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Brand-X Ascend XL dropper seatpost review

Smooth, reliable and long dropper

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £170.00 RRP | USD $180.00 | EUR €190.00 | AUD $275.00
Brand-X Ascend XL dropper seatpost in position on mountain bike

Our review

If you want a long drop for under £200, the smooth, reliable Ascend XL is hard to beat, if it fits your bike
Pros: Proven reliability and smooth action; excellent price; long stroke
Cons: I’d prefer a slightly quicker return speed; may be too long for some frames
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Brand-X was one of the first to bring out a viable budget dropper and its previous Ascend posts earned a good reputation. It’s now made some tweaks to the design as well as bringing out this 200mm-stroke version, which is good news for longer legged riders.

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The XL dropper seatpost is also available in a 170mm dropper length and in 30.9mm and 31.6mm diameter option – I tested a 30.9mm post.

The new models boast a larger shaft diameter (reducing flex), an additional DU bushing and upgraded internals. My sample had minimal play out of the box, and after four months’ regular use it remains smooth and wobble-free.

The Ascend XL comes with a shifter-style under-bar remote, with the cable clamped at the lever end for easy set up (although the cable nipple barrel at the post end does have a snug fit).

At 668g (30.9mm) it isn’t light, but I’ll happily pay a weight penalty for reliability. Ideally I’d like the (non-adjustable) return speed to be a fraction quicker.

It isn’t as short overall as the slightly pricier (once you add a remote) OneUp V2, but the stack height isn’t bad (257mm from the base of the collar to the centre of the saddle clamp) and there’s only 10mm or so of extra post to fit inside your frame (321mm from the base of the collar to the end of the cable ferrule in the actuator).

This may be an issue if your bike has a particularly long or interrupted seat tube. If not, there’s little to fault for the price.

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If you’re looking for a longer drop post for less than £200, the Brand-X Ascend XL is hard to beat, if it fits your bike.

Product Specifications


Price br_price, 5, 3, Price, AUD $275.00EUR €190.00GBP £170.00USD $180.00
Weight br_weight, 5, 6, Weight, 668g (200mm) – 30.9mm diameter, Array, g
Brand br_brand, 5, 10, Brand, Brand x


Features br_Features, 11, 0, Features, Travel: 170, 200mm
Length br_length, 11, 0, Length, 170mm: 499mm; 200mm: 559mm
Material br_material, 11, 0, Material, Aluminium
Remote br_remote, 11, 0, Remote, Shifter-style under-bar
Seatpost diameter br_seatpostDiameter, 11, 0, Seatpost diameter, 30.9mm and 31.6mm
Travel br_travel, 11, 0, Travel, 200mm, Array, mm