8 Best Budget Dropper Posts in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Need a seat post that can be lowered or raised at the press of a handlebar-mounted remote? Splurge on new dropper posts.

Such height-adjustable seat posts can be easily lowered for descents and the more technical sections of the trails, and raised for steep uphill climbs and riding sessions that require more pedaling action. I can’t imagine what biking would be like without a dropper post.

More often than not, it’s usually the serious mountain biker who spends countless hours shortlisting dropper posts. After all, having a dropper post fitted to a mountain bike can offer a host of benefits.

Truth be told—the dynamic sport of mountain biking demands a dropper post. Since a dropper post can be lowered all the way down, mountain bikers are offered more space to get behind the seat; this, in turn, allows the rider to ride through descents with total control in top speed.  

Also, getting a dropper post back to the appropriate height for optimum pedaling is also easy—you’d simply need to tap the handlebar-mounted remote. This convenient feature allows a rider to fix the seat height on the go, without having to stop and ruin his momentum.

Currently, brand manufacturers have flooded the market with numerous dropper posts in a bid to meet the demands of cycling enthusiasts who want an easy way to make the bike seat more comfortable and better suited for them.

To the initiated, having a plethora of dropper post options to choose from is truly a blessing. However, to others, the seemingly innumerable options can be overwhelming.

To make things easier for everyone, I’ve shortlisted a list of the best budget dropper posts. Bear in mind, these options have been handpicked only after hours of trials and experiments on my best test bikes.

At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Budget Dropper Posts

If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the budget dropper posts that most people buy).

  • Brand-X Ascend XL Top Pick
  • X-Fusion Manic Runner-up
  • OneUp V2 Runner-up

Top 8 Best Budget Dropper Posts – Our Reviews:

1. Brand-X Ascend XL

Let’s kick things off with the ultra-affordable, Brand-X Ascend XL.  This dropper post offers reliable performance and is available for purchase in a variety of sizes to accommodate most bikes.

The shifter style remote lever on the dropper post offers a no-nonsense service; however, I will admit that it gets wobbly at times. The only way to get better at using it is through trial and error. Thankfully, for the added convenience of the rider, a vertical universal lever is also provided.

The return speed on the Brand-X Ascend XL is just right; with this dropper post, you won’t need to worry about damaging your goods (if you know what I mean).

As for the set up and cable fitting process, things can get a bit complicated. Fortunately, the linkage actuator plays a pivotal role in ensuring the operation goes smooth-sailing.

Brand-X is a company renowned for producing reliable bike components. Thankfully, they don’t let their ardent fans down with their offering of the Brand-X Ascend XL.

Plus, for the price point the dropper post is available at, this one is definitely a major steal!  

Pros

  • Available in a variety of sizes to accommodate most bikes
  • One of the best dropper posts in its price range
  • Can be raised and lowered easily
  • Fits your bike’s seat tube easily
  • Easy to use
  • Controlled return speed

Cons

  • A little too heavy for my liking
  • Can feel a bit wobbly at times

2. X-Fusion Manic

The cost-effective product, X-Fusion Manic, has many things working in its favor.

For instance, the height-adjustable function of the dropper post has a light action, facilitating fluid and smooth change in seat height. For that, kudos must be given to the manufacturers for integrating an efficient shifter-style remote.

You can also expect the X-Fusion to operate reliably and if an issue arises, you can easily replace the sealed-cartridge internals for a few bucks—nothing substantial enough to burn a hole in your wallet.

Thankfully, the Manic is quite easy to set up as it is cable activated and routed from the top down. I must also mention that the Manic is longer than most dropper posts around, making it an ideal choice for riders looking for extra height.

What about its flaws? Well, one is that the lower post portion extends further on the Manic than other dropper posts, which means that the Manic is less compatible with certain frame designs as it’s harder to insert fully.

Also, the fact that the Manic weighs over 700 grams can be a deal-breaker to some.

Leaving those two flaws aside, the low-profile Manic, with its full-sealed cartridge, reliability, and wonderful adjustable remote, is an absolute steal at its price point.

