If you haven't tried a dropper seatpost for your gnarly mountain bike rides, you're missing out on an easy way to improve your descending powers. The KS LEV offers the latest in dropper seatpost innovation with the only hydraulically locked and air sprung post to feature zero cable movement and up to six inches of silky smooth travel.
The KS LEV is a superb infinitely adjustable hydraulic seatpost, with a plush and silky-smooth stroke and it sports an innovative zero cable movement design. The post has travel options from four to six inches, and uses an ergonomic carbon lever remote. The LEV has performed flawlessly over the four-month test period, and has been trouble-free with the same buttery smooth operation since day one. Continue reading →
Strengths: The cable routing is the best feature, not cable dangle. Lever action is nice and light and integrates into my grip. Infinite height adjustment is also nice. The part of the post that sits in the frame is shorter than other posts, allowing for a low seat position.
Weaknesses: After about 4-5 months of use it started to develop bad shaft play, similar to bushing slop you get in a worn out fork. Tried calling and e-mailing KS. I got no response. Eventually sent it in with there online return authorization form. They had it for 2 months. Finally got it back and it still has play. Not only that it won't go up on the initial lever press. I have to pull up on my seat to get it to start moving. Kind of defeats the point of having a dropper post. I tried e-mailing and got no response. Finally got a hold of there tech guy on the phone. His response was that they all do that and that's how they are supposed to work. I told him that it was lame for a post this expensive and that this was not right. He then said he was the head warranty service guy and that's how it was. I have since taken the post part way apart cleaned and put some suspension grease on it and it works a little better but still sticks.
Good post when I first got it, but mine is not reliable. The worst thing about the post is KS's customer service. I have worked at a bike shop for the past 5 years and I have to say KS has the very worst customer service in the industry. I can't recommend KS product until they get better customer service.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: December 16, 2013
Strengths: Manufacturing and materials.
Weaknesses: Quality. (I can only speak for the 27.2)
DOA/ never got to use it and had to RMA.
RMA turn around is slow. (waiting for parts.)
Bought this LEV 27.2 for Ellsworth Evolution 29'er.
Materials and finish/ packing quality was good.
However, came DOA.
Would not return to top unless I pull it up by hand.
27.2 has no value to adjust the pressure. (RMA is the only option.)
Sent it in 3 weeks ago...still waiting to hear back from KS.
If it works...it would've been a product.
Bike Setup: Ellsworth Evolutions 29'er
Maintou Tower Pro
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 26, 2013
Strengths: my patience
Weaknesses: the post
Installed the post yesterday. First thing I noticed was the post lifted on its own when the bike was picked up by the seat. Trail rode today. When fully extended the post collapsed about 3/4". When fully collapsed the post could be easily extended by lifting the seat. Spoke to KS tech guy. He was very familiar with the problem when I described it - something about air in the hydraulics??????? "Send it in - around 2 weeks turnaround". Sooo........ less than 24 hours after installation the post is boxed and ready to send back to KS USA.
Date Reviewed: November 13, 2013
Strengths: The post works well when new, after a couple of months its starts getting sticky and not so smooth going down also the LEV cover fell off while riding. Next time I will try the Rock Shox Reverb Stealth version.
Weaknesses: Ron Easton of Customer Service sucks worst than the seatpost itself. The LEV cover fell off while riding due to the weak o-ring that holds it in place. To make matters worst the serial number that customer service request for service, is on the part of the post that rubs against the seat tube, so the number eventually comes off now you are screwed cause they wont service it without the serial number.
Do not buy, unless you wanna be frustrated and disappointed. Too bad this post would had been the best in the industry, if the customer service were a little better. For a seat post costing almost $400, I expected more support.
Strengths: When it works, it's a great post. Cable position, integrated ODI compatible lever
Weaknesses: Failed after two month's Sagged while sitting on it. Been without the post a month now waiting for parts, terrible customer service.
Make sure you have a backup post
Date Reviewed: October 18, 2013
Strengths: When it works, the post is nice. Smooth travel and effortless operation.
