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As another 25 yr user of fixed seat posts, It took me quite awhile to get fairly smooth with using the dropper. It was real clunky feeling at first, but I use it constantly on our twisty, rolling terrain. It really is the key to getting the most out of new geo, moving around in the space where the post was, not behind it. Especially evident in cornering.

You don't need to drop it all the way down for everything. That can be wasted energy sometimes. You'll get the feel for how far to drop it, and the timing of it. Just takes a bit of relearning how to ride the new geo.
 

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I’m in the same boat as you, plus a few months more experience with droppers it sounds like. I, too, have not had it “click” with me yet as I expected from hearing others say how they couldn’t live without it. I expect it may still wow me, but I’m getting skeptical.

That said, I do use it every ride mainly for downhills and flat turns that need to be taken at less than full speed. Flat, slower turns are the ones for me that I really have to weight my outside foot, and getting the seat out of the way helps. It also allows me to dip my body down at the apex of the curve to dig in for extra traction.

Otherwise, bermed turns or faster (more gradual) flat turns feel fine if not better with the seat up. When I’m leaning the bike hard into a berm, I’m staying in-line with the lean of the bike and the seat up helps me find the right point of balance. On a faster gradual flat turn, I don’t need to lean the bike as hard and don’t have to dip my body for a traction burst.

Dropping the post on any serious downhill also helps just in general to make sure you have the room to shift and respond to the trail. With new geo you don't have to put your butt way back any more, so getting the seat out of the way let’s you move around equivalent to how you did with the older geo bikes.

I’ve watched several tutorials, and haven’t seen anything that made me think I’m missing some technique, but maybe I haven’t watched the right ones.
 

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So I bought a new bike a few months ago. YT Izzo, first 29r, first dropper post. It took what seemed like forever to adapt to the feeling and handling of the 29 inch, long, low, slack geometry, still feels a little barge like on tight turns. Especially tight downhill switchbacks, which are my nemesis anyways. The dropper post is a whole other issue. After 25+ years of gripping the seat or using it for support in different downhill situations now dropping it out of the way has me feeling way off balance. Tried using it quite a bit this past weekend on some steep rocky downhills and felt terrible with the seat down. Anyone else in the same boat? Suggestions for getting used to it, other than keep at it. I have been at for months now, feel like I must be going about it all wrong since apparently a dropper is a must have these days.
I felt like this at first. I kept using it until I got used to it, and now I think droppers are the greatest thing since sliced bread.
 

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slow
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I have just recently added droppers to a couple of my bikes after riding fixed height seat posts on my mountain bikes since 1988. (I used the QR to lower the saddle the first 3 years on my MTB and then decided I was too cool to lower the seat in 1988). The droppers took a bit of getting used to but I have become a convert. I don't ride full suspension, so I am already used to the standing crouch on the descents, so having the seat lower allows me to maintain a similar position and gives the bike a bunch more room to move around underneath me. It also allows me to get a lower center of gravity in the turns. I have seen some significant gains in downhill speed in the last few months with the droppers, but I haven't noticed much difference in switchbacks.
 

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This all happened to me too, at first. Then I realized that I was dropping it too low. That made all the diffrence, dropping it just a few inches for the downhills, then back up for the uphills. Now I use the dropper more often than the derailleur. It's awesome.

I practically never drop it all the way.
I don't have a massive mountain biking history (other than in my childhood, and that was just a cheap huffy in the late 80's/early 90's) so maybe I don't have as much to unlearn as those with more experience. My only time without a dropper in modern history would've been about 6-8 months on a 26in hardtail from REI that got me hooked on riding, followed by about 6 more months on a 29er Specialized Camber that came without a dropper. I added a 100mm dropper on that bike another 6 months later. I then ended up on a Stumpjumper that had 120 (or was it 125?) of drop from the factory, which was then replaced with a non-Specialized dropper (OneUp) of the 150mm variety.

Then my current Enduro which came with a 150mm, and has since been changed out for a 170mm axs post.

Long story short, I can't get enough drop. I'm definitely not billy badass always out of the saddle... my fat ass gets tired too quickly for that, but on just about any drop or measurable descent, that thing is slammed as low as it can go. It's pretty rare that I don't drop it to the maximum if I drop it at all. Maybe if I'm speeding through some chunky bits I'll just lower it about 1/4 to 1/2 way.
 

