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DT Swiss D 232 ONE Seatpost

Vital Rating: (Very Good)
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DT Swiss D 232 ONE Seatpost
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Is 60mm of Drop Enough for XC? DT Swiss D232 ONE Review

DT Swiss joins the dropper post party with a lightweight, upside down design aimed squarely at XC riding and racing.

Rating: Vital Review
Is 60mm of Drop Enough for XC? DT Swiss D232 ONE Review

At the beginning of 2020, DT Swiss unveiled the new 232 platform, a group of components dedicated to enhancing the capabilities of modern XC bikes to cater to real-world XC racing needs. After years of experience gained with forks and rear shocks, it seemed inevitable that DT would create a dropper post to complement their suspension products and really unleash those aspiring racers or World Cup crushing competitors, allowing them to find that extra edge when needed. We bolted the new dropper on our test bike and, you guessed right, went out to see what it’s really made of.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Very light lever action
  • Clamping head fits any saddle
  • Easy to maintain
  • Requires almost no pressure to push seat down
  • Only 400mm length option
  • No 31.6 option
  • Rattling cable hose connection

DT SWISS D 232 ONE Dropper Post Highlights

  • Carbon parts for extra weight savings
  • “UPSIDEDROP” design
  • 27.2 and 30.9 sizes available.
  • Zero offset
  • 100% mechanical mechanism, no hydraulics, no compressed air
  • Lever options: L1 Remote Lever / L1 Trigger handle bar clamp / L1 Trigger Matchmaker
  • Weight: 369 grams
  • MSRP: $566 USD

Initial Impressions

Taking the post out of the box you instantly feel the low weight. Looking more closely into the nitty gritty, it really feels like DT went deep with the design to bring some clever ideas to the table - let's dig in:

Most noticeable is the upside down design, DT Swiss calls it “UPSIDEDROP” and it’s easy to understand why. With an inverted design they can build a very light and reliable saddle clamping area and have more flexibility to match with the current seat tube sizes on the market. The post is offered in the two most common sizes for XC frames, 27.2 and 30.9, and although it’s easy enough to fit a shim, we still would have liked to see the 31.6 option be available too.

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The saddle clamping mechanism sports two bolts and is fully made out of carbon.Fitting our test bike’s carbon railed saddle was easy, with high-end hardwear long enough to fit any seat at almost any angle (maybe even Kulhavy tilt levels).

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Maintenance of the post is easy, thanks to the simple mechanical design. Just unscrew the big seal head and the upper part pops right out - take care not to aim at any rivers or cliffs as you might end up losing your seat LOL. A quick wipe and grease of the moving parts followed by closing it all up again should really not take more than 5 minutes.

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The locking mechanism is very robust and should last a long time, while the moving parts are simple and shouldn’t be expensive to replace when needed. There’s a wedge with steel balls around it contained in a ring that looks just like an outer part of a big bearing. When you pull the lever, this wedge goes down and the balls creep in to let the ring slide down freely. When you release the lever, a spring pushes back on the wedge and balls. The moment they find their groove they lock into place and hold the saddle in its position. You will have guessed it by now, this means the post isn’t infinitely adjustable and only offers two positions.

On The Trail

In the absence of any pressurized air and/or hydraulics, compressing the light steel spring requires the least amount of force we’ve ever encountered in a dropper post. The lever action is also really light which makes for a combo that is super easy to actuate when needed. Here at Vital, we generally prefer posts that feature a distinct top-out sound, which lets you know that the post has returned to full extension and is ready to be sat on again. The D232 is pretty much silent in this regard, likely due to the light weight of the spring that pushes the post up. Now, the post only has two locking positions, one at the top and one at the bottom, so even without a sound you’ll know that the post is always where you expect it to be.

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The lever’s minimalist design fits well with the overall intention - it is small, light and simple. It’s edges are a little sharp and the surface isn’t all that pleasant to the touch without gloves. Our test bike’s cockpit is pretty crowded but we still managed to find a nice position for the lever. However, the housing comes in at an awkward angle that doesn’t match the angle of the brake hose and lockout cables. It seems like most other manufacturers are adapting more “standard” angles and we’d like to see DT joining the club in that aspect. We were able to solve the issue by bending the housing connector (it is easy enough to do by just force of hand).

