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  1. #1
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    Budget dropper posts

    I've been looking at a couple options for dropper posts that fit my tight budget. I've found a nearly new Giant Contact Switch for about $150, and there's also the KS ETen which goes for about that new. Which would you go with?

    Also, is 4" drop enough? I measured the wear on my current post and I usually slam my seat all the way down, which results in 135 mm drop. Will I miss the 3.5 cm?
    Last edited by D(C); 02-03-2013 at 10:40 PM.

  2. #2
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    It's a developing technology. The newest are leaps and bounds about previous generations. Don't cheap out.

    /rant
    Goals for the season: -Try and pick up a sponsor.--Phill

    But whatever scares you most... --Rip'nStick

  3. #3
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    I hear ya. But both are current year models, just ones that come in at a lower pricepoint.

  4. #4
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    I've got a buddy with an XFusion HiLo 100mm that seems pretty basic and functional. It's got a very small amount of play when fully extended but doesn't seem to affect the up and down. And it doesn't do that sag at the top that I've heard other posts doing as they age. Seems like they go for about $175 used.

  5. #5
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    I have used the Contact Switch on a demo bike and was impressed with the function. The reviews do not seem to indicate a propensity for exploderation. If you can find one for that sweet a price, it seems like a good choice.

  6. #6
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    I bought the Contact Switch last fall. Out of the box it's great and for literally half the price of some droppers it's hard to beat. I only have about 15 hours of riding on it so I can't speak to real long term durability yet but it's been flawless so far. Like Sirshred said they have not picked up a reputation for failure, and if they do fail they are designed to get stuck fully extended. Giant has been spec'ing them on all their high-end builds since last year so they are obviously betting on them holding up. Toast226 mentioned here though that a friend of his has had problems https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...-Post-vs/page7 I would be a little hesitant to buy any used dropper post without a warranty or shop support. 4" is enough drop for me, but I'm only 5'-6"/168 cm. I could see wanting more range if I were taller.
    Last edited by Dantheman; 02-04-2013 at 12:32 PM.

  7. #7
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    ^^^ yeah - friend who gets hookups from Giant (meaning she gets free contact switch posts) actually switched back to a Joplin because it was more reliable (which is saying something). The Contact Switchs are really simple inside - it's just a sealed up air/oil cartridge that's not user serviceable. As long as the cartridge is working, the posts work fine. If the cartridge stops working, there's no way to fix it.

    Personally, I'd track down one of the previous generation kindshocks - the i900 or i950. They're reasonably cheap right now and I've had good luck with their longevity.

  8. #8
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    I have a Contact. I initially had a problem with the post getting stuck in the down position. I was really pissed because it happened on a long trip to Canada. Took it back to Go-Ride and they showed me how the cartridge inside the post can get forced down so it's no longer making contact with the switch. It simply had to be tightened back up and it was good as new. I've had this happen a couple times since then as well. Now it takes me 30 seconds and it's good.

    With my latest build I had the choice of the Contact or a Reverb I have sitting around. I actually picked the Contact. I really like how simple it is. I've also had good luck with the KS i950. Whatever you do, don't pick up a Joplin.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the great info, everyone. I had to move fast so I pulled the trigger on the Giant post. While $150 isn't pennies, reviews sound generally favourable and it's worth the risk.

    Quote Originally Posted by alewi11 View Post
    I have a Contact. I initially had a problem with the post getting stuck in the down position. I was really pissed because it happened on a long trip to Canada. Took it back to Go-Ride and they showed me how the cartridge inside the post can get forced down so it's no longer making contact with the switch. It simply had to be tightened back up and it was good as new. I've had this happen a couple times since then as well. Now it takes me 30 seconds and it's good.
    This is great information. There's surprisingly little info on servicing these posts. It it's not too much trouble, it would be great if you could put up some pics next time you need to do this.