Weaknesses: Customer service! My post failed exactly 1 month after purchase and now after 2 weeks of waiting for a repaired or replacement post from KS, they have fallen completely off the grid. It's impossible to contact anyone at KS by phone, because the number provided goes straight to voicemail. They have not responded to any emails either. They may make the most expensive post in the industry, but they certainly aren't putting any of that profit toward any customer service.
The quality of the post is nice when it's working, but my experience with KS to get a warranty repair done has been so poor, that I'll never buy or recommend another KS product to anyone. I hope mine is an isolated incident, but from what I am hearing, it's not.
Date Reviewed: October 1, 2013
Strengths: Smooth and easy movement of the post. Stays locked in place. These attributes have been quite consistent and durable.
Weaknesses: Constant problems with the seat clamp as noted by other reviewers. Post can become somewhat stuck in lower positions requiring the rider to sit and move it down a bit before it will rise. Increasing pressure helps, however the other problem of difficulty getting the seat to initiate down stroke worsens. At times I have to push the seat down several times to get it to actuate. I am not sure if this is stiction of what, but it did not improve with lubrication of the post. Extremely poor customer service from KS - so far the worst I have experience when it comes to bikes/bike parts. Finally, this post is relatively expensive and therefore should work flawlessly and if not KS should respond with flawless customer service.
Extremely poor customer service from KS. The post works well. However, the seat will not stay in place because of the seat clamp design as others have pointed out. This makes pedaling inefficient and riding my bike is not as fun. I have had to apply extreme torque to try to keep the seat from slipping and creaking. My LBS has had to do the same and when they called KS they said, "no problem, we will send you replacement seat clamp parts ASAP". "ASAP" they told us - 1 month later I am still struggling with the seat not staying in place and no replacement parts. With repeat email correspondence and appealing to the customer service department to at least tell me if they were EVER going to send the parts - no response. Then, I finally get another identical form email response stating that the parts will be sent "ASAP". For me this has been a very frustrating experience. This is amongst the worst customer service I have ever experienced. I had a CB Kronolog which has had significant problems, but at least CB responded decisively and rapidly twice for me and the post is working well now.
Strengths: Smooth actuation from extended to compressed. Remote actuation is flawless. Ability to lock into any position is a must have feature. Easy setup and installation. Offered in 27.2mm size. Near infinite adjustability for the saddle angle. High quality cable housing come stock. It is an necessity for preparing for technical single track descents. A must have feature to create a versatile bike for most situations. Makes riding fun again. Worth the investment.
Weaknesses: Saddle clamp does not clamp with enough force to keep the saddle in place, requires Locktite on saddle rails and double the recommended torque for the clamp. Expensive investment, but well worth it. Limited sale prices and availability. The cap for the remote cable anchor pops off easily (remedied with a simple tie wrap). Throw away your old quick release seatpost clamp, no longer needed.
Waited a long time for the KS Lev to become available. The key feature is the ability to lock in near infinite positions. This is extremely helpful in riding single tracks or just doing some fast fire roads by setting the seatpost to just 1 inch down for increased clearance, very cool. The saddle clamp took a little effort to prevent the seat from moving around under stress of climbing. Locktite and increased tightness of the clamps resolved the issue. Actuation is very smooth. Allows a rider to seamlessly transition from climbing single tracks to needing the clearance for the technical downhills, without stopping to adjust the seatpost. Never had to alter the stock air pressure to achieve quick and precise actuation. There is very little side to side play (obviously more play than a rigid seatpost, but less than most others designs). With a dropper seatpost, you have an advantage over your friends ride when the trail gets technical.
Strengths: 1. Infinitely adjustable hydraulic seatpost
2. Superb cable management - zero cable movement
3. Ergonomic carbon remote Lever
4. Ease of installation
5. Available in 27.2mm diameter size
Weaknesses: 1. Cost
I have limited options since my frame seatpost diameter is 27.2 mm. I was considering GD but was turned off by the looks of the boots.I'm glad i chose Lev, it has performed flawlessly for over 2 months. So far its been trouble-free with the same buttery smooth operation since I've installed it. I ride it in the rain a couple of times and haven’t affected the performance.
