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Most riders that have ridden with a dropper post will agree – they can have a profound impact on the way you ride. Unfortunately, they also can present a number of durability headaches and frankly are pretty expensive. With each successive generation dropper posts have greatly improved, but in our opinion there’s still quite a bit of room for improvement.

Since introducing their first Pulse dropper post in 2013, 9point8 managed to catch our attention with their stepper style drop post which added a unique ratcheting feature in addition to the standard up and down found on most posts. Their latest design eliminates that ratcheting motion in favor of infinite adjust, but it’s still unique in the fact that it apparently is the only mechanical dropper (no hydraulic cartridge) on the market that provides infinite adjustment.

The result is a dropper that won’t require bleeding, and according to 9point8 should prove to be one of the most durable posts yet…

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The black cylinder with gold bands is the actual brake that prevents the post from moving. To adjust the dropper, the cylinder releases, and then expands again once the remote is released.

When 9point8 calls the Fall Line a mechanical post, they are referring to the fact that there is not a hydraulic cartridge that allows the post to lock into place anywhere along the travel. The Fall Line still uses an air spring that is pressurized through the top of the post using a standard suspension pump, but instead of a hydraulic locking device, the post uses a patent-pending mechanical DropLoc brake that expands to lock into place. According to 9point8, that makes the Fall Line the first mechanical dropper post to offer infinite travel adjust. In order to give the post a less mechanical feel, the internals have been designed to manage the airflow when the post is extended or compressed which provides some damping using the air as a cushion. Also, since the locking mechanism is spring actuated, the seat post will still lock into place even if the air spring loses all pressure. The post won’t return on its own, but you will be able to position the saddle manually and comfortably ride home.

Engineered to exceed the EN fatigue test which simulates a 170lb rider bouncing on the post for 100,000 cycles, 9point8 joins Fox and Thomson as the few droppers to pass testing. Much of that is due to the fact that their brake system is capable of withstanding 900lbs of force both up and down, which should mean the ability to pick up your bike by the saddle and not have the post extend.

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Actuation of the post is activated with a standard derailleur cable which includes a quick connect fitting at the bottom of the post. The quick connect makes removing the seatpost for packing much easier, and it includes an anchor for the housing itself so pulling on the cables outside the frame won’t cause issues with the function of the post. Available in stealth routing only, 9point8 offers 2 styles of remotes including the original which is like a mini brake lever, or the new lever which allows three different mounting positions with the same lever.

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The three piece expanding key system isn’t shown, but the individual pieces would sit inside the vertical grooves in the upper tube.

To keep the inner barrel from twisting, 9point8 uses a patented 3 key, expanding locking collet design that features a bullet shaped nose at the tip. These keys sit in corresponding groves on the lower edge of the inner tube and self tighten every cycle. That results in a seat post that will stay tight even as the internals wear from use.

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First shown as a prototype at Interbike, the Fall Line will be shipping in the next few weeks in either a 150mm drop, 125mm drop, or compact 125mm drop version for frames with limited seatpost insertion. Each seat post is also internally shim-able to reduce the travel using plastic spacers. Initially the post will only be available in 30.9 and 31.6 diameters, but 9point8 says the design is easily scalable to go down to 27.2mm which they may make in the future.

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One last feature that makes the Fall Line even more enticing is the fact that one seat post will work with either set back or zero offset saddle clamps. If you purchase the post in one set up and decide later you need the other, a single part can be purchased from 9point8 that will allow you to change the post. Claimed at 495g for the 125mm standard post, Fall Line droppers will sell for $379 at 9point8 dealers or direct to consumer.

9point8.ca

26 COMMENTS

  1. I think the Crank Brothers Kronolog was the first infinitely adjustable mechanical dropper post, unless you include the Hite Rite…

  2. @papi: exactly. Anything with a range is not infinite. I wonder if it is the same mtb marketing company that uses that word inappropriately, ad infinitum?

  3. Papi, there are an infinite number of points between the top and bottom, and that is what the “infinite” in the description refers to.

  4. “Infinite: limitless or endless in space, extent, or size; impossible to measure or calculate. ” I’m pretty sure 125mm and 150mm are measurements.

  5. pe·dan·tic (pə-dăn′tĭk)adj.
    Characterized by a narrow, often ostentatious concern for academic knowledge and formal rules: a pedantic attention to details.