  10. #10
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    I think I still have a last years KI post. 31.6mm if you want that cheap.
    New in box


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mntlion View Post
    I think I still have a last years KI post. 31.6mm if you want that cheap.
    New in box
    Thanks but my bike is of the 30.9 variety.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by D(C) View Post
    This is great information. There's surprisingly little info on servicing these posts. It it's not too much trouble, it would be great if you could put up some pics next time you need to do this.
    The bottom of the post has an aluminum disc that threads into the outer sleeve of the post. With a pin spanner, you can unthread that disc - if you pull it all the way out, the cartridge will pop right out. Everything's sealed up, so you don't really have to worry about things getting messy. If the bottom disc unthreads itself a little bit, it can lead to the problem alewi was talking about - the plunger at the top of the cartridge loses contact with the actuation trigger.

    This sounds complicated when I type it, but it's really simple. Unscrew the thingy on the bottom and the entire workings of the post become fairly obvious.

  13. #13
    Finstah Guest
    I put 1700 miles on a Contact Switch last season. My cartridge did unthread at one point mid season. I just cleaned the threads up with some rubbing alcohol and reinstalled it with blue loctite. It has worked flawlessly since. I think the Contact Switch is a great value.

  14. #14
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    yeah, exactly what Toast said. If you look at it and can't figure it out I can take some pictures, but it's very simple. You will need needle nose pliers or something thin to turn the cartridge inside the post.

  15. #15
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    I'm thinking of picking up a Gravity dropper for this summer. I figure mechanical is the way to go, don't fancy the idea of leaking seals or bleeding hydraulics in a seat post. The cost seems a bit lower which is a bonus.

    FWIW I need 30.9mm, current fixed post is 350mm. 5" drop should fit (will double check), was thinking the GD with up, 2" down & fully down. I can live with the 3 positions on the GD, I mostly ride with my seat in about the same 3 positions now anyway, high, low, or in between (mostly this). I'm looking forward to being able to change on the fly.

    The Specialized Command post or the Giant Contact are the other options I've looked into, any reason to look more seriously at either of these?
    Am I missing anything else?

  16. #16
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    I have a Gravity Dropper and it's been great.

    Mine is two position. One inch down and all the way down. I really like the one inch down position, I use it way more than full down.

    If you get one keep up on cable maintenance. I am lazy with it and it certainly affects how smooth it works. Oh and the supplied boot kinda sucks, it needs to be a softer rubber.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesp View Post
    FWIW I need 30.9mm, current fixed post is 350mm. 5" drop should fit (will double check), was thinking the GD with up, 2" down & fully down. I can live with the 3 positions on the GD, I mostly ride with my seat in about the same 3 positions now anyway, high, low, or in between (mostly this). I'm looking forward to being able to change on the fly.
    I have that exact GD. I did a review on it for Blister, here

    My opinions haven't really changed since I wrote that. On a dollar for dollar basis, I'll still take my kindshock, but if you can get a GD for cheap, they're not a bad option. The complete rebuildability is really nice, although that thing requires more attention than any other dropper post I've spent time on. I also agree with everything shirk said.

    New bike just came with a specialized command post. I don't have any significant time on it yet, but my initial reactions are: 1) I don't like the remote at all (too much throw, and it sort of interferes with the shifter paddles), 2) it's a little bit finicky to set up, but not bad, 3) it's much easier to get it into the "middle" position than the GD, 4) the seat clamp isn't as good as the GD's, and 5) cable routing is far cleaner than on the GD.

  18. #18
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    I don't like the idea of the single seat clamp bolt on the Command, I've had cheap single bolt seat posts before & its the most annoying fking thing when your seat tilts the wrong way (pet peeve I guess).

    Exactly how big is the cable entry thing on the GD? I assume you had it facing back because it got in the way facing forward?

    Which KS post did you have? The Lev is too expensive (~$400), I'm not sure what other models are available in size I need.

    any experience with the Fox? RRP is very close to the GD & its mechanical. The 2 levers might make it easier to find the middle setting (or they might be a fiddly annoyance?).

  19. #19
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    edit: seems the new GD ("Turbo LP") has a smaller cable entry thing. Also says its rotated 90*, so sounds like it comes out the side now (?).
    The rubber boot is kinda old school (I had Judy's back in the day) but looks don't bother me much.

