Update: June 18
We’ve been using the KS Lev for the past few months on several bikes and we’ve had no problems to report. The post has been reliable and the action has been stiction free both activating the lever and on dropping the post itself. One thing we’ve realized is that the more seamless the operation of a dropper post is, the more it’s used.
The variable position is much preferred too over other 3-position designs because one does not have to find the middle position. That usually costs a few seconds or milliseconds every time until one finds the middle spot. The KS Lev locks in anywhere and micro-adjustments are easily performed.
An interesting variation of the KS Lev has popped up and it is a lightweight rider for the cross country holdout. The LEV Carbon is still in the testing phase and the new post won’t be available until some time in 2014. Target price will be around $600 and projected sizes will include 30.9mm and 31.6mm diameters. Weight will be around 380 grams without a remote so it will only be 200 grams heavier than a standard post. Travel will be limited to just 65 mm initially.
And 150 mm travel KS Levs are available now too in the larger diameters of 30.9 and 31.6 mm. This is a great development since as riders advance into more technical terrain and as they get used to dropper posts, they seem to need more and more drop. The only caveat is these posts need more exposed seatpost so make sure you frame has at least 180 mm of exposed seatpost before seeking out these 150 mm travel KS Levs.
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)
Dropper seatposts have become very popular with mountain bikers for a good reason, since the advantages of being able to move the saddle height up or down depending on the situation maximizes the trail riding experience. You can drop the post for descending, offering better control and balance with a lower center of gravity, and extend it for climbing and normal riding to get proper leg extension for pedaling. There is a wide array of dropper seatpost models now, each with its own unique characteristics, and my illustrious compatriot and MTBR.com founder Francis has compiled a Dropper Seatpost Round Up article to cover most of the popular ones sold today.
The KS LEV is a superb infinitely adjustable hydraulic seatpost, with a plush and silky-smooth stroke and it sports an innovative zero cable movement design. The post has travel options from four to six inches, and uses an ergonomic carbon lever remote. The LEV has performed flawlessly over the four-month test period, and has been trouble-free with the same buttery smooth operation since day one. Dirt, rain, snow, and general abuse haven’t affected the LEV whatsoever, and its ease of installation, usage and operation have complemented its outstanding reliability.
Kind Shock LEV
The KS LEV uses an air, oil and spring design for 100, 125 or 150 mm of infinite travel, and comes in 27.2mm, 30.9mm and 31.6mm diameters. The cable actuated hydraulic height-adjustable seatpost uses a handlebar mounted carbon fiber remote, and retails for $395. The zero-offset saddle clamp uses a 2-bolt attachment system that offers a micro-adjustable head for easy changes of the tilt, and fore-and-aft placement of the saddle. Most dropper seatposts available today use a one-bolt seat clamping system that is more difficult to tighten and adjust. The specific size options are a 335mm post length with a 100mm range in 30.9 and 31.6mm diameters, a 385mm post length with a 125mm range in 30.9 and 31.6mm diameters, a 435mm post length with a 150mm range in 30.9 and 31.6mm diameters, and finally a 400mm post length with a 100mm range in the 27.2mm diameter. The 27.2 mm post is only available in the shorter travel since the post diameter cannot withstand the stresses of a 125 or 150 mm travel post. As of press time, the 27.2 mm is not yet available.
Measured Specs (125mm x 31.6):
- Post – 487 grams
- Lever/parts – 30 grams
- Cable/housing – 59 grams
- Total (uncut cable/housing) – 576 grams
- Total cut – 550 grams
The very trick LEV has the cable directly attached to the main body or outer tube of the post instead of the typical position on top of the telescoping head of the stanchion. The attachment is at the post collar which means the cable connection remains stationary relative to the saddle’s up and down movement, avoiding issues with excess cable, such as interference with legs, tires, frames, etc. The new design also gives a cleaner and more direct routing line to the seatpost allowing better cable management for frame manufacturers. Another benefit of the lower connection is there is more room for the superior two-bolt seat clamp system.
The system still uses their same basic air return sprung and hydraulic locking internals, with the one-way self-adjusting bearings for play, along some newly updated engineering knowledge learned from their previous models. The remote cables hooked end piece attaches to a cylindrical coupler, which then connects internally to the actuation mechanism of the post. The remote cable system can be connected and disconnected from the post by popping the cover off, and pulling the small spring loaded hook out of the system. The carbon remote lever can be run alone or integrated with an ODI grip if desired for a cleaner handlebar layout.