Best dropper posts 2023 – drop your saddle and descend with confidence

It’s hard to believe that just 10 years ago most riders were still riding without the best dropper posts, and even then they were reserved only for the enduro bikes. In today's world, dropper seatposts are an essential on any mountain bike specification list as they let you instantly lower your MTB saddle for maximum confidence and control when tackling demanding terrain. Once you ride with a dropper you're never going back to a conventional seatpost.

Droppers have advanced considerably since their release and nowadays we’re seeing drops of 210mm, seamless wireless electronic actuation, adjustable travel, and bulletproof longevity, but which post is truly the best? Bike Perfect has been testing the best models and compiled a guide with all the necessary information. 

In our testing, the best two we found were the PNW Rainer G3 (and Loam lever) which was impossible to fault for fit and performance, while the Brand-X Ascend XL was best value – you can't get your seat dropped on the go for less!

If you’re an XC or gravel rider looking to reap the benefits of a dropper, check out our guide to the best short-travel dropper posts

Best dropper posts

Why trust BikePerfect Our cycling experts have decades of testing experience. We'll always share our unbiased opinions on bikes and gear. Find out more about how we test.

1. Best dropper overall

PNW Rainier G3 dropper post and Loam lever

The PNW Rainier G3 and Loam lever is one of the best dropper post setups we have used (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
Best dropper overall

Specifications

Travel: 125mm, 150mm, 170mm, 200mm
Diameter: 27.2mm, 30.9mm, 31.6mm, 34.9mm
Weight: 453g

Reasons to buy

+
Impressively smooth action
+
Light
+
Long-stroke for 27.2mm
+
Short overall length
+
Cunning lever design

Reasons to avoid

-
Reversed lever looks odd at first
-
Direct buy limits purchasing options

PNW sets out to answer all the glitches of one of the most vital yet potentially problematic components of modern mountain biking. It has not only nailed length, frame, and saddle fit but also easy installation issues with the Rainier. 

The Rainer Gen 3 can be used for any off-road bike in your stable since it's available in a range of stroke options as well as diameters so everyone from mountain bikers to gravel riders will be happy. There's even a lifetime warranty.

While testing, we found that the Rainier Gen 3 is almost impossible to fault from price to weight and performance, stating PNW has "not only nailed length, frame, and saddle fit and easy installation issues with the Rainier G3 but added unique, blissfully simple stroke adjustment, luxury lever feel for immaculate control in whatever mount standard you need and color-coded it for extra grip." 

Read more about why we gave this dropper post the perfect score after putting it through the paces in our full PNW Rainier Gen 3 review. 

2. Best for build quality

BikeYoke Revive 2.0 dropper post

Great build quality and reliability mean the Bike Yoke Revive 2.0 is a great buy (Image credit: Paul Burwell)
Best for build quality

Specifications

Travel: 125mm, 160mm, 185mm, 213mm
Diameter: 30.9mm, 31.6mm
Weight: 514g

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent build quality
+
Low stack height
+
Smooth action
+
Built-in revive adjustment
+
Four sizes, two common diameters

Reasons to avoid

-
Remote and clamp cost extra
-
Needs resetting from time to time
-
T-25 tort clamp bots are annoying 
-
Clamp features hinge

The BikeYoke Revive is a hydraulic post activated via a cable and a handlebar-mounted remote lever. Besides its smooth action and outstanding build quality, the Revive’s biggest asset is its super compact clamp and short overall design – with the collar measuring a mere 18mm, it’s one of the shortest we’ve used. 

The Revive gets its name from the self-bleeding adjuster on the head of the post itself. Not only does this make general maintenance a total cinch it also means BikeYoke has been able to do away with an IFP which results in much smoother overall action. A downside to the IFP-free design is that oil and air can mix if you turn your bike upside down, but should this happen a simple flick of the revive lever gets things running exactly as they should again – it’s only something we had to do twice during four months of rigorous testing – a small price to pay for a smooth action and blissful reliability. 

While the BikeYoke Trig lever does have to be purchased additionally, thanks to its sealed cartridge bearing operation it's one of the smoothest out there. BikeYoke also offers several lever lengths to suit different riders' individual ergonomics better. 

While we tested the 160mm travel post, the Revive is also available in 125mm, 185mm, and 213mm drops.  It's on the pricier end but we think the performance, low-stack height, and trusty reliability ensure you’re getting your money's worth.

For more info, head over to our full BikeYoke Revive 2.0 review.

