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PNW Components Pine Seatpost

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PNW Components Pine Seatpost
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Short Travel Dropper for 27.2 Seat Tubes: PNW Components Pine Review

An excellent option for those looking for shorter travel posts with external cable routing for 27.2 mm seat tubes.

Rating: Vital Review
Short Travel Dropper for 27.2 Seat Tubes: PNW Components Pine Review

Looking back over the past 20 years or so, the dropper post has to be our favorite bike industry invention during that time…or maybe even ever. No other single component advancement has had such a profound impact on how you ride your bike on a trail, aside from maybe the whole concept of suspension. Being able to drop and raise your post at a moment’s notice adds a whole new dimension of “flow” to your riding. But what do you do if you don’t have access to the latest and greatest in terms of frame design and features? If you are a shorter rider, many modern posts will be too long to fit you and your bike, not to mention potential issues with seat tube dimensions. If your bike features a skinnier seat tube, not all dropper options out there will fit (paradoxically, the options that were on the market 15-20 years ago would work). But fear not, that’s exactly where the PNW Components Pine comes in! We’ve had one out on the trails for a few months now to see how it performs – keep reading to find out!

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Smooth and solid action
  • Great build quality
  • Easy to install
  • Somewhat tall minimum stack height

PNW Components Pine Highlights

  • Aluminum construction
  • External cable routing
  • 90 or 110 mm travel options
  • Sealed air cartridge
  • PNW lifetime warranty
  • Weight: 493 grams (post only, 90 mm travel, verified)
  • MSRP: $199 USD (without lever)

Initial Impressions

The Pine is a super compact little unit that shows up in PNW’s usual, environmentally friendly packaging aka “a cardboard box”. Weighing in at 493 grams without the lever it’s not particularly heavy although there are some posts out there that get close to that weight with far more travel. At $199 USD list price (around the same price PNW sells most of the their droppers for) we were stoked to find a sealed air cartridge and lifetime warranty.

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The air cartridge shares the design with many other PNW posts, which should bode well for longevity in our experience. The cartridge is activated via a small lever situated under a cover on the collar of the post, as the Pine was designed for frames that lack internal cable routing options. A small nylon cord runs from the actuator to the base of the post (on the inside of course), which is good to know before you start pulling the post apart for maintenance for example – you’ll need to follow instructions for putting it back together afterwards if you do.

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The head of the Pine features a classic two-bolt design. The bottom of the head is welded to the post mast to form a single unit, like every other post in the PNW family.

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On The Trail

Installing the Pine is easy, especially since you don’t have to worry about routing the cable through the frame. The head end of the dropper cable attaches to the actuator, after you pop off the small cover that protects it. The other end of the cable needs to be clamped at the lever, an important detail to note when choosing a lever. Because we were installing this post on an entry-level hardtail with a fairly imposing left-hand shifter already occupying precious real estate around the grip, we opted to use a Crankbrothers remote that can be mounted on top of the handlebar. PNW makes a small, “2X-style” remote that would also work well in this scenario, we just failed to specify one when we ordered the post.

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The action of the Pine is as smooth as many other PNW droppers we’ve tested. The actuator only requires a medium amount of force to activate the post, which makes it well suited for use with a smaller lever. The return speed is entirely satisfactory, and it’s very easy to modulate the return speed with the amount of pressure on the lever. There is no noticeable play in the post, and you can lift the bike by the saddle with the post in any position. Overall, the Pine feels just like a “real” dropper – which of course it is, it’s just made for shorter riders and frames with less modern features.

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The rider of the bike we mounted the Pine on is quite new to the mountain bike family, with no previous experience of dropper posts. She quickly reported back how beneficial it was to her out on the trail, being able to just drop the seat out of the way when things get technical, or even just to mount and dismount the bike more easily when needed. Since she is still learning, the post has seen its fair share of “moments” including a not insignificant number of crashes and various other instances of the bike ending up on the ground – the post has shaken it all off with nary a complaint.

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Of course, the lever placement we opted for here is far from ideal, since the thumb has to leave the grip to go look for the lever, which can potentially lead to the hand blowing off the bars if you go for it at the wrong time, but that choice was dictated by necessity and even our less experienced tester soon figured out how to “live with it”. The advantages still far outweigh the somewhat inconvenient lever placement – and now there’s something to look forward to the day when a 1X drivetrain enters the picture!

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Things That Could Be Improved

The Pine dropper is a great little piece of kit, and we do not have much in the way of complaints. The stack height is slightly on the tall side, which might mean it won’t fit the very shortest riders out there if the seat post tube length is not as short as it would need to be. It's also a little bit on the heavy side for such a modest amount of travel, which may make it somewhat less attractive to XC weight weenies, but other than those two minor observations, it’s pretty much a homerun.

Long Term Durability

We’ve had the post out on the trail for 3 months now, and as mentioned in the “On The Trail” section above, our less experienced test rider has failed to keep the rubber side down on more than one occasion with nothing to show for it on the post (or the lever for that matter, which arguably lives in the most dangerous spot there is on this bike as it sits on top of the handlebar at present). The Pine keeps going up and down with the same smooth action, and it has not developed any lateral play nor any vertical squishiness. We have several previous test units of various PNW droppers running on different bikes until today, and none of them have given us any real issues to report back on. PNW offers an excellent lifetime warranty program on all their products, so you shouldn’t have to worry about it if at some point down the line the cartridge would develop an issue for example.

What’s The Bottom Line?

Dropper posts are awesome, and should be mounted on any bike that sees time on the trail. The Pine is made for shorter riders and frames with 27.2 mm seat tubes and no internal cable routing options (opt for the PNW “Cascade” dropper if you need external routing for a 30.9 or 31.6 mm seat tube). It offers the same smooth and solid in action as PNW’s excellent family of longer travel posts, and it will make a great addition to any bike where less travel is more. 

More information at: www.pnwcomponents.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 49 // Years Riding MTB: 17 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan 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

Specifications

Product PNW Components Pine Seatpost
Riding Type Cross Country, Trail
Seatpost Type Dropper
Interface Railed
Remote Adjustable Yes
Diameter 27.2mm
Travel 90 or 110mm
Length 348mm (90mm travel) / 394mm (110mm travel)
Tilt Yes
Materials Aluminum
Colors Black
Weight 1 lb 1.4 oz (493 g)
Miscellaneous Weight: 493 grams (90mm version, verified)
Price $199
More Info

www.pnwcomponents.com

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