In just over a week, e*thirteen’s latest product will be hitting store shelves. That of course is the new TRS+ dropper seatpost, which was introduced at Eurobike. Since then a few details have changed, but overall the basis behind the post remains the same – a full mechanical post that is ‘reliable, serviceable, and affordable.’ If what we’ve experienced so far is any indication, e*thirteen has succeeded with a post that is easy to install, simple to actuate, and seems like it will hold up to a life of abuse.
Check out our first impressions next…
Built to be robust and easily serviceable without resorting to hydraulics or air springs, it’s easy to see why the TRS+ isn’t the lightest. Weighed above in a 125mm drop/31.6mm post configuration, the post, lever, and uncut cable and housing have a 642g combined weight.
One of the features of the TRS+ is supposed to be its serviceability. I’m not typically one to tear apart a brand new seatpost, but on e*thirteen’s encouragement, I dug in. Stopping short of disassembling the cam assembly, I can say that the post is fairly easy to break down and requires only standard tools you’ll already find in a bike shop. I don’t think it’s to a level where every consumer will be able to service it on their own, but if you’re handy with suspension type repairs, this shouldn’t be too difficult. Most importantly, e*thirteen has all of the how-to guides already up on their site, and they have all the spare parts you’ll ever need for a truly serviceable post.
Since we last saw the post, e*thirteen has made a few changes to improve the performance. On the 150mm travel versions, the main spring was split into two with a spacer holding the two springs together for less noise and wear. At the bottom of the seat post, a new threaded housing anchor uses a rubber insert that pinches the housing in place so it won’t come out unintentionally. That allows the cable head to be installed at the post, rather than the lever for easier adjustment, and super easy disconnecting for travel.
When you get into the tear down of the post, the bottom cap uses a standard Shimano freehub interface which cuts down on specialty tools needed to work on the post – this was specifically designed around the Shimano tool, which meant my Park FR-5 was pretty tight though e*thirteen says that will improve on future runs. Improvements were also made to the main seal itself, now featuring an SKF low friction dual lip seal.
The seatpost head is also slightly different with a refined two bolt head. Fitted with two torx bolts, the saddle is still fairly easy to install since both sides of the top plate have slots so you don’t have to completely unthread the bolts to install or remove a saddle. The clamp offers a wide range of adjustment and fits both round and oval rails.
Based on the chart provided for all of the TRS+ options, the insert length of the post is pretty standard. On the 125mm dropper, the 234mm max insert length from the bottom of the collar to the bottom of the post is reasonable, though it gets quite a bit longer for the 150mm droppers, but still about the same as something like the Crank Brothers Highline. The posts do seem to have more length exposed at the top thanks to a fairly thick section at the main seal and a relatively tall head. Keep that in mind when ordering a 125 or 150mm drop.
The lever has been improved further with a very nice, light weight shifter style design. The large paddle features a recessed section of grip tape, and the lever itself is adjustable on the spindle for positioning and the lever has two positions horizontally at the clamp. Cable adjustments are done by moving a rubber plug out of the way to access the torx bolt underneath that clamps onto the cable. It is important that you run the cable through the small hole in the aluminum block which is easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. Once everything is dialed in, there is a composite barrel adjuster to add additional cable tension if needed.
Thanks to the mechanical nature and simple lever design, set up was a breeze allowing you to go from box to bike very quickly.
There will probably always be a debate between infinite adjustment and preset travel stops, but in order to make the post as durable as possible, e*thirteen went with four preset stops. Working with their athletes, they settled on 150-125-75-0 for the 150mm travel posts, and 125-95-65-0 for the 125mm droppers.
When working through the travel, there is no mistaking the actuation of the TRS+. The mechanical guts lock and unlock with aggression – providing a feeling that is quite different from the silky smooth actuation of a hydraulically actuated post. It feels positive, strong, like you’re really locking in the post at each setting. It’s louder and a more tangible feeling than some other droppers, but it feels like a more expensive post than the $279 price tag would imply. And that right there is what will likely attract riders to the TRS+. Side by side with some of the best post on the market, the TRS+ does have some stiff competition. But if it proves to be as durable and serviceable as e*thirteen claims, the price tag will likely have more riders considering a dropper – or looking for an affordable replacement for their current post.
TRS+ seatposts will be in stores March 15, and will be available in 30.9 or 31.6mm diameters and in 125mm or 150mm travel.