Thanks to the elder Furbee for linking to this classic Lars and Bars hall of shame photo.
A lot of people in the comments didn’t like my suggestion that having your dropper seatpost slammed *probably* means your bike is poorly set up or poorly fitted for you. I suspect that’s because a lot of people have their bike poorly set up or poorly fitted and they don’t like hearing about it.
The complaints all came in one of these three flavors:
1. My frame fits perfectly, bro. How do you know my post isn’t at exactly the right height when the dropper is slammed?
How do I know it doesn’t fit perfectly? Because it doesn’t. Seat height is a tricky thing, and it’s a game of millimeters. Pro road and XC guys sometimes obsess over seat height down to thousandths of an inch. Obviously long travel full suspension bikes don’t require or allow that level of precision because the geometry changes as the bike cycles through travel, but dialing in seat height is still awful finicky. Perfect seat height is really hard to find, and even when you find it, it can still change due to a myriad of factors. Sometimes you run the same seat height forever only to discover that your body has changed, necessitating a change in seat height. Sometimes you change your sag or compression settings on your rear shock, and that throws off your seat height. Sometimes you realize that you just had the wrong seat height in the first place because you’re an idiot. Personally, I struggle with that last one a lot.
In all of those scenarios, you might want to change your seat height. If your seatpost was already slammed, you can’t move it down. What I’m saying is: that sucks.
2. Anonymous asked “So if I want to put a 150mm drop Reverb on a frame where the original 125mm had over an inch clearance above collar I should buy a smaller frame?”
I can’t believe I have to spell this out, but here’s some quick math to help you out, Anonymous:
More than an inch
– an inch
More than zero inches
So, no, you shouldn’t need to buy a new frame, and sorry, this article clearly had nothing to do with you and your non-problem. If you have more than an inch of post showing with a 125mm dropper, and you put a 150mm dropper on there with the same dimensions and run the same seat height (aka 1 inch longer), you will still have seatpost showing above the collar. That would be the sort of situation where you might say:
“Wow, that seatpost barely fits, didn’t I get lucky? Judging by the fact that I still have some room to adjust, I am confident that I made the right decision for this bike, my riding needs, and my body dimensions. Boy I’m glad I made a smart decision.”
This would be in contrast to the alternative position that I highlighted in my recent blog post “Seatpost height,” which goes something like this:
“When I attempt to put my seat at the correct position for proper leg extension, it leaves me no room for adjustment and fine tuning. Judging by the fact that I have no room for even minor adjustments, clearly this frame and seatpost combination is not correct for my riding needs and body dimensions. Bummer.”
Now if you have less than an inch of post showing and you want to upgrade to a 150mm dropper, you’re screwed. Either you have to settle for the wrong seat height, you have to buy a different frame or if you’re really sketchy maybe face down your seattube until it’s short enough, or you have to just deal with your 125mm post. What I’m saying is: that sucks.
3. I have a long torso, and if I buy the frame with the right reach length I have to run my post as low as it will go.
That would either mean your frame doesn’t fit you, or you’re running a bigger dropper post than you can get away with, or both. AKA the whole point of the article.
- If you have to run a bike with a toptube that’s too short in order to get proper leg extension, that bike doesn’t fit you.
- Conversely, if you have to run a bike where you can’t get proper leg extension in order to get the proper top tube length, that bike doesn’t fit you.
- Germans love David Hasselhoff.
- And Richie Schley.
Either way, that’s a poorly fitting bike for your body dimensions. And the point of the article is that I can see from a mile away that your bike doesn’t fit you when I look at your stupid dropper post that’s slammed in the stupid seattube. What I’m saying is: that sucks.
Go to a mountain bike demo, any mountain bike demo, and watch the guys working the van try to size people on modern mountain bikes with dropper posts. There’s not a single day that goes by where some tall gangly bastard says “I can’t get this dropper post high enough for proper leg extension, I’m running it above the minimum insertion line” or some tiny dwarf midget says “I can’t get this dropper post low enough for proper leg extension, it’s slammed and it’s still not low enough.” That’s true if it’s a Santa Cruz demo, an Ibis demo, a Diamondback demo, or a Specialized demo.
There is simply not a sufficient range of adjustment for modern mountain bikes with dropper posts. Sure, before dropper posts every once in a blue moon some tall guy needed a 400mm Thomson post so he could put his seat in the sky, but more often than not that was to eek out proper seat height on a frame that was too small in the first place. In contrast, I’ve never seen a shop run out of room to adjust a seat low enough on a frame that fit in every other dimension. This is a new problem since the advent of dropper posts, and it’s a common problem. Is that even arguable?
What I’m saying is: that sucks.
It’s like when I see 5’5″ women like Emily Batty on 29er’s with massively negative rise stems: that bike doesn’t really fit you. It’s a problem.