Now, we have just over a week until the 2021 KAP sani2c, with the Adventure kicking off on Thursday the 13th and the Race on Friday the 14th. Just dodging a Friday 13th!
The weather is looking like it will play ball and if you are not yet prepared for the 3-day stage race, I wish you the best of luck because your time is running slim!
To recap thus far, we have looked at Bike Setup for stage racing, What Is The Ideal Bike for a Stage Race such as the KAP sani2c, and How to Ride Switchbacks. We trust you have given your bike a good once over and have been spending some time on those technical skills! Today we are looking into a rather divisive topic of the mountain biking world, the Dropper Post.
If you’re not familiar with what a dropper post is, it is a telescopic seat post that can be lowered or extended, usually via a remote on the handlebars, that allows you to move the seat out the way for technical riding. They have become very popular in mountain biking over the last decade because of their safety and performance benefits, so why would people not like them?
A few common reasons for not going with the dropper post trend include the weight factor. They certainly add a couple hundred grams to the bike and this is the predicament that many of the best XCO racers in the world face. Those marginal gains can make all the difference at their level of racing, and their only concern is going as fast as possible both up and down, whereas most of us are not going to suffer from such a small weight penalty. The World Cup XCO riders have phenomenal technical skills that most of us could only dream of having and thus allows them to get away with a rigid seatpost on very technical trails, though each year we are seeing more and more riders switching over to droppers on the World Cup scene.
Other concerns about a dropper are that it becomes another thing on your bike to think and worry about as well as maintain. Fortunately, dropper seat posts have come a long way in design and most of them have great longevity. It can feel overwhelming at first, thinking about when and how to use the dropper, but it becomes second nature after a short while and you’ll honestly wonder how you ever rode without one!
So what does a dropper post have to offer you?
The primary purpose of the dropper post is to allow for freedom of movement on the bike. It is certainly easier to get off the back of the bike for steep sections of trail but almost more significant is that it allows you to move over the bike in the corners. This freedom of movement and ability to lower your centre of gravity on the bike is how a dropper post can make for safer riding as well as riding that is generally more fun!
Some added bonuses are the easily adjustable seating positions. On a long flat road or descent, you are able to lower your seat and give your back some relief if you have been uncomfortable. There are also aerodynamic benefits on the road descents! Dropping the seat post down, you are able to get low and fast more safely than sitting on the top tube! We have even seen this tactic used in racing but it can help you stay safe and crush the miles on your marathon ride!
Dropper posts are not absolutely crucial to your mountain bike experience but we can say that they are highly recommended by those who have used them. It is one of those components that can be a real game-changer if you use it properly and you won’t look back from it. With kilometres of beautiful single track on the KAP sani2c as well as some high-speed gravel road descending, we would highly recommend a dropper post. There are some great affordable options out there such as the offering from local brand Lyne Components so you don’t need to burn too big a hole in your wallet!
However you ride, we wish you all the best and happy miles.
See you at the Sani!