In Issue #109 of Singletrack Magazine, we put 10 different height-adjustable seatposts through the grinder as part of our Dropper Post Group Test.
Alongside all of the big names in the world of dropper posts, something new and interesting has arrived: the Brand-X Ascend. Standing out like a sore thumb in terms of price positioning, with the more recognisable brands close to double, we were keen to find out how the budget Brand-X dropper would fare off road.
The Ascend is a cable operated dropper post, available in diameters of 30.9mm and 31.6mm. With a full alloy body, it weighs in at a portly 660 grams (31.6mm w/cable and trigger). Travel is limited to one length of 120mm with an overall post length of 410mm – a slight blow if you’re looking for more travel and your frame can take it.
Designed for internal routing only, the Ascend has no option for an external routing conversion, which could be a hiccup for certain frames. However, setting up the Ascend was incredibly straightforward. Finished in a hard anodised black with minimal graphics, the Ascend is a good-looking post indeed.
The saddle clamp is easy to adjust, and well-designed bolt placement makes life easy when trying to get a 5mm Allen key into position. With plenty of other posts using a range of different trigger designs, positions and mechanisms, the impressive Ascend trigger is well designed and feels utterly sturdy when riding. Sitting under the bar, where a front mech shifter would usually be, the trigger is in the perfect place when out on the trails. For 2x drivetrains, Brand-X will also offer an aftermarket paddle style trigger, which will run along side a front mech shifter to minimise clutter.
When riding, the Ascend drops and rebounds so well it’s a joy to use. There’s even a really satisfying noise when you compress the post, but this may fade after a few muddy rides. The trigger is exactly where you want it and the contact point is large enough to hit, even when you find yourself heading towards a drop quicker than you were expecting.
For the price, I can’t find much fault with the Ascend. It’s smooth in use, has a great trigger, and was surprisingly stress-free to install. For taller riders it would be nice to see a longer travel option, but otherwise the Ascend ticks all the boxes for what you want from a dropper.
|Product:||Ascend Dropper Post|
|Tested:||by Rob Crayons for 6 months|