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Easton has a light, new, gravel dropper post called the EA90 AX and a drop-bar lever to go with it.
The 327g spring-loaded post is built on the Transfer SL foundation of Easton’s sister company Fox, and is one of the lightest gravel droppers on the market.
The DOSS-style mechanical operation works with any cable lever. Pulling the lever releases the lock, so your weight can push the saddle into the down position, or, if it’s in the down position already, removing your body weight allows it to pop back up.
It comes in 50mm and 70mm versions. Both are 27.2mm in diameter and feature titanium bolts. The latter weighs 339g. This is light for a dropper, but of course heavier than the carbon seatpost that you may already have on your bike.
The post can also be actuated by a left shift lever on a 1x bike (provided that it’s a mechanical lever, of course).
The post costs $349.
The new EA90 AX Lever is designed to be activated from either the hoods or the drops.
It clamps on underneath your shifter and the single piece of shaped aluminum pulls the cable that triggers the dropper post.
The EA90 AX Lever is $55.
Some dropper posts are “inifite,” in that you can set them anywhere along their short travel. This post has two options: up or down, with either 50mm or 70mm of drop. It’s a straightforward design.
In the upright position, there is a small bit of play as with other dropper posts, but nothing I noticed when pedaling.
Do you need a dropper post? For riders who like to “underbike” and take the gravel bike on mountain bike trails, being able to get low and/or back can certainly help when rolling over ledges or even just taking fast, tricky descents. Even at 70mm, this dropper has relatively little drop compared to a mountain bike dropper.
If your gravel bike currently has a carbon seatpost, the compromise of moving to a dropper is that you lose the damping and flexing traits, and add a bit of weight.
The Easton EA90 AX post is snappy in its travel, with a Kashima coating offers a smooth glide. There is nothing vague about how readily it pops back up.
The EA90 Lever does a decently good job of being right at hand without being too much in the way. Having the lever positioned on the tops, for instance, would keep your shifters area clearer, but then it would not be accessible when you most need it. When you’re right about to roll over a dropoff or bomb down a rocky descent, your hands should be on the levers — either on the hoods or in the drops, and this lever works well in both those positions.
As with every component, there is a tradeoff. Here, it’s that the lever doesn’t disappear when you’re not using it, and it does dictate your left-thumb position.
In short, if you like the idea of a dropper post on a gravel bike, this set-up from Easton is worth a look, as it’s one of the lightest, short-travel droppers out there for a 27.2mm bike.