I had an issue a few weeks ago that I’m getting around to talk about just now. There’s a reason for that. It’s because I now have the part that I need for my all-road bike to work again….and this is bullshit.
I had a pretty good crash a few weeks ago. Bad for my thumb but relatively easy on the bike. Really, I just set the bike down hard, my body harder, and tore my thumb. The problem (outside of my injury) is that for a relatively light bump, the dropper remote axle broke off on the Wolf Tooth ReMote LA remote. This sucked! The dropper is now unusable until the broken $4.95 part is replaced via special order. That’s not just a trip to the bike shop, it’s a special goddam order.
This is an example of a bad ‘Fail-safe’ design. A fail-safe is a device that a designer or engineer uses to make sure that cheap and easy to make or buy parts break on something before far more expensive parts do…or to ensure you coast to a stop instead of crash land. It’s generally a very good idea to think about. The problem is to ensure that the fail-safe doesn’t produce a problematic issue of it’s own. This is the idea behind replaceable derailleur hangers. we don’t damage the frame, damage the hanger. Outside of some bad examples of this in the early days, it’s something we are used to working out pretty well.
The fail-safe on the Wolf Tooth lever is a bad design. It wasn’t that hard of a crash and really wasn’t that hard on the lever. It was surely just a bump. Had I not been injured in my crash, my ride would have been ruined because of the broken lever. I’ve heard of worse stories from others regarding this same issue. Even if I had continued riding, it would have been in a hobbled state, highposting.
A fail-safe that breaks too early is almost worse than no fail-safe at all.
I’ve been using dropper posts for a pretty long time and on all kinds of bikes. In that time, I’ve had literally hundreds of crashes from small get offs to trips to the hospital. On rock, in loam, into trees, off drops. I know how to crash! Guess how many dropper levers I’ve broken in all those years? NONE. I bent one slightly once, but this didn’t interfere with use on the ride. It’s really not in a very crash damage prone area.
There are several other problems with the WT remote:
- It isn’t native to SRAM’s MatchMaker X architecture. So I need a special hanger to mount the dropper remote to the MMX clamp.
- The range of adjustment is almost non-existent. Basically, about 3mm.
- The end position of the lever is pretty terrible for performance use.
- It’s expensive
Let’s contrast that to the OneUp Components V2 dropper remote.
- The lever is designed around the MMX architecture.
- The lever has three positions covering a 12mm range in addition to the MMX right/left mount swaps.
- No issues getting the lever in a good position
- It’s heap.
You know what’s not going to happen in the middle of a ride? The OneUp remote isn’t going to snap free if I lean it up against a tree. It’s not going to end my ride early. It’s an obviously better lever.