The Highline 7 won me over fairly quickly after coming out of the box and has established itself as one of the best dropper posts out there. Everything is beautifully made and presented, as is the Crankbrothers way, and it all went together extremely easily on the bike too.
It has a noticeably short 50mm stack height too (the distance from the bottom of the collar to the centre of the saddle rail, and the shorter this distance the longer the travel you can fit into a given frame), making it accessible to more frames.
Crankbrothers has adopted my favourite ‘cable nipple at the post’ design rather than the fiddly alternative of grub screwing on a barrel to the cut cable end.
Simply drop the nipple into the receiver on the post and pull the cable through to the remote, adjust and nip it up at the lever, and you’re done – no careful measurements of outer and inner cables needed. Lovely.
It really does make life a lot easier when fitting the post and when you are testing multiple posts at once, as I was, this sort of thing becomes rather important (even if that’s not a problem facing most riders).
The remote itself, although £55 extra, is worth every penny. Of course you could choose to go with another remote (making sure it is of the type that clamps the cable at the lever) but I found the Crankbrothers option worked well.
Not only was the paddle well proportioned, boasting a consistent, crisp and punchy action, but the ball and socket clamp meant I could draw it right in close, adjusting the angle to squeeze past controls to exactly where I wanted it.
There was little flex, which is the downfall of many remote levers, and virtually zero play in the pivot to add ‘mush’ to the action. Just a nice, positive action.
The only downside was the little sandpaper grip supplied, which only lasted about two rides before going AWOL, the glue simply not being up to the job. In fact, Crankbrothers sent me a whole aftermarket sheet (£6.99) of different colours to match my bikes, but they still didn’t want to stay on.
However, that was a minor gripe requiring five minutes of DIY and stronger glue to sort, and the grippers were a worthwhile addition, adding to the grip and feel through gloved thumbs.
The saddle clamp is an excellent, dependable twin bolt design too, which means it was easy enough to get my saddle into position and keep it there.
No fuss and no jamming of the mechanism, which can happen with single bolt expander designs, and I had no issues throughout the test period or, in fact, any reason to tinker at all–- a great sign that the clamp did its job perfectly.
Crankbrothers ride impressions
Once out on the trail I didn’t see anything that made me waver from my positive first impressions. The return action was quick, but not too quick, and no amount of abuse on cold or wet rides had the slightest effect on it.
That smooth remote action allowed for infinite positioning of the post with little problem, with a soft push giving slower movement for more precise micro-adjustment if needed.
Another huge bonus is the warranty. Perhaps stung by a reputation for poor durability in previous years, Crankbrothers is stepping up with a four-year warranty on the Highline 7 (two years on the Highline 3). Obviously a statement of its confidence in this durable design.
Trelleborg sealing with Igus glide bearings and keys are two brand names thrown in for good measure in the spec sheet, neither of which will mean a lot to most people, but my experience suggests they do the job and I had no wear issues during a fairly wet Scottish autumn and early winter, when the majority of testing took place.
The manual suggests at least 450 hours of riding between strip downs, with a hand-tight collar easily removed in the meantime for cleaning and regreasing; a two minute job every 150 hours or so. All very respectable intervals in this age of arse-coveringly rigorous maintenance schedules.
Overall, it is a superbly functioning, so-far durable post with a respectable weight and top-notch remote.
|Price||EUR €299.00GBP £270.00USD $299.00|
|Weight||516g – without remote/cable|
|Features||Sizes Available: 30.9, 31.6mm
Travel: 100, 125, 150, 170mm
|Remote||Not included. Available for an extra £55 / US$60 / €60|