Zzzzzitt, zzzzzitt (not thunk, thunk) is the sound of the new KS LEV Circuit electric and wireless dropper post. Depending on who you ask it may or may not represent the future of getting your saddle out of the way on rowdy descents. The reason for the qualifier is simply this: The trend in droppers appears headed in two directions — high tech or simple tech. Read on to find out which manufactures are choosing which route and why.
KS LEV Circuit
Though not the first to bring wireless tech to the dropper post arena, KS looks to have the best option to date. The new LEV Circuit uses Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity to alert the post when it’s time to rise or fall. The obvious beauty of this system is the end of tedious cable routing and exposed housing.
The post will come in three travel sizes: 100mm, 125mm, and 150mm, and two diameters 30.9 and 31.6. Exact pricing is not set yet, but a KS staffer said it would be between $500 and $600 with availability set for spring 2017. Claimed weight for a 150m 30.9 post is 605 grams. For comparison sake, the same size KS LEV Integra comes in at 510 grams.
Pairing is done at the factory so install requires nothing more than mounting the remote and saddle, dropping the post into the frame, and rolling out. The whole system is run by a actuator motor that is housed in an alloy waterproof case that sits just behind the seat collar. Lag time between lever input and action is indiscernible based on a quick show floor test. Internals are the same as standard posts.
The Southpaw remote is more button than lever, but it has a nice tactile feel. A quick tap raises the saddle incrementally. Hold it down and it goes all the way up to the climbing position. Lowering is the same, though the saddle must also be weighted just as with standard droppers.
The system is powered by a lithium battery that’s claimed to be good for 600 cycles before the need for recharge. Charging requires that you remove the post from the bike, as the micro-USB port and battery are at the bottom. KS is also keeping open the idea of running off a Shimano Di2 battery via a spare eTube port, which would allow you to eliminate the dropper post battery. The Good: No routing headaches. The Bad: That price…
KS LEV Ci
KS is also taking aim at weight conscious riders with its LEV Ci, which features a carbon fiber mast, head clamp, and remote lever. Travel options are 65mm, 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, and 175mm. Claimed weight is roughly 100 grams less than the comparable non-carbon model, with the 30.9 150mm LEV Ci coming in at 420 grams. Pricing will also be in the $500 to $600 range. The Good: So light. The Bad: That price…
California’s e*thirteen took the opposite approach with its new TRS+ dropper post, choosing the route of simplicity in an effort to increase affordability, reliability, and serviceability. That means an old school cable and spring design instead of the cartridges and hydraulics that presently dominate the market.
For now the non-infinite adjust post will only come in an 150mm travel option, which has four stops: up, down, 110mm and 75mm. The lever is a paddle style with a recessed logo with grip tape for better feel. There is also clocking and barrel adjustment. Price is $299. The Good: Simple and reasonably affordable. The Bad: Not infinitely adjustable.