Pros

  • Has good reliability for a budget dropper seatpost
  • Longer than most dropper posts, making it an ideal choice for riders looking for more height
  • Stealth cable routing
  • Well-performing shifter style remote
  • Arguably the best dropper post in its price range

Cons

  • Weighs a bit too heavy (700 g) for my liking

3. OneUp V2

The OneUp V2 dropper post brings plenty to the table.

This post can provide the most travel in a compact form. Therefore, the biggest selling point of the One Up V2 is undoubtedly its peculiar rail seat clamp system that allows riders to get their saddles as low as possible.

Plus, the fact that the dropper post has a low stack also helps its cause.

However, you might have to invest in an additional adapter to get the post fitted to your bike properly. While this can be a hassle, the purchase of an additional adapter won’t set you back a bomb.

As for its design, the OneUp dropper post has a slim body, seat clamp, and seal head.

As far as aesthetics appeal is concerned, the dropper seatpost is the epitome of a basic, minimalistic dropper post. On the upside, its simple design helps it blend well with any type of bike.

A bit of tuning might be required to find the right spot, but once you do find it, you’ll experience flexibility and comfort as never before. Overall, I can say with confidence that the One Up V2 is worth the investment.

Pros

  • Features the shortest stack height
  • Minimalist design helps the post blend in well with bikes of all types
  • One of the most compact dropper seat posts around

Cons

  • May require an additional adapter
  • Slight lateral play
  • Poor availability in the market

4. PNW Components Bachelor

Looking for a reliable dropper post that has an outstanding overall performance? Look no further than the PNW Bachelor.

Though it may seem a bit bulky, don’t let its sturdy construction fool you into thinking it isn’t functional.

So, what can you expect from the PNW post? Well, you can expect an adjustable travel that is smooth beyond belief, with no lateral saddle play.

Installing this dropper post onto your bike also comes easy and is as straightforward as it can get.

The PNW post also benefits tenfold from its sealed damping cartridge and adjustable air spring. The latter feature allows the rider to modulate the rate/speed of return as per his preference.  

However, if you’re searching for a dropper seatpost with a short and low stack height, this one won’t serve you well. The PNW Bachelor is also not for those who prefer angle marks on the saddle clamp.

Plus, with a weight of 652 grams, the fact that the Bachelor is on the heavy end of the weight spectrum may not play well with everyone.

All in all, the PNW post offers quality performance and craftsmanship. For its price tag, it offers outstanding value for your bucks, so go for it without hesitation.

Pros

  • Works best with the loam lever
  • Good reliability
  • Outstanding/Positive price to performance ratio
  • Smooth adjustable travel with little to no lateral saddle play
  • One of the best posts on the market

Cons

  • Has a high stack height

5. KS LEV Integra

What makes the KS LEV Integra so sought-after in the market? Well, not only is the LEV lightweight, but it is also flex-free, budget-friendly, and laden with useful side adjustment features.

For riders who climb steep uphill trails on the regular, the light weight of the LEV Integra can bring welcome relief. The weight difference may not bring a world of change, but every extra weight matters when you climb tough trails.

Adjustment of the post is also smooth and easy; you’ll be happy to know that the return, too, feels rather controlled than hurried.

I also like the fact that the LEV is available in both carbon and alloy. So, for those looking to upgrade to carbon, do so by all means.

The KS LEV Integra also has its fair share of flaws. For instance, if you pick your bike up by the post, the LEV can extend to its full limit involuntarily.

Thankfully, the post slides back into place; however, this is the sort of inconvenience that lets the LEV down.  

As for its setup, the LEV takes longer than usual. Why so?

It’s because, unlike regular dropper seat posts that are clamped at the lever, the LEV is clamped at the post end. Hence, to get the post working effectively, accurate cable tension and length are required, which takes time.

Pros

  • Smooth and controlled return
  • Numerous side adjustment features
  • Good reliability
  • Lightweight beyond belief
  • Available in various size options to accommodate bikes of every type

Cons

  • Installation process can take time
  • The post extends when you pick the bike up by the saddle

6. BikeYoke Revive

At a glance, the BikeYoke Revive doesn’t really stand out much. You’ll begin to comprehend just how special it is only after testing it out.

