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Dropper posts
Last Post 03/24/2022 08:17 PM by Frederick Jones. 18 Replies.
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79pmooney

Posts:3180

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03/21/2022 10:56 AM
I believe I ventured that someone was going to win a race with a dropper when the topic came up last year(?).  I'll further predict that those posts will see their way onto the vast majority of race bikes; that the mechanism will evolve from round specific to adoptable to any cross-section.  (Though I'd like to see 27.2 stay a standard that bikes can be shimmed to just to keep the huge versatility of 27.2 post available for hard to fit people.  Also round means that swapping from dropper to lighter without is easy.)

For CK, a simple fairing over the exposed post could be fitted (for non-dropper races).  In fact, I have no clue why this isn't done regularly now.  That fairing could weigh next to nothing as it has no structural task.  (Running a round post with aftermarket fairing also means those of us who twist our saddles to the side can still do so easily.  How do the aero post and seattube folk do that?)  And, from the guy who studied all the aero (and fluid - same stuff) he could get his hands on and brain wrapped around in engineering school - and who owns a very worn out aero bible bought new back then - that aero fairing should be free to rotate or be adjustable so it can be adjusted to zero incident/no lift in crosswinds.

Anyone who thinks dropper posts are radical should remember that 130 years ago, they dropped the seatpost several feet and the cycling world never looked back.  (Descents got a lot faster and MUCH safer.)  They even called the new dropped seat bicycle a "safety".
Orange Crush

Posts:4499

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03/21/2022 11:40 AM
Nibali had a dropper post in 2014. It didn’t catch on then. Maybe the tech has advanced to allow for buy in now. The Tour will tell.

https://www.bikeradar.com/features/the-weird-and-the-wonderful-gallery-21-days-of-tour-tech/
longslowdistance

Posts:2881

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03/21/2022 08:37 PM
If I may, a counterpoint:
The tech was fine then and fine now. A consistent issue with road cycling is resistance to change - unless it involves better doping, in which case there is no resistance whatsoever.
Orange Crush

Posts:4499

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03/21/2022 09:08 PM
Weight is still a slight issue (130 grams) and was a bigger issue for Nibbles. Also he had to manually adjust is post down and only got 2 cms.
Orange Crush

Posts:4499

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03/21/2022 09:42 PM
BTW interesting that Nibali tried a dropper post in 2014 but on his screaming fast descent in 2018 in MSR he supposedly wasn’t using one. Maybe not possible w bike he had but still.
Dale

Posts:1767

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03/22/2022 10:17 AM
...resistance to change - unless it involves better doping, in which case there is no resistance whatsoever.
Literally did laugh out loud at that.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:4209

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03/22/2022 12:22 PM
For CK, a simple fairing over the exposed post could be fitted (for non-dropper races).  In fact, I have no clue why this isn't done regularly now.


Well for UCI races, it is illegal to have a fairing on your bike of any kind.

As for droppers, I think it is going to be a case of make the right product choice for when the decisive moments in a race will occur....this is why many riders / teams still opt for "climbing" bikes on critical Tour stages. While an aero road frame would still be faster overall in theory, the critical moments are made on the summit finishes, so weight is prioritized.

So I don't think dropper posts will become a regular feature in the peloton (technical aspects notwithstanding)....unless the decisive or crucial moments will be descents.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
longslowdistance

Posts:2881

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03/23/2022 06:50 PM
Just musing: Dropping the seat lowers center of gravity and could provide a handling advantage (after a learning curve) in addition to the reduced drag. That could add up on a stage with lots of long descents. Could it be worth the weight penalty -- or is there any weight penalty as I thought bikes had a minimum weight anyway?
Orange Crush

Posts:4499

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03/23/2022 09:27 PM
My overall read is that bikes are generally not at their weight limit as more emphasis is put on aero. This also matches Pogs preference for rim brakes on certain stages due to 300 gram savings. If bikes were already at their weight limit that would not matter or be allowed. So same for dropper, there is a weight penalty. For climbing heavy stages riders will use specific bikes that weigh less (are at limit), in this case they give up some aero advantages over weight because in their thinking the main difference is made in climbing not descending. So with a dropper you might gain something going down but you might loose more going up. In MSR the going up matters less although Mohoric still needed two team mates to keep him in the running


79pmooney

Posts:3180

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03/23/2022 10:46 PM
That dropped seat also makes sliding your weight back for hard downhill braking much more effective+. I was just musing re: the weight added and cost in seconds uphill. 130 grams (and that will drop; sped up by this showcasing). Years ago I calculated what a pound cost going up Mt Washington. I think it's a minute. If so, this would cost 17 seconds. I've ridden down that road. Dropping my seat (after a lot of practice) would have made that near 8 miles a lot faster.

I see three things happening. (In which order I don't know.) A Sagan type is going to embrace it (and watch out!) It's going to show up on some high end bikes and both purchased as bling and embraced by a club hotshot or three. And pro riders are going to insist they have that 12 second advantage, first because "you're telling me I cannot have what club riders are riding right now? The biggest change in 30 years" and the light hillclimbers (you can make my bike underweight and add weight for weigh-in but you cannot giver me an advantage downhill when I'm trying to save my legs (for the final climb, later stages or just a tough day).

It's not going to happen overnight. First of all, Mohoric did his homework to pull this off. No one is going to have that kind of time 'till next off-season. And the massive resistance to change. But the upside? Monuments are kinda hard to ignore. (But skip P-R! They include that Arenburg to field test devices like this.)
Orange Crush

Posts:4499

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03/24/2022 09:25 AM
Oh that resistance to change is a bit of a myth. Lots of new stuff gets adopted all the time.

But there’s a heavy resistance to changing seat height and bike fitters spend eons of time measuring and setting up things to the mm. So suddenly a proposition is made to monkey with seat height on the fly. Certainly time for pause and think.

And was it really the dropper:
https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/a-dropper-post-wasnt-mohorics-only-tech-hack-for-milan-san-remo/
Dale

Posts:1767

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03/24/2022 10:22 AM
Calling the larger rotors an advantage seemed a bit of a stretch. Watching him come off the Poggio like he had a death wish was as bigger factor than the size of the rotors.

Dropping into the gutter then bunny hopping out... my heart skipped a beat watching that madness.

To OC's point, the UCI is more resistant to change than the guys on the bikes.
Orange Crush

Posts:4499

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03/24/2022 10:39 AM
Posted By Dale Dale on 03/24/2022 10:22 AM
Calling the larger rotors an advantage seemed a bit of a stretch. Watching him come off the Poggio like he had a death wish was as bigger factor than the size of the rotors.


Overall I agree that it comes down to the operator. Too much is being made of equipment. But larger rotors would facilitate that death wish descent, no? He can wait braking till very last moment. Maybe it also explains the skidding. Too much brake power for the rubber. and yeah, Pog looked at that bunny hop and said hell no, leaving a gap that moment.
79pmooney

Posts:3180

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03/24/2022 10:40 AM
Getting the seat back to where it belongs just means it needs adequate engineering and execution. I don't know if the current posts are there yet. (They should be. MTBs have been using these things in much more demanding environment.) Compared to a rear derailleur, this is child's play.

I haven't signed on yet to CyclingNews so I probably cannot read that article.
zootracer

Posts:833

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03/24/2022 11:22 AM
I guess I'm a dinosaur. I had to google dropper seatposts to see what the heck they were. I don't need a dropper. I need to drop about 15 pounds. Working on that now.
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