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I got a bicycle with a dropper post. As you know, there is currently a bicycle shortage, which is why I ended up getting it online instead of in a local shop (none of which had in stock what I was looking for).

The seatpost feels a bit too high when fully extended. I am looking for advice so I could determine if it is really too high for me, or if it is just a question of getting used to. I have no prior experience with dropper posts.


With full extension, I can pedal just fine, and I don't believe my hips are rocking (which is the guideline I heard cited when determining the correct saddle height). But it also feels like the seat is about as high as it could comfortably go. Furthermore, when getting off the bike, my toes can barely touch the ground, which does not feel safe. (This could be in part because the bottom bracket is simply higher than on my old bike.) If I push the seat down by a centimetre or so, pedalling is still very comfortable (the saddle is definitely not too low), but I feel more comfortable, the saddle no longer feels "hard" under my bum, and I feel much safer as I can reach the ground more easily when getting off the bike. Oh, the difference 1 cm can make!

My questions:

  • Is this dropper post suitable for me, or will it cause problems in the long run?
  • Is it practical to simply not use the full extension?
  • Is the travel of the dropper post adjustable? It is a KS Lev Integra. I assume not.
  • Is there any other hack I could do to improve on the situation? A new, less tall saddle perhaps? Thicker pedals? I made the mistake that the pedals I ordered (which have not arrived yet) are thinner than what I am currently using. They are 13 mm thick, while my current ones are 18 mm thick. I worry that thinner pedals will exacerbate the problem.

After googling a bit, I found many stories of dropper posts being too long. The usual advice is to replace them. The reason why I am still asking this question here is that my case appears to be borderline. I should note that I have only had the chance to use the bicycle a little bit so far, so perhaps I simply need to get used to it.

  • Not being able to touch the ground while on the saddle isn't unusual. If you can't touch while straddling the top tube means the bike is too big. – mikes Aug 1 at 15:14
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    You know you can adjust the height of the entire seatpost within the frame, right? When dismounting a bike, the usual technique is to slide forwards until you’re hovering above the top tube first so you have more room under your groin. With a dropper it’s easier: just drop before you dismount. – MaplePanda Aug 1 at 17:25
  • Hi @Foor, it would help with answering the question if you attached an image of your current setup. You can edit your question to insert additional images of information into it. – Grigory Rechistov Aug 1 at 18:40
  • @MaplePanda The technique you describe may sound easy, but I would argue it is not the only one in use,and not the best one in many circumstances. Even if a particular frame standover height allows one to stand without touching the top tube, there is always a chance to start dismounting just a bit too early without the bike being fully motionless, and then getting hit either by the saddle nose from behind, or by the top tube. Even if neither happens, one still has to throw one leg over the frame's top tube to fully consider the dismounting to be complete (i.e. when one stands beside the bike). – Grigory Rechistov Aug 1 at 19:31
  • To continue: other techniques, such as balancing on one pedal and swinging the other leg while the bike is motionless or is moving at a slow speed, exist. Presence of dropper post adds other convenient methods of e.g. stopping and standing without even leaving the saddle, simply by dropping it until legs hit the ground. – Grigory Rechistov Aug 1 at 19:35
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Dropper posts are not much different when it comes to bike fitting when you think about them being at their full extension. You should reposition a seat post to such an insertion depth that the saddle's position is comfortable for you to pedal. Then, there are issues of the saddle being at its lowest position (on full suspension frames it might occasionally touch the wheel), but they are really secondary at most.

Unless you have a post that is literally integrated into the frame (and KS Lev Integra is not, it is a separate unit), you can loosen the seatpost collar and move the whole unit up and down and then re-tighten the collar. In your case, you should try sinking the seatpost deeper into the seat tube.

There are limits to how deep a seatpost can be sunk, of course. For regular seat posts, it is the curvature or butting of the seat tube, bottle bosses or other geometrical properties of the frame. For dropper posts the limiting factors are same, plus one more limit is the presence of a seatpost collar which is thicker than the rest of the outer tubing.

You should try lowering your post as low as it goes in the frame. Most likely it will stop at its own collar pressing down at the frame's seat post collar/binder. If then, at its full extension, the saddle still feels too high, you are likely to have a frame too big for you.

From this point, you can reposition the seat post as a unit a bit higher until you find the best setting for you (keep it fully extended when doing so). As you correctly noticed, even a single centimeter makes huge difference, so feel free to experiment over time. As usual, be sure to not violate the minimum insertion depth marking on the seat post (or at least 10 cm).

A new, less tall saddle perhaps?

That is possible, but it is likely to win you just a couple of mm, and your choice of saddles will be very limited.

Thicker pedals?

Maybe, but thicker pedals are also heavier and more likely to experience rock strikes. Again, you are unlikely to gain more than a couple of mm at most.

Shorter cranks would also be a "geometrical" solution, but they create new bike fit issues (e.g. knee pain) to tackle. Not to say that new cranks may cost more than a new dropper.

Is the travel of the dropper post adjustable?

The best way is to consult with the manufacturer. Some dropper posts on the market, especially newer models with travel values bigger than 150 mm, are internally adjustable; more "classic" designs, to which KS Lev is likely to belong, were not designed with that in mind.

If you are mechanically inclined, you can always try to clamp an internal shim on the post's shaft to limit its travel. Please don't cut your frame's seat tube to make it go lower!

I've found evidence of people achieving the desired effect by enforcing a new extension limit externally:

I ended up tying a wire from the seat post clamp bolt to the seat rail to limit how much it can go up. It's kinda ghetto, but works!

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