Featuring an easy installation process, the BikeYoke post performs all the tasks of a dropper post effectively. It can be raised and lowered with minimum fuss as the remote that controls the raising/lowering settings works without delay.

The fact that the post is also lightweight definitely adds to its charm.

I’m also a huge admirer of the drilled-out paddle on the shifter-style lever of the post. Not only does it help lower the overall weight of the post, but it also prevents dirty thumbs from slipping.

Also, let me tell you one interesting fact—this post gets its name from its special “revive” feature. If your post starts bouncing and sagging uncontrollably, you can “revive” it back to its original function by turning the 4 mm bleed valve placed under the seat.

However, the fact that you may need to “revive” the post far too often than you’d like definitely brings the value of the BikeYoke post down.

The Bike Yoke dropper seatpost is best-suited for those looking for an affordable well-made post.

Pros

  • Swift remote has no delay
  • Drilled-out paddle on the lever makes the post weigh less and stops dirty thumbs from slipping
  • “Revive” feature helps get the post back to its original function

Cons

  • Needs too much reviving for my liking
  • Weighs heavier than other options on the list

7. Fox Transfer Factory 2020

Though priced to the hilt, I still consider the 2020 edition of the Fox Transfer Factory a worthwhile purchase. Robust enough to withstand all the abuse you can throw at it, the Fox Transfer Factory 2020 offers a switch between internal and external routing—a feature that isn’t found on cheap models.

How does it operate? The Fox seatpost deploys a standard hook-ended actuator lever design. The Fox Transfer Factory 2020 extends consistently and quickly with the push of the lever, finally giving off a satisfying top-out clunk to indicate it is at its optimum height.

You can expect the mountain bike dropper post to function smoothly with outstanding position control and speed, irrespective of the road and weather conditions. As such, there’s no need for you to worry about rotational play or fore-aft, and neither is there a droop when loaded nor does the bike dropper post extend when you pull up your bike by the saddle.

I also like the fact that cable cutting and clamping is done at the lever end, making the overall installation process a much easier task.  

All in all, if you have the moolah, go for this dropper post without any hesitation.

Pros

  • Solid, smooth, and reliable action
  • No rotational play or fore-aft
  • The dropper post doesn’t extend when you pull up your bike by the saddle
  • Best-suited for riders who want to fit as much dropper post travel as possible

Cons

  • Unfortunately, you’d have to purchase the light-action remote lever separately, adding more to the cost
  • Long shaft may not be compatible with every frame

8. RockShox Reverb AXS

The RockShox Reverb AXS does many things well.

In addition to having the smoothest operation, this dropper post can also claim to have the lightest activation. Also, without cables to complicate matters, it even has an easy installation process.

Oh, and let’s not forget—the RockShox Reverb Stealth AXS is electrically charged due to its wireless tech design. A full charge should give you around 40 hours of ride time!

Unlike most dropper seatposts that come equipped with a lever, the RockShox Reverb AXS comes equipped with a button that is light and easy to push.

Also, don’t worry too much—the button works just fine even when you take your bike to rough terrains. So, you can use it on mountain bikes too.

Unfortunately, the RockShox Reverb AXS isn’t as perfect as its makers would have you believe.

Boasting a tall stack height, shorter-legged riders will have to make do with reduced travel options. Plus, the fact that this post needs to be charged now and then can repel some.

Leaving these small drawbacks aside, the AXS Reverb seatpost offers full value for your money.

Pros

  • Wireless tech design makes this seatpost easy to install
  • Features a light and easy to push remote button instead of a lever for actuation

Cons

  • Has a tall stack height
  • Needs to be recharged after every 40-hour ride time

Conclusion

We’ve finally reached the end of the article and I hope you have decided on one dropper seat post by now. If you haven’t, go for my favorite: the BikeYoke Revive.

Designed for the minimalist, this dropper seat post does everything you’d expect a dropper post to do.

It has a swift, no-delay remote that raises the post and lowers it down with minimum fuss, has a drilled-out paddle on the lever to stop dirty thumbs from slipping, and even features a “revive” function to help get the post back to its original function when it bounces and sags uncontrollably.