete weight with uncut cable is 717 grams.

Complete weight with uncut cable is 717 grams.

Final Word

If ‘reliable, serviceable, affordable’ is their mantra, they’ve succeeded indeed, specially on the last two goals. We’ll find out more on the reliability aspect through the coming months. But the other thing we’ll add is it’s a very usable post that is easy to actuate and provides a secure contact point.

The only things preventing a perfect score is the 717 gram system weight and the 4 position only instead of infinite. But they set out with design objectives and they seemed to hit them well.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5 Flamin' Chili Peppers
Price: $280
More info: bythehive.com

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)
About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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