USE Helix 165mm Dropper Seatpost review£285.00

British-made dropper

BikeRadar score2.5/5

Available with 125mm or 165mm of drop and in 30.9mm and 31.6mm diameters, the USE Helix Dropper Seatpost should cover most users.

At 620g complete, the longer option is light for its stroke too. While the 310mm collar-to-base measurement means it may not fit in some curved or weld-affected seat tubes, that’s a common issue.

The lever can be set at lots of different angles and the latest version has polished detailing on the length/leverage-adjustable paddle. It can be integrated with SRAM or Shimano brake levers too, with a £20 adaptor.

The lever is adjustable and can be integrated with SRAM or Shimano brake levers too
The lever is adjustable and can be integrated with SRAM or Shimano brake levers too

While clamping the cable at the lever end theoretically makes set-up simpler, a loose fit at the post end means you have to keep things tensioned while installing/adjusting to stop the outer falling out of place.

The air spring is so progressive that dropping the saddle requires a lot of force, even at minimal pressure (40psi). Setting accurate cable tension for the hair-trigger release is crucial too, but the mechanical ‘Helix’ brake still doesn’t always lock into place, causing a gruesome grinding noise if it slips.

After air-seal issues on my first post and bursting my second sample (due to the “inflate to 100psi” directions in older instructions), my third Helix is faring better, although it’s too early to vouch for its long-term reliability.

USE Helix 165mm Dropper Seatpost specifications

  • Material: Aluminium
  • Drop: 165mm (tested)
  • Drop: 125mm, 165mm (available)
  • Diameter: 30.9mm, 31.6mm
  • Finish: Anodised
Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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