Crankbrothers back in dropper market with Highline

Company backs up reliability claims with three-year warranty

Component and accessory manufacturer Crankbrothers is re-entering the dropper seatpost market with the introduction of the Highline.

Highline details

  • 5in/125mm of adjustable travel
  • Available in 30.9 and 31.6mm diameters
  • 400mm length
  • $350 (UK and Australian pricing TBA)
  • Three year warranty
  • 580g with cable and remote
  • Internal routing only
  • Available in late 2015

The highline has 125mm of travel, a claimed weight of 580g, and comes with a three-year warranty :
The highline has 125mm of travel, a claimed weight of 580g, and comes with a three-year warranty :

The Highline uses a two-bolt clamp and features a low, 50mm minimum stack height

The Laguna Beach, California-based company is acutely aware that it will be fighting an uphill battle to win back rider confidence following the reliability issues that plagued its previous dropper design.

“This dropper is the anti-Kronolog,” said a Crankbrothers representative at Eurobike this week.

Those hard-earned lessons appear to have been taken to heart. According to Crankbrothers, the Highline places a premium on reliability, ergonomics and ease of use. Crankbrothers is standing behind the Highline with a three-year warranty against manufacturer’s defects — a first for any dropper seatpost.

The company claims the Highline lasted through 40,000 cycles in lab testing, compared to 12,000 cycles for a competitor's seatpost.

The Highline offers 5in/125mm of adjustable travel via a nitrogen-charged cartridge damping system. The cartridge isn’t user-serviceable, but it can be easily removed, should it need to be replaced. The company suggests cleaning the dropper’s seal and lubricating it with Slick Honey annually.

The highline slides on high-quality igus bushings and keys:
The highline slides on high-quality igus bushings and keys:

Crankbrothers makes heavy use of Igus bushings in its 2016 pedal and dropper lines. The Highline uses high quality Igus glide bearings and keys

The Highline remote takes design cues from the remote used on the Kronolog (possibly the only well-thought out part of that design). The lever now pivots on a ball joint, allowing the rider to fine tune its position. The handlebar clamp is slim to minimize interference issues with brake and shift levers. A single screw tightens the Highline’s lever to the handlebar while also clamping the ball joint in place. The shift cable is clamped at the lever with an inconspicuous set screw. There’s also a barrel adjuster to dial in cable tension. Given the dearth of ergonomic dropper remotes on the market, Crankbrothers would be wise to sell the remote as a standalone item.

The highline's lever is very ergonomic. it pivots on a ball joint, allowing the user to adjust its position to their liking: the highline's lever is very ergonomic. it pivots on a ball joint, allowing the user to adjust its position to their liking
The highline's lever is very ergonomic. it pivots on a ball joint, allowing the user to adjust its position to their liking: the highline's lever is very ergonomic. it pivots on a ball joint, allowing the user to adjust its position to their liking

The Highline remote is well designed and should place nice with any combination of brake/shift levers

Working back from the lever, Crankbrothers includes a premium cable and housing from Jagwire. The Highline uses a clever quick-connect interface with the seatpost. This system should make it easy to remove the Highline for travel, or to quickly swap the seatpost between multiple bikes.

Crankbrothers quick-connect system makes it easy to install and remote the highline: crankbrothers quick-connect system makes it easy to install and remote the highline
Crankbrothers quick-connect system makes it easy to install and remote the highline: crankbrothers quick-connect system makes it easy to install and remote the highline

A quick connect system makes it the Highline easy to install or remove

The Highline will be available in late 2016. Pricing is set at a very competitive $350. (UK and Australian pricing has yet to be confirmed.)

Check out more news from Eurobike at our Eurobike homepage.

Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998. Being stubborn, endurance racing was a natural fit. Josh bankrolled his two-wheeled addiction by wrenching at various bike shops across the US for 10 years and even tried his hand at frame building. These days Josh spends most of his time riding the trails around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, cyclocross, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Anywhere with rock- and root-infested technical singletrack. He also enjoys unnecessarily long gravel races.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Remedy 29 9.9, Yeti ASRc, Specialized CruX, Spot singlespeed, Trek District 9
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following, a custom Moots 27.5+ for bikepacking adventures
  • Beer of Choice: PBR
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA

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