3. Best wireless option

Rockshox AXS Reverb dropper post

Rockshox AXS Reverb links into the SRAM AXS family for wireless actuation (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
Best wireless option

Specifications

Travel: 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, 170mm
Diameter: 30.9mm, 31.6mm, 34.9mm
Weight: 676g

Reasons to buy

+
Precise lever feel
+
Simple to setup
+
No cables to route, snap, rub or develop tension issues 
+
There is nothing else quite like it – and it works well 

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavier than a standard Reverb
-
Very expensive 

RockShox’s renowned Reverb post goes electronic as part of SRAM’s revolutionary AXS wireless groupset. You obviously pay a dear premium for this vanguard technology as an early adopter of electronic mountain bike components, but there are some real advantages to be had. 

Wireless operation eliminates the need for cable routing and cutting. You don’t risk any cable tensioning issues over time either, which could influence this dropper’s actuation. Simply keep the battery charged and, as we found on testing, you'll have 40 hours’ worth of flawlessly reliable dropper-post operation guaranteed. 

Guy praised the convenience of the wireless system in his review, saying "the ease of installation and the way it cleans up your bars will be enough for some, but it also works better in some ways too. The latest Reverb is a lot smoother and easier moving anyway, but the AXS version is next level in terms of accurate trimming of ride height."

Read more about the post and its performance in our full RockShox Reverb AXS review.  

4. Best for reliability

Crankbrothers Highline 7 dropper post

Crankbrothers Highline 7 has proven to be a fit and forget dependable dropper post (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)
Best for reliability

Specifications

Travel: 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, 175mm, 200mm
Diameter: 30.9 and 31.6mm
Weight: 612g (post, lever, and cables)

Reasons to buy

+
Reliable performance
+
Robust construction
+
Secure easy-to-use saddle clamp
+
Smooth action
+
Wide range of stroke options

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't include lever
-
Heavy
-
Expensive considering the lack of features

Crankbrothers' range of dropper posts have built a name for themselves by being super reliable. The Highline comes in three spec levels, as well as a slim diameter option for gravel bikes and older XC bikes. The Highline 7 sits in the middle of the range and uses a self-contained IFP hydraulic cartridge that slides on Igus LL-glide bearings. The insides are weatherproofed using Trelleborg seals to keep things running smoothly. The seat clamp is slotted so fitting a saddle is simple too. The dropper doesn't come with a lever, however, Crankbrothers' own Highline Premium Remote dropper lever is well worth considering.

Graham has been running a Highline 7 dropper on his long-term test bike for the last three months of riding and in his review remarked that "performance-wise, the Highline 7 dropper post does everything required from a dropper post and, more importantly, has continued to perform after more than 600km of riding in all weather conditions. The post still smoothly slides up and down and only a very minimal amount of side-to-side wobble has developed. " 

Read more about why in our full Crankbrothers Highline 7 review.

5. Best for weight

Fox Transfer SL Performance Elite dropper post

The Fox Transfer SL Performance Elite is one of the lightest dropper posts available (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
Best for weight

Specifications

Travel: 50mm, 75mm, 100mm
Diameter: 27.2mm, 30.9mm, 31.6mm
Weight: 350g

Reasons to buy

+
Seriously lightweight
+
XC/Gravel sizes and strokes
+
Clear communication 
+
Proper trigger
+
Secure, wide-angle seat clamp
+
Rapid action
+
Totally reliable so far 

Reasons to avoid

-
No intermediate pedal position
-
Go standard Transfer for more radness

Thanks to its mechanically sprung, two-position system, the SL Performance Elite version of Fox’s Transfer post is 35 percent lighter than the range-topping model – also incorporating a new weight-reducing seat clamp and 27.2mm seat tube options.

Fox has dropped the hydraulically controlled air spring in favor of a coil spring, mechanically locked with a ball-bearing clutch making the simpler setup far lighter than before. 

The actual drop distance is reduced to 50-100mm of stroke, depending on size, so it’s short for trail and super-short for the best enduro bikes, but enough for most XC rippers, gravel riders, or small riders who normally have no hope of fitting a dropper.

Although the post seems limited in length and mid-stroke positions, in his review Guy remarks it's "a properly focused XC/gravel post with a real weight advantage and clearly communicated binary action. An intermediate position would have been the icing on the cake, but it’s got all the sizing and stroke options most of the target users will want." 

Choose the standard Transfer if you want longer drops or more subtle action. Read more about the post and its performance in our full Fox Transfer SL Performance Elite review.  

6. Best value

Brand-X Ascend XL dropper post

The Brand-X Ascend XL is a reliable dropper on a budget (Image credit: Brand-X)

Brand-X Ascend XL

Best value

Specifications

Travel: 170mm, 200mm
Diameter: 30.9mm, 31.6mm
Weight: 595g

Reasons to buy

+
You can’t reliably get your seat dropped-on-the-go for less 
+
Simple design allows for DIY servicing 

Reasons to avoid

-
Cheap, yes, but light? No 
-
Remote is not the last word in ergonomic design or robust assembly standards 

If you prioritize value over a slick appearance, Brand-X’s Ascend XL is unbeatable. With an ample 170mm or 200mm of stroke, we found this is a reliable dropper with specifications ideally suited to trail or enduro riders mindful of budget. There is also a non-XL model with 100mm, 125mm, and 150mm options.

