Shimano PRO Koryak
The internally routed Koryak is Shimano’s first foray into the dropper post arena. It comes in 30.9 or 31.6 with 120mm of non-indexed travel. The main internal is a replaceable air cartridge. Two lever options are available, a regular up/down lever which can be mounted on the left or right side of the bars, or a Firebolt-style lever for those running 1×11 or a Shimano syncro shift drivetrains, which take advantage of the free left hand shift lever position.
Saddle clamping is achieved by a one-bolt head. Claimed weight is 520 grams. Price is $225 and the post is expected to be available later this fall. The Good: Shimano is in the game! The Bad: Short travel, wonky saddle attachment.
Ritchey WCS Trail Dropper
The $350 Ritchey WCS Trail Dropper also takes aim at the durability target with a simple mechanical engagement system instead of hydraulics. The air-sprung, three-position dropper comes in 125mm or 90mm of travel, and is internally routed with a variety of shifter and brake lever combinations. It can also be integrated with Shimano I-SPEC I or II levers or mount using SRAM Matchmaker. Price is $350. The Good: Tom’s talent for creating functional components. The Bad: No long travel option and not infinite.
Also new for 2017 is the X-Fusion Manic, a internal only, 125mm dropper with a claimed weight of 630 grams. The new redesigned remote lever can be mounted under the bar, and the system is run via a replaceable cartridge. Most important of all is the price. The Manic will sell for just $199, or about a third the price of the new high-end offerings from KS.
X-Fusion also trimmed 25mm off the post’s overall length compared to its predecessor, the Hilo. That means shorter riders who might have been forced to choose a 100mm dropper in order to achieve proper saddle height, may now be able to run a 125mm. The linkage at the actuation site delivers mechanical advantage, multiplying lever force to deliver a very light lever feel. The remote offers paddle angle adjustment via a ball-joint clamp. The Good: That price! The Bad: No long travel option and a little heavy.
Finally, a quick update on the Crankbrothers Highline, which Mtbr covered last year and will be publishing a full review on soon. We met with the Crankbrothers team at Eurobike 2016 to ask about the availability of options beyond the current 125mm of travel. The answer for now is that there is no exact time table in place, but they do expect to have a 150mm within the next 12 months.
The hold-up has to do with perfecting return speed. Already there are some who view the Highline at the slower end of the return spectrum, we were told, and at the 150mm length that could cause problems in performance. Right now Crankbrothers is working on ways to increase the speed before releasing a longer travel version.
As a refresher, the Highline uses a replaceable nitrogen spring cartridge system that is cable actuated. It’s operated by a sleek ergonomic remote, which can be mounted in a number of different ways. Weight is 580 grams, including remote, cable, and housing. It has a three year warranty and costs $350. The Good: Best lever we’ve used. The Bad: Can we trust Crankbrothers?