Crankbrothers offers a range of three full-length dropper posts. The Highline 7 sits in the middle of the range and takes the Highline 3 construction but outfits it with the Highline 11 internals. The result is a no-nonsense dropper post that offers superb reliability. If you’re looking for a fit-and-forget method of moving your seat up and down on demand then the Highline 7 is one of the best dropper post around. Pair it with Crankbrothers’ own adjustable Highline Premium lever for a cockpit ergonomic boost too.
Design and Specifications
The Crankbrothers Highline 7 comes in 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, 170mm (tested), and 200mm lengths. These days we are seeing 200mm plus droppers although the Highline’s range of travel options should cover most riders. The minimum stack height is 47mm (collar and clamp) which means you can get the seat super slammed although only if you have enough seat tube to swallow up the 377mm max insertion depth.
Inside the Highline 7 has the same guts as the more premium Highline 11 post. There's a self-contained IFP hydraulic cartridge that slides on Igus LL-glide bearings with everything protected with Trelleborg seals. Should you need to service your dropper Crankbrothers sells a Refresh Kit ($29.99) and it's a straightforward process. The Highline 7 also has a four-year warranty against manufacturing defects.
There's no adjustment to the saddle extension speed, although it's not something that I missed. There is also no travel adjustment, as featured on PNW’s Rainier G3, which can be useful to riders who are between dropper sizes.
The seatpost head has a slotted rear bolt which makes it much easier to set up your saddle as you simply need to loosen the bolts on the head rather than trying to wiggle the saddle on or completely dismantle the seatpost head.
While Crankbrothers' includes Jagwire cable and housing, the Highline 7 doesn't come with a lever so you will need to source your own. Unsurprisingly Crankbrothers would prefer you to choose their second-generation Highline Premium Remote dropper lever, there is good reason to use their lever too as it’s compact yet highly adjustable. Crankbrothers Highline uses a neat ball and joint design which is secured with a slim hinged 22.2 clamp to the handlebars, it's also available in SRAM MMX and Shimano I-Spec EV mounts if preferred. The lever takes up minimal handlebar space yet offers a huge 360-degree rotation / 22-degree tilt range of adjustment. There's a patterned silicone pad for thumb grip and Crankbrothers sells different color options separately should you want a bit of coordination.
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.
The return speed is quick and when paired with the Crankbrothers Highline lever it is controllable should you want to only go half-mast for a steep climb. The lever action is direct and reasonably light giving a positive action while riding. The lever hasn’t developed any play either.
Fitting was about as straightforward as a cable-actuated dropper can be too, so other than dealing with routing and the like, actually connecting up the dropper to the lever and adjusting cable tension was very simple.
Crankbrothers Highline 7 dropper post is a durable dropper post that ticks all the hassle-free fit and travel lengths most riders are looking for. Although it might not have any adjustment features it has functioned flawlessly throughout my testing. The sliding action is still fast and smooth and hasn't developed any annoying saddle wiggle. The lever is particularly good, offering a huge range of adjustments to position the lever exactly where you need it, durability has been on par with the post itself too.
It's not particularly cheap, especially when paired with Crankbrother's own lever, and there are dropper posts that offer shallower insertion height, more length options, lower weight, and speed and height adjustments. However, if you’re just looking for a tough dropper post that is going to work day in and day out the the Highline 7 is an excellent option.
Tech specs: Crankbrothers Highline 7 dropper post and Highline Premium remote
- Price: Highline 7 - $299.99 / £299.99, Highline lever - $69.99 / £69.99
- Travel: 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, 175mm, and 200mm
- Sizes: 30.9 and 31.6mm
- Weight: 612g (post, lever, and cables)