Echoes of droppers of yore
E13 TRS+ dropper is killer value, fully serviceable and, in the long term, may be more reliable than a conventional post, but the function feels dated.
When the very first dropper post appeared about 15 years ago it had predetermined height adjustment, which meant you ran it fully up, fully down and one or two positions in between. This Gravity Dropper design was simple and effective, but it was ultimately superseded by infinitely adjustable posts, which allowed you to set the saddle height anywhere between the upper and lower limits.
Most modern droppers feature infinite adjustment, but E13 is bucking the trend with its new TRS+ dropper because it’s a mechanical post with four pre-set positions. Two lengths are offered – the shorter post drops down to 30mm, 60mm and 125mm and the longer post drops to 40mm, 70mm and 150mm.
The reason E13 has opted for pre-sets is to build a more reliable post. There’s no cartridge or air/oil inside the TRS+, instead you just have a simple coil spring with a cable actuated cam to lock the post into position. You can service it easily at home with standard tools and all the parts are fully replaceable.
To simplify set up the TRS+ post is also cable operated and comes with a high-quality under bar (1x) remote. This has a standard 22.2mm bar clamp, but you can remove this and bolt it directly to a Matchmaker-compatible SRAM brake lever, saving a bit of weight. A cartridge pivot bearing keeps things super smooth and to combat slippery conditions, E13 also adds a little bit of grip tape to the paddle. The simple set up also extends to saddle installation. The upper saddle clamp, features a couple of machined slots, allowing you to un-hook the bolts without having to fully dismantle them.
One of the things to be aware of with the TRS+ is the ride height. The collar above the frame is a similar height to the RockShox Reverb, but a 150mm travel TRS+ is a good 25mm taller overall, so if you’re already on the limit, or just happen to ride a small frame, you may have to choose the 125mm option. Or look at an alternative brand.
By their very nature, most droppers will exhibit a bit of rotational play, but the TRS+ has more than most, particularly the benchmark RockShox Reverb.
It’s been a while since we’ve tested a fixed position dropper post, and they do take some getting used to. If you’re a fully up or fully down sort of rider, then the TRS+ works great, but if you like to constantly fine tune your saddle height it will feel pretty limiting. We also found it easy to overshoot the two middle positions, which means we’d then have to pogo up and down to get it to engage. The fact that our test sample was a bit sluggish to return to full extension also meant we had to constantly reach down to pull it up the last few millimetres. To be fair though, E13 has recently increased the spring rate and seal quality on the TRS+, and these new parts are on their way, so we’ll see if they cure this problem.
E13’s TRS+ dropper is killer value, fully serviceable and, in the long term, may be more reliable than a conventional post, but fundamentally the function is no different to the 15 year-old Gravity Dropper. The reason most dropper post manufacturers have gravitated towards infinite versions is because you never have to compromise on saddle height, and that makes a huge difference off-road.