Good value, well made, easy to use and fully serviceable.
The new Bontrager Drop Line bears more than a passing resemblance to the Giant Contact SL Switch dropper post back in the February 2016 issue, it suits bikes with a 31.6mm seat tube and internal cable routing.
Everything you need to get the job done quickly and easily is in the box, with a generous length of good quality Jagwire outer and inner cable, cable ends and a remote to suit bikes with a 1x set-up. A ‘universal’ remote is also available for those running a gear shifter on the left for just £14.99. Both remotes feature fully-opening clamps so there’s no need to remove the grips or brake levers.
Fitting couldn’t be easier: with the nipple end of the cable connecting at the post, it’s simply a case of feeding the inner cable through the outer then into the shifter-style remote, pulling it taut, nipping up the 2.5mm Allen grub screw and snipping off any excess. Any free play can be taken up by way of a neat inline adjuster that also angles the cable so it sits naturally under the bar.
I’ve been running the post in a carbon frame and with the RockShox Reverb post I ran previously I needed to make sure I used plenty of Fiber Grip to stop it slipping. Not so with the Drop Line – the matt finish of the lower portion of the post seems to grip the seat tube really well, so there’s less mess and no fear of shearing my seat clamp bolt. The collar is also quite thin, so fully down, the Drop Line sits at least 11mm lower than the Reverb.
The lever feel is light and super-smooth, thanks in part to the simple run of the cable but also to the clever roller actuator that reduces friction. The post itself felt a little rough at first but after several rides and a few squirts of silicone spray, it now seems to have bedded in well and without developing any unwanted play. The return speed is good too — fast enough but without trying to force your spuds back from whence they came.
Overall, this simple dropper post is typical of the vast majority of Bontrager’s products — good value, well made, easy to use and, in the case of the Drop Line, fully serviceable. It’s just a shame that it’s currently limited to those who own bikes with 31.6mm seat tubes.
Review by Rob Hoyles