Hack! Make Your Road or Mountain Bike Front Shifter Activate a Dropper Post!
Thanks to the increasing popularity of 1x drivetrains for mountain bikes and cyclocross, there’s a growing collection of sad, lonely front shifters sitting around feeling unproductive.
Now, thanks to the folks at Re:Cycles Bike Shop and Seasucker bike racks, we’ve got two hacks that show how they’ve used their front shifter to work two different models of cable-actuated dropper seatposts. It’s a fairly basic hack, but does require a little disassembly to remove the pawls and a few other parts. The end result should be a spring loaded lever that won’t catch or ratchet anything – it only need to pull cable in order to actuate the release on the dropper post, then let it spring back to lock the post into position.
Above, the Charles Casagrande at Seasucker took a crashed SRAM road shifter to work a Thomson dropper post. Below, one of our local shops made an XT shifter work with an LEV…
To make it work, Re:Cycles owner Merritt disassembled his XT shifter to remove the release trigger and its pawls:
The release trigger, the ratchet teeth, it’s spring and retaining bolts were all removed, along with the C-clip that held it all in place.
The catch points on the wheel inside the shifter are still there, but the teeth they catch on are removed. Now, the thumb lever is free to move, pulling the cable end’s cradle without it getting stuck at intermediate points.
The return spring inside the post and one inside the shifter pod pulls the lever back into place. All in all, he said it took him just 10 minutes. I’ve played with it and it works flawlessly with much smoother action and a more intuitive position than any stock dropper lever I’ve tried.
Thanks to both for sending in their hacks!