The dropper post has been with us now for enough years that we struggle to see far enough back to a time when stopping to lower your saddle was an actual thing, but it was, and the advent of the dropper was arguably one of the biggest leaps in mountain bike technology in recent times. They sit in the ‘game changer’ category with those other objects of necessity: suspension forks, disc brakes, and tubeless tyres.

For 2018 we were spoiled with a plethora of uppy-downy devices from a broad range of manufacturers featuring an equally broad range of technologies and systems. So here, to rationalise it all down for you, and in no particular order, are the best dropper posts of 2018 a la IMB:

Excellent lever and ease of installation make for a truly great dropper post. The seat clamp is one of the best, and the whole package is one of solidity and quality. With shim adjustments, it’s easy to get the perfect drop and with the competitive weight, it completes an awesome package. The only niggle will be the price which may put it out of reach for some.

FOX’s quality comes through with the Transfer to produce a beautiful dropper post that delivers in function and reliability. A long drop option would be welcome, but 150mm will be plenty for most. The price will be restrictive and the additional cost of the remote is a bit jarring, but it sits comfortably up there with the other premium posts.

Very well made mechanical post that removes the issues found on air/oil style systems. Plenty of size options including a long drop will appeal to many riders providing they can get the post to insert far enough into their frame. Precise and rattle free, the Helix is an excellent piece of engineering that offers reliability, quality construction and great action.

A solid and reliable post, an entirely different proposition than the previous version. The cartridge system may not allow much scope for the home mechanic to fettle, but the consistency of action and ability to deal with any bounce issues is great. At £195 it’s competitively priced and offers a cost-effective way to get a quality dropper post.

Overall it’s a solid, good value post and a promising entry to the market for Manitou. Both the weight and the short overall length are impressive, and we love the smooth action and solid feel of it in use. With a more ergonomic trigger that did away with the vulnerable bar-top gooseneck, it would be an excellent post. We’d recommend the Jack to any rider looking for a light, reliable and easy to set up post, particularly those short of seat tube height in their frame. If you’re running a single chainring consider upgrading the trigger to one of the many compatible aftermarket ones from Wolftooth, Fox, KS, Raceface or other low profile, repositionable remotes.

All told, the X-Fusion Manic dropper post has surpassed all our expectations. Whilst it isn’t the lightest on the market, the reliability, adjustability, price point and great user experience win out every time. A great dropper for those on a budget, or just wanting a quality piece of reliable kit

Considered by some to be the industry standard, it is hard to disagree too strongly. The user experience is one of the best, with the hydraulically activated system giving great feel especially with the new lever. Some may prefer the familiarity of a cable-actuated system, but there is no doubt the hydraulics do work for this post. It comes in at the upper end of the price bracket, especially as the market is getting competitive, but the Reverb is still one of the best posts out there.

Sat 10th Nov, 2018 @ 9:30 am

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