Its price tag represents fantastic value, equating to what more sophisticated droppers often cost to service when abused. It's decently reliable too and we have a few on the go and haven't had any problems other than a bit of saddle wiggle. The Ascend XL’s weight is not outrageously heavy either although there are certainly lighter more expensive options. If you have some mechanical skill, there's also the option to DIY maintain this dropper, further reducing the cost of ownership over time.

7. Best hydraulic option

Rockshox Reverb Stealth B1 dropper post

Rockshox's Reverb was the first dropper post on the market (Image credit: Rockshox)

RockShox Reverb Stealth

Best hydraulic option

Specifications

Travel: 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, 175mm, 200mm
Diameter: 30.9mm, 31.6mm, 34.9mm
Weight: 695g

Reasons to buy

+
A completely hydraulic system means it is untroubled by the bends required for internal routing 
+
The original OEM dropper, which has matured into a proven design  

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be sticky in very cold conditions 
-
Not light  

RockShox's Reverb remains the dropper post you are still most likely to encounter. The current line-up offers a good spread of stroke lengths and seatpost diameters, along with a much-improved remote design. 

The Reverb has developed an undeserved reputation for poor reliability, simply by the virtue that there are more of them out there than any other dropper – and that will return a proportionally higher volume of individual unit mechanical issues. If regularly serviced, they run very well. 

We found that the Reverb was potentially problematic in very cold weather, due to the hydraulic-actuation system – but we are referring to temperatures that would probably also preclude you from considering any high-speed technical descends.

8. Best budget wireless dropper

Magura Vyron MDS-V3 dropper post

Magura removes cables and regular battery recharges with its Vyron MDS-V3 dropper (Image credit: Magura )

Magura Vyron MDS-V3

Best budget wireless dropper

Specifications

Travel: 100 mm, 125 mm, 150 mm, 175 mm
Diameter: 30.9 mm, 31.6 mm
Weight: 700 g (seatpost) / 40 g (remote) w/o batteries

Reasons to buy

+
Very simple setup
+
No cable clutter
+
Very easy to switch between bikes
+
Further wireless control if running Magura eLECT suspension units

Reasons to avoid

-
Wireless tech is still expensive
-
Unconventional dropper technique

Magura was the first company to launch a wireless dropper post in 2016 and has since updated the Vyron dropper, giving it a quicker response time and return.

As with any wireless setup, installation is a simple affair, there are no cables to route or systems to bleed, just fit the post and remote. The remote communicates via Bluetooth to activate the motor in the dropper post to open the hydraulic system. 

The dropper technique is unconventional as we found while riding that you must hold the post in the dropped position until the hydraulic circuit closes, which takes about 0.5 seconds.

The posts travel is easily adjustable, switching from either 175mm to 150mm or 125mm to 100mm by swapping out the immersion tube bottom.

The latest version of the post opts for replaceable batteries in the remote and post – the remote takes a CR2032 battery and the post uses CR2. The switch to batteries allows for better weather sealing and the Vyron MDS-V3 has an IP-67 rating. On a full charge, Magura states that you should expect a year's worth of use before the battery in the post runs out, although this depends on how much you ride.

9. Best for Kashima coating bling

Fox Transfer Factory dropper post

A perfect match if you're also running Fox suspension (Image credit: Fox Racing)

Fox Transfer Factory

Best for Kashima coating bling

Specifications

Travel: 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, 175mm, 200mm
Diameter: 30.9mm, 31.6mm
Weight: 604g

Reasons to buy

+
Copper-gold appearance is unlike anything else and will appeal to the fashion-conscious 
+
Kashima coating isn’t mere marketing bling – it does smooth the post’s operation 
+
Lighter than predecessor

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive and not DIY serviceable 

If you like some Kashima-coated bling atop your trail or enduro bike frame, Fox’s Transfer Factory dropper is the solution. It features an ergonomically pleasing remote and smooth actuation, but no matter how good this dropper looks, it remains very expensive – and the cost of ownership can't be offset by DIY servicing as you’ll need to have it tended to by an official Fox service center. 

We found that available stroke lengths are satisfactory but there are only two-seat diameter options – an area where its direct rival from RockShox, the Reverb, is superior offering a 34.9mm option. If you have the money and simply must match your Fox X2 shock or Factory 36 fork with a gleaming Kashima-coated dropper, this is the only choice. 

For riders looking for a lighter Fox dropper with less travel, we'd recommend that the Fox Transfer SL is the dropper for you. 

