Shimano tends to take its time with new product, and that’s certainly the case with its new Koryak dropper, made by the Shimano-owned component brand PRO. SRAM, Shimano’s main competitor, launched its RockShox Reverb way back in 2010, and has pretty much owned the OEM market ever since.
Whether or not the Koryak can take a bike out of that market remains to be seen: Product managers will have to contend with the fact that, at least for now, the Koryak offers only 120 millimeters of adjustment. That’s 5 millimeters fewer than the first iteration of RockShox’s hydraulic Reverb post, which now comes with up to 170 millimeters of travel.
The Koryak’s travel is infinitely adjustable and mechanically actuated. Cable routing is internal. For serviceability, parts such as the air cartridge and stanchion bushings are replaceable. The post will be available in 30.9 and 31.6 diameters to start, with a claimed weight of 520 grams including lever and cable.
PRO will offer two levers: a traditional, vertically-mounted thumb lever and a below-the-bar, one-by specific version that mirrors the ergonomics of a front shifter. The latter will mount to Shimano’s I-Spec II controls. Saddle-mounting is handled by a single-bolt clamp.
Shimano will likely use the Koryak to sell more complete build kits to its OEM customers, which means that the post could wind up being more popular than its limited travel range would suggest. It’s also very possible that PRO will soon expand on the Koryak’s travel length and seatpost diameter selection, which, if the post’s durability holds up to the brand’s pedigree, should make it a force to be reckoned with in both aftermarket and OEM sales meetings.
The Koryak will be available at retailers in the fall of 2016. Pricing is yet to be announced.