One of the greatest steps forward in mountain bike technology for the descender is the dropper post. Not only does it allow you to climb in the perfect position, but it allows you to stow your seat when things get rowdy and point the bike downhill. With so many major brands out there supplying similar products we decided to take a look at a new player in the component arena, PNW Components and their flagship dropper ‘The Bachelor’.
Who are PNW Components?
PNW Components are a small owner-operated manufacturer of mountain bike components based in the Seattle, the heart of the Pacific North West of the USA. The brain child of Adam Kerson and Emily Stevenson, PNW’s founders bring a mix of creativity and marketing flair, drizzled with a hefty serve of industry experience to form a symbiotic brand that is making waves on a global scale. The company focus is simple, quality products engineered for functionality and a price point we can all afford. PNW Components has just partnered with Mountain Bikes Direct in Australia and their products are now available at one of Australia’s biggest online bike stores.
The Nitty Gritty
The Bachelor dropper post is designed for the mountain biker that lives for the descent but likes to earn his or her turns with pedal-powered climbs. Perfect for the Enduro racer amongst us, made from ultra light 7075 aluminium and with a thicker stanchion than previous versions of the post; this year’s model looks set to deliver a increased stiffness in a lightweight package. Unlike it’s sibling post ‘The Rainier’, this post is air cartridge driven not coil driven, is available in 150mm or 170mm, is internally routed and comes stock with PNW Components’ ‘Loam Lever’. To show a hefty dose of trust in their product, PNW Components have also backed ‘The Bachelor’ with a 3 year warranty.
The Loam Lever
Probably one of our favorite things about ‘The Bachelor’ dropper post is the fact that it comes with a damn good dropper lever, one that you definitely do not need to upgrade. There is nothing worse than spending a wad of cash on a new dropper and then needing to upgrade the lever to a functional under-bar lever. The Loam lever is not only functional, but it looks damn good. Custom CNC machined with a non-slip weather proof moulded pad, the LOAM lever packs everything you need in cockpit components. The Loam Lever works with just about every cable actuated dropper on the market for those looking to upgrade their levers, for us this was a definite highlight to the package.
Enough about the Tech, let’s see how it held up to our Testing…
As always, we believe the best way to test something is to ride the hell out of it and see what shakes out, so we did. We mounted the PNW Dropper to a Giant Reign and pushed the long travel beast up hills (with much sweat and effort) and faster down hills, even strapping a race plate to the steed and giving it a weekend of race condition wear and tear to test it’s metal. If there is one thing that we loved from ‘The Bachelor’ dropper post, it was the set and forget nature of the engineering and functionality. Once mounted and tuned to the rider’s needs, we didn’t adjust or change a thing on the post or lever and it performed spotlessly time and time again.
“If there is one thing that we loved from ‘The Bachelor’ dropper post, it was the set and forget nature of the engineering and functionality. “
The infinite adjustment of the post is something that we love here at Brakes Wide Open, after all, no rider is ever the same and no trail is ever the same, so why should your dropper post levels be the same each and every time? The action was smooth, there was no side wobble (a common fault with some dropper posts) and even after a mud-filled rainy ride it performed flawlessly without any need for adjustment. For the Reign the 150mm travel length was bang-on point but for those with frames that will take it and legs that like to stretch, a 170mm version is there for the taking.
Pros: Smooth Action, Stealth look, Air sprung, no side wobble, set and forget reliability.
After a month of testing in dry, dusty conditions with a few days of rain and mud; we were certainly impressed by the 2019 offering by PNW Components. The Bachelor dropper post not only delivered a great looking product with attention to detail where it counts, but it delivered a functionality that is seldom seen by smaller brands. PNW Components look set to put a solid dent in the mountain bike components market and if ‘The Bachelor’ Dropper post is anything to go by, there’s no absence of quality delivered by this owner-driven company.