Dropper posts on gravel bikes? I have been a bit skeptical of them since they casually started popping up on the scene. When it comes to mountain biking however, a dropper is an absolute necessity in my mind. Regardless of my skepticism I was excited at the chance to give Easton’s new EA70 AX dropper post a go on my local gravel terrain. After weeks of testing my heart has softened a bit to the idea of having a dropper for gravel riding.
Spec & Weight
As gravel bikes are starting to look and ride more like mountain bikes from the mid-90’s, droppers have slowly started making their way into the drop-bar scene. The EA70 AX is Easton’s first dropper for gravel bikes with several features that are subtle yet intentional.
There are only two options of the EA70 AX with both sharing the same 27.2mm diameter and 50-millimeters of travel. Both posts are only available with internal routing and overall lengths of 400 or 350mm depending on your seat tube length. Easton designed the EA70 with a 0mm offset seat clamp that uses a 2-bolt system for easy adjustments.
Included with my post was Easton’s prototype EA90 remote lever that has a clever design and position (more on that another time). The weight of my 350mm post came in at 403 Grams, right on par with Easton’s claimed weight of 400 grams. Retail price on this post is set at a very competitive $185.
I spent the last of the summer and all of Fall riding the EA70 on my Pivot Vault. The Vault has a slightly taller seat tube for a size medium so I opted for a 350mm post which proved to be the perfect length. Depending on the geometry of your bike and your personal fit I’d take close measurements to make sure you get the right length post. The installation of the post was straightforward. Easton designed the EA70 to work with either end of a shift cable in case some riders want to use the post with a GRX dummy lever. Since I was using Easton’s prototype EA90 remote I installed the cable end on the seatpost to make dialing in the tension a bit easier.
I spent my first couple rides getting comfortable on the bike with the EA90 lever sitting right next to my left shifter. The lever is large but very easy to find when in the droppers and looking down the trail. I could see this lever being a bit annoying for riders with larger hands, but with my average mitts I was and have been comfortable with the remote’s position on the bars.
Once I had my fit dialed in I started to appreciate having a little bit of clearance when descending. Most of our gravel riding in Southern California involves steep and loose fire-roads where being able to have a little extra room to lean back can go a long way. Even with just the 50mm of drop, I found myself descending a little bit faster and flicking the Vault around a bit more than usual. I wouldn’t say that having the dropper made my bike more capable but it has given me some extra confidence and allowed me to be a bit more playful. I have more than enough hours on my post to feel confident in its durability. I didn’t have any leaking oil or degradation in return speed during my hours on this dropper.
I am all about having a bit more fun and the EA70 AX provided just the right amount of fun for my average gravel rides. I wouldn’t say droppers for gravel bikes are quite as revolutionary as they were for mountain bikes, but when given the chance I would most likely opt to run one for the sake of getting a little more rowdy.
The EA70 AX Dropper retails for $239.99 with a remote, and is available now.