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orthonormal
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So I bought a new bike a few months ago. YT Izzo, first 29r, first dropper post. It took what seemed like forever to adapt to the feeling and handling of the 29 inch, long, low, slack geometry, still feels a little barge like on tight turns. Especially tight downhill switchbacks, which are my nemesis anyways. The dropper post is a whole other issue. After 25+ years of gripping the seat or using it for support in different downhill situations now dropping it out of the way has me feeling way off balance. Tried using it quite a bit this past weekend on some steep rocky downhills and felt terrible with the seat down. Anyone else in the same boat? Suggestions for getting used to it, other than keep at it. I have been at for months now, feel like I must be going about it all wrong since apparently a dropper is a must have these days.
It sounds like you're still getting your weight way back on steep descents like you trained yourself to do for the past 25 years on mountain bikes with road bike derived geometry. You can safely stay far more centered on your Izzo than you may realize and once you find the right fore-aft balance point, the bike will handle much better and the barge-like feeling should go away.

You also want to take advantage of the opportunity to lower your center of gravity that the dropper provides. Doing so while remaining balanced fore-aft requires you to hinge at the hips quite a bit. If you have tight and/or weak hamstrings, prepare to be sore as you adjust.
 

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Find a local coach and spend a few bucks and a day relearning how to ride a bike. It'll be worth every penny.

Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
 

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One of the big things I see with guys new to droppers is still clutching the seat with their knees or thighs. Stop doing that. Get that seat down and out of the way and start moving that bike around.

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A lot of great advice, appreciate it. I will be working on some of these suggestions. Thinking about it more as I read through the responses, I think some of my gripping the seat habit comes from 50+ years and counting of riding and racing dirt bikes. One of the first rules of MX riding is gripping the bike with your knees. Light bulb moment! :eek:
I found this video by Kyle Warner helpful with dropper posts. I just started using one this year. It becomes second nature after a while but I do find myself gripping the seat from time to time.
 

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I found this video by Kyle Warner helpful with dropper posts. I just started using one this year. It becomes second nature after a while but I do find myself gripping the seat from time to time.
I was going to link to the same video. Great info.

And like others have said, work at not gripping the seat. It will take time but you will get there.
I remember a couple of years ago when a riding buddy got his first dropper that I would encourage (yell at) him to quit gripping the seat. He finally had the light bulb moment and now he swears by droppers too.

I have heard the saying,
wide stance and let er dance.
 

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There's a terrain for every technique!

I will get low and knee-grip the saddle when I blaze through babyhead gardens on a straight, fast downhill. On the hardtail.
I am still able to shock absorb with my legs, though not as much. But the extra points of contact help with not getting bounced off my flats.

Honestly I'm usually just wishing the seat could go a little higher on the climbs and get a little lower in the drops....
 

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Find a local coach and spend a few bucks and a day relearning how to ride a bike. It'll be worth every penny.

Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
Yes and no. I see that at scale having been one of the leaders starting lesson programs for kids and then adults, and just retired from ski area director where one of the well known training/coaching firms has clinics. In that we also do and have done outreach for kids, PSTD vets, and people dealing with physical and mental health issues. They don't have a coaching budget and might get more than most from riding.

Not everyone can afford it, and people can get a little too caught up in theory. Some gear choices make a difference and need budget too. It can be a rider needs the right terrain - budget to go to a pump track if there's not one near you. Find group rides and especially the funster, session, trials types who welcome everyone.

I've witnessed people who get instruction but refuse giving up their old bikes from the era of stupid designs or emulating racers. Their turning point is when they get off the stupid design bikes.

Knowing demographics here are likely very broad I'll leave it at a pro can help a lot if you can afford it but it's not necessary.

For dropper posts it's as easy as the way we should should live - embrace change, get it done, play hard, rinse, repeat.
 

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Having ridden 40+ years without a dropper made me feel I'll just never "get used to" using a dropper. Been on droppers for 10 or so now, I think. But I've come to realize, it's just not my riding style, and really has nothing to do with "getting used to it". To this day, I still prefer to slide off the back of the saddle when I drop vertically. It's not right or wrong, it just works better for me. I've learned that it also depends on the bikes geometry. I've been on some bikes that dropping the saddle way down seemed better, others not so much. My current daily ride trail bike... not so much. I hybrid, I guess. Drop the saddle just a little, AND slide off the back when pointing down. For me, that gives me the best control and playfulness I like. I also like to drop an inch or so for steep technical climbs, and sometimes when sweeping through fast flow. But I never drop it all the way, out of the way. To each his own, I guess.
 

