The recently updated KS LS Lev Integra dropper post has a new open bath cartridge, a one-piece forged head and lower insertion depth, which all sounds good.
What I really wanted to find out is whether the new KS Lev Integra has fixed the post’s annoying characteristic where it would extend if you lifted the bike up from the saddle – say to put it in a workstand or uplift trailer. KS never really admitted it was a problem, but with the updates I’m hoping I can now focus on its strong points rather than this solitary weakness.
The Integra was one of the first internally- routed droppers, and it’s always been a relatively low profile design, but KS has actually reduced the insertion depth, which means you can get a longer post in your frame without any issues with the saddle being too high at full extension. And the extra drop means more clearance when hitting a step down or gap jump.
The post is still cable operated and, like most KS models, comes with a top- quality inner cable, which really helps with performance over the long term. I find that some of the cheap droppers come with poor quality cables and this can make the post feel sluggish to operate and it can even end up sticking after only a few rides.
A Southpaw Matchmaker remote came with our sample but it’s not included for the price listed; it’ll actually cost you an extra £45. The Matchmaker design mounts directly to a SRAM brake lever but I’m currently running Shimano, so to get it to work I added a clamp from a spare SRAM Guide brake I had kicking about. KS does offer plenty of alternatives though, including a basic split clamp design and several Shimano i-Spec options.
The cable is anchored at the post end via an alloy barrel, which does mean you can run a third-party remote lever with this dropper if you wish, either a cheaper alternative or something top-end like the Wolf Tooth ReMote.
To make saddle installation easier, KS has angled the clamp head bolts further out, so you can actually get a multi-tool in there, and it’s also ditched the circular nuts for barrel- shaped versions. Sometimes these older round nuts used to spin in the clamp and were tricky to get tight – no such problems now.
In terms of function, KS has reduced the actuation force in the new Lev Integra, so there’s a lighter lever action and it also breaks away from full height a lot easier. The post still pops back up with a sharp ‘ding’ but it’s less metallic than previously. Some riders say this feels a little crude, but personally I quite like it because it lets me know the post is fully extended. I also like the minimal rotation in the shaft – it’s not totally play-free, but it’s one of the tightest out there.
So the question is, has KS fixed the issue with the post pulling up. Initially I thought so because when I fitted the Lev Integra
and gave the saddle a yank, it didn’t move. However, after a few rides it’s started to pull up. Admittedly, it’s not as free-moving as previous KS droppers, but if I pick the bike up by the saddle it comes up in my hand.
There’s a lot to like about the Lev Integra – it’s a short post with a long drop, it has a really smooth action, is easy to set up and has minimal play, but the deal breaker for me is the pogoing up and down. To be fair it doesn’t affect performance when riding, but no other dropper I’ve tested has this issue.