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