10. Best 27.2mm option

KS LEV dropper post

The KS LEV's 27.2mm version is a great option if you have a steel hardtail or ultralight carbon bike (Image credit: KS Suspension)

KS LEV

Best 27.2mm option

Specifications

Travel: 65mm, 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, 175mm
Diameter: 27.2mm, 30.9mm, 31.6mm
Weight: From 400g

Reasons to buy

+
Advanced design allows for buttery smooth operation 
+
One of the very few options available for 27.2mm seat post frame owners 

Reasons to avoid

-
The upgraded remote is desirable albeit  pricey 

The KS Lev has a great remote design and we found while riding that actuation was very smooth thanks to its roller-clutch bearing design. These posts are reasonably light, too. But the feature that makes the KS Lev range most notable is a narrow seatpost option. 

If you're running a steel hardtail or ultralight carbon bike with a 27.2mm seatpost, your options for a dropper are severely limited. KS has endured by offering the Lev in a 27.2mm seatpost diameter, catering to a dedicated group of riders who value the feel of a steel hardtail frame and enjoy technical descending. 

Not only does KS offer a narrower diameter post, but they also provide a huge range of travel options from as little as 65mm, all the way up to 175mm. 

What you need to know about the best dropper posts

What is a dropper post?

Dropper posts have become an essential component of almost all modern mountain bikes. They allow a rider to move their seat from a high climbing position to a low descending position using a lever on the handlebars. 

There are different types of dropper posts, most use a cable to actuate the dropper although you also get hydraulic, electronic, and even air dropper posts as well. They all essentially do the same thing though, press the lever or button on the handlebars and the saddle raises. When you want the saddle to go down again, press the same lever or button and sit on the seat to push it back down.

Being able to quickly and easily move your saddle down makes descending considerably easier as you can move your weight around the bike better without a saddle in the way.

What do I need to measure to ensure I get the right dropper?

When measuring up your bike for a dropper post there are a few key things that need to be taken into consideration. First off is to determine which diameter post your frame requires – most modern frames are likely to be either 30.9mm or 31.6mm, while older frames, especially those manufactured from steel could be 27.2mm. To ensure you're getting the correct one simply check your old seatpost to see if the sizing is stamped on the shaft. Alternatively, measure the internal width of your seat tube with a set of vernier calipers.

When selecting the amount of travel, you want to try to work out what the largest amount of drop both the frame and yourself would accept. A good starting point would be to measure your current saddle height, find out the insertion depth of your frame's seat tube and check out the stack stats published in our guide. 

How much dropper post travel is best?

When RockShox launched the Reverb, 125mm was considered a lot of dropper post stroke. These days, that number is classified as a short-travel option. With the best dropper posts ranging from short 80mm and upwards of 200mm and beyond, some options can now get you into a lower and more stable position than ever before. 

Can I put a dropper post on any bike?

It must be noted that there are constraints. Not all frames are designed to accommodate the latest generation of ultra-long droppers. Mountain bike designers have become cognisant of the grown-in dropper post length and the demand for them among riders, but older frames could limit your insertion depth and ultimately cap the ability of dropper post travel you can use.  

Dropper post length and insertion depths is not the only consideration when choosing the best dropper post for your bike, seat tube diameter and potential cable routing must also be considered to assure fitting compatibility.

How do I maintain my dropper post?

Dropper posts carry a lot of rider weight and transfer a great deal of leveraged force onto their bushings when you are seated, pedaling along, and gently rocking those quads through your natural cadence. This is the primary reason that droppers develop dreaded fore-and-aft play and suffer return speed and actuation issues over time. 

As droppers have increased in length, they have also become susceptible to bushing wear. Heavier riders, or those who ride with their seat at a peculiar angle, apply leveraged force to the post while pedaling in the seated position. The best droppers are those that possess the tightest possible manufacturing tolerances, which mitigate against the issues mentioned above, potentially causing premature component wear. 

It is crucial to be reminded that the dropper post should be preserved with the same care and servicing discipline as your fork or shock. Keep them clean and don’t power-hose them after a muddy ride – it will only embed granular contaminants into the seals and bushings.

Meet the testers

Guy Kesteven
Guy Kesteven

Guy's been testing and writing about mountain bikes ever since they first landed in the UK. Guy has been testing dropper posts since they first became a thing, so knows exactly what works and what doesn't.

Paul Burwell bio
Paul Burwell

It feels like Paul has been testing bikes and products since the stone age, before suspension, disc brakes, dropper posts, and even the internet. He raced elite-level XC back in the 1990s but now spends most of his time roosting trails instead. 

Graham Cottingham headshot
Graham Cottingham

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro, and gravel racing. He once boldly declared if he could only have one, he would choose a dropper post over suspension.

Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. Based in Edinburgh he has some of the best mountain biking and gravel riding in the UK right on his doorstep. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro, and gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotland's wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes, or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect.


Rides: Cotic SolarisMax, Stooge MK4, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg

With contributions from