DT Swiss takes their new 232 XC suspension platform in a new direction with the surprise addition of the D 232 One dropper seatpost. It wasn’t really a surprise that DT Swiss was working on an overhauled XC suspension platform, I spotted the World Cup-winning fork last summer. But this upside-down short-travel carbon dropper seatpost dropped out of the blue…
DT Swiss D 232 One lightweight carbon XC dropper seatpost
It feels almost like a broken record, but World Cup XC courses really have gotten more difficult, with more techy climbs & steeper technical descents. So, bikemakers adapted more aggressive trail-inspired geometry, and component makers followed with more capable gear to back it up. DT Swiss’ new 232 One XC suspension does just that – prioritizing stiffness, longer travel & supple performance over ultimate light weight.
But the top pros are even running dropper seatposts on their full-suspension XC bikes in some races, so DT figured they would get in the dropper game. Dropper posts are essentially very similar to one leg of a suspension fork, so it’s not a huge stretch.
But DT Swiss looks at XC mountain biking as an opportunity to win World Cups (and send athletes to the Olympics this year), so they doubled down on what XC racers really needed in a dropper: just enough short travel to get the saddle out of the way, light weight to not waste the hard fought gram-counting gains made elsewhere on their race bikes, 27.2mm post compatibility for the tons small diameter seatposts out there, and a simple mechanism with internal routing that would be easy to keep sliding in all conditions.
D 232 dropper – Tech details
The result is a fully mechanical, upside-down dropper post offering 60mm of travel and weights as low as 369g.
Inside a simple steel spring returns the post to the extended position and a series of steel balls are actuated from inside the lower (by a release mechanism pulled by straight-pull DT Swiss spoke!) The balls lock into the hardened steel race when the post is extended up, or into the alloy upper when the post is dropped and resting directly on the top of the lower stanchion.
The whole thing slides on glide bushings at the top of the slider and the lower collar, kept straight by a single keyway in the upper.
Without any internal hydraulic or air pressure, you can open the D232 post without any tools, then get inside to clean it, re-grease and have it sliding smooth in under five minutes. You don’t even need to take it out of the bike.
The upside-down orientation limited overall travel to 60mm, which DT’s XC pros felt was plenty for cross-country racing (with a minimum of 210mm post extension making it probably not very gravel bike compatible). That freed up plenty of space in the lower slider for the mechanical actuation mechanism, which was easier to fit in than pressurized air or hydraulic cylinders. But it also meant that DT Swiss could share the same slider & upper construction, while adding either 27.2mm or 30.9mm carbon shafts below to fit almost ever XC bike on the market!
The DT dropper is internal routing only, with a simple cable-actuated quick release at the base of the post. DT Swiss developed their own compact, light-action remote lever, but it will work with most all remotes if you already have one you prefer.
D232 dropper – First Impressions
So far, I’ve only had a few hours to ride the new DT Swiss dropper post, mostly underground in a dis-used German silver mine on surprisingly technical and at times steep rocky, man-made trails. The mechanical actuation of the D232 dropper was smooth & fast. And the two-position (up or down) 60mm of travel was plenty to get behind the saddle on the steepest trails you are likely to ride on a short travel XC bike.
As it stands, the DT Swiss D 232 One dropper post feels like the perfect amount of short, light dropper travel for a lightweight mountain bike. And when I got home, I immediately started measuring seatpost extension on all of my XC, gravel & cross bikes to see which ones it would fit (sadly there wasn’t enough extension on most horizontal toptube gravel & CX bikes).
DT Swiss D232 dropper – Pricing & availability
The 60mm travel DT D232 dropper comes only in a 400mm post length, with 27.2 or 30.9mm lower seatpost tubes and 0mm offset. The dropper features a carbon lower tube, carbon upper saddle rail clamp & cradle, and titanium clamp hardware. The upper slider and lower stanchion are bolt aluminum.
DT Swiss claims a weight of 369g for the 30.9 dropper, without cable or the 16.9g alloy L1 remote. The premium lightweight D 232 One dropper post retails for $566 / 499€ including the remote, and will be available aftermarket through regular DT Swiss retailers from the start of April 2020.
The dropper will be available exclusively on complete mountain bikes from Canyon for 2020, who is replacing KS droppers on all of their top-spec XC race bikes this season – starting with a Limited edition Canyon Lux CF SLX 9.0 DT LTD, which is available now in very limited quantities.