In Issue #109 of Singletrack Magazine, we put 10 different height-adjustable seatposts through the grinder as part of our Dropper Post Group Test.
This seastpost is electric! No really, it is.
The VYRON eLECT dropper seatpost from German manufacturer Magura uses ANT+ wireless technology. Unlike other dropper posts, this one does not use any cables or hydraulic hoses. Instead, the operation is all performed by remote control. The push button remote on the handlebar talks wirelessly to a valve in the seatpost. One button press opens the valve and the post can drop anywhere within a 150mm range, press the same button again and the post returns to full height.
Weighing in at a confirmed 623 grams and available in 30.9 and 31.6mm diameters, the VYRON is the easiest dropper in the world to install. Firstly, you’ll need to charge the internal battery via a micro USB port, which takes three hours from full depletion. There’s enough juice to perform a claimed 400 drops, which for me has meant one recharge in a month of riding. If you forget to top up the battery and the charge drops to a low enough level, there’s an emergency 20 drops built into the battery life. These extra drops can be accessed by pressing a button on the head of the seatpost.
In terms of the VYRON’s action, it’s smooth and controlled, but there is slight delay of half a second between pressing the button on the remote to the valve opening. At first this lag was off-putting, as on rough terrain I initially struggled with operation. If the saddle is not pushed down during this half-second window, the valve closes and the post doesn’t drop. This timing quirk is something that you do become familiar with in use though.
While the twin-bolt head makes it easy to fit and adjust your saddle, mounting a saddlebag is made a little awkward because of the bulbous battery pack. The ANT+ remote is a lightweight plastic unit that’s held on with a single rubber O-ring. It works in multiple positions and little effort is required by your thumb to operate it, but it’s a bit flimsy, and it has additional buttons on it to operate an electronic Magura fork and shock if you have them. I don’t, so they’re useless. Personally, I’d like to see a sturdier remote with a single paddle style button.
Update: Longer Term Testing
At the time of publishing, everything had gone swimmingly with our test post from Magura. Shortly after the magazine hit the shelves however, things went downhill.
For a start, I lost the handlebar remote in the woods while out riding one afternoon. The O-ring had popped off, allowing the plastic remote to escape from my clutches without me noticing until it was too late. After informing Magura, we received a new remote that featured an update in the way of a plastic cover that covers the smaller suspension buttons, and basically turns the unit into one big button only to activate the Vyron. This cover is removable should you be using a bike with electronic Magura suspension items that you still want to use the remote for.
With the new remote, I was back on the bike.
As we got deeper into winter however, the post’s performance began to get rather erratic. Sometimes it would work, other times it wouldn’t work at all. We tracked down the source of the issue as being the small rubber cover for the USB port on the head of the seatpost, which is the primary seal between the elements and the electronic gubbins within. On more than one occasion, I’d find this rubber port hanging open mid-ride, and therefore allowing water and dirt to make its way where it should not go. Eventually there must have been enough water ingress that the post stopped working altogether, requiring us to send it back to Magura for evaluation.
We’ve since received a replacement Vyron dropper post, which features a new tighter rubber seal for the main USB port. And so far (touch wood) it’s proved to stay that way.
For the first three months with the Magura Vyron, I was mighty impressed with it. It’s a sturdy, well-made and highly innovative dropper post, and save for the awkward delay between hitting the button and activating the post, the wireless construction affords a pleasingly clean and easy-to-install setup.
However, the plasticky remote with its single O-ring fitting isn’t the most robust design, and it does have a habit of migrating on the bars. Or in my case, coming off the bars altogether. The water ingress was a frustrating issue with our original test post, though this design fault does appear to be addressed with the new post – we’ll keep you posted if we have any updates on that front in the future.
|Tested:||by James Love for 6 months|