Everyone loves dropper seat posts on their mountain bikes, but no one loves when they are not working properly. Dropper seat posts are crucial for allowing you to get low to build traction when riding rough downhill terrain, corners, and jumps.
There are two different types of dropper seat posts: cable-actuated and hydraulic. We’ll be going over how to adjust and diagnose cable-actuated dropper seat posts in this tutorial. How do you know if you have a cable-actuated or hydraulic dropper? Take a look at the dropper lever, is there a cable coming out of the end? You can also loosen your seat post collar and pull it out of the frame – can you see a cable coming out of the housing into your dropper post? If you’re still not sure, do a quick search online. All Giant dropper posts are cable-actuated.
1. Is your seat post cable internally routed or externally routed? If it is routed on the outside of the frame, inspect your cable and housing for kinks, frayed cables, and corrosion. If it is routed internally, loosen your seat post collar with an Allen wrench and remove the seat post from your frame to inspect for wear. On smaller frames with internal routing for your dropper, lowering the seat post too far can cause the cable and housing to become kinked.
2. If your cable and housing is in good shape, the next step is to check cable tension. Replace your seat post if you removed it and tighten the seat post collar.
3. Just like your derailleur cable, over time your cable will settle in to your housing for your dropper seat post which causes the cable to loosen. Also like your derailleur, your dropper seat post will have a barrel adjuster near the lever to help make micro-adjustments to your cable tension.
4. If you press the lever of your dropper post and nothing happens (the post either stays up or down), then there is not enough tension on the cable. You’ll want to ADD tension. To do so, turn the barrel adjuster counterclockwise.
5. Check the dropper post by pressing the lever. If the dropper post moves slowly, then you can add a little more cable tension by turning the barrel adjuster a couple more turns counterclockwise.
6. If your dropper post is moving without pressing the lever (it won’t stay up as you are riding), then you have too much tension on the cable. You’ll want to REMOVE tension. To do so, turn the barrel adjuster clockwise.
7. If you’re still having issues with your cable-actuated dropper post, you’ll need to bring it in to your favorite bike mechanic.