Favorite Trail: Bataan Killer Loop, Timberland Blue Trail
Duration Product Used: 2
Purchased At: bike bling
Similar Products Used: N/A
Bike Setup: RFX, RS Lyric, SRAM DRIVETRAIN
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 28, 2013
Strengths: Very smooth, looks good, no cable movement, 150mm of infinite travel, nice audible clunk when you hit max so you know the seat is up. So far very reliable. Makes a huge difference on frequently undulating terrain. Minial maintenance required.
Weaknesses: Bit fiddly to set up, high cost (but comparable to other top droppers), its a pain to adjust the air pressure, although this is rarely required after initial set up. Remote can only really go on top of the bar, so takes cosmetic damage when the bike is upside down, and possibly worse if you crash hard. All fairly minor points really.
Took a little while to set up with the help of an online video. A little bit fiddly, but easy enough to do yourself. Adjust the air pressure before you put the saddle on, as its a pain to do later on.
Not cheap but comparable with other high end posts (i.e Reverb) , and so far seems to deliver on performance. It does exactly what is says it will.
No major drawbacks after the initial outlay, but its easy to transfer to your next bike so a good investment.
Love the smooth travel, much nicer - and less risky - than my friends Command post (nut-buster).
No signs of the widely reported issues that affect all droppers....so far.
Strengths: Smooth action, nice remote lever, adjustable seat clamp similar to a Thomson
Weaknesses: Blown cartridge within two weeks. Sent back to KS 2 months ago. Still no post!
When I first got the post I fell in love with it. I was using the I 7, which was nice, but no where near as smooth as the LEV. For the first two weeks I thought I hit the jackpot. Then I blew the cartridge in the main chamber. The post would drop about an inch every time I sat on it. I spoke with Ron at KS and he said 'no problem, send it back in'. This was at the beginning of April. I've called numerous times asking about the post, and get nothing more than the run around. I've been told that the parts to fix the post should be in within a week, then 6 more days, then 2 more weeks, then I"m told it's out of there control and they're waiting on parts from Taiwan. I was also told that the 27.2mm post had a design flaw that they're working on fixing. Well, I spend $394 + shipping to the US from Germany to get this post. I'd have hoped by the time the LEV 27.2 hit the market, the design flaws would have been fixed. Hopefully everyone else on this diameter post isn't having these issues, but, from what Ron relayed to me is at that time there were about 20 other posts sitting in his office with the same problem. Lesson learned...
Strengths: Smooth Action, cable does not move when actuated , excellent range of motion for the length of the post.
Weaknesses: Cost, a bit finicky to set up.
I set a 125 up so that the top out was very high, like a road bike and it really is nice like that when the climbs are at the most extreme as you can "ride the rivet" and keep some weight on the rear tire and still keep the front end down. The all the way down position is wonderful for the steep descents and really tech stuff. The action is nice and smooth , although it sticks occasionally when it is within an inch of the top setting and you want it to go up for an upcoming steep bit. This is my first adjustable post and they really do help you ride better.
Strengths: Currently one of only two stationary-cable 27.2mm dropper posts (the other is the Gravity Dropper Turbo LP); small and efficient remote lever; thoughtfully designed; high-quality feel
Weaknesses: Expensive! Upper tube on the 27.2mm unit looks fragile, but maybe only from my perspective; tiny bit of play; they don't include friction paste or thread-locking fluid, both of which are needed (just a few drops) for proper installation
My unit came with an extra inline Barrel Adjuster, which helps to reduce cable play at the lever. But oddly, it lacks the removable cap to adjust air that's described everywhere. So it seems air adjustment is not possible anymore. No mention of it in the printed user manual either. Overall, after several rides, it's very smooth, works perfectly, and feels solid.
Strengths: Fixed cable position, easy cable routing options, cable actuated (no fluid to deal with), smooth action, integrated ODI grip clamp mount, air adjustable return speed, infinitely adjustable for any height.
Weaknesses: Seat clamp nuts are round and easy to lose, adjusting air requires removing the seat, expensive???
