What is it
Of all the dropper posts that have come out over the past few years, none seem to be without flaw, although some purists still claim the original Gravity Dropper is still the best mainly due to its raw simplicity. But last year’s introduction of the Drop Line dropper post from Bontrager came with the slogan, It Just Works, and a very easy to set up cable-actuated design that is a refreshingly simple departure from malfunctioning hydraulics and complicated cable systems from competitors.
The Drop Line only comes in 31.6mm seatpost diameter (to match all Trek mountain bikes) and is offered in 100mm, 125mm or 150mm travel lengths. Routing is stealth, with the cable mounted at the bottom of the post and an under bar thumb lever that clamps the end of the cable with a grub screw. The result of this design was the easiest and quickest setup of a dropper post this tester has ever had. But how did it perform after set-up? Read on to find out.
- Simple design that’s easy to set up
- Thumb lever is ergonomic and works well
- Smooth, damped performance
- No special tools required for maintenance
- Competitively priced
- Can be lifted by saddle when dropped without damaging internals
- Only 31.6 diameter available
- Sticky action in copious mud
Although I have not ridden the Drop Line in all trail and weather conditions, it has been tested in snow during freezing temperatures and very hot, dry and dusty days with absolutely zero issues. There have been online customer reviews of its performance suffering in extremely muddy conditions, but I’ve never personally experienced that. So far as this review is concerned, the “It Just Works” claim from Bontrager is spot on. Set up is the easiest of any dropper I’ve used. Simply cut the cable housing to length, thread the cable through the linkage at the bottom of the post and secure it at the lever with a grub screw and a ferrule end, and you’re ready to ride (after you mount a saddle of course).
Actuation of the dropper through the thumb lever is smooth and predictable, and unlike some other droppers that return to the top with the force of a spring-loaded sledgehammer, the Drop Line is well damped and tops out with a clear and confidence-inspiring thunk. The Drop Line’s cable-actuated performance has been so good that it’s made me question why anyone would design and run a hydraulic actuated system. And unlike some competitor offerings, the Drop Line internals will not be damaged if the bike is picked up by the saddle when the post is fully compressed.
The 150mm drop model is 445mm in length and weighs 624 grams. The Drop Line can also be had in 100mm drop (350mm total) and 125mm drop (395mm total) at a weight of 565 grams and 599 grams respectively. Perhaps the most attractive number is the price, with the Drop Line retailing for $299, which includes the excellent performing under bar dropper lever. As long as your bike runs a 31.6 diameter seatpost, the Drop Line is an excellent and affordable choice with one of the easiest setups of any dropper post out there.
Rating: 4 out of 5
More info: www.trekbikes.com