The Awkwardness of no Dropper.

luliski

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I'll have to force myself to ride trails where I can use it. I mean I do ride trails where I've had to get back and low, but the idea of not "getting back," is new to me. With a dropper post, I'll be able to experiment with that more.
 
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Josh Matta

Josh Matta

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yeah with out knowing where you ride its hard to know. but Honestly i think a great way to think about riding is the default position is low and you only raise it when you want to pedal. I will literally use mine on the flattest of single tracks just to pump corners...

I would also suggest finding if there is local pump track and learning to ride the pump track will make you more aware of when those moves are needed on trail. Riding a pump track with out pedaling IMO is barrier to be considered an intermediate rider the journery towards no pedaling pump track will teach you tons about body position, flex extentsion, bike fit and timing.
 

Wilhelmson

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I just keep my seat low and deal with it uphill. If I lived in the mountains I would get a drop.
 
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Josh Matta

Josh Matta

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good for you man. IMO droppers are better in more rolling terrain than on long descent.....like say in the mountains. If your going to climb up for an hour to descend for 20 minute is not really that hard to use a QR. but hey that little uphill on your DH, you now have full roadie height seat post...

but honestly dropper is less of a compromise for me. I could never keep my seat low enough for seated climbing and have it low enough to for safe fast DH. The thing is once you start using the ROM that dropper gives you it feels down right dangerous to go back. I would contend "it feels awkward crowd" or "the used to have one and dont anymore" person never really learned to use the ROM that a dropper gives them and that is entirely ok, but can you really argue more ROM is not worth it?
 

Primoz

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but the idea of not "getting back," is new to me.
Its for some of top xc racers too... dropper or no dropper. Video I posted earlier is for Schurter with no dropper, Kate Courtney just posted slomo video where you can nicely see how far back she goes on drop... with dropper
 
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Josh Matta

Josh Matta

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ummm did you see how much she preabosorbed prior to that rock?
 

EricG

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I just keep my seat low and deal with it uphill. If I lived in the mountains I would get a drop.
How does that feel on your knee's? I know mine would be crying never being able to get fulled extended and the LA flushed from them.
 

luliski

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yeah with out knowing where you ride its hard to know. but Honestly i think a great way to think about riding is the default position is low and you only raise it when you want to pedal. I will literally use mine on the flattest of single tracks just to pump corners...

I would also suggest finding if there is local pump track and learning to ride the pump track will make you more aware of when those moves are needed on trail. Riding a pump track with out pedaling IMO is barrier to be considered an intermediate rider the journery towards no pedaling pump track will teach you tons about body position, flex extentsion, bike fit and timing.
I ride in California, so lots of climbing and descending. Here are a couple of my rides:
https://www.strava.com/activities/2625489413
https://www.strava.com/activities/1878142613
One is a pretty easy area in Tahoe, but there is a steady ascent and then descent in there. Some of it is rolling. The thing that makes the trail more difficult (for me) is the looseness, not the steepness or rockiness. There were small sections where I could probably have used the dropper, but when I rode there with the demo bike (with a dropper) it was my first time on that trail and I didn't want to introduce another variable.

The ride at Annadel has more technically difficult sections. I hope to ride there this weekend (with my new bike), so I'll get a chance to try the dropper. It sounds like it would be good to use on flowy sections too, not just steep descents.

Re the pump track: my town is supposedly building one as soon as a builder is approved (could take forever here). I'm excited to try it, but I might have to go somewhere else if I want to try it soon.

Your mention of the pump track to teach about bike fit is interesting since I just bought a new bike. I demoed the same bike last fall, but I only demoed one size, and that's the size I ordered. It felt fine when I rode it, but I had nothing to compare it to other than my Hawk Hill (also a size small). Because of a conversation I had recently at another bike shop, I'm worried that I should have tried the next size up. Is the pump track better with a smaller or bigger bike?
 

luliski

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Its for some of top xc racers too... dropper or no dropper. Video I posted earlier is for Schurter with no dropper, Kate Courtney just posted slomo video where you can nicely see how far back she goes on drop... with dropper
She almost sits on her back wheel! Cool video
 

Rod9301

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ummm did you see how much she preabosorbed prior to that rock?
That's a focus for me this month.
Get the chest to the handlebars right before a big drop, then push the bike down while dropping.

Result is much smoother landing, since the com doesn't have to drop as far
 

Erik Timmerman

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One thing we've learned from Ski School MA is you can always find a moment that's going to prove your point even if it's wrong. Here's Gee Atherton behind the saddle (no dropper btw)

Those moments are matched by these where the arms are bent and the chest is right over the bars.

The point is to be able to move, and clearly a dropper allows more movement than a seat jacked up to XC pedaling height.
 

Tom K.

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What??? Does not compute. :huh: <---- I'd like to use an exploding brain emoji there if there was one.
People say the same w/r/t my INTENSE dislike of much tail rocker in a ski.

