Dropper Posts in southern Michigan

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Dropper Posts in southern Michigan

Postby 2Old2BFast » June 7th, 2019, 8:33 am

I'd like to hear from the people who actually have dropper posts how many times per ride they use them in southern Michigan. Obviously, in the mountains they make a lot of sense, and perhaps in northern Michigan they do. I'm thinking about getting one, but I'm concerned that the sections of the trails where I would use it are so short that it's not worth it.
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Re: Dropper Posts in southern Michigan

Postby rcab23 » June 7th, 2019, 8:48 am

IMO are they needed? No. Do they help? *beep* yes! I try not to use it all the time cause like you said some areas its easier and not needed, and I notice I still get great grip and turn fine, etc. However whenever I see any form of tech or chunk or a lip or a gap, best believe im dropping it and sending it. It just gets the seat out of the way for bunny hops and throwing the bike around. I noticed now that ive ridden in some crazy places (moab, copper harbor, windrock, etc) my skill and confidence has shot up so I dont need it nearly as much as my first time using one around here.
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Re: Dropper Posts in southern Michigan

Postby c0nsumer » June 7th, 2019, 9:03 am

I have one on my Camber (trail bike), which I've been riding all over -- including SE MI -- for about three years now.

My per-trail usage, as examples:
Pontiac Lake: Use it on all the downhills, especially the fast ones. Lowering it 1/2" improves stability while continuing to pedal.
Poto: Only a couple spots (downhill after Boy Scout Camp).
DTE: Use it a lot, especially on the rock stuff. Lots of fun here.
Stony: Almost never.
Mohican: Makes the trail a lot more fun, even though I can ride this on a rigid post bike too.
River Bends: On a couple short/steep optional lines because it makes them more fun.
Glacial Hills: Only a couple times.
Hanson Hills: It's useful on a couple of the longer downhills for the same reason as PLRA.
Marquette County (NTN/RAMBA): Not required, but Pretty Darn Nice. Makes it a LOT more comfortable riding steep stuff.

So for a trail bike, I say get one. And practice with it. Like any other control on your bike it takes practice to use right. It took me almost three months for it to become second nature. But now it's REALLY worth it.

Be aware it's another suspension-type maintenance item. They don't take a lot of work, but occasional cleaning/lubing/checkover is good to keep it riding well. Especially as mud/dirt thrown up by your rear wheel will hit it, in ways that suspension stanchions don't get. Thus the wiper seals can need periodic work, etc.
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Re: Dropper Posts in southern Michigan

Postby flamingo » June 7th, 2019, 9:06 am

IMO. Overkill not needed for our short descents and few rock gardens. Just like 12s drive train. Last time I used one was on the section of the North Country Trail just south of Marilla. I keep one and put it on my bike for trips outside our area.
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Re: Dropper Posts in southern Michigan

Postby acedeuce802 » June 7th, 2019, 9:39 am

In my opinion, it's more critical here than in the mountains (depending on the mountain). For a ride that goes up 2000 feet, then goes back down 2000 feet, you just use a QR seat tube clamp. The whole point of a dropper is to make it accessible on trails where it's not worth stopping to change your saddle height. Whether it's worth it to you is all about your riding style. I found my first season with one, I used it just a handful of times. It took more time to think about using it than it would've been worth on the trail. But now, it's second nature to put it down almost every time I'm not pedaling. If there's a corner that you don't need to pedal for, you can drop the saddle so you can lean more and get more grip. The rocky descent at DTE means you have more leg travel to move the bike around under you. The parts that it's most helpful around here is the rooted descents, for example there's plenty of places at Torn Shirt that I just wouldn't be near as fast if I had a saddle ready to buck me off.
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Re: Dropper Posts in southern Michigan

Postby c0nsumer » June 7th, 2019, 9:53 am

...I think they are also a LOT of fun for little rollers/bumps and getting one's bike into the air. Super-fun if there's no saddle in the way and much easier / more fun to play around.
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Re: Dropper Posts in southern Michigan

Postby Rickwetherald » June 7th, 2019, 10:25 am

I've had an externally routed dropper for two years now that I'd put on for trips to the UP. Huge benefit there, and anywhere with any techy or jumpy terrain.

For most southern Michigan trails, the experience won't change much, aside from your bike weighing an extra half/three quarters of a pound or so. I'd say that DTE is the exception to that rule.

I recently got a new bike that has an internally routed dropper. I've only been on the trails down here a few times with it, but I can already see myself using it more often. I think it's one of those things that will be more of a benefit as I learn how to use it more efficiently. Even at Island Lake, I found a few places that I can drop the seat just two or three inches and go faster and/or feel more stable.

I generally say they're not necessary for southern peninsula stuff, but I may change my tune as I get more used to using it. If you're already considering it, and have the cash to spend on a decent one, I'd say go for it.
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Re: Dropper Posts in southern Michigan

Postby 2Old2BFast » June 7th, 2019, 11:00 am

Thank you. It sounds like those of you who think it's a good idea are using only 100mm of drop (even if you have more), not 150+. Does anyone want to chime in saying there's an advantage to having 150mm or more of travel on a dropper in southern Michigan?

