E*THIRTEEN TRS PLUS DROPPER POST
The e*thirteen TRS Plus Dropper Post comes from a brand that has manufactured some of the best chainguides, crank sets, cassettes and wheel sets. The TRS Plus Dropper is e*thirteen’s first attempt at dropper post with the aim to produce a simple, durable and reliable post. They have made it a fully mechanical design sans air and oil. This rings music to many people’s ears, as well as many mechanics, who have had to deal with messy oil leaks in frames and time consuming bleeding of levers. Being coil sprung rather than air, it should result in a consistent return of the post for many years and with user-friendly servicing it means the post will run smoother for longer. The TRS Plus is a 4 stage dropper post, meaning is lowers in its travel to 3 set positions from full extension. Compare that to infinitely adjustable posts that can be set anywhere in their travel. The post I was sent was the 30.9 diameter version that has a top setting of 150mm. The 3 positions the post lowers to is 110mm, 80mm and finally 0mm. The weight of the post comes in at 570grams, which is pretty standard for 150mm dropper posts. Opening the packaging we are presented with the post itself, cable outer and inner and actuator lever and clamp. However, I was quite surprised to find another little baggie with 4 little brass keys. These brass keys guide the post up and down whilst reducing the amount of lateral movement felt at the saddle. Once these wear, larger brass keys can be inserted to reduce this lateral play extending the life of the post. Installation only took about 5 minutes once the cable outer was installed in the frame. Removal was just as easy, as the cable head is located in the base of the post, so disconnecting the post from the cable and housing was super simple. The actuation of the post is via a very neatly designed shifter style paddle that is simply better than most of the other actuators out there. It comes complete with grip tape on the lever for extra traction during those wet rides, as well as being SRAM Matchmaker friendly…something I look for in every dropper post lever. The only issue I had with this installation was the torque specs printed on the lever. The 1Nm setting on the lever blade where it clamps onto the main barrel of the body is not high enough as the lever blade slips under actuating. It definitely need more torque, ending up with 3Nm to stop it slipping. Out on the trail the post performed flawlessly. Every push of the lever dropped the post to the desired position, although it did take a little bit of practice to drop the post to the 110mm position and not go straight to the 80mm position. I am a fan of staged dropper posts as I have previously used and loved the Fox DOSS post from 5 or so years ago. I know they are not for everyone, but it makes it easy to find that perfect 30mm drop to just get the post out of the way when hovering over the saddle on rocky and rooty trails. On infinitely adjustable posts, I find myself searching for that 30mm sweet spot and not always getting there, either dropping too low or not enough. Lever actuation is very smooth and requires very little effort, great for small hands and those with weak thumbs (thinking of the little shredders out there). A couple of turns of the barrel adjuster was all that was required to keep it dropping like clockwork over the time it was in my bike. The speed of return of the post is something that is a personal thing, one that can’t be fine-tuned on this post, unlike some of the other air and oil posts out there in the market. I found the return to be adequate for my liking and what I’m used to. Only time will tell if the speed will slow down with spring wear and dirt and grit getting below the main seal slowing it down. But with a post that is easily user serviceable, including new bushings and cam rebuild, I would like to think that this post will maintain reliable actuation for many years. With so many post on the market it’s always hard to decide which one will suit you and your style of riding. At $449 it’s not the cheapest, nor the most expensive out there, but for a post that performs as well as this did, and is more user serviceable than the majority of the posts out there, I’d say this one is high on my list of recommendations when asked which dropper post to get.