After the four months of use, the seatpost is feeling a bit more sloppy and wiggly in its play than when it was fresh, though I wouldn’t call it out of the ordinary for movement in these types of posts. I have added Slick Honey on the shaft sometimes to keep things running smoothly, but it rarely needed anything. Even when wet and dirty, the post has been as smooth as silk, and when the temps are above freezing, there were no stickiness or stiction issues, and the infinite travel was great to have. I just started to get a small amount of cable stretch, and I am sure a slight tweak of moving the cable in the end hook will do the trick, but otherwise it has been fine. The seals have been durable, and I haven’t had any issues with them.
I never adjusted the pressure for the return air spring, as I found it to be just the right speed, not too fast and not to slow. The recommended pressure is between 150psi and 250psi, although I never did check what the default setting was? It’s a pain to get to the air valve anyway, since it requires dismantling the entire saddle clamp system, so it wouldn’t be something I would want to do very often.
I have swapped the seatpost back and forth between a couple of bikes, and it was a pretty easy task. The LEV design also makes it easier to use on another bike, since cable management issues are greatly reduced. Pulling the cable connect cover off is just a little annoying, even after you have some practice, although it pops back on effortlessly. Unhooking the cable hook was simple, but it was more finicky putting it back on, and using a small flathead screwdriver made it easier to scoop up the internal cylinder. I usually didn’t need to unhook the cable hook for swapping, and all that was needed was attaching the remote and snagging down the cable on the top tube. Having the cable connection all covered makes for a dirt-free environment, and even after four months, the grease on the hook and cylinder coupler was still clean and uncontaminated. I certainly like how nice the cable lines are with this design, and I loved not having the housing poking out and hitting anything when lowering the saddle. If you lifted the saddle really hard while it was down you got some lift, or if it got caught while hike-a-biking, otherwise it was mostly stable, and I rarely noticed any issues in regard to that, since it took quite a lot of force for it to happen.
I have had to re-tighten the saddle clamp, as it has loosened up a few times, but that can be common on many 2-bolt designs. Using it in a bike stand can be difficult if the cable connector section isn’t pointing directly forward or backward, but you can loosen the seatpost clamp on the bike, and rotate it to the front and re-tighten the clamp and place it into the stand. It is not advisable to clamp the stanchion of the seatpost. And to clamp the body of the post, the cable needs to be aligned with the forward-facing notch on most bike stand clamps.
I wish I had gotten the 150mm of travel version for testing, as I sometimes wanted the saddle to be lower, and I was right past the insertion limit on my Mojo HD, so the longer post length would have been more functional (385mm vs. 435mm). Another great thing about this post (and KS in general) is that it comes in 27.2mm, 30.9mm and 31.6mm diameters, and the 27.2mm size is usually missing in line-up of most brands.
I am mighty impressed with the KS LEV, and the cable-actuated hydraulic dropper seatpost which uses oil and an air spring for movement and locking, is full of innovative designs and features. It has buttery smooth operation without any stiction or notchiness, and its cable connection design which resides at the bottom of the post instead of the stanchion head, means there is no housing movement, making for excellent cable management and lack of interference with the rider or rear tire. To get the bottom connector in the proper alignment in relation to the saddle, they use a creative design that mates some dimples on the top of the post with indentation’s on the saddle’s clamp system, offering 20º increments of rotation. The carbon remote has a nice ergonomic feel, and the lever and cable offered smooth and friction-free movement, without any notchiness. The cables end hook connects with a covered cylindrical coupler at the base of the post, which actuates the hydraulic lock. This cover kept the internal mechanism environment containment free, for increased longevity and smoother operation. The multiple travel lengths of 100, 125 and 150mm, and the diameters of 27.2, 30.9 and 31.6mm, really covers the gamut of bikes and rider requirements.
To alter the pressure on the return air spring requires dismantling the saddle clamp system, making for arduous experience, but fortunately the default speed is adequate. When the temperatures dropped below freezing, the movement got sluggish and occasionally sticky. It’s an expensive seatpost, but I think the price of admission for the LEV’s features and functions are well worth it.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the KS LEV, and its smooth plush operation and trouble free usage from the get-go have been fantastic, and the lack of interfering housing and cable management due to innovative connection design makes for a superb dropper seatpost.
- Silky-smooth movement
- Easy operation and installation
- No housing movement to deal with
- Easy and clean cable management
- 27.2, 30.9 and 31.6 diameters
- 100, 125 and 150mm of infinite adjustment
- Air adjustment port is under saddle
- Hooking the cylindrical coupler can be finicky
- Slowness/Stickiness in extreme cold (common to other hydraulic posts)
Overall Rating: 4.5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers
KS Lev Specs:
- MSRP: $395
- Visit the KS LEV website
- Diameter – 31.6mm, 30.9mm, 27.2mm
- Post Length / Travel – 335mm / 100mm (30.9 and 31.6mm dia), 385mm / 125mm (30.9 and 31.6mm dia), 435mm / 150mm (30.9 and 31.6mm dia), 400mm / 100mm (27.2mm dia)
- Actuation – Carbon fiber remote lever
- Head / Rail – Zero offset standard rail
- Color – Black anodized mast and head w/ hard anodized stanchion
- Weight – 510-580g (30.9 and 31.6mm including remote and cable), 538g (27.2mm including remote and cable)