One of my problems is that I have a very long torso for my height, so my bike fits me properly with a 20mm offset saddle post. From the shopping I've done so far, KS is the only company that makes a dropper with an offset, and that is only available in their mid to lower end droppers which have no more than 125mm of travel. I know it's only an inch farther forward without the offset, but it feels cramped riding that way.
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Re: Dropper Posts in southern Michigan

Postby santaclausersolo » June 7th, 2019, 11:29 am

Never.

Never in SEMI, Rarely in Marquette/Copper Harbor (like rarely rarely rarely)

I use my dropper to avoid seat/handlebar interference between our bikes on the hitch rack, at the Mt. Brighton Dual slalom races, and pretty much never outside of that. If it hadn't come on my bike, I wouldnt have one.

Not worth the cost or additional maintenance costs (they all need a rebuild at some point)
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Re: Dropper Posts in southern Michigan

Postby c0nsumer » June 7th, 2019, 12:12 pm

Rickwetherald wrote:I recently got a new bike that has an internally routed dropper. I've only been on the trails down here a few times with it, but I can already see myself using it more often. I think it's one of those things that will be more of a benefit as I learn how to use it more efficiently. Even at Island Lake, I found a few places that I can drop the seat just two or three inches and go faster and/or feel more stable.


This is what I really like mine for down this way. Drop the post just a little and stay seated, pedaling, on downhills. Especially with a FS you can really keep the speed on, but with a lower CG be more stable, and because not much power is needed there isn't much downside to inappropriate pedaling height.
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Re: Dropper Posts in southern Michigan

Postby rcab23 » June 7th, 2019, 12:23 pm

Does anyone want to chime in saying there's an advantage to having 150mm or more of travel on a dropper in southern Michigan?


Not sure how to quote, but I like having a 150mm dropper in SE michigan for exactly what c0nsumer said above. Its nice for those rollers and small rocky or rooty sections to have the seat out of my way so i can bunny hop it or launch a drop, pump, etc. then easily shooting it back up to an effective climbing height is perfect. Poto, DTE, even maybury if you wanna have fun and not just XC it(not that im fast). If your riding island like its completely unnecessary IMO. But for marquette, id like to see someone ride chunder muffin without a dropper. Please tag me.
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Re: Dropper Posts in southern Michigan

Postby rcab23 » June 7th, 2019, 12:25 pm

^^I didn't mean completely unnecessary for island lake because that little tiny drop like you said is great for some parts, but 150mm may not be necessary.
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Re: Dropper Posts in southern Michigan

Postby c0nsumer » June 7th, 2019, 12:25 pm

2Old2BFast wrote:One of my problems is that I have a very long torso for my height, so my bike fits me properly with a 20mm offset saddle post. From the shopping I've done so far, KS is the only company that makes a dropper with an offset, and that is only available in their mid to lower end droppers which have no more than 125mm of travel. I know it's only an inch farther forward without the offset, but it feels cramped riding that way.


The Specialized Command Post is setback as well. I need one of these on my Camber to get proper setback for XC pedaling. I think my dropper is only 125mm or so, and I almost never put it all the way down. Usually only enough drop my CG on fast flowing downhills where I'm pedaling, or to get the saddle out of the way for steep stuff.

Every once in a while if I'm coasting down a big hill (eg: dirt roads in Big Frog 65 where I'd be spun out when pedaling) I dropped it to lean way over and get more aero.

Oh, and it's nice to drop it down to get under low trees/brush... And don't forget the SUPER PRO thing of hitting the dropper while stopping so you can put a foot down and rest without getting off the saddle.

They are also nice to drop the saddle a bit on technical climbs, as then you can move the bike around under you a bit more without the saddle getting in the way.
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Re: Dropper Posts in southern Michigan

Postby c0nsumer » June 7th, 2019, 12:26 pm

rcab23 wrote:But for marquette, id like to see someone ride chunder muffin without a dropper. Please tag me.


A RAMBA buddy of mine rides all of that, and all of MG50 and such, on a rigid fatbike without a dropper. It CAN be done. I prefer a dropper myself, though.
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Re: Dropper Posts in southern Michigan

Postby santaclausersolo » June 7th, 2019, 12:32 pm

rcab23 wrote:
Does anyone want to chime in saying there's an advantage to having 150mm or more of travel on a dropper in southern Michigan?


Not sure how to quote, but I like having a 150mm dropper in SE michigan for exactly what c0nsumer said above. Its nice for those rollers and small rocky or rooty sections to have the seat out of my way so i can bunny hop it or launch a drop, pump, etc. then easily shooting it back up to an effective climbing height is perfect. Poto, DTE, even maybury if you wanna have fun and not just XC it(not that im fast). If your riding island like its completely unnecessary IMO. But for marquette, id like to see someone ride chunder muffin without a dropper. Please tag me.


I’ll be there for trailfest, come find me, I’ll gladly ride any trail around with out using the dropper. (Except for big drops/jumps) then again the bike is ride off drops and jumps doesn’t have a dropper.

How did you guys ride tough trails 10 years ago?
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