KS was the first on the scene to have a reasonably reliable dropper post. It gave them a serious head start, so it’s no surprise that their large family of seat posts keeps growing, with new ones appearing every few months like a long lost Kardashian.
The LEV CI is the carbon-mast edition of the standard-setting, LEV Integra. The LEV CI is nothing new, but this year marks the first time it’s gotten stretched out into the growing 175-millimeter market. The internals are the same as the LEV Integra many of us know, as are the external measurements of stack and extension. The “C” in CI refers to the carbon lower mast that replaces the aluminum one of the traditional Integra, as well as the carbon lower saddle rail cradle. On the 30.9-millimeter LEV CI, for instance, you’ll save nearly 100 grams over the traditional aluminum LEV Integra.
KS’s carbon offerings have also just been extended into their unique range of skinny posts. There’s been a growing demand for decent 27.2-millimeter droppers of late. And many of those demands are, by their very nature, coming from the weight-conscious crowd. Several dedicated cross-country bikes out there have gone to 27.2 post diameters to save weight and/or to soften the impact and vibration of running a 31.6 post. Also growing in demand are gravel bikes, many of which use the smaller post diameter. If you’re in either category, your bike is probably light enough to benefit from the 75 grams that the Integra CI would save you.
There’s a lot of hardware to cram into a 27.2 dropper post, and increasing its drop doesn’t help. Additionally, flex, durability, and bushing wear become a greater issue the taller you go. It seems 125 millimeters is about the limit for now for 27.2. The Thomson Elite External dropper has been leading the charge, but the cable routes to the top of the seat post, something we’re lucky not to see much of anymore. KS must have cracked the code, and the Lev Integra now comes in a 125-millimeter drop. The new length comes with a relatively deep 285-millimeter insertion depth, so check your frame if you’ve got any interruptions in your seat tube.