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The benefits of a good dropper post for general trail riding are of course well documented by now, and the increasingly technical nature of modern XC tracks is causing more and more of them to pop up on XC race bikes as well. A lower seat allows you to move more freely on the bike when descending and have better posture for tackling technical terrain and high speed sections. Having said that, we were curious to see if 60 mms of drop would be enough as it’s the shortest post we have tested yet. As it turns out, it is certainly more than nothing and it does get the saddle out of the way enough to provide more room to move around the bike. During our first rides we definitely noticed the reduced amount of travel which puts the seat in a different position. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the change for us was noticeable. Of course, if you’re coming off a regular fixed post, you are likely to just feel a significant amount of added comfort and confidence.

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One of the problems with XC riders converting to a dropper post is choosing too much drop to start with, 150 mms for example. In that case, after riding many years with your seat up, you will really feel like something is missing in your connection points with the bike, like using your inner thighs to move the saddle left and right or just holding on for dear life in some steep sections.

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By settling for 60 mms of drop DT Swiss found a good balance between not enough and too much, and the D232 is a great “bridge” option for those getting their XC dropper game on for the first time. We would like to see more travel for taller riders as 6 cms of drop compared to almost 100 cms of inseam is a bit less than ideal in those scenarios.

Things That Could Be Improved

The locking mechanism is sensitive to cable tension, which may mean that using any other lever could cause the post to drop or extend on its own (we had this experience with a combined dropper/remote lockout lever we tried using at the start of the test). With the stock lever it was never an issue.

The post only comes in two options out of more than 10 available in terms of overall length, travel and drop options. We’d like to see more options with more drop for tall riders and less overall length for shorter riders as well as more diameters to fit more frames.

Finally, there’s only one keyed guide inside the post and for riders who are spending a lot of hours in the saddle, this seems like a single point of failure that has the potential to cause issues at some point in the future.

Long Term Durability

For the last few months, we’ve spent a lot of hours on the DT post, and although we were initially afraid of some longevity problems occurring during the testing period, our concerns have been put to rest. The post did not develop any noticeable wobble and still works fine, likely thanks to the simple design and the ease of service.

There are no noticeable signs of wear on the shaft and other than the dust wiper collar spinning itself loose from time to time, we haven't found any major problems.

What’s The Bottom Line?

DT Swiss entered the market with a novel design that was supposed to address some limitations of current droppers for XC applications. Some of the features are actually pretty clever, such as the upside down design and the simplicity of the locking mechanism, and the overall features and low weight do make this post particularly well suited for XC racing as well as riders looking for just a small amount of drop to help with technical sections found along their usual riding routes. The overall length of the post is a bit of a downside, especially for shorter riders and smaller frames, and some seat post dimensions are missing. However, if your measurements are a match for the D232 ONE, you’ll find a very lightweight product that will just get on with its job.

More information at www.dtswiss.com.


About The Reviewer

Yonatan Yatom - Age: 26 // Years Riding MTB: 15 // Height :6'0" (1.83m) // Weight: 161 pounds (73kg)

Yonatan is a born racer and a bike addict. As a true competitor the only thing on his mind when lining up in the start gate is the finish line. With a background in local enduro and DH races and even the occasional appearance in an Enduro World Series on his resume, Yonatan has more recently applied himself to building bigger legs and trying his luck racing XC as well. Throughout the week he’ll be manning the spanners at the bike shop, reading about new stuff on the internet, and thinking about how to improve everything he rides. Yonatan’s riding style is fully pinned, smooth, and quiet but can be nasty to his bike when needed.

Photos by Johan Hjord

Specifications

Product DT Swiss D 232 ONE Seatpost
Riding Type Cross Country
Seatpost Type Dropper
Interface Railed
Remote Adjustable Yes
Diameter 27.2mm or 30.9mm
Travel 60mm
Length 400mm total
310mm max. extension / 210mm min. extension, 190mm max. insertion / 90mm min. insertion, 150mm stack height, 45mm Quickconnector length (diagram in images above)
Tilt Adjustable 2-bolt head
Materials Carbon seat clamp and seat tube
Colors Black/carbon
Weight 0 lb 13 oz (369 g)
Miscellaneous

Mechanical actuation and mechanical release mechanism

The Upside Drop technology, with its fully mechanical system, allows not only a lighter construction of the D 232 ONE Dropper Post, but also highly reliable functionality thanks to the larger installation space for the release mechanism outside the seat tube. The release mechanism driven by a spoke eliminates the need for bleeding.

Quickrelease cable allows for easier installation of the seatpost and trouble-free disassembly

Included: carbon paste, shifting cable with ferrule, and L1 remote lever, L1 Trigger handle bar clamp, or L1 Trigger Matchmaker

Max. system weight: 130 kg

ASTM classification MTB: 3

Price $566
More Info

DT Swiss website

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