ENVE announced a new product line this week, joining the growing marketplace of companies aiming at dropper posts for gravel bikes.
With the release of its first-ever dropper post specifically for gravel bikes, ENVE says it has a product that “dramatically improves” the gravel riding experience.
To do it, it inverted the post and put the action at the top near the rails, rather than down at the seat tube. The result produced what the brand calls the lowest stack height on the market.
The line between progressive gravel bikes and cross-country hardtail mountain bikes has become increasingly blurry, ENVE wrote in the announcement.
The crossover effect makes itself evident in aspects like wider tire clearance and front suspension, which gravel bike designs have started to display. As a result, ENVE “realized the benefit of tucking our saddle out of the way and achieving a lower body position when descending.”
The result is the G Series Dropper Post, a lightweight post that offers 40 mm of drop to improve the drop-bar ride experience. ENVE said it developed the new product with several design goals geared toward wide gravel utility.
The dropper post has a 27.2mm diameter and includes shims for 30.9mm and 31.6mm posts. This ensures compatibility with a broad spectrum of bicycles and frames.
Weighing in at 395 g, the post is already lightweight. But thanks to the inverted design, you can saw it off at the bottom, further reducing the weight to a minimum of 345 g.
The inversion also facilitates the 145mm stack height, which promises to help small riders or those on a frame with high standovers run a dropper post where they couldn’t before.
Also, practically speaking, the design could help prevent field maintenance. That’s because grit, grime, and water should shed off the post down away from the internals, helping preserve seals and bushings. And because the base of the post stays static, riders can throw on saddlebags with a little more confidence.
Choosing the right amount of drop, meanwhile, meant finding the “sweet spot,” or a balance between the challenges of different trails. Gravel biking through the steep and rocky Wasatch Mountains feels radically different than the flint rock roads of Kansas.
“[B]y limiting the amount of drop travel to 40mm, we maintained a saddle position that still pedals efficiently in a dropped position for short periods of time,” ENVE wrote.
While the ENVE G-Series Dropper Post costs $325 MSRP, it doesn’t come with the still-necessary remote lever. While it’s possible to use any cable-operated lever, ENVE also offers its own version, which costs an extra $65.
Alexey Vermeulen showed off the dropper post in one of ENVE’s recent YouTube videos. At UNBOUND Gravel 2022, Vermeulen rode to fifth place overall.