An interesting conversation took place while I was riding in Blue Derby, Tasmania last week. It was a long day of ride/stop/shoot/rest/ride, and as happens when you’re in someone’s company for five or six hours, many subjects are broached.
Naturally, Rob, Liz and I took care of most of the world’s problems, analysed the places we lived and why we do, and talked a little about bikes. Towards the end of the day, when the camera was packed away for good, legs and minds were tired and the taste of water was in desperate need of tasting like beer, Rob posed a question that had us all perplexed and searching for the ‘correct’ answer for many minutes, and several changed answers.
“Would you choose a hardtail with a dropper post, or a full-suspension without?”
Well dammit, ya stumped me… The fact that the answer wasn’t immediate and that much agonising over the pros and cons ensued pointed to one common factor: that dropper posts have made a huge impact on how, where and what we ride. If both hypothetical bikes were dropper-equipped, my answer would have been academic. But take it out of the equation for one of them, and it opened a whole new philosophical can of worms.
So let’s take a bit of a poll here, answers and reasons in the comments below, and we’ll see just how important certain aspects of a bike are and how they might complement or cancel each other.
You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a PIG.
seat 50cm down on a fully
Fully…no dropper… I can live with that.
Not the other way.
Dropper is a luxury, fully makes the day a whole lot more fun. More than happy to stop at the top, have a chat about the weather, do we really need a dropper or do we just want one and the benefits of the oval chain ring just installed etc etc etc…….
Definitely a full sus without dropper. Agree that you usually stop at the top anyway. Dropper is nice but I lived without one for 25 years 🙂
Hard tail with dropper for the win
Plus hardtail with dropper for even more win. Don’t knock it till u tried it!
Hardtail for sure
Full suss with Allen key seat clamp but sweet baby Jesus I love my reverb
Fully, no question.
Kona Ti Honzo with a Dropper…
20yr old me would say a hardtail with the seat so high I could feel it in the back of my throat! But 45yr old me would choose the full sus & enjoy the trail side chats while I manually drop that post to respectable heights!
Come on, a quick release isn’t the end of the world, full sus all day.
Interesting responses. I love riding hardtails (even fully rigid), but I’d definitely give up the dropper before the fully. Just this weekend I snapped the cable on my dropper post early in the ride and actually wasn’t too fussed at having to stop occasionally to adjust the seat height.
Now, what about a dropper post vs disc brakes?
I’m a full sus guy for sure, but I work the shit out of my dropper post on any long runs (most downhill runs in wellington have climbs or flat sections) so I’m going to say hardtail with dropper. And besides, none of the full sus trail bikes that I would ride now will work without a dropper anyway – you’d never get the seat down.
Hard tail with out a dropper…. pansys