Even though many of us grew up riding rigid seat posts at full extension, after the introduction of the dropper post, it’s hard to imagine life without one. But, even though they’ve become commonplace in mountain biking, they are far from perfect.
However, they’re continually getting better – like the new range from KS. On the outside of the post, you won’t notice much other than the retooled head. Even that looks similar but has been reworked through extensive FEA to stay tight without being as torque sensitive.
The real magic though takes place on the inside of the post. KS reengineered their standard cartridge to include more air volume, stating that a higher volume with less pressure is less perceptible to expansion and offers less stiction. Lower pressures also prevents oil migration from the seals when static and allows for faster breakaway and lower friction. All of this also adds up to improved durability which is what we all want in the end.
The LEV posts are a bit different as they use a spool valve system, which caused the previous generation to be harder to actuate at the lever. The new post uses a reworked valve which decreases the oil pressure for easier actuation at the bar.
You’ll also see more seat posts sizes in the coming months with increased options for 27.2mm seat tubes in 65, 100, and 125mm travel.
The posts see improvements at the levers as well, with a revised stock lever getting a bigger thumb pad for easier actuation. The levers also see post machined lock on clamps that are Lock-on compatible for less weight and a better grip of the bar. Moving to all black for 2018, the levers will also be available in a 31.8mm size for drop bars.
The South Paw 1x lever also has been redesigned with a new hinged aluminum clamp for the aftermarket versions. Using a forged bracket that has radiused edges to prevent scratching pricey carbon bars, the levers have the same net weight and will be available in alloy/alloy or alloy/carbon aftermarket, and a third polycarbonate option will be available for oems.
KS also made news this summer with their dropper posts that were fitted to the Mavic Neutral Support bikes. Since these bikes are meant to fit a number of riders in case of a total bike failure, KS thought why not create a way for them to quickly and easily adjust saddle height on the fly? To do so, KS took a short travel version of their LEV dropper and replaced the cable with a simple pull string. Maybe we’ll see more uses for droppers like this in future tours!