Random thought on dropper posts


New Member
Redmond, WA
So this is one of those specific problems I'm trying to address and I want to know whether I'm crazy or not.

Basically, I've got two Pace 500 step-through frames, and the smaller of the two is used by my wife and mother-in-law, whereas the larger of the two is used by myself and my father-in-law. Now with the smaller one, there is only about an inch or so of height difference between my wife and her mother, so they can basically keep the seat at the same height all the time. However, between my father-in-law and myself, there's about 5 inches of height difference (compounded with the fact that I have long legs and arms even for a guy my height, so I like my seat a little higher), so he lowers the seat much lower than I do, and this creates a dance of lowering and raising the seat whenever one of us rides. Now, in order to make this change much easier, we've slightly loosened the seat clamp, but this has negative side effects if we ride anything too bumpy... such as roads (the trails are often smoother) ... or if we pedal out of the saddle and so on.

Anyway, the thought I had in my head is whether simply using a cheap lever-action dropper post (for example -- https://www.amazon.com/KS-Dropper-Seatpost-Black-27-2mmx100mm/dp/B08C2P2P2W/ref=sr_1_6?th=1&psc=1 -- which is the only one I've found so far that would fit the step-through frame with a shim) would work. This type of post is ostensibly useless for actual serious trail riding, but my use case is simply height adjustment. It doesn't require any cables or a remote switch, and basically makes the height adjustment a non-issue (and I can go back to setting the seat clamp properly tight again. The same brand offers cheaper ones, but those don't appear to come in a size that fits the smaller 30.4 tube of the step-through Pace frames (though if I had a step-over frame, I could use the cheaper ones).

Not sure if this is a good idea or not -- partly because I don't know how firm the support is on a cheap-ish dropper post like this one. For all I know someone my size could just wear out the cylinder after a few dozen rides or so.
Why not use a QR (quick release) lever actuated seat post clamp.

You could mark the post with the proper height settings for each rider. Adjustments can be made in seconds.
You could probably make the dropper post idea work but there would be no time or effort savings over using the much cheaper QR clamp.

BTW, welcome to the forum! You've come to the right place to ask your questions.
The existing seatpost clamp already is a QR clamp. That's the thing that I loosened slightly in order to make it more reasonable to operate the lever. When it is as loose as it needs to be for fast changes, the hold on the post is less than ideal. When it is as tight as it needs to be for a firm hold on the post, the lever is not even slightly practical to use.
You shouldn't have this problem with a good quality QR clamp. Try lubing the mechanism. If that doesn't help, use grip compound on the post, like this product from Park Tool:

It has grit in it that locks surfaces together when under pressure.
A cheap dropper post will be wobbling in no time. I think it takes me 15 seconds to change my seat post adjustment after I have it in the repair stand. I don't consider that an issue.