After the complete catastrophe that was the Crankbrothers Kronolog dropper post from a few years ago, the Californian crew had a lot of work to do for us even to consider being within firing range of their dropper posts again. But they did what they had to do, and put a bad design behind them to start from scratch with years of development to create something good again. Enter the Highline Dropper; it's ok, don't be scared.
The not-so-minor details
Crankbrothers Highline Dropper Post
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Ergonomic lever. Easy installation.
160mm drop option.
Single speed is a little slow.
The Highline Dropper entered the competitive market of dropper posts mid-2016, and recently announced a long-drop 160mm version to accompany the 100mm and 125mm posts. It’s a cable actuated unit with a sealed and user-replaceable cartridge controlling the motion via a highly adjustable thumb lever.
We fit one to a bike and spent a few hours trying it out, here are our first impressions.
We watched a Highline Dropper Post go from its packaging to bike and ready to ride in a very short space of time. With the cable end attaching to the post into the actuator mechanism that can be removed by hand, the cable fixes at the lever with an allen key bolt. To make the fitting even quicker, the seat clamp can be opened up to let the saddle install without removing any bolts and juggling nuts.
The lever is elegant, with enormous scope to mount it where you like and move it into position by swivelling on a ball joint with a huge range. It has to be one of the most adjustable and ergonomic levers available, and by dialling in the cable tension, you can further customise the feel of the lever throw.
Up and down, up and down part.
To sum up the operation in words, we’d say it’s smooth and slow. The lever action is light and with no real feedback or noise, the post motions up and down very calmly at the same speed each time.
With the release of a 160mm drop version, the Highline will appeal to riders who want to get the saddle right out of the way, and bikes with low standover height. Though for most applications a 125mm post will be okay.
How is it different to the rest?
Crankbrothers aimed to restore confidence in their dropper posts in a crowded and competitive market, a tough task for sure. The Highline though has many unique features that set it apart from the likes of KS, RockShox, FOX, Bontrager, PRO, etc. Firstly the 160mm drop is a big one; then there’s the user-serviceability option that appeals. With the internal workings of the post housed inside a replaceable hydraulic cartridge, there is no bleeding required, that should make light work of any issues if they did occur.
With the easy saddle installation and cable management, it’s a quick post to fit into a bike, and the thumb lever can be mounted in a wide range of positions.
Options, weight and pricing.
Choose from a 100mm, 125mm and 160mm and expect to pay around $549.95 AUD for one.
Weight are 525g (100mm), 560g (125mm) and 610g (160mm).