Kind Shock LEV £324.99
Most dropper posts have issues with cable management: when you drop the saddle, the excess cable has to go somewhere — so either it bows into your leg or it rubs on the rear tyre. Kind Shock’s new LEV eliminates the flapping cable by fixing the anchor to the non-moveable part of the post. Unlike a Reverb Stealth, the cable is still exposed on the outside but with the LEV you can vary the position of the cable exit point.
There’s some confusion about how it works but the adjustment is actually in the head of the post. The head cap rotates on six ball bearings that locate in several detents in the shaft. So you align the anchor point to your personal preference then rotate the head round so the saddle points forward. The confusion comes from the fact that there are two grub screws on the collar, which look like they offer some sort of fine-tuning, and the lack of any mention whatsoever of how the post is adjusted in the instructions.
Previous KS posts had crude looking heads with ugly clamps but the LEV has a sleek profile and is a lot lighter. To make saddle set-up and trailside tuning easier — and to stop a multi-tool damaging the exposed stanchion — it also features angled clamp bolts.
Three sizes are offered, including a small 27.2mm for existing frames, although this will not be available until later in the year. Sister importer Superstar also offers a shim to upsize to 34.9mm frames like Scott or Ghost.
Return speed can be adjusted via a Schrader valve on top of the head but I wouldn’t bother because the range (150 to 250psi) doesn’t affect a massive change in the speed of return.
Like previous Kind Shock droppers, the LEV is cable operated with a bar-mounted remote. The carbon-fibre lever can be positioned either side of the handlebars and if you’re running 1×10 it’s perfect reversed on the left as it acts like a surrogate STI shifter. The clamp is lock-on compatible but I’ve tried it with a couple of grips and found the lever binds on the edge of the grip. You could run the clamp loose but there’s a chance the grip can rotate, especially one with a single collar like Specialized’s Grappler.
Securing the cable is pretty straightforward and the cable is secured under the aluminium cover, so it’s sealed from the elements. With the multi-positioning it can also be orientated out of the way of mud splatter and spray thrown forward by the rear wheel.
Like with most droppers there is a slight amount of side-to-side play but with the LEV’s one-way sprag bearing this hasn’t got any worse and it’s imperceptible when riding. Apart from a bit of cable stretch I’ve not had to adjust this post; it has worked flawlessly. Paul Burwell
MBR rating: 10
Travel: 125mm, (post length 385mm) 150mm (430mm) / Sizes: 27.2mm (100mm), 30.9mm, and 31.6mm / Contact: pure-race.com