Beatdown: KS Lev

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Background: Droppers are really one of the few products you can look at and see directly how they have changed the course of bike development ,and how we ride the things.  Before the dropper, you could get rad, but if you wanted your seat where it needed to be, you were stopping a handful of times on every climb or descent.  Then the dropper came, and presto, your seat was always where it needed to be.  Or was it?  Even now in what seems like a high time for droppers, every single post seems to have at least one or two little flaws that keep it from being perfect.

1109141116bFor my first 2 years of dropper ownership, I had a Rock Shox Reverb.  The Reverb is a great post, but is not available in a 150mm drop for a 30.9 seat tube.  For some people this wouldn’t be an issue, but if you are 6′ 4″ and have a ton of leg, you end up doing the old routine of moving your post up and down.  So when KS redesigned the Lev, I was all over it.

Overview:  So the Lev comes in a variety of flavors, the one I am riding is the 435mm length / 150mm drop, non integra version.  The post has a standard two bolt seat mount, which uses a combo of aluminum, titanium, and carbon to keep the weight down.  The dropping action is engaged using a teflon coated Kevlar cable, which mechanically pulls to dropper mechanism.  The remote is a small carbon/aluminum switch that has pretty rad ergonomics.  Additionally, if you run ODI style grips, the remote can replace one of your clamps to drop a bit more weight.  Overall weight is right in the middle of all the other droppers out there at just under 600g.

Action:  The dropper raises and lowers at a controlled speed, which can be changed by adjusting the air pressure in the post.  The whole thing is sealed up pretty tight, so if it has a major issue, back to KS it must go.  This really isn’t much of an issue though, as most of the other posts on the market are so expensive and complicated to work on that they need to go to a shop anyway.  The first ride or so, you can definitely tell that the post is breaking in, with there being some delay/grittiness to its movement but this goes away quickly.1109141116aIssues:  The variety of materials present in the clamp head seem to have some issues with creaking.  It is very difficult to get the post to be quiet.  Have patience though, with some adjustment, lock-tite, grease, and a torque wrench you can get there.  The other issue is water.  This post doesn’t like it.  Unlike a Reverb, which you can throw all manner of gunk at without affecting the action, the LEV is a bit more picky.  The process for taking things apart and making it happy again isn’t terrible, but it is kind of a pain.

Overall:  So, long story short, is this the post to end all posts?  Nope.  Is it an amazing post?  By all means.  The flaws of this post do not condemn it to death, they are just another example of how droppers still haven’t reached the point of being truly perfected.  For me, this post has answered the call of more drop in a 30.9 package, and I couldn’t be more stoked about it!



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