9point8 Fall Line Dropper Post

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Tested: 9point8 Fall Line Dropper Post

Unlimited travel options, quality construction, great performance, and manufactured in Canada, eh!

Rating: Vital Review
Tested: 9point8 Fall Line Dropper Post

We have a love-hate relationship with dropper posts, because although things are looking up, we’ve yet to find the perfect solution to building a telescoping, remote-controlled tube that allows you to get your seat out of the way at the push of a lever and do so with absolute reliability. We are perhaps being unreasonable, as components that need no service and never break are not exactly commonplace, but we have many dropper post failures behind us that still leave a sour taste in the mouth and we want posts that do better. Coincidentally, so did the good people at 9point8 which is why the company even exists in the first Read More »

We have a love-hate relationship with dropper posts, because although things are looking up, we’ve yet to find the perfect solution to building a telescoping, remote-controlled tube that allows you to get your seat out of the way at the push of a lever and do so with absolute reliability. We are perhaps being unreasonable, as components that need no service and never break are not exactly commonplace, but we have many dropper post failures behind us that still leave a sour taste in the mouth and we want posts that do better. Coincidentally, so did the good people at 9point8 which is why the company even exists in the first place. When we recently pitted 9 leading dropper posts against each other for our Dropper Post Face Off feature, we left 9point8 out because their technology is already licensed to Race Face and Easton and thus was already part of the test. Time has come to see if the original is actually better.

9point8 Fall Line Dropper Post Highlights

  • Infinitely adjustable
  • Titanium saddle-rail clamping screws and angle-adjust screws. Black-Ti coated for anti-galling, anti-seize performance.
  • Convertible between inline and offset configurations (with purchase of conversion kit)
  • Split clamp remote control design
  • 3 different types of remote levers available
  • Rotational anti-backlash design (patent pending)
  • Adjustable travel via internal spacers
  • Independent adjustment of the seat angle and seat fore/aft position
  • Micro-adjustable seat angle
  • Mechanical DropLoc™ braking technology (patent pending)
  • Locks in push and pull direction
  • 2 year warranty
  • Weight: 623 grams including “Digit” shifter style lever (verified, as tested)
  • MSRP: $447 USD as tested (with “Digit” lever)

Initial Impressions

9point8 wanted the same thing we all want from our dropper posts, which is slip-free performance in any conditions. To achieve this, they looked past the ubiquitous hydraulic locking cartridge design and came up with a mechanical brake that is said to be less sensitive to variations in temperatures and of course not at risk of hydraulic air ingestion, possibly the most common cause of dropper post failure today. It also locks equally effectively in either direction, meaning you are free to pick up your bike by the seat at any time, regardless of what position it happens to be in and without running the rick of actually causing the post to fail. The design of the mechanical brake is licensed to Race Face and Easton and used in their Turbine and Haven dropper posts, respectively. As for 9point8 themselves, they manufacture most parts in their factory in Canada, where the posts are also assembled and tested.

But 9point8 did not stop there. Whether it’s because the dropper post is basically their only product, or simply because they just wanted to throw the kitchen sink at this particular component, the fact remains that the Fall Line is loaded with features. Quick connect cable attachment, independent adjustment of seat angle and fore/aft position which also allows air valve access without modifying the angle of your seat, a design that is convertible between a straight and an offset head, optional clamps for oval seat rails, and a massive range of travel options from just 75 to a whopping 200mm. Additionally, the Fall Line allows travel adjustment via an internal plastic spacer. This enables riders to get the maximum drop for their fit/frame. For example, a 500x175 with an 8mm spacer yields 492x167. 9point8 provides fitment charts and tools to help make these decisions, for those who need or want it. All this in a package that weighs a bit less than most posts in the category, and still stacks up fairly well in terms of pricing. On paper, nobody does better.

Examining the dimensions of the Fall Line, it is about 10-20mm shorter than most other posts of the same travel. Other key numbers like “Collar To Rail” and “Minimum Insert” are in line with most competitors. In terms of weight, the Fall Line tips the scales at 623 grams, about 40-50 grams less than the average in the category (including cable, remote, and hardware), and only 3 grams heavier than our Face Off test winner, BikeYoke’s Revive. Here are the key dimensions of the 9point8 Fall Line @150mm travel:

Full Length (bottom of cable dock to rail)

Collar to Rail

Minimum Insert Full

Bottom of Collar to Base

Max Extension (seat tube to rail)

455mm

210mm

127mm

247mm

330mm

On The Trail

Installing the 9point is a little bit more involved than some other posts. The quick connect feature requires a fair bit of precision, but if you follow the instructions to the letter, you won’t have any problems. Once installed, the design is solid and will for example remain unaffected by moving the post up and down in the frame or otherwise manipulating the cable or remote. We opted for using the shifter style lever mounted under the bar, in our opinion the superior option for dropper remotes.

