Dropping In On Gravel: Get Rowdy And Ride Faster With PRO's Discover Dropper Post
With the weather warming up and the puddles drying out, it’s the perfect season for gravel adventure rides and rambles. Leaving the pavement behind, we can venture even farther off-road onto logging roads, forest paths, and even some mellow singletrack. For these rowdy gravel rides, a dropper post can add to the fun, inspiring confidence on those steep descents and lending extra stability over rocky terrain.
"Use a dropper post to add versatility to your bike," says Chris Jacobson, Product Manager for PRO Bike Gear. "If you're going to ride gnarlier trails, if you’re going to get agro on the bike, if you’re riding a 650B wheel versus 700c, or if you’re loaded down with a weekend’s worth of bikepacking gear, a dropper will more easily let you change your body position without your saddle getting in the way.”
The Pro Discover Dropper Post delivers 70 millimeters of travel for gravel and road bikes. By dropping your saddle, you lower your center of gravity, which increases stability and helps you maintain control over tricky terrain. You're also less likely to go over the bars in a crash or if you accidentally grab too much front brake when descending.
Seventy millimeters (or about 2.7 inches) of travel doesn’t sound like much, but it's enough to provide noticeably more control when riding sandy, rooty, or rough trails. Control means confidence, and confidence can lead to faster, more skilled riding. Seventy millimeters on a drop-bar bike is just enough to impact bike handling skills in a good way but short enough that the post is compatible with most frames.
The Discover Dropper Post is available in a 27.2-millimeter seatpost diameter and is designed specifically for road and gravel bikes. It includes internal routing, which keeps the cable tucked away and protected from weather and dirt. This helps cut down regular maintenance, and it keeps your frame free from extra cables, which looks good and prevents wear to your frame over time.
"The post is made to last, with no maintenance required," says Jacobson. "Wipe your seatpost with a rag every few uses.” And when the internal air cartridge needs to be replaced, using a PRO Discover maintenance kit, it takes about 15 minutes and conventional tools.
If your bike isn't compatible with a dropper's internal routing, or if you want to easily swap between a dropper and rigid fork without the hassle of internal cables, PRO also offers the Koryak Dropper with 70 millimeters of travel and external routing. In either case, these gravel droppers elevate the fun and expand your riding capabilities.
The Discover Post comes with PRO’s new drop bar DPS remote that mounts to your handlebar, which is easy to reach even when you’re white-knuckling it down slippery grass or sandy rocks. You can engage the lever from the drops by tapping the remote with your thumb, index finger, or forefinger. Once engaged and with your weight on the saddle, the post will drop down the full 70 millimeters so you can keep on charging without pause. To raise the saddle, simply engage the lever once again, this time without your weight on the saddle, and it'll pop right back up to your normal riding position.
Bikes with Shimano GRX mechanical components that are set up with a 1x11-speed drivetrain system can also use the left shift lever as the Discover Post's dropper remote. Shimano's ST-RX810-LA left shift lever is specially designed to activate dropper posts with the same shifting motion used for changing gears. This super slick setup is intuitive to use and allows you to control the dropper from any hand position on the handlebar.
The Discover Post comes set up for standard 7x7 millimeter saddle rails, but accessory clamps are available for 7x9 millimeter carbon rails. So, no matter what type of saddle you ride, even if you're a gravel racer with a super-light carbon saddle who wants to get a little rowdy on your next adventure ride, the dropper post works for you.
While the Discover Dropper Post does add some weight to your gravel setup, it also adds more capability to your riding. You can bomb down fire road descents faster, take the tricky line with more confidence, or drop your saddle low for a tucked aero position in windy conditions. Weight isn't everything when it comes to riding faster.
"As a rider, you need to pick what's important to you," says Jacobson. "This post has a wide range of applications from bikepacking to gravel racing. The weight difference is less than half a pound. You need to figure out if adding a dropper will enhance your riding and make the weight penalty worth it.”
The mountain bike community has long embraced dropper posts due to the added stability and increased riding capabilities they deliver. But for gravel riders and roadies who are used to fixed riding positions, droppers now offer a new world way to ride. Lowering your saddle allows you to wiggle over and around rocks and roots like a mountain biker. It helps open up new routes and trails that you may not have considered riding on skinny tires before. Dropper posts make gravel adventures more fun, and that’s what gravel riding is all about.