At A Glance
USE's new Helix dropper is their first foray into the world of the dropper seat post. They have been producing suspension seatposts for some time and brought that knowledge and experience to the Helix. British made, the Helix uses a mechanical system and removes the need for air and oil by using a helical shaft and a clutch system. The helical system keeps saddle play to a minimum and mechanically clamps itself infinitely through the systemBuy Seat Posts on
Available in 30.9mm or 31.6, the Helix comes in a drop of 125mm or 165mm making it a potentially good option for taller riders demanding more drop. In 165mm mode the post is very long with a big 300mm needing insertion to get the post fully slammed into the frame. The collar is low profile which helps make the 165mm of drop more usable for more riders.
The lever is a four-way adaptable design, for under or over the bar and left of right settings. It is also I-spec and Matchmaker compatible for SRAM and Shimano if you wish to tidy up your handlebars.
Cable routing is simple, and clamping is done at the lever end to make life easy. The lever itself is a slender looking paddle with a ball joint clamp to allow for easy fine-tuning of the position. The lever also has two screws which will enable the paddle to be moved to further fine tune the action.
An air valve on the back of the seat controls the speed at which it returns, and the seat clamp works on two side bolts which make installation simple and allows for easy angle adjustment.
On The Trail
Once installed it is clear that riders will need a frame with a long, uninterrupted seat tube to get the post all the way in. If there is a pivot or kink in the seat tube, then it'll be worth checking before purchase. Once the right height has been achieved, installation is straightforward with a cable hooked into the base of the post, and the then clamped at the lever.
Seat adjustment is straightforward, and there is no chance of scratching the post while installing the seat, which is a refreshing change. The lever is very easy to get exactly where you need it with the ball joint and the sliding paddle.
In use, the return speed can be altered by adjusting the pressure and can go from ponderously slow to ejector seat fast. It's worth noting that there is zero play in the system, something I have never felt in a dropper post before. It is totally wobble-free!
The action is direct and precise; the lever feel is excellent, it's not clunky like some levers. The machined lever has the logo formed into the paddle, which helps with grip while making it look good. The post locks into position easily, and there is zero bounce at all from the mechanical system. If the lever isn't pushed fully, you can hear the mechanism rubbing on itself, but this has no effect on the posts function at all.
The Helix provides consistent and reliable operation and other than feeling obviously mechanical provides an excellent system for a dropper.
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.
This review was in Issue 56 of IMB.For more information visit Ultimate Sports Engineering
By Ewen TurnerEwen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.