[Tested] Easton Haven Dropper Seatpost

[Tested] Easton Haven Dropper Seatpost

02/06/2016
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02/06/2016

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Dropper seat posts have come a long ways in the few short years that we’ve been enjoying their convenient functionality.  These days, it’s getting harder and harder to find a bad one, but the best ones certainly stand out.  Easton recently entered the market with the Haven post – a stout looking option with a very refined finish that also comes in as one of the lighter posts on the market.  The Haven is cable actuated, air sprung and features a hydraulic brake.  If this sounds familiar, it’s because they’ve licensed the proven “DropLoc” technology that Canadian brand 9point8 pioneered.  Available in an array of diameters, lengths and travel up to 150mm, we bolted one up for test a few months back

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Details

Price : $469 USD

Weight : 495 grams (without lever)

Sizes : 350 x 100-, 375 x 125-, 415 x 125-, 440 x 150mm

Travel : 100mm, 125mm, 150mm

Diameters : 30.9 &31.6

*Optional 1X style lever ($59)

First Impressions/Installation

After yanking our old seat post out and replacing it with the Haven, we appreciated the fact that it was cable actuated; making for a much less messy and complicated process.  With that said, you do have to pay attention, or the setup can be a touch on the finicky side. 

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We found that it was a bit of a balancing act with cable tension – too taut and the brake doesn’t engage fully causing the post to extend.  If the cable was too loose, there was a lot of resistance to compressing all the way.  Fortunately, once the housing ends were bedded in and the cable had done all of its stretching, only minor tweaks of the barrel adjuster were required to keep it in line.  We think this is partially due to the less than rigid nature of the stock lever with its curved noodle used to route the cable/housing away from the bar.  Once we switched to a 1X style lever, the feel was dramatically improved.

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As for the head, we liked the classic two-bolt layout, but found that the screws needed washers as they dug into the head itself and ground into it. All in all this was a small matter that was, for the most part remedied by a dab of grease under each screw’s head. Minor grievances aside, the whole installation should take about 15-20 minutes for a competent mechanic.

On the Trail

Right away we loved the smooth action that the Haven offers. There are no detents so the travel is infinitely adjustable and the post never slips, even when picking the bike up by the saddle. The ergonomics and the feel of the stock lever are less than desirable so we’d definitely recommend the 1X upgrade.

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Over the few months that we spent on the post, everything ran rather free and smooth – we never felt the need to pull it apart for a rebuild.  It’s worth nothing that the process to do so is relatively simple and well thought out. You simply remove the post and key in a cassette removal tool at the bottom of the post to disassemble, and overhaul. Our upkeep consisted of wiping dirt and residue off of the dust scraper and upper, then giving it a quick clean and then applying a couple of drops of Tri-Flow to the seal to keep things moving smoothly. Every so often, after rainy rides, we’d also disconnect the post (by hand – bonus!) and lube the cable to keep things moving nicely as well.

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Another attribute that we really appreciated about the Haven was just how stiff it was.  Once it’s in your hands you realize what a solid piece of kit it truly is.  Between the nice, machined construction, well placed bushing overlap, and quality seal and bushing choice, it just felt damn good on the trail.  We warmly welcomed the fact that it was dead silent, allowing us to solely focus on the trail ahead.

Overall

This is a top notch performer; among the best that we’ve tested. We think the “DropLoc” brake is the most well executed design that’s come our way. A minor hardware swap would make fine tuning the seat angle a bit smoother, and the 1X lever upgrade is a no brainer.  If you prefer a paddle style lever, that’s understandable; but realize that it comes with a bit more of a finicky attitude. All in all, a fantastic post with an quick, simple setup and foolproof design. The Haven is also easily one of the stiffest droppers we’ve used. That’s doubly impressive considering that it uses a full 150mm of travel at a rather small diameter of 30.9mm compared to 31.6, and the inevitable 34.9 that’s looming on the horizon. If you’re in the market for a new post, it would be foolish not to consider the Easton haven.

www.eastoncycling.com

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