  6. Lol.

    The internet is so fantastic. Papi is a great troll, unless he is unaware of the nature of his comments. Then I believe that an even better troll.

  7. They sell direct. Definitely not helping the cycling industry. They can kick rocks as far as I’m concerned, they’re driving business away from brick and mortar, the lifeblood of our industry.

  8. If it’s using what I can only assume is a brake pad of sorts, will it be replaceable? Rubbing parts wear out. Do you not grease the internal tube as contamination would make the post slide? Does 9POINT8 source spare parts easily?

  9. lets hope they are around in a year or 3 to support their posts. Pretty cool ideas but this is a small and i mean small company. Personally I think it was a bad idea to sell direct. They need the LBS base to support the product. I’m in the market to buy but leaning towards the LEV.

  10. I made my “Elevator Shaft” infinite range, mechanical dropper seatpost back in 2001, not only the first mechanical, but the first dropper post made.

  11. @bicylelifestyle, Selling direct isn’t hurting the bike industry any more than Shimano and Sram are with sub-wholesale deals via online shops. It says right on the website dealers may sell for less. A dealer can make $ installing and servicing the post. Shops that blame small companies like this for doing direct sales are usually doing “brick and mortar” all wrong. @anthony, If you really hope they are around in a year, buy the product and support them. They already have all the small parts listed on their website. Some LBS’s won’t support KS so I don’t see how your leaning that way, especially given their track record of poor CS and parts availability.

  12. @bicylelifestyle, we sell direct because not a single shop, ever, not once in over 10 years, that has contacted us can manage to sign on the dotted line after spending literally hours of our time costing up special run shop kit. Simple fact is, from where we see it, unless it’s an easy, cheap, high profit sell, many shops don’t want to talk to us, so excuse me for deciding to go direct to the people that want what we do and dispensing with the layer that would otherwise sink us.

    What’s more, who’s to say that just because you don’t sell in ‘bricks and mortar’ that one is any less dedicated to the ‘industry’ than you are? We all spend ample amounts of our hard earned developing and building what we do, which just happens to be bike related. This gumf of not supporting the industry bla,bla, bla, is rubbish. What about all those brands shops WANT that then go and royally shaft them, ditching stock to discount onliners the minute the prime season’s passed? Are they supporting the same industry you’re talking about?

    I love a good shop. Walking into one is an experience. People know their stuff, the service is great and they can do stuff I can’t or can, but 100 times better. What’s more they have a conviction, support the good stuff, not because they make a wad of cash or it’s easy but because it’s good. They know how to do it right and they get my coin. What’s more, they don’t complain about online, they embrace it and make it work for them, be it by also going online (and learning how), catering to the online shoppers who can’t do it themselves or any number of variations. As @COLIN said “Shops that blame small companies like this for doing direct sales are usually doing “brick and mortar” all wrong.”

    The world is changing and with it so are the doorways to opportunity. Get with it or move on and stop the blame game.

    Sorry for the rant folks but I’m getting tired of hearing this old, boring argument….

    http://www.eleven.cc/to-retail-or-not-to-retail/

  13. @colin. My lbs hasn’t even had a demo post from these guys yet AND they are in the same area ? The mechanics and staff have had a bunch of time on the LEV and others and that helps form options. I’m not sure why they’ve ignored the stores ( maybe there’s a legit reason ) but it would be a lot easier for people to buy if they could see it in person first.

  14. Nice weight and if proven mechanical reliability, great combo. Have spare parts readily available at decent prices (like it seems there is on site) tutorial videos of service and there’s no way it can go wrong, unless its prone to break down, ie: Kronolog

  15. It’s official now to go consumer and dealer direct. No more “only” using distributors since distributors do not sell and only “distribute”. These days older brands who have distributors need to keep them, but also go dealer and consumer direct (trifecta). Brands need to change now or get left behind. Online has changed how we buy and it’s ok to buy then send back if not satisfied.

  16. They are not ONLY selling direct. There are some bike shops carrying them. Check out their facebook page and you can see some of them carrying them in their local area, as well as farther away!

  17. @ Anthony
    The 9point8 guys were at every single Kelso summer series Race in 2014, offering demos and even loaners (I think).
    If your local shop doesn’t have a demo post from then, it might be worth asking your LBS why, because I suspect its not the guys at 9point8.

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