- Dropper for £50 – too good to be true?
Yes, a thousand times yes. This is just a little review / cautionary tale proving the mantra of “buy cheap buy twice” etc.
There have been cheap dropper round for a few years with varying stories as to how good they are. I already have a Reverb on my full sus and thought I’d quite like one on my hardtail. The hardtail has a 27.2 post so not a massive amount of choice. I was sucked in by the promise of up-and-downy goodness for a fraction of the cost of something with a proven track record, sound design and warranty support. So I plumped for one of these 2014 Tmars things on ebay:
It turned up and looked pretty nicely made and with a quality finish. The red anodising even matched the bike and all was good. I fitted it and gave it a bash for a short local ride and it worked OK. Not as slick as the Reverb but useable and it did what I wanted.
Second ride out was round the Glentress black. The post got a bit stiff after the climb and then seized about half way round. So that’s ~ 4hrs riding to break it. To get it to drop it needed a lot of persuasion. To get it to return I had to get off the bike and shake it up and down holding the saddle.
I took it apart at home (takes less than 5 minutes. This is a useful design feature.) It was well greased but presumably with the crusty grease that forms round the edge of an old chip pan. It was really sticky and horrible inside and the friction from the rotten grease was stopping it from sliding. I degreased it and used some lighter lube and it worked again.
Third ride out it worked OK and then seized again, progressively getting stiffer and stiffer. I did another four decent rides on it as I was away in the lakes and didn’t have a spare. It actually started to work a bit by the 5th ride as I guess the bushings are wearing away allowing it to slide. However, the cable has stated to crust up and the remote lever is nearly broken so I fear the fun is just beginning.
So basically, a completely unsealed piece of junk. Just to be clear, this is my experience of it. Others may have had success but I guess half the issue with these bargain parts is the lack of QC so there might be good ones and bad ones. This is also the 2014 version, which seems to have a slightly different design to the 2013 and earlier versions.Posted 5 years agodroflufMember
I’m seriously impressed. But only in the sense that you got yours to last a couple of rides longer than me. As tomd says this is a piece of junk, only possibly any use if you ride in totally dry conditions. Only plus side is that it showed me that dropper posts are a good idea.Posted 5 years agomattbeeSubscriber
Two of these, the very early ‘Traildrop’ branded one and a later Forca one lasted for a year odd worth of riding, including some grotty winter stuff in Lordswood.Posted 5 years ago
Worked just as well when I changed frames and retired them as they did when new. That is to say, clunky and not the smoothest but went up and down as commanded. Needed regressing every few weeks but that was a 5 min job at most.
For the price, and if you need 27.2 they are ok but if you can afford more I’d go for Gravity Dropper for 27.2 or any other flavour for bigger seat tubes.
I think the thing with these is if you want something cheap (esp 27.2) and are prepared to fettle then they’re worth a look. If you want something to ‘just work’ then look elsewhere
“Fettling” in my book does not include disassembling components after each and every puddle. I was happy to have to strip and regrease it every few weeks but this is just a piece of junk.
Very interesting to hear folk have had good experiences with the older ones though.Posted 5 years ago
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