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haven cutDropper seatposts are one of the big success stories in mountain biking. Along with disc brakes and suspension forks, they belong to the family of components that have actively raised riding safety and performance to a new level. At first I was very skeptical whether they were really necessary, but if you ride a lot on demanding trails, you very quickly come to appreciate the additional mobility right at your fingertips. Most folks have learned to accept the additional weight and complexity for the end result.
But…dropper posts also have a downside, something most long time users have experienced. Many models have a reputation for not being really reliable. Therefore it is hardly surprising that in some cases, reliability is often cited as a selling point for the latest generation of dropper posts – including the new Haven Dropper Post from EASTON.

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In the package are detailed assembly instructions and all hardware.

EASTON built the Haven on a hybrid mechanical-hydraulic technology. This means taking advantage of the simple, less vulnerable, cable based release operating a combination of an internal hydraulic mechanism and a mechanical lock. This will not require the somewhat fiddly and time consuming bleed process a la ROCK SHOX Reverb when running cables/hoses at install time.

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The EASTON Haven Dropper uses the DROP-LOC technology from 9POINT8 under license.

EASTON makes no bones about the fact that they licensed the proven DROP LOC system from 9POINT8, a small Canadian manufacturer. This technology is claimed to ensure long lasting, consistent performance, and to work without any issues even in very cold weather.  The EASTON Haven should work just as well. By the way, the Turbine Dropper Post by EASTON’s sister company RACE FACE is the identical design only labeled differently. A special feature of Drop-Loc is the very low air pressure in the system, ranging from 2.0 to 2.5bar (29 to 36psi) and the fixed bearings in the system. Therefore the seals are considerably less stressed allowing greater time between service intervals. Less maintenance means more time in the saddle and ultimately lower costs. Another plus of the EASTON Haven is its claimed function at low temperatures well below freezing. EASTON is thinking of those hardcore all-year Fat Bike riders.

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5-EASTON-Haven-DropperThe EASTON Haven uses internal routing (often called “Stealth”) up through the seat tube. This of course has the advantage that cable routing is either completely or partially run inside the frame keeping errant cable loops from forming when the post is lowered to the bottom of its travel.

The use of a hybrid system with a cable based control but hydraulic internals has another advantage. Quick disconnect (shown above in their individual parts) means just what it says…you can separate the internal cable from the post with little effort, so you can move the post across several bikes, only requiring extra control cables and a remote, sold separately by Easton. This design also allows you to pull the post off the bike for transport.

The Haven is continuously adjustable within its range, and depending on the model version, there are 100mm, 125mm and 150mm travel lengths available. We have come to enjoy the longer travel on a few bikes already, so when asked, opted for the 150mm version without a second ought. In case you were wondering, this one  comes at a longish 440mm extended length. There are also versions with 350mm, 375mm and 415mm lengths. As another option, there are two diameters to choose from – 30.9 and 31.6mm.

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Remote lever: The handlebar mounted lever for operating the release looks well designed and is fixed with an M3 screw. It is ergonomically designed and has nice rounded edges.  The cable feed tube gives that 45 ° angle and includes an in-line adjuster for cable tension.

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The classic two-bolt clamping head without offset is a proven design and should not cause any problems.

The seatpost clamp head is a classic two-bolt rocker-type without any offset. Both the maximum tightening torque of the M4 screws as well as a scale for precise saddle angle adjustments are laser inscribed.

Weight: The EASTON Haven post alone comes exactly to the specified 495g (post only with no periphery). Add 45g for the remote and the quick connector hardware, and depending on the length of it all, add between 75g and 100g for cable and outer casing. In total it falls within 620-650g, exactly in the target area of the competitors.


Now we come to the ever interesting topic of assembly: There are detailed on-line instructions backed up by an 11-minute (!) installation video. As with all internally routed cables, it can be easy or hard but always requires some patience. On my ROCKY MOUNTAIN Instinct test bike, it was somewhere in the middle ;-). Once the continuous cable housing is threaded and cut according to the instructions, you are headed in the right direction.

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How the clutch looks just before the cable is pushed through the end piece and is clamped there. The tee is screwed tightly to the shell. The other parts are loosely attached.

First you thread the large nut/cap (top right) on the cable housing, then the actual coupling, and finally the little tee simply screws (already connected everything in the picture) on the cable housing. The cable is then threaded through it all beginning at the release lever (see above).

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Here is the “Quick Connect” clutch assembled – with a tee that ends exactly flush with the mark and clean clamped cable.

The only somewhat delicate step is to clamp the cable exactly in the position so that the tee sits flush against the laser etched line on the coupling. Then tighten the two clamping screws (one on each side), until they disappear in the shaft – otherwise you can not screw  the unit into the post later on) and finally cut off the protruding piece no more than 2 mm behind the end.

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Here the actual coupling is already screwed to the post (no more visible since inside) and ready for the end cap, which only is hand tightened.

Once that has happened, screw the end assembly onto the post by turning the post, not the actuator (not vice versa, otherwise you would be twisting the full cable assembly within the frame) and finally screw in the end nut/cap. Now  adjust the saddle height to your needs and fix the remote to the handlebar … and you are ready to go out and have fun on the trails.
The next article will tell you about the first practical impressions with the EASTON Haven Dropper Post.

RIDE ON,
c_g

Note: Easton provided this product at no charge to Twenty Nine Inches for test and review. We are not being paid, nor bribed for these reviews and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.