mikey74 - Member
I know people will point out that very skilled xc riders ride with their saddle up. However, their descending technique is actually terrible, in general. They make do, because they have to.
Pretty sure most (if not all) pro level XC riders are much better descenders on their XC bikes than your average weekend warrior on a DH bike. Guys like Fontana, Kulahvy and so on ride MX and Enduro for fun/cross-training and they are certainly not slow on the downs.
The courses you see them on have been nicely flattened out by the camera, like when you see the TdeF coverage and go "they're not going that fast are they?". Why not try riding an Olympic XC course and see how you manage the downhills on your full sus bike? Then try it on a hardtail, with 2 inch tyres, 620mm bars and the saddle all the way up and see how much simpler it is.
I don't think dropper posts are skills compensators. Like someone else said, it's a way to ensure your post is at the optimal height all the time. I'd get one if I could afford it and the maintenance wouldn't put me off. Pro XC riders are probably not the target market, though Brian Lopes did run one when he was doing the XC Eliminator series despite the weight penalty.