Six months is longer than we normally take to evaluate a dropper post. But this is a Crankbrothers dropper and as they say, "Fool me once … ." We needed to assess the reliability of this brand-new post for ourselves, even though Crankbrothers is literally guaranteeing it.
At the heart of the Crankbrothers Highline dropper post is an easily replaceable cartridge, and at the heart of that cartridge is something pretty unique. While other hydraulically locking posts rely on a linear plunger to regulate fluid, Crankbrothers uses a rotary valve. To understand why this is a better system, go shut off a hose by simply closing a 90-degree ball valve. Then try plugging it with your finger instead.
The remote is also pretty clever. Its near-infinite multi-axis adjustability encouraged me to experiment my way to the perfect position. It can even perch above the bar on either the right or left side.
Though only a 125-millimeter-drop option is available at the moment, Crankbrothers is working on longer- and shorter-travel versions. Each will have the Highline's impressively short 50 millimeters of minimum stack, making it the perfect post if you're just barely short of fitting the length you want.
On the trail, the Highline feels smooth and solid. There was no stickiness and no wobbling. It was delightfully unremarkable, though I personally prefer a faster return.
The only real issue emerged near the end of its tour, when some nagging friction built up in the barrel cam. The cam also serves as the quick disconnect, which I used often when switching the post between test bikes. It's crucial to keep it clean and lightly greased. Crankbrothers is so confident that you won't face any more complicated issues that it's offering an unheard-of three-year warranty on the Highline.
$350 / crankbrothers.com
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