Magura first announced the Vyron wireless dropper post in 2015 at Eurobike, and it’s been on the market for a couple of years now. We’d already tested the original, though it had some issues. Since then, Magura has updated the Vyron’s guts to improve reliability, so we sent the replacement post over to our high-mileage, all-weather, pedal-stomping test rider, Olly Townsend, to see if he could break it. Over to Olly!
Reading between the lines a little, the email from Singletrack Towers stated they had a MK2 version of the Magura Vyron electronic seatpost that they’d like me to test, and my mission was to try to kill it. My colleague James had tested one already as part of a dropper post grouptest, and unfortunately the vagaries of Britain’s less than stellar weather meant that after only six months of testing, water had crept into the electronics packed into the head of the seatpost and had comprehensively killed it.
My job therefore, was to try and use and abuse the MK2 version and to thoroughly test whether the engineering whizzes at Magura had managed to out-manoeuvre the weather gods of the north-east of the UK – a place not known for its tropical climate.
Magura Vyron eLECT Dropper Post Features
- Wireless electronic dropper post
- Made in Germany
- Air sprung with hydraulic locking mechanism
- Infinitely adjustable
- Travel options: 100mm, 125mm & 150mm
- Overall length: 396 mm (100mm), 421mm (125mm), & 446 mm (150mm)
- Diameters: 30.9mm & 31.6mm
- Twin-bolt saddle clamp
- Micro USB charging port
- Actual Weight: 604g (compared to Magura’s claimed weight of 595g)
- RRP: €449
First and foremost, this is literally the world’s easiest dropper post to install. The post slides straight into your frame, and the remote straps onto the bars via a simple rubber O-ring. After pairing the two units, you’ve got a dropper post that’s ready to ride. No faffing with cables. No tiny pinch-bolts. No bleeding remotes. And no more grumbling if you need to swap it over to a different bike the night before a riding holiday.
The Vyron is designed to offer stepless adjustment over 150mm of travel (125mm and 100mm travel options are also available from Magura), though compared to a mechanical or hydraulically-activated dropper, it does have some quirks that you’ll want to be aware of. In use, I found it pretty straightforward – press and release the button, wait a moment for the valve to open, push your weight on the saddle until you get to the height you want, then hold it there until the valve closes. It is a little different to a traditional dropper post though, where the post only locks in place once you’ve released the lever.
In practice, I tended to either run the saddle at full height or totally dropped, so the in-between adjustment is a little wasted on me. I ran the dropper with 200psi/14 bar inside the air spring, and this gave the goldilocks return rate – not so fast as to do yourself a mischief, but quick enough for you not to need to worry about it.
The first version of the Vyron attracted a few grumbles for the time lag between hitting the button and the motor actuation kicking in. Magura’s official claim is 0.3 seconds from pressing and releasing the switch to the valve opening. It’s a bit like a slightly sticky gear cable on a derailleur – you press the shifter and then there’s a tiny, but nonetheless perceptible delay before the mech shifts, and it’s just the same here. It is pretty noticeable when you first use the Vyron, but after the initial few rides, to be honest I didn’t have a problem with this. Every time I could actually get to the button it worked perfectly and my brain soon got used to the lag.
And herein lies my main criticism of the Vyron dropper post – the handlebar remote.
The MK2 remote does come with an updated sleeve that simplifies the three buttons down to just one. However, the shape and fit of the unit are unfortunately still pretty disastrous. The remote looks like something from the 1980s and sits on top of your bars, too far away from the grip to be reached without removing your thumb from under the bar and reaching across to it – not always easy to do when you’re about to ride off the edge of the world. Even rotated 90° backwards to face towards you, the button is still in a really awkward position for your thumb to hit reliably. I’d much prefer to see some sort of under-the-bar remote (such as the Wolf Tooth Components ReMote or the Cane Creek Dropt lever), and given the simplicity of the electronic switch, surely wouldn’t be that difficult for Magura to do.
If I was being really pedantic, the shape of the head of the post (where the electronic gubbins sit) is also quite bulky and this meant I couldn’t mount my favourite saddle bag. But as I ride with a trail pack most of the time anyway, this wasn’t a deal breaker.
Remote quirks aside, how has the MK2 version of the Vyron faired in the long run?
When Magura first launched the Vyron seatpost in 2016, the company flew a number of journos out to the stunning scenery and amazing singletrack of Sedona in Arizona to test it. Unfortunately, although equipped with fantastic riding, beautiful views and an enviable amount of sunshine (the average number of days per year with “any measurable precipitation” is 37), Sedona was sorely lacking in mud, constant drizzle and the need the spend an hour washing your bike after every ride. Unlike Newcastle upon Tyne (our average number of rainy days per year is 107). So, when Singletrack decided to test the weatherproofing capabilities of the MK2 Vyron seatpost, they ignored Sedona and focused on Newcastle instead.
Over the course of the winter my job was to use (and abuse) the Vyron as often as I could. I have a reputation amongst my friends of always keeping my bikes in immaculate condition. There is zero chance of me turning up for a ride with a dirty bike – I’ve been known to stand outside in the freezing cold at 11pm washing my bike after a night ride, just so that it gets put away clean. When testing the Vyron, I therefore had to metaphorically bite my lip and thoroughly abuse the seatpost, rather than cosseting it. I put the bike away wet and dirty. I deliberately jet washed it and stood too close to see what effect high pressure water would have. As well as the diabolical cleaning regime, I left it switched on, I didn’t take any notice of normal battery care protocols (I left the bike in my van on one of the coldest nights of the year for example) and I didn’t bother to charge it.
Nothing. Constant, guaranteed, you could say Germanic, reliability. It just worked. In the whole time that I’ve owned it, the only thing I’ve done to it is to unpack it from the box, add some air, charge it up and then fit it to the bike. Ever since then it’s just worked. Perfectly. The only maintenance I carried out was an occasional wipe of the upper post with a clean rag and a very infrequent battery charge.
Dropper posts often have a somewhat shonky record for reliability – seals blow, they develop lateral play, the release mechanism packs up or they just fill up with dirt and grind to a halt. Somehow none of these things have happened to the Vyron. After nearly four months of filthy riding, there’s a tiny amount of rotational play in the post, but we’re talking a couple of degrees at most and it’s entirely unnoticeable when riding.
After testing this post in some appalling conditions during one of the worst winter’s in recent memory, it’s clear that Magura has nailed the reliability issues. Even doing my absolute worst in terms of abuse and mis-treatment, the Vyron’s reliability has been spot on. On the other hand, the poor ergonomics of the remote switch have meant I’ve not been able to use it as efficiently as I’d like to.
Magura is so very close with the Vyron – if it can get a better remote to market, and speed up the action a touch, the German brand will have a very compelling option.
|Product:||Vyron Dropper Post|
|Tested:||by Olly Townsend for 4 months|