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I got my first dropper on my "new" bike when I bought it, off the rack, in 2017. And I, too, was perplexed as to its function, having ridden, as many of you have, for some 30 years with a stiff posted seat either glued to my ass, or wedged between my thighs, or pushed into my belly or ribcage, given the circumstances and as the case may be in the moment on any given ride. And I, too, held firmly to the belief (I am, admittedly, a bit of a Ludditte) that it was an essential point-of-contact critical to my ability to shred my bike like a pro.

And then I got to ride behind Joe (while I could hang with him), a few times who, you see, has been a legit pro, and has even, a time or two, been a World Champion and is also a Skunk and a Hall Of Famer and practically lives on a bike as his fulltime job still, so its safe to say he really knows how to ride, in the sense that it's like watching someone make music to watch him ride, and despite the fact that he is actually a couple years older than I am (and I'm nearly 55).

And the deal is, Joe (and I now, too) uses his dropper a lot, not just when he's descending, but also when he's cornering. Like a lot a lot, as in dozens and dozens of times in a given ride, in almost every fast corner and on the slightest decline. In every case his natural center is much closer to the ground and his body position is able to make quicker microadjustments to the terrain than a traditional stiff posted bike would accommodate, plus he is able to tip his bike well up onto the sideknobs when cornering, literally putting him on rails in the corners, a thing of beauty to behold, indeed. Riding behind Joe (while I could hang with him) was the epiphany I needed to figure out what I could aspire to when it came to implementing my fancy new techy dropper-post into my riding.

And I am here to tell you, several years on, it has changed my life, and especially my riding, all for the better a thousand times over. Another friend once told me, long before I ever rode with a dropper, "They're even more essential an advancement in how we're able to ride than clipless pedals were." And, while I didn't want to believe him at the time, I am more than compelled now to admit that he was right. Nothing (other than the flat-freedness of tubelessness) has made my riding funner, faster, or has improved my ability to navigate my bike capably over all types of terrain than riding with a dropper post has.

I've put one on several other of my go-to fun bikes now, any bike that I want to go fast on and rip corners with. I highly recommend all y'all old farts do likewise.
 

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I just started using a dropper last year. It reminded me of riding my old BMX bike. I found that standing a lot, without a place to rest, I felt the fatigue in my legs. This was somewhat short-lived.
Also, without the saddle in its "up" location as a reference, I sometimes couldn't really tell where, exactly, I was on the bike.
The dropper, fully dropped, is a boon for steep descents, cornering, and bunny hops. But say I'm just on a really bumpy trail - I'll just drop it an inch or so. I can even pedal from that position. But that way I still have that point of reference, and something to put my leg against - which has become a new source for bruises. :D

-F
 

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For those of you that have to learn how to use a dropper, have any of you ever just gone to the local park, parking lot, bike path and just tried leaning the bike over as much as you can? Pick or spot on the ground (or use a cone) and just round it by leaning the bike over. Don't lean your body, lean just the bike. Do some front wheel lifts, learning to get your body weight back over the rear axle. Do a front/rear wheel lift onto a curb. Then small bunny hops learning how to drop your body weight straight down over the cranks, then lifting.

My point is, get off the trail that you've ridden one way for 10 years, and go learn how to move the bike under your body. Most of us, ride to ride, and don't practice to get better at ridding.
 

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Murica Man
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it's simple for me: up when i'm climbing or doing long stretches of flat ground, and down when i'm descending. no middle ground.
 

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You have to learn to get comfortable with the bike moving underneath you. That means unlearning the whole "gripping the saddle with your legs" thing. That was never good technique, but tons of people latched onto it when their saddles were way up in the air.

Honestly, this one goes WAY back to practicing range-of-motion drills on the bike. One of the most basic drills you're going to find. But you have to learn how to get comfortable letting the bike do one thing while your body does something else.
This is worth repeating!

Additionally, YouTube has plenty of cornering "how to" videos that are based on having a dropper that is down and may give you some insights.

I have gotten to the point that I think of it as a "riser post" as much as a dropper. It's down a lot, including in the flats when I'm turning.
And there are plenty of times I'll have the dropper part way down, such as in techy climbing. It's an incredibly useful tool.

Edit: I see old_er beat me to the YT recommendation.
 
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