Not long ago, dropper posts were considered a luxury.
It was the norm to need an extra minute to lower your seat before dropping in. Today, they’re stocked on nearly all bikes and everyone’s got one, turning what was once a tedious task into the push of a button. Technology is awesome.
This spring, Crankbrothers debuted their Highline dropper post, featuring a mechanical remote, stealth routing and 125mm of dropping action. I was eager to give it a shot, as I’ve ridden most of the other dropper posts that are out there and I was curious to see how the Highline stacked up.
All bikes have different cable management systems, so I was a bit nervous going into the installation, but the routing proved to be a breeze and Crankbrothers provides a helpful tutorial. This was where I first noticed how adjustable the lever was. The same bracket allows it to be mounted on the top, bottom, left or right of your handlebars, and with a lot of adjustability on the angle.
The other thing I noticed at this point was the ease of installing and adjusting the seat. I’ve encountered seat posts that are a nightmare to deal with because as soon as they are loose, every single part starts to move. The Highline’s clamp is impressively easy and intuitive with only two screws, so attaching the seat or making on-the-go adjustments was never troublesome.
I put a good number of miles in on the Highline over the summer. A lot of climbing and descending—meaning a lot of dropping and rising of my seat. Dropper posts are notorious for two things over the course of their lives: slowing of the decompression and play in the bearings. Hydraulic lines often lose pressure over time, meaning the decompression can become painfully slow, and bleeding a dropper line is rarely stress-free. A common problem with cable-actuated droppers is gunk finding it’s way into the cable housing at the lever and causing the same problem.
After a solid five months on the Highline I can happily report there has been no slowing in the decompression. Replacing the cable and housing is something that should be a part of routine maintenance every six months anyway, but the Highline has proven it can hold up to the elements.
The second common problem on dropper posts is when the bearings at the collar loosen, creating play between the two seat post components. This is most often just annoying (and expensive to fix) but it can get bad if neglected. Another thumbs-up goes to Crankbrothers, as the Highline’s LL-Glide bearings and keys don’t seem to be wearing down in the slightest.
The one qualm I’ve had with the Highline over the summer is 125mm of drop is not quite enough for me. This is more of a personal matter, as it depends on leg-length and preference on seat height, but I’ve often found myself still dropping or raising the whole seat post before or after a climb. That isn’t to say it loses all functionality while pedaling though, as the difference in height is still enough to get the seat out of my way when on a descent. And it sounds like Crankbrothers has alternative sizes in the works, so stay tuned my long-legged friends.
Overall, I’ve been very impressed with the Highline’s durability, as it functions the exact same today as it did on day one. And to boot, Crankbrothers provides a three-year warranty for the Highline, just in case something does happen. With an MSRP of $350, the Highline sits slightly above the median price for dropper posts, but factoring in the warranty, the price reflects the longevity.
See more at www.crankbrothers.com