Neater and more reliable, dropper posts are a great upgrade. Here’s a round up of the best.

More than any other product, the best dropper posts change the way we ride and are essential to the modern mountain biking experience.

>>> Best mountain bike saddles: 2019 buyers guide

What is a dropper post?

A dropper post is seat post that can be raised or lowered at the press of a lever mounted on the handlebar. Lower it out of the way for descents or technical trails. Raise it up for climbs or pedalling sections.

best dropper posts

The best dropper posts in 2019

Our favourite dropper posts. Links to the full reviews below.

  • RockShox Reverb Stealth, £395
  • Crank Brothers Highline, £299
  • Brand X Ascend, £140
  • Bike Yoke Revive, £325
  • FSA Flowtron, £280
  • X-Fusion Manic, £200
  • USE Ultimate Helix, £285

Our current pick of the best dropper posts

best dropper posts

RockShox Reverb Stealth

Price: £395.00
Score: 9/10

On the trail, there’s no denying the Reverb’s silky action feels a cut above the rest. It’s smooth and precise, but the taller seat collar does leave the post sticking out of the frame further than some. The Reverb’s been around for ages, and always been a strong contender, but the latest incarnation is even better and makes a really smart choice for most riders.

Read the full review of the RockShox Reverb Stealth

best dropper posts

Brand X Ascend

Price: £140.00
Rating: 9/10

Chain Reaction’s in-house brand, Brand X, offers a solid, quality post for an unbelievably good price with the Ascend. Now it’s also available with a longer, 150mm drop it’s more versatile and will suit more rider shapes. Despite the remote being a bit flimsy, the actual post is very reliable and durable with a smooth action and a solid clamp. Even if you’re not on a tight budget, it’s a post we fully recommend, and you can’t argue with the fact that it provides virtually all the performance of the leading options here for less than half the cash.

Read the full review of the Brand X Ascend dropper post

best dropper posts

X-Fusion Manic

Price: £200.00
Rating: 9/10

We’ve not had the competitively priced Manic long enough to hammer it over a full winter, but assuming the top quality function doesn’t falter, there are really only two potential considerations: the weight is at the top end and over 100g heavier than some, and the lower post portion extends further, which means it’s harder to insert fully certain frame designs. Other than that, it appears X-Fusion has nailed this product for a fantastic price.

Read the full review of the X-Fusion Manic

best dropper posts

BikeYoke Revive

Price: £325.00
Rating: 9/10

A post we’ve had absolutely zero issues with is also the smoothest cable operated dropper around. Designed in Germany, the Bike Yoke Revive incorporates every conceivable design feature to boost performance and reliability, as well as boasting several tricks up its sleeve to better the competition. At £325, it’s not cheap, but has excellent lightness of touch from the nicely shaped remote, and also packs rock-solid reliability. The low ride height and shallow insertion depth suit more frames and rider heights too. One possible caveat is riders transporting a bike laid in a car (or upside down) might need to regularly activate the unique ‘reset’ function to rebalance the hydraulics. This literally takes seconds though, and, on the latest generation (with an added internal rubber membrane), we’ve not reset the Revive post once during months of use.

Read the full review of the BikeYoke Revive

best dropper posts

Crank Brothers HighLine

Price: £299.99
Rating: 9/10

After a dodgy predecessor, Crank Brothers has completely redeemed itself with its latest, totally dependable dropper. The Highline has been hammered by various testers, subjected to foul UK weather and proven 100 per cent reliable, with a solid, wriggle-free head and a neat lever with a good range of bar orientations. The price is decent for the quality on offer, but one small niggle is the return speed might be a little slow for some, and, on bikes with aggressively curvy internal routings – like one carbon test bike we used – the HighLine is sensitive to cable tension, and needs frequent barrel adjuster tweaking on the remote to stay in the sweet spot.

Read the full review of the Crank Brothers Highline

best dropper posts

USE Ultimate Helix

Price: £285
Rating: 9/10

USE has produced a highly functional dropper post in the form of the Helix. Lever action is smooth and light and the post has remained faultless throughout the test. Be aware of the added length when compared to some of its arrivals, especially in its longer 165mm guise, as it might not fit a small frame or one with an interrupted seat tube.

Read the full review of the USE Ultimate Helix

best dropper posts

FSA Flowtron

Price: £280
Rating: 9/10

The feel and action of both lever and post have remained reliable over the test period with little degradation in performance from new. With the Flowtron, FSA has succeeded in producing a high-end post that meets the competition head on, with a price and performance that really delivers.

Read the full review of the FSA Flowtron

The best mountain bike dropper posts: the verdict

The RockShox Reverb has risen to the top in terms of popularity over the years. It’s pricey, but is a class act with a smooth and damped action that none of the cable operated posts can beat. Plus, the new, highly-ergonomic remote lever is the best around. Working as intended, with its low ride height and slimline weight, the Reverb is still the nicest dropper overall, and the latest generation is the most reliable yet.

With over a million RockShox posts in use worldwide, one fly in the Reverb’s ointment is most experienced riders will have heard of or witnessed issues or failures. The Reverb’s bad press is amplified by being easily the most common dropper, but, even after relatively few issues on the hundreds we’ve ridden, it’s impossible to ignore some saggy posts or poorly factory-bled products. For the vast majority of us, a Reverb should prove trouble-free, work seamlessly in all configurations and is provide superior function and experience. A word of caution though; you’ll need to meet documented service intervals to fulfil RockShox’s latest, stricter warranty requirements though.