I've had this post for about 2 months now and am very happy with it overall. I had some issues with the clamp creaking and seat sliding back, but that was my fault for not torquing the clamp bolts down all the way. And the biggest complaint I have is that the seat clamp nuts are round which means they are not locked into place in the head, and are easy to drop and lose. I would have liked to see a standard hex locknut design that would recess into the clamp head and really never need to come out. Other than that, this seatpost has been fantastic.
I think most of the people giving negative reviews and those complaining on the forums are not following the installation instructions. People are not installing the barrel adjuster and setting the tension too high. They are installing the metal cable hook backwards which causes the cover to pop off and the seat post not to actuate correctly. Others still are fooling with the pressure or not even checking it at all prior to installation. But what I have found is that although the installation is a little bit more involved that just a "bolt and go" operation, it's well documented and easy to follow if you're patient. I know, new toys are hard to be patient with...even I am at fault for that and didn't torque the seat clamp bolts to spec. But really, start to finish this thing only took a bit over an hour to install. Getting the cable the right length and housing cut properly was the hardest part.
Bootom line: I love the way this seatpost works and looks. The integrated grip actuator is a great idea and is one of the best out there right now. It's small so it doesn't stick up or interfere with controls or get destroyed easily in a crash. Even though it's actuated via a cable, it works smoothly and doesn't require bleeding if you need to cut the hose. A minor inconvenience is that the air pressure cap which allows you to regulate how fast the seat post extends, is located under the seat rail clamp. That means once you get your seat position dialed in, you better hope the return speed of the post is good or you'll have to do it all over again. So, follow the manual and set the speed first, according to your "all up" weight. Another great feature of this post is the head design which allows it to rotate 180 degrees. This means you can position the cable termination point exactly where it will make the cleanest cable run.
I was skeptical at first about the benefits of the dropper post. However, I started doing more weekend shuttle-type rides and manually putting up and down my old post, and then being stuck with it at that height got on my nerves. What I was surprised at was the amount that I use it now on even pretty short little descents (<1 minute). And in almost every case, my times have gotten shorter. And yet another surprise was that I have been running my seat post higher for pedaling than I was before. Rather than putting my seat post at kind of a "happy medium" for climbing and descending, now I can have the best of both worlds. I get more power to pedals climbing as I'm in a more efficient position, and I'm also able to hit the downhills better since I can freely move around without the saddle in front of my junk.
So yes, it's a chunk of change but I think overall it's been worth it. Only time will tell how long it will take me to break it. But I don't think that I would blame that on KS, since my riding style is less than elegant! I've already crashed a few times and come down hard on the seat several times...so far so good. I don't expect it to be bulletproof, but just withstand some normal MTB abuse. I'll post another review after the summer riding season!
Strengths: Return Speed and position, Good Looking, no cable growth, easy maintanence, awesome remote, easy installation and removal
Weaknesses: Adding air pressure is a pain. But once set forget it.
I bought this seat post used as I dove into the hype of droppers. Let me tell you I will never go back. I rode my nomad today which doesnt have a dropper post and man did i miss my knolly with the LEV. this post is awesome, I love that it has no cable growth and if it holds up as long as I think it will, this thing is going to be worth well the investment. Buy it now! and forget about normal seatpost.
The rubber gasket that holds the red KS dust cover over the spring on my KS Lev broke and I need to replace it. Can I just get an oring at home depot or do I need a rectangular gasket? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks BenRead More »
hi, which ks lev model should i order for my chili?
theres loads of options on the site im going to order through but im not up to speed on model variations.
heres the many choices ive got:
[url=http://www.bike-discount.de/shop/m559/k1170/kind-shock.html?od=&ft=1]Kind Shock Verstellbare Sattelstü ... Read More »
I have a Nomad size medium and I'm looking at getting the KS Lev dropper post. I know I need a 30.9mm diameter post. Am I correct that I should get the model with 150mm drop so the post drops all the way down? Thanks!Read More »
So I just got one of these and followed the installation instructions meticulously. Everything went smoothly, it was very easy & straight forward. For some reason the damn thing won't stay down though!
I have no idea what might be causing this, can't find anything anywhere online and can't get th ... Read More »