Cheapish, lightish XC dropper suggestions?

I have my first XC race coming up on Sunday, and I know that I would greatly benefit from a dropper for one of the descents.

A dropper would also make my hardtail a little more versatile for mountain biking in general.

Does anyone have any suggestions for an XC dropper?

How much drop should I go for?

Diameter? Internal or external?

There’s quite a few options around.

I just got a PNW Loam which is fantastic. But it depends on your terrain and size etc what drop and post is best.

Uh… confused noises …it’s 30.9 mm? $200 seems like a lot if it doesn’t come with a lever.

Cant go wrong with one of these, have it on my XTC hardtail. Only thing id recommend is using a genuine shimano cable, cos the one supplied is a no name cable.

30.9 gives you a lot of options.

The PNW was one of the more affordable options when I bought mine in November. I bought 170mm and with the air actuation it’s faster than my Fox Transfer 150mm was.

By internal I mean does your bike have a port near the head tube for another cable to come out of? What size bike frame?

Typically 100-150mm is plenty for XC depending on your bike size. For the riding I do and knowing how well the Loam works I would even have gone for the 190mm on mine to make it easier to pack in my bike bag. As it is 170mm and fast return is perfect on my XL bike.


It’s a large Specialized Chisel, so it is dropper ready. So, internal it is.

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You’re racing on Sunday? Are you familiar with riding with a dropper post? If not, stick with your setup as it is for this race, do some more research, get what you think is best for you & your budget, allow twice as long as you think for install & go ride to learn how to use it.


Yeah, it took me a while to get used to using a dropper. I don’t think it will help you to just throw one on last minute if you’ve never used one before. I’d just focus on the race for now. After the race you can get an appropriate dropper once you’ve researched options.


I see “experienced” riders completely worthless at using their droppers in a race, let alone just getting one at the last minute.

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“Nothing new on race day”


Fox Transfer SL - Performance Series Elite. But if $200 seems like a lot… I prefer the Transfer RL which is hydraulic and gives you infinite different seat heights within a given travel. You should run as much drop as your frame allows.

I’d go against the grain here and say there’s no reason not to use a dropper before your first race, but just make sure you have time to set it up properly and get at least one shake down ride on it. There’s no reason what-so-ever to not run a dropper even if it’s a new thing for you. They’re all very intuitive and will instantly improve your riding, and they’re not just for descents.

Now if you’re throwing it on at the very last minute, I’d also advise against that, but if you have enough time just get a dropper you can afford and send it.

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Yeah, I think the biggest risk is seat height/angle, and actually cable setup issues. Given the proximity to the race it’s likely you’d only be able to get it in-store, so hopefully those issues would be mitigated by them installing it.

If the priority is cheapness then lightness in that order, this might not be such an issue, but I would want to do more than a days research as there’s heaps out there and most of the main players are more than a PNW Loam (whatever that costs in USD).


$200 would be black fine if it comes as a complete kit.

Is your “XC” dropper really for a road bike? :rofl:


I’d suggest being willing to spend a bit more than $200. Good luck!


I agree with this wholeheartedly. I’ve used Fox, PNW, TransX, Pro (Shimano) & Bikeyoke Revive. The Bikeyoke Revive is head & shoulders above all of the others but it costs far more than $200. The revive feature is great if you need it & the action, especially return, is fantastic. I love the “thwack” it makes when it returns to fully extended. Running one on my Orbea Oiz, Vassago Mooseknuckle & Trek Farley. My Turner Cyclosys gravel bike has the Pro (Shimano) & that thing disappointingly slow to return to full mast, wish I could add air pressure to it.

I also love my Bikeyoke (I’ve got the Divine). I’ve run KS posts on previous bikes, and they were fine for me (I know lots of people have had issues with KS posts), but the Bikeyoke just feels better. It’s definitely more than $200 all in, but most droppers other than the truly basic ones (which likely won’t be very light compared to other droppers) are probably going to be more than that for post and lever. I was able to sell my old externally routed KS Dropzone off my now-trainer bike for $50 a year or so ago with minimal effort (and that was for a well used but in good shape post), so buying new and trying to get a somewhat light post (the Dropzone was definitely not light), it’s probably going to cost more than $200. If OP is really set on trying to pay less, I’d look on the used market for a post that someone is selling so they can get a different length dropper, and they may have better luck that way. I’ve seen decent posts (e.g. Fox Transfer) going for around $200 with lever included on some of the buy/sell pages around here.


The course ended up being so muddy that I was more limited by the lack of grip and the ruts than my seatpost being in the way.

My lower back hurt so much by the end of three hours that I wonder if it wasn’t actually my kidneys…