One post we’ve had absolutely zero issues with is also the smoothest cable operated dropper around. Designed in Germany, the Bike Yoke Revive incorporates every conceivable design feature to boost performance and reliability, as well as boasting several tricks up its sleeve to better the competition. At £325, it’s not cheap, but has excellent lightness of touch from the nicely shaped remote, and also packs rock-solid reliability. The low ride height and shallow insertion depth suit more frames and rider heights too. One possible caveat is riders transporting a bike laid in a car (or upside down) might need to regularly activate the unique ‘reset’ function to rebalance the hydraulics. This literally takes seconds though, and, on the latest generation (with an added internal rubber membrane), we’ve not reset the Revive post once during months of use.

After a dodgy predecessor, Crank Brothers has completely redeemed itself with its latest, totally dependable dropper. The Crank Brothers Highline has been hammered by various testers, subjected to foul UK weather and proven 100 per cent reliable, with a solid, wriggle-free head and a neat lever with a good range of bar orientations. The price is decent for the quality on offer, but one small niggle is the return speed might be a little slow for some, and, on bikes with aggressively curvy internal routings – like one carbon test bike we used – the HighLine is sensitive to cable tension, and needs frequent barrel adjuster tweaking on the remote to stay in the sweet spot.

Chain Reaction’s in-house brand, Brand X, offers a solid, quality post for an unbelievably good price with the Brand X Ascend. Now it’s also available with a longer, 150mm drop it’s more versatile and will suit more rider shapes. Despite the remote being a bit flimsy, the actual post is very reliable and durable with a smooth action and a solid clamp. Even if you’re not on a tight budget, it’s a post we fully recommend, and you can’t argue with the fact that it provides virtually all the performance of the leading options here for less than half the cash.

Dropper post Price Weight Drop options Diameter Rating
RockShox Reverb Stealth £395 574g 100, 125, 150, 170mm 30.9, 31.6, 34.9mm 9/10
Brand X Ascend £140 610g 100, 120, 150mm 30.9, 31.6mm 9/10
X-Fusion Manic £200 622g 125, 150mm 30.9, 31.6mm 9/10
Bike Yoke Revive £325 539g 125, 160, 185mm 30.9, 31.6mm 9/10
Crank Brotehrs Highline £299 595g 100, 125, 160mm 30.9, 31.6mm 9/10
USE Ultimate Helix £285 578g 125, 165mm 30.9, 31.6mm 9/10
FSA Flowtron £280 592g 125, 150mm 30.9, 31.6mm 9/10

best dropper posts

Dropper post buyer’s guide

There is a bewildering array of different models available for sale. The latest generation of which are more reliable, better integrated in the bike’s cockpit, and come in a multitude of shapes and sizes. In fact, just about the only negatives are extra weight, cost and complexity.

You’ll need to spend around a grand on a new bike to get a decent dropper as standard, and, if you’ve not tried one yet, a hydraulic seatpost has to be one of the best upgrades.

All dropper posts work in the same basic way; telescoping up and down inside an outer sleeve clamped within the seat tube of the frame. The upper limit becomes your max saddle height for seated pedalling, and depending on the model, there will be either multiple fixed positions or a completely ‘infinite’ range until maximum insertion.

Droppers are mechanical, but not fully automated, so require body weight (while activating a lever) to compress the seatpost and push the saddle down. Pressing a remote handlebar lever usually activates the height adjustment, but on the cheapest posts the trigger is positioned underneath the saddle as part of the dropper itself.

The majority of height-adjustable seatposts are operated by inner gear cables pulling through an outer sheath. Although the popular RockShox Reverb uses a hydraulic system to push fluid through a hose to activate the release mechanism. Cables or hoses can be threaded inside the frame (known as stealth routing), or externally, using frame guides. Both methods are effective, but internal routing looks tidier and reduces the risk of cables being pulled or damaged. Going inside the frame means cables thread through the bottom bracket area and are more likely to suffer from tighter bends and kinks that can potentially stress outer housings or cause cable bind and affect smooth function.

Height drop

The difference in extension between the seat collar and saddle clamp is the ride height of any dropper. Modern posts continue to offer a bigger range for taller riders, with some of the latest options delivering up to 200mm extension. Your perfect dropper post length is dependant on frame size, seat post insertion depth and your inside leg measurement.

best dropper posts

Remote lever

The shape and action of the handlebar remote is crucial. Simple designs that wrap around the bar with a radial lever used to be the norm, but nowadays (as more bikes run 1x drivetrains) the under-bar remote is becoming more popular. These shifter-style remotes are much more ergonomic and also better shielded from damage in the event of a crash. Look for a comfortable, sturdy and stiff lever blade for a more positive dropper actuation.

best dropper posts

Insertion depth and clearance

Often overlooked, the amount of post hidden inside the seat tube and the height of the saddle clamp mechanism can have a big effect on standover clearance and how well a dropper gets out of the way. Some models have several centimetres of extra shaft at the base compared to rivals with the same height drop, which means you could end up with significantly more post sticking out of the frame depending on any seat tube obstructions, such as a bend or curve in the tube, as well as a shock mount or pivot.

Post diameter

Dropper posts require the outer body to overlap the inner shaft, meaning many of them are too big for older-style 27.2mm seat tubes (the Brand X Ascend comes in this slimmer size, albeit with a limited drop). 30.9mm and 31.6mm are the two most common outer post diameters, although shims are available (from brands such as USE) to fit most other common sizes if needed.

best dropper posts

Internal routing

Being hidden inside the frame keeps dirt away from the release mechanism and also reduces cable rub and frame scuffs. Also, flapping dropper cables can get in the way of your legs while pedalling or catch on the rear tyre when the saddle is dropped. However, internal routing often brings compromises in terms of achieving a smooth, kink-free cable path.