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Gravel bikes blur the once-fine lines that separated bike categories. They’re not quite road bikes, but they do have drop bars and are plenty fast. They’re not quite mountain bikes, though they have fat, knobby tires. And—don’t make the mistake of suggesting it—they’re definitely not cyclocross bikes. They’re a little bit of everything, and as riders have ventured from dirt paths to gravel roads to single track, pushing the boundaries of their gravel bikes, they have demanded more from their jack-of-all-trades machines. The latest component to reach gravel bikes in the quest to make them even more capable are dropper posts.
When it comes to the world of dropper posts, there are relatively few choices to be found for a standard 27.2mm seat post, simply for the fact that that size is the domain of road bikes and the need for a collapsing seat post simply does not exist for road riding. But then came gravel and the landscape transformed. Now, several seat-post manufacturers have a 27.2mm dropper post. Easton is the latest to throw its hat into the ring with the EA70 AX dropper post.
This alloy post is relatively modest for the world of dropper posts, featuring only 50mm of travel, about half that of other 27.2mm dropper posts on the market. And that figure is especially small when compared to the 150mm or more of travel that can be found on some mountain bikes. But Easton is not trying to make a dropper post for mountain bikes. And as it turns out, 50mm of travel (about 2 inches) is just enough to make gravel riding more enjoyable without being overkill. That 50mm lets you position yourself lower and farther back on the bike for extra stability while descending off-road and gives the confidence to take on more technical terrain. The post easily drops and returns to full extension, and there is no noticeable play when it is fully extended, so you can put out maximum power both on the flats and while climbing.
Easton offers this $185 post in two sizes, 350mm and 400mm (each with 50mm of travel and a 0mm-offset head) to help you dial in the right size post for your bike. Both post sizes utilize a cartridge design and use an internally routed cable—which can be connected from either direction—to maintain the clean look of your bike.
By its nature, a dropper post is going to be heavier than a regular post with no moving parts. The alloy EA70 AX is no different, weighing in at a touch over 400 grams for our 350mm test version. But if you’re the kind of rider to push the boundaries of gravel and explore new trails, the extra grams are worth it.
$185; 402g (350mm version); eastoncycling.com