I've got to learn to stay out of both discussions on the interweb.

Hard to find a more evangelical topic than droppers.
 
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Josh Matta

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I think there is much more subjectiveness like about tail rocker.

My only question is why do you like less Range of motion when you ride? And objectively is less range of motion better?
 

Primoz

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My only question is why do you like less Range of motion when you ride? And objectively is less range of motion better?
I admit I have very limited knowledge of top level mountain bike racing, but I would assume these guys and girls do at least some testing, and if mtb racing would be at least half so serious as ski racing is, this "at least some" means actually whole bunch of it. Therefore I would assume that some top xc racer, like Catharine Pendrel (rider you are questioning her decision not to run dropper) with Olympic medal, 2 World Champion titles and overall World cup win, just to name few, knows better then anyone of us hobby riders (regardless on how many local KOMs with 5 people ever rode that section we own on Strava), why she's not running dropper and why there's no need for "extended range of motion". Now either droppers are not all that mighty thing, or noone in top XC mtb racing knows a shit about riding, considering noone is using them (particularly on men side). Considering I don't know much about top level mtb racing, I'm open to both options, but realistically, I don't think second one is very valid.
PS: Yes I know, xc world cup racing is different then every day's recreational riding, but that's exactly what I say, when everyone are so pro 1x, just because all racers ride it :)
 
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Josh Matta

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I think tradition and Ego come down to it more than actual testing.....
 

4ster

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I am not a racer but I ride my bike a lot. To me the dropper post along with slack geometry & long travel is a game changer. It has allowed an old guy like me to ride technical sections, rocks, drops, fly down flowy sections & jump like I would’ve never thought possible even 10 years ago.
5AED1379-3803-4CBC-9C75-D655F636BEBD.jpeg


I am with @Josh Matta in that I use the dropper continuously just like shifting gears. For instance it may drop as I enter a turn and rise again as I pedal out of the apex.

A few years ago I was riding with an old friend who is a lifelong racer both Road and MTB. The whole way up he was in my ear about how he nor any of his high level racer friends use a dropper and that it was a waste of weight, blah blah blah... although I am quite a bit older than him, once we turn it around for the long downhill I proceeded to ride over stuff that he went around and basically left his ass in the dust. He returned earlier this summer for a visit and GuessWhat? He had a dropper...
62A8C2C2-496B-4081-885C-1659122D8464.jpeg
 

Primoz

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Uff if that would be true, everyone would still be on 26, bar ends, v-brakes and 300g tires with tubes :D Just last week Jose Hermida was one of commentators on Red Bull TV for WCH in MSA and he said when he was World Champ some 10 years ago, his bike was 7.8kg. Now top bikes around around 10kg. But tires are ot 1.7-1.9x26 but 2.25x29, there run FS and disks are standard thing.
While I agree big part of what is "current best of the best" I markering rather real tests and speed differences (for example only real scientific tests that I'm aware of, proved 29 is 2.4% faster then 26,which means there's simply no way anyone, including top racers would feel difference riding one or another, except on end of race checking times, yet everyone and their dog are at least 5 times faster once they get to 29 :), I still believe relatively big part still depends on testing. Maybe droppers are not, but considering they were running them in past already for few months, including top men, and now noone is running them, I somehow doubt it's ego and tradition and not limited usability and benefits.
 

martyg

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I think tradition and Ego come down to it more than actual testing.....
Work with a factory team and / or their coaches and product developers. Athletes usually have the freedom to chose the equipment that they want for a particular event, but it is after a lot of course walk throughs, riding, and consulting with team trainers and mechanics.

Every course / situation is different, which is why you might not see consistency from one event to the next as far as HT / FS, tire selection, dropper / fixes, etc.

For the vast majority of riders, and the caveat being that they have had some coaching and understand where they should be positioned on their bikes, a dropper would probably make them more efficient. Of course, if you are out cruising with friends, efficiencies may not be the chrysalis that you are chasing.
 
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Josh Matta

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I also wonder if some of it that many of these riders have sponsors with dropper post, and those dropper post are not always the best for the rider or most reliable.
 

martyg

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I also wonder if some of it that many of these riders have sponsors with dropper post, and those dropper post are not always the best for the rider or most reliable.
In most cases.... negative. They have bike sponsors who really pay the bills. In the case of Specialized, for example, they were equipping Epics for the factory team with dropper posts when they where not offered on their inline offering. They were also putting 120mm forks on Epics, which is one of the reasons for the Epic EVO. In some cases, that extra 10mm made a racer faster.

All have a secondary relationship with SRAM, FOX and / or Shimano, but no one is going to push a product on a racers when it may compromise a race, or the athlete's confidence in their equipment to deliver during a race.

The amount of analytics and objective measures that are employed are really cool - speaking as a data driven person.
 

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