Worldwide Cyclery is back with more quality content and this time they're looking to help you choose your next dropper post remote! With so many options for dropper levers on the market, it's easy to struggle with deciding which lever you should buy. If you feel like you're stuck and need help evaluating what's best for you, then this guide may just be the perfect resource.
Worldwide Cyclery: How to Upgrade Your Dropper Remote
As the dropper seatpost has become the most essential and popular upgrade for riders of all ages and skill levels, the dropper remote becomes something people become very personal with. It depends on how much you ride but often enough the dropper remote is used just as much as a shifter, meaning that a rider can, and will, be picky about what remote they use with their bike set up. Some droppers come with remotes, and sometimes they are literal sh*t, leaving the consumer to venture off in search of an upgrade that works well, feels great, and looks amazing. Not all droppers come with remotes so when upgrading to a dropper seatpost you may also want to know what the best remote matchup will be before you make that big purchase.
Things to Look At:
Now if you already have a dropper post set up or not, you must take into consideration what is going to be best for you and not anyone else. Evaluate what options are on the market, if they will work with current dropper post or the dropper you plan on purchasing, if they integrate with your existing components, cost, and most importantly will it look good with your bike. Aesthetics are key right?
There are probably more Dropper Remotes on the market than millennials on tinder. Let’s be honest. Choosing one out of the hundreds of options can be stressful. Looking at reviews on dropper posts and remotes will help you dial in what may or may not fit your needs as a rider. We are going to focus on the PNW Components Loam Lever in this article as it covers every aspect a rider should look for in a remote aside from being our favorite remote on the market to date. Not to mention, I could go on for days going over every option out there.
It is easy to visibly distinguish a good remote from a piece of garbage. You must ask yourself what sets these remotes apart from each other? Is it made from quality materials? Is it a comfortable remote? Etc. Many companies focus on different aspects of what goes into the design of a remote. PNW, for example, created the first every dropper remote with a rubber thumb pad. This created a cushioned platform for riders on/in all terrains and climates. The traditional knurled remote or polished paddle can work great for most people but for riders in colder or hotter climates, wet or dry, these designs can abuse the user’s skin or not provide enough support to a rider’s needs. Think about it. Would you rather ride with or without grips between your hand and the bar? Similar concept.
Depending on how a dropper post actuates, you might be limited to what remote you can use. For example, PNW’s Loam Lever will work perfectly with just about every dropper (minus RockShox and Magura’s Wireless Dropper Posts and hydraulic Reverbs). Since the remote does not require the cable end, the remote is not limited to what post it works with. An easy way of knowing what will work best for you is by looking at the dropper actuator on the bottom of the post (or collar for externally routed posts). Does the cable end mount at the dropper or the remote? If it mounts at the dropper then you can easily use most of the remotes on the market. If the cable end mounts at the remote then you will be more limited to remote options, however, there are a few workarounds a person can do to widen their options… Having the cable end mounted at the dropper leaves many options for remotes like the Loam Lever as all cable adjustments are made at the remote like shown:
You might be questioning exactly what I mean when I say “How does the remote integrate with your components?” Well simply put, does it work with your brake levers and or shifters? Many companies sell multiple versions of their remotes depending on what brakes are available. PNW offers their Loam Lever with the option to mount to SRAM Brakes with SRAM’s Matchmaker Mount. For Shimano users, They offer an I-Spec II mount and for people with other brakes like Magura, Hope, etc. they offer a simple 22.2mm clamp. Many companies do offer mounts for Magura and Hope, but options are few. There really is no advantage in getting a mount that integrates with your brakes besides the overall look and ease of installation. These specific mounts help create a clean-looking cockpit and decrease the number of clamps you have to install or take off of your bars.
For bikes with 2x or 3x drivetrains, a simple under the bar remote doesn’t always work. Some companies offer over the bar remotes that don’t always look great but also don’t disrupt any of the existing levers. Running a standard under the bar remote on the opposite side and on top of the bar is an easy workaround but it might take some time to get used to. That being said, it’s 2019 people! You don’t need a 2x or 3x drivetrain anymore.
Cost is always a big factor in upgrading your bikes. Not all of us have an endless supply of funds keeping our hobbies alive. Looking at the price of a remote can help you determine it’s quality. Much like most things in the world we live in, if it costs more, it is probably better quality. Coming in at $69, the Loam lever sits right in with the top of the line dropper remotes such as Wolf Tooth, Bike Yoke, and OneUp.
The biggest, most important thing to take into consideration is how it looks on your bike (*sarcasm). You have to look good out on the trails and in your POV YouTube videos and IG posts… All jokes aside, it is the little things like a dropper remote that can make your rig look that much better. Black looks great and all, but being able to choose specific colors to match the rest of your bike is essential in today's market.
So you really need to ask yourself what you are looking for personally. Do you want comfort or a lot of grip? Do you want to eliminate all the clamps you have on your bars? Does the remote work with your brakes and your dropper? There are a lot of things to consider but there is no wrong choice. Droppers and their remotes have come so far from where they were that almost any choice is the right choice. However, some fit your needs just a little more than others. Some remotes are a little more comfortable than others, come in more color options, or fit your brakes when others don't.
If you have questions about the PNW Components Loam Lever and its compatibility with your current dropper post or cockpit setup, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.