Pro is Shimano’s component brand whose mission is (in part) to deliver reliable, innovative products that offer a good value to consumers. The handlebars, stems, and seatposts in the Pro line are rarely flashy, but they tend to be incredibly refined and solid items that should last a long time. I’ve been testing the Pro Koryak dropper post on my Orange P7 hardtail over the past couple of months, and I can confirm that this dropper post lives up to the Pro label.
- 170mm travel (tested). 70, 120, 150, and 170mm versions available.
- 30.9mm diameter (tested). The 70mm travel post is available with a 27.2mm diameter, while all others can be had in 30.9mm or 31.6mm diameter.
- Weight: 535g (170mm/30.9mm, actual)
- Replaceable air cartridge
- Single bolt head
- Shift lever style remote included
- Internally- (tested) and externally-routed models available
- Aluminum alloy body
- Infinitely adjustable
- $299 MSRP (available at Competitive Cyclist and other online retailers)
Like other, newer mountain bike dropper posts on the market, the Pro Koryak features a pinch bolt at the lever rather than the base of the internally routed post. This not only makes installation much, much easier, it also makes swapping or removing the post for transport a cinch. A fresh cable and housing are included with the post.
At the bar, the lever features a split clamp so there’s no need to slide the grip off during installation. I literally had the whole thing set up in 15 minutes, and it was one of the most satisfying installs I’ve completed in a while.
Pro uses a single-bolt clamp at the seat and it’s actually quite genius in its simplicity and operation. Not to say that it’s perfect and a joy to use, but it’s less awful than the others I’ve fiddled with over the years. Mounting the post to the rails can be accomplished using just one hand, and I didn’t lose any nuts or bolts along the way.
Getting the saddle angle dialed was a bit tricky at first, until I understood how it works. There are two round plugs mounted on the inside of where the rails attach, and they’re sorta held in place with friction. With a bit of force, it’s possible to twist these rail supports to the desired angle. The upshot is that angle is then set so the next time you swap the saddle, everything will still be where you want it.
The Koryak features a cartridge-based air system so you can’t add air to the post if it ever slows down. Users will need to replace the cartridge with a new one, which in the video above looks pretty straightforward, though not everyone will have all the required tools in their toolbox.
On the trail
Have you ever flipped on a light switch, and thought, “Wow, that light works great!” Me neither. But when I flip a switch and the light doesn’t work, I immediately start cursing the bulb. Dropper posts are sorta the same; we don’t get excited about what they do, we just get frustrated when they don’t do as they are told.
For that reason, I find myself checking that a dropper post doesn’t do certain things during testing.
It doesn’t have any play
My Pro Koryak hasn’t developed any — and I mean, not a single degree — of rotational “play” at the saddle. The post keeps the saddle completely fixed and rattle-free for a solid, confidence-inspiring feel.
It’s doesn’t get stuck
One of the worst things a dropper post can do is get stuck, either in the up or down position, rendering it essentially a “dumb” post. After a few months of hard riding, the Pro Koryak reliably drops, and stays dropped until I ask it to return. Ditto for going back down.
Truthfully a lot of sticky dropper post issues have to do with the cable tension and not the post itself. Still, Pro has done a good job with the actuator, cable, and lever system making it easy to dial in and to keep running smoothly, preventing some of the issues that plague other posts I’ve tested.
It doesn’t return too slowly
Return speeds on dropper posts tend to vary quite a bit, and I think everyone can agree that a slow dropper is almost as bad as no dropper. Riders often need to transition quickly from descending to climbing, and every second counts toward making this feel smooth. I would say the Pro Koryak is average when it comes to return speed. It does let out a pretty a loud thunk at the top of its travel which is helpful to know when the seat is ready for sitting.
It’s not (too) awkward to control
The shift lever style remote is intuitive to use and well designed. The paddle size is good, though it can be slippery with certain gloves or when used with a sweaty thumb. A nice rubberized coating would be a welcome upgrade.
It’s not hard to install
See the “Installation” section above.
The Pro Koryak mountain bike dropper post has proven to be easy to install and offers solid and reliable performance on the trail. While it doesn’t excel in any one area — it’s not the fastest, lightest, or flashiest — it’s very, very good at what it does. And that should please most riders.