Product Overview


Crank BROS Joplin R £190

Weight: 564g / Remote £35 / Sizes: 30.9 and 31.6mm / Adjustment range 75mm (3in) / Length 382mm / Two year warranty / Contact:

Crank Bros bought the license to Maverick’s Speedball post about a year or so ago and since then has made a number of changes, all of them cosmetic. So function-wise nothing has changed, pushing on the remote lever and weighting the saddle you drop the post 75mm (3in). Press the lever again, lift your bum off the saddle and the post will pop back up again. The technology that makes this happen is borrowed from office chairs. Inside the Joplin are two chambers, the upper one filled with oil, the lower one with air. When the remote is activated it opens a valve, which causes oil to be pushed down to the bottom and the air to be compressed. Once the lever is pressed again and the saddle unweighted the compressed air shoots the air back into the upper chamber and extends the post.

On the trail you can drop the saddle quickly for a downhill, even when you’re on it, and then raise it again to the previous height. However, there’s nothing stopping you running it in the low position say on a downhill or bigger travel bike and then just popping it up for short sharp climbs. Whether the post is going to last is down to how many hard landings you hit and ultimately your skill level.

We’ve got a few Joplins (and old Speedballs) on test and there are a couple of things worth mentioning. First, the remote lever has a clamp with some really sharp edges and if you’re not careful it can score into carbon bars when you fit it. We managed to fit a sleeker Rock Shox PopLoc lever to this sample, without any loss in performance and it’s worth doing if you have a spare one but it’s probably not very cost effective if you haven’t.

The head clamp design is licensed from Bontrager and, while it offers a good range of adjustment, we found the clamping bolt needs to be really tight to stop it coming loose.
Play develops in the shaft after several rides and on some posts this is more noticeable than others. Crank Bros is offering re-build kits should this get really bad but for the most part it’s probably something you’ll just have to live with.

If you have a bike with an interrupted seat tube you may run into compatibility issues with getting it low enough. You can trim the Joplin down by 40mm but on some smaller frames and downhill bikes it may still be too long.

The Joplin isn’t light or cheap, even without the remote (Joplin L is £165) but it’s a cool product that’s a must have for events like the Mega-Avalanche or even just for blatting round your local trails. But it’s not perfect — we’d like to see a better head, different clamp, more sizes (including a 27.2mm) and some better colours.

Mbr rating:8