In the world of mountain bikes for a 6-year old, things are improving. High-end machines that allow little ones to keep up on the climbs and absolutely rip the descents are becoming the standard for families across the communities that share our wonderful passion.
In the past few years, I have learned to use my dropper post more frequently than I shift my gears. It has absolutely changed the way I ride and allowed me to progress my skills, all while still maintaining the ability to sit up high and pedal out the cross-country trails that lead to the amazing descents that I cherish.
I want this for my son too! I decided to do some research and find him a dropper post so he can get up for the ups and go down for the downs.
After scouring the internet for a good week, I found the PNW Pine Dropper. PNW’s reputation for great customer service, affordability, and quality goods led me to buy one of their posts.
Review in a Nutshell
- One of the only 27.2mm droppers out there
- Lever is easy for small hands to operate
- Exceptional customer service
- Limited maintenance needed, works in cold weather
- Affordable compared to other dropper posts
- Coil not air-sprung
- Kids under 75 lbs are too light to drop it
Price (MSRP) & Where to Buy:
Fits 27.2mm Seat Tube and Works for External Routing
The bike that we wanted a dropper for is the Trailcraft BlueSky 20. The specifications of seat post diameter (27.2mm) and external routing set a limit as to what droppers I could find that would fit the frame. The PNW Pine met the bikes needs by offering a design incorporating both of those specifications.
Once ordered, the post showed up within a couple days. I immediately installed the post on my son’s bike and worked out the cable routing so it looks clean and isn’t in the way of his movement.
One Issue: Kids Under 75 Pounds Can’t Drop The Post
With the first test we realized that my son couldn’t push the seat into the descending position. I had looked for an air valve to reduce the air pressure but did not see one. I then contacted PNW’s customer service department. I verified with one of their rep’s that that there was an air valve below the seat clamp and I should reduce the pressure in 30 psi increments until it functions properly. The air valve uses a shock pump adapter to internally thread into the valve, so I ordered an adapter, but that was the least of my worries.
Within days I had someone from PNW contact me to inform me that the Pine dropper has a spring in it and that it is not air sprung. He apologized for the error and asked if there was some way they could make it up to me. I never even considered this in my research. I was unaware that droppers came with a standard spring. I thought all new designs were air sprung. Shame on me.
PNW was very nice to me though. They gave me a refund and let me keep the dropper post for when it will work. That is stellar customer service. (I plan on upgrading one of my droppers and am definitely trying out a PNW for myself too).
Even Then, The PNW Pine Still Makes Putting the Seat Up and Down Much Easier
The PNW Pine is still mounted on my little guy’s bike. It works great! We just have to stop so I can push it down for him once we reach a descent. He has quickly grasped the idea of riding high on the seat for climbing and it has improved his solo climbing ability. He’s easily able to operate the lever and raise the seat on his own.
Once he reaches 75 pounds he should be able to move it downward on his own, but that won’t be for some time. The post is versatile in that we can move it over to his next few bikes since the required specifications for those size of frames is standard.
In the end, we got lucky. PNW has amazing customer service. The quality and design of their posts are well thought out and perform amazingly. My little guy might not be going up and down on his more frequently than shifting, but he will be.
Because of the standard spring the post is durable enough to function in cold weather and won’t have movement issues like other posts. (We are talking about you Rockshox).
I very much prefer their design of the cable interfacing with the post and lever. The primary function is smooth and seamless. The post looks great and rides without unwarranted movement. Now to just feed the kid enough so he can really use it!
If you have found another dropper post that will fit kid frames and fully function without an adult present, please let us know.