Finding the right seat angle and position is a breeze thanks to the design that separates these two adjustments. The hardware is a pleasure to work on, the “Black-Ti” coated bolts spin smoothly and the clamps are rock solid once tightened down to spec (9point8 even include a 4mm torque key in the box, so there goes your last excuse for getting this part wrong). We checked the air pressure and found it around 30 psi, right in the middle of the recommended range of pressures. Based on our experience with the Race Face Turbine post, we initially feared this would be too much, but our concerns were quickly alleviated once we noticed how well controlled the Fall Line is with regards to return speed management. It pops back up with purpose, but a secondary, “bottom out” air chamber provides a soft buffer at the end of the travel.

On the trail, the mechanical brake system is a pleasure to use. The small thumb lever requires only moderate pressure to operate and it gives good control over what the post is doing with tactile feedback and consistent performance. You can press the lever while seated to drop the post, with no extra discernible stickiness as a result. Additionally, the cable tension variations and air leaks we experienced with the Race Face Turbine have so far failed to materialize at all, likely a testament to the quality control and manufacturing tolerances applied by 9point8.

We have been testing the Fall Line for a solid three months now, and although we have yet to subject it to the wrath of winter, we are very impressed with the performance so far. Up or down, the post is 100% solid, with no detectable slippage of any kind – including picking the bike up by the seat or hanging it from the post in the workshop. It has also remained absolutely creak free so far. The thumb lever is easy to manipulate in the heat of the action, and using the Fall Line has become second nature.

So where does all that leave the Fall Line in the big picture? We will be updating our Dropper Post Face Off feature shortly to provide a definitive answer to the question, but it is already clear that the Fall Line is among the very top contenders in this product category, and highly likely to challenge for a spot on the box. Certainly an option to take very, very seriously.

Things That Could Be Improved

As good as the “Digit” remote lever is, we think it could be made even better – with regards to the adjustment range. The side-to-side position of the body of the lever can be adjusted by loosening the clamp and sliding the body back and forth, but this adjustment needs a bigger range to be truly effective. For this tester, we found the lever to be just a bit too short or too long, depending on which side of the brake lever we mounted it on. A bigger adjustment range would take care of this issue and allow every rider to find the absolute sweet spot. Note that we only tested the standalone version of the remote, there are MatchMaker and Shimano I-Spec mounts available which may just alleviate this issue as well.

Long Term Durability

Possibly the single most important aspect of dropper post ownership, durability is certainly the Achilles heel of this product category in general. After three months on the trail, we have yet to detect any kind of degradation of performance in the Fall Line, which bodes well for the long-term outlook. Most posts that are going to be trouble would start showing some signs of it after three months, in our experience. At this point, a 200-lbs tester has done his best to put the Fall Line through some rough riding days, and it’s still asking for more. We would be wary of claiming victory just yet, but based on our own experience and feedback from other riders, 9point8 certainly seems to be doing well in regards to quality.

What’s The Bottom Line?

9point8 took a different approach when designing their dropper post, and it seems to have paid off. The Fall Line is loaded with smart and functional features, well put together, and weighs less than many of its competitors. The innovative mechanical brake also seems less prone to developing reliability issues than many of its hydraulic counterparts, and is a pleasure to use on the trail. A winning formula in our books!

More information at: http://www.9point8.ca.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Johan Hjord


Rate review: 0 Up Down
Vital MTB member iceman2058
94 iceman2058 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/94/avatar/c50_johan_1385064431.jpg?1385063576 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/all 08/01/09 751 94 1106 1694 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/iceman2058,94/setup 59 376 4239 115 29

Dropper the Mic

Rating:
The Good:

Beautiful construction, smooth action, and easy installation

The Bad:

Slow shipping, a tad heavy, and a little extra cable length is needed

Overall Review:

So far, this has been a great seat post. It's easily the best looking and most well engineered dropper post I've owned. I was concerned install would be difficult, but it was super easy. I used their digit actuator with ispec adapter. Cable installation, shortening, and adjusting is so much simpler and quicker compared to a hydraulic system. I ended up with a longer cable length compared to previous posts, this is partially due to running it through the frame vice externally like on my previous bikes. The digit lever works great. Actuation is quick with a short and light lever action. The post moves down with little pressure Read More »

Overall Review:

So far, this has been a great seat post. It's easily the best looking and most well engineered dropper post I've owned. I was concerned install would be difficult, but it was super easy. I used their digit actuator with ispec adapter. Cable installation, shortening, and adjusting is so much simpler and quicker compared to a hydraulic system. I ended up with a longer cable length compared to previous posts, this is partially due to running it through the frame vice externally like on my previous bikes. The digit lever works great. Actuation is quick with a short and light lever action. The post moves down with little pressure on the seat and comes up quickly. The seat clamp is well thought out with separate seat rail clamping and angle adjustment.

I can't comment on long term durability or servicing yet. Hopefully, it will prove a durable and easy to service dropper. I'm a bit worried about response and support from 9point8. It took them a bit to get the post shipped out. Also, I'd ditch the red post seal in favor of a black one.

Overall this is a great dropper and I'm optimistic it will continue to work like new for a long time.

Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member VonR
36072 VonR http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/36072/avatar/c50_thumb_IMG_6241_1024_1485314435.jpg?1485313741 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/VonR,36072/all 06/18/15 4 1 3 3 16

Amazing Seatposts

Rating:
The Good:

Reliable Home serviceable Amazing customer service

The Bad:

Can't think of anything!

