The Crankbrothers Highline 3 dropper post looks to take the performance of the top-of-the-range Highline 7 dropper and transfer it to a more affordable package.
At first glance, both the Highline 3 and 7 look near-identical, but the differences are mostly internal. The Highline 7 also has a slightly different quick-connect two-bolt saddle head.
Both come in a wide range of options, with travel choices from 80 – 200mm and three seatpost diameters.
Crankbrothers Highline 3 details
Inside the anodised black exterior, the Highline 3 doesn’t use the same IFP (internal floating piston) as the Highline 7 but does slide on the same Igus LL-glide bearings and use the same Trelleborg seals, so I anticipate durability and reliability to match up.
Post installation is an effortless procedure, with the barrel end of the cable held by the actuator in the base of the post and all tensioning and adjustment done with a grub screw at the bar.
It’s nice to see Crankbrothers supplying premium Jagwire cables, even on its more affordable post because I’ve found that the budget cables supplied with other more affordable droppers can stretch significantly.
Crankbrothers’ Highline remote has a clever spherical ball joint in the clamp, which allows for lots of versatility in positioning, but the downside of this is that the whole assembly can’t be mounted directly to a brake lever.
The inclusion of optional coloured grip tape tabs for the thumb paddle is a nice touch for adding extra traction and customisation.
Crankbrothers Highline 3 performance
Although the Highline 3’s feel doesn’t quite match that of its more expensive counterpart, it still works perfectly and consistently, with a fast return speed for quick saddle height changes on undulating trails.
That different IFP to the Highline 7 means the post isn’t quite as silky smooth and feels rather more mechanical.
The slim post collar and neat twin-bolt saddle clamp both help to keep the stack height down to a minimal 47mm, and the saddle nicely out of the way for descending.
Unfortunately, the remote’s lever pivot has a lot of friction and not rotating on a bearing, as many other remotes do, means some binding occurs in the pivot, which in turn makes the post’s operation feel stiffer.
Crankbrothers Highline 3 bottom line
The Highline 3 has so far proved itself a solid and reliable post, and taking price into account it’s well worth shortlisting.
It’s just a shame that the Highline remote has so much lever friction because it makes it feel like the cable is binding and stops the post feeling as good as it should.