First introduced in 2016, Eightpins offered a fully integrated dropper seatpost design that allowed for ultra-smooth action and ultra-long travel. And it retained the ability to adjust seat height. Problem was, that last bit required cutting the tube, and switching travel or post heights was a bit of a chore. Add in the fact that your frame has to be specifically designed to work with their dropper post, and it was just a bit too much for widespread adoption.
Fast forward to Eurobike 2019 and they’ve solved most of those issues. You still need a frame that’s made for their system, which means it has to have a straight seat tube, but there’s no more cutting to adjust seat height. And, swapping travel and post lengths is super easy. Here’s how they did it…
Wait, how does Eightpins’ integrated dropper post work?
Well, first, here’s how their dropper system works: The name Eightpins comes from the eight “pins” used to lock the post into position. Press the release lever and it pulls those pins inward so the post can move up or down. Release it and they spring outward to lock into position. Simple, and mechanical, so you never need to worry about hydraulically-locking cartridges leaking or letting air in and sagging.
The bottom of the post is bolted into the bike’s seat tube. Up top, it’s held in place by a collar, but there’s no seatpost clamp, so it won’t bind up. The result is very smooth movement up and down. Various remote levers are offered, including this newer drop-bar option for gravel bikes. You know, just in case you need 150+ millimeters of travel for your drop bar adventure bike!
The posts come in six lengths, each of which can adjust their travel. The “Adjusting Bandwidth” in the chart above shows the range of adjustment for each size. Note that 258mm max travel for the longest size!
The beauty of the design is that you can adjust travel length and seatpost height independently, so you don’t always have to give up travel just to reduce seat height. That said, your individual configuration will depend somewhat on how tall the seat tube and standover height are of the bike it’s going on.
How Eightpins made dropper post height adjustment easy
With no seatpost binder to set the height, the original version required you to cut the inner tube. But many of us are uncomfortable with that, and it’s extra work. So, v.2 (formally called NGS2) does it internally. A little switch under the saddle clamp decouples the upper tube from the air-sprung dropper mechanism inside. Flip it forward and just slid the post to the correct height.
Flip it back and it locks into position. This makes saddle height adjustment quicker and easier than even a quick-release collar! It also makes it easy to swap seatpost tubes altogether if you need a different length. Just flip the switch forward and pull the post all the way out.
The additional brilliance of their new design is that travel is automatically set at the maximum amount available based on your saddle height. Meaning, riders with a taller saddle height will get all of the available travel, but if you need a shorter saddle height, then it automatically reduces as your seat height gets lower. Which means the impetus is on the frame designer to create the right seat tube height for the intended rider height and discipline.
So far, Rotwild and Liteville are making bikes with Eightpins droppers, but they hinted that more are on the way. The trick is that many full suspension bikes don’t have straight seat tubes. However, they all have part of the seat tube that’s straight, or they wouldn’t have any dropper compatibility. Considering Eightpins’ shortest travel option is over 150mm, that’s a pretty darn good starting point that seems more workable for many frames. Ultimately, we anticipate more bikes starting to use integrated systems, and Eightpins is (for now) showing everyone how it’s done.