  20. #20
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    The cable entry thing on the GD is fairly prominent. It ended up being kind of wonky regardless of which way it was facing. Facing forwards is probably a bit better, but I haven't gotten around to changing mine. It's not the end of the world by any means; it's just a trade off between having a goofy coil of cable in a weird spot (GD), or having a goofy coil of cable magically appear every time you drop your post (KS and Command Post).

    I have an IS-950; haven't tried the Lev. Never had any problems with mine. I think I paid ~$225 for the 950 at some online place like price point. While I don't mind the GD and command post and the whole 3 position thing, the infinite travel on the KS is definitely much nicer. No dicking around with trying to hover your ass at the right elevation to get your seat to click into the middle setting (this maneuver is tricky on rocky trails).

    No experience with the Fox. Preliminary reports were that it was heavy and expensive, so I pretty much stopped paying attention to it.

  21. #21
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    re: edit - it looks like the "rotated 90* cable entry" just changed the orientation of the little nub that the cable goes into. This will allow the post to go a little farther into the frame, which is probably important for short people that only have 5-6" of post sticking out. This wouldn't change anything for me.

  22. #22
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    ok thanks for the info. My LBS sells Specialized, if I can get a good enough deal I may go with a Contact, otherwise still leaning towards the GD.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesp View Post
    any experience with the Fox? RRP is very close to the GD & its mechanical. The 2 levers might make it easier to find the middle setting (or they might be a fiddly annoyance?).
    My first dropper post (but have briefly ridden a Joplin) experience is with the Fox DOSS that I couldn't pass on price. Current Cat1 XC racer, so don't bother moving post on ups or downs b/c it's VERY hilly here and I'd be stopping every few minutes.

    Pros
    Mid/small drop option is about perfect for my needs, just enough room for rooty/rocky terrain we have. Like knowing exactly where it'll be.
    Ambidextrous lever (will run it above bar on left and sometimes below when 1x10)
    Big lever is pretty easy to operate (end up using it for mid and full drop)
    Setup was quick/easy; No avid bleed process (I loathe Avid brakes)
    Thomson like clamp (looks like a complete rip-off of that design in a good way)
    Very little to no play with saddle (does need to lock in when raised all the way, happens immediately on sitting and stays snug)
    Return speed and clunk sound letting you know it's at the top
    Feels well built and think it'll be less troublesome than others I've heard of w/ slipping etc (conjecture at this point)
    Aesthetically pleasing

    Cons
    Black/small lever isn't as easy to find as big one, but not too bad.
    Lever is an eyesore when run on top, under bar looks like a shifter.
    Weight
    Price (retail)

    Other comments:
    Seen lots of complaints about cable mounted at the top getting in the way, I set mine up so it extends forward towards my bars (cable guides setup very loose) and doesn't interfere with tire, suspension etc, so this doesn't bother me.
    If money didn't factor in, I'd probably look at a KS Lev or maybe a Reverb, but so far good with my decision.
    May or may not end up riding/racing with this thing for the long-haul, so far I'm not of the mind that I couldn't go back to a regular post.

  24. #24
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    sorry to bum this again. The gravity dropper classic seems to have better cable routing (ie vertical down, not sticking out). The mechanism perhaps looks more fiddly (?). Weighs ~50g more than the Turbo.
    I'm thinking the small weight penalty might be worth it for the better cable routing... Any else major wrong with the Classic?


    Edit: think I answered my own question. Have to tap the seat for it to come up on the classic (don't need to do this on the turbo).
    Last edited by jamesp; 03-26-2013 at 10:34 AM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesp View Post
    sorry to bum this again. The gravity dropper classic seems to have better cable routing (ie vertical down, not sticking out). The mechanism perhaps looks more fiddly (?). Weighs ~50g more than the Turbo.
    I'm thinking the small weight penalty might be worth it for the better cable routing... Any else major wrong with the Classic?


    Edit: think I answered my own question. Have to tap the seat for it to come up on the classic (don't need to do this on the turbo).
    IIRC, the classic uses magnets to work the mechanism that moves the seat (and yeah, requires an ass bump). The turbo is just a very simple spring loaded metal pin that the cable pulls in and out of holes in the post. It doesn't seem like the ass bump would be that big of a deal.

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