Overall Review:

Amazing seatposts. Great range of sizes (currently have 2 175mm and 1 200mm. Quality product, nice to see a company that really cares about their products. Pretty sure the guys who designed them are nuclear engineers or something like that? Super easy to service at home. No more reverb rebuild bills...

f'ed deeply

Rating:
The Good:

nothing, it looks good on paper but doesn't actually live up to the hype.

The Bad:

constant malfunctions, unable to reach anyone at 9point8 about repairing it. worst customer service ever

Overall Review:

I really want to love this post, it checks all my boxes. 200mm of drop, mechanical cable actuation, microadjust saddle angle, and the ability to remove the saddle without losing the angle setting. Unfortunately my post has been plagued by problems from the start. After the first ride it had leaked down to nothing in the air spring. A couple rides later the brake started slipping and a "brake reset" did not remedy the issue. I was forced to disassemble the post to clean contamination off the brake and out of the air chamber. A few rides later the brake started slipping again, no way in hell the contamination came from the pump Read More »

Overall Review:

I really want to love this post, it checks all my boxes. 200mm of drop, mechanical cable actuation, microadjust saddle angle, and the ability to remove the saddle without losing the angle setting. Unfortunately my post has been plagued by problems from the start. After the first ride it had leaked down to nothing in the air spring. A couple rides later the brake started slipping and a "brake reset" did not remedy the issue. I was forced to disassemble the post to clean contamination off the brake and out of the air chamber. A few rides later the brake started slipping again, no way in hell the contamination came from the pump this time , as I have switched to a separate previously unused shock pump to use exclusively on this post. Now for the last straw, last night I felt a grinding sensation while lowering the saddle and the stanchion has 2 large scratches which have somehow occurred from the internals of the post.I have been in posession of this post for under a month, while injured, so it has seen only a handful of rides. I have emailed the company 4 times (beginning with the first time it leaked) since buying the post and have received not one reply. Facebook messenger, no reply. Posts on their page, no reply. Phone call, no answer and so far no call back. This is probably the worst experience I have ever had with a bike part.


Rate review: -2 Up Down
Vital MTB member casey.coull.56
25936 casey.coull.56 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/25936/avatar/c50_fb_picture_100000353426506_1372255816.jpg?1372255574 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/casey-coull-56,25936/all 06/26/13 2

Specifications

Product 9point8 Fall Line Dropper Post
Riding Type Cross Country, Trail
Seatpost Type Dropper
Interface Railed
Remote Adjustable Yes - Fall Line ThumB remote with a 1X ADAPTER or Trigger Options, Internal Cable Routing Only
Diameter 30.9mm or 31.6mm
Travel
  1. 75-150mm Stroke :75mm, 100mm, 125mm, or 150mm
  2. 175mm, 200mm Stroke:175mm or 200mm
Length
  1. 75-150mm Stroke :325mm (75mm), 350mm (100mm), 375mm (125mm), 415mm (125mm), 440mm (150mm)
  2. 175mm, 200mm Stroke:500mm (175mm), 560mm (200mm)
Tilt Infinitely Adjustable Independent Adjustment of the Seat Angle and Seat Fore/Aft Position
Convertible Between Inline and Offset Configurations (with Purchase of Conversion Kit)
Materials
Colors Black
Weight
  1. 75-150mm Stroke
    • 0 lb 14.7 oz (416 g)
    • 0 lb 15.3 oz (434 g)
    • 0 lb 14.7 oz (416 g)
    • 0 lb 15.3 oz (434 g)
    • 0 lb 14.7 oz (416 g)
    • 0 lb 15.3 oz (434 g)
    • 1 lb 1.1 oz (484 g)
    • 1 lb 2 oz (510 g)
    • 1 lb 1.2 oz (488 g)
    • 1 lb 2.1 oz (514 g)
  2. 175mm, 200mm Stroke
    • 1 lb 2.6 oz (527 g)
    • 1 lb 3.5 oz (554 g)
    • 1 lb 3.9 oz (564 g)
    • 1 lb 5 oz (594 g)
Miscellaneous * Weights for post only. Installed weight +82g.

MECHANICAL DropLoc TECHNOLOGY
Infinitely adjust the height of the post in a new way. A mechanical brake locks the post in position without having to circulate large amounts of hydraulic fluid. It's lighter, more reliable, and has faster return speeds. The mechanical lock is SPRING actuated, so even if air pressure is lost, the post still locks in any position (but of course the post will not return without help).

SMOOTH RETURN
Air damping system that ensures a fast, smooth return without excessive speeds.

BOTTOM STEALTH ENTRY
Uses bottom 'stealth' entry for bikes that have internal routing options. The Fall Line has a NO TOOLS easy disconnect. You can install and remove the post anytime without having to cut the cable. The cable connection has an ANTI-PULL design which means adjusting the height of the post will not effect cable tension.

2 YEAR WARRANTY
Price
  1. 75-150mm Stroke :$399
  2. 175mm, 200mm Stroke:$449
More Info

​9point8 Website

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