Up and down. See how Funn's Uptown dropper post handles the trails!
Words and photos: Mike Blewitt
A dropper post might be an improvement to just about any mountain bike, but what could be an improvement to any dropper post? While many designs have improved in recent years, dropper posts have notoriously had problems getting stuck down, or sagging, or just being sticky, or having so much side to side play that riding with them made it sound like something big was about to fall off your bike. Funn's UpDown dropper post has been designed to sidestep the majority of those issues.
The Funn UpDown doesn't use an internal floating piston (IFP) design like many posts, but instead it has two chambers. Funn claim it resets air and oil in the system as the post gets used. In essence, it is continually looking after itself to provide long-term reliable performance. The way the system works, air is constantly purged. This is a good thing!
Our 150mm 30.9mm diameter internally routed test unit came in at 602g on the scales, a shade heavier than the Fox Transfer Factory model it replaced. Setting up the post was easy, as like the Fox post the cable head attaches to the base of the seat post, and the cable is cut and tightened at the lever.
Funn provide their own highly adaptable lever. It can mount via a Matchmaker clamp, or be above or below the bar. Then, you can even adjust where the lever sits to make it mimic the position of your right hand shifter. Compared to the Shimano dropper lever it replaced, there was a bit of play. You can tighten the bolt up but then it compresses the lever too much and it doesn't move.
On the trail
When a dropper post works, you just don't notice it. The post would return reliably, but actuating it with the lever wasn't as nice as I expected at first. I had a few issues getting the lever to hold its adjustment. The cable tension would pull the lever's neutral position towards you, meaning you really had to pull your thumb back to actuate it. It worked ok when in place, but with a noticeable step where the cam was actuating at the base of the post.
The actual action of the post up and down was super smooth, but the lever action was disappointing. I swapped it out for the Shimano iSpec EV dropper lever I had pulled off and it was way better. There is still a noticeable point where the cam is actuating, it's not as smooth as something like the Fox Transfer I had removed. But once past that actuation point using the post is just like any other post – but with internals that are unlikely to need the kind of attention of other post designs.
Aside from that initial feel at the lever, I think the Funn UpDown dropper post has some real benefits for any rider, thanks to the design which should prove to be exceptionally reliable over time. Using the Shimano dropper lever I really didn't end up noticing the rough start of the actuation, and I think given the amount of levers on the market and rider's preferences for mounting options, the lever really shouldn't hold the Funn UpDown back. But hopefully some refinement on the action at the base of the post might be coming in the future.
- Reliable action and design
- Good value
- There are better levers
- Initial cam action feels rough