Review: New Loam Dropper Post from PNW Components

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The latest addition to the PNW Components range is the Loam station. This new dropper replaces the Bachelor, with a lighter, more adjustable and less expensive design than its predecessor.The Loam is available in three different diameters and four different travel lengths, each adjustable up to 30mm in increments of 5 mm. The pole uses an adjustable alloy air canister to move up and down, sells for $ 199, and comes with a three-year warranty.

PNW Loam Details
• Travel: 125, 150, 170, 200 mm
• Alloy air cartridge, adjustable return speed
• Diameter 30.9, 31.6 or 34.9 mm
• Internal cable routing only
• Stroke adjustment without tools
• Weight: 532 g (170 mm)
• $ 199 (remote sold separately)
• www.pnwcomponents.com

Construction

PNW’s post Loam builds on their bachelor’s degree with a refined design. The post has a shorter overall length in all sizes; the 125mm stroke upright measures 385mm including the actuator while the 200mm upright measures 540mm including the actuator. All posts feature PNW’s tool-less stroke adjustment, allowing riders to reduce the extended stroke by an additional 30mm in 5mm increments. The insertion depth is less than that of the baccalaureate, as is the total weight. It’s also $ 40 cheaper.

In addition to these features, the return speed of the pole can be tailored to runner preferences by an air valve at the top of the pole head. For fashion-oriented piece matchers, PNW now offers color accent bands for the collar available in various colors that, unsurprisingly, sync with their handles and Loam Lever’s color scheme.

The hydraulic cartridge is made by the manufacturer of PNW, not by Wintek like many other stations. It’s covered by a three-year warranty, and if it falls outside that window, PNW sells the cartridges for $ 75. To ensure proper operation in cold weather, PNW uses a lower viscosity hydraulic fluid in the internal cartridge. The pole lubricant used is designed for a wide range of temperatures and conditions. The post joints are made from a temperature resistant rubber, which is supposed to stay softer at lower temperatures.

The adjustable return speed as well as the customizable color bands set the Loam apart.

Performance
I had the Loam post on my daily commute for several months at this point and drove it in bad conditions more than the sun. Installation of the pole was a snap, and it fitted well with PNW’s Loam lever. The head of the post uses a simple two-bolt clamping system; it’s basic but it works. Changing the bands on the collar is easy and just requires selection to get the edge.

The action of raising and lowering the pole is smooth and consistent. As for the feel of the lever, its actuation is not as smooth as some other stations, such as the Fox Transfer – the lever is a bit harder to push. The adjustable air pressure can give good variance to the return speed, and although I left it more towards the conservative side, fans of a poppier return will have no problem speeding things up.

Internal stroke adjustment is easy and doesn’t even require removing the stem from the bike. The cartridge worked flawlessly, and the main head seal fought a winning fight against a lot of seal-destroying and rain-saturated terra firma as well as almost daily battles against my pressure washer.

How does it compare?

Comparing the Loam post to others on the market, this is one of the cheapest options available. PNW’s Rainier IR costs $ 20 less, but not as comprehensive as the Loam. While it doesn’t come with a lever, even PNW’s addition of Loam Lever still has the dollar figure in the bottom third of the posts.

When you look at travel, OneUp’s $ 209 V2 post is the next closest competitor. It offers 210mm of adjustable travel, and it’s slightly shorter for the same trip. The total length of the One Up post at 200mm is 530mm, compared to 540mm for the Loam post. It is slightly heavier, but not enough to make a difference; we’re talking about 12 grams. However, in my experience this V2 post is more prone to slowly coming back after being exposed to mud and sand. The seal on the Loam post seems more mud resistant and requires less maintenance.

If you strictly look at the weight and compare other 170mm poles, there won’t be a lighter one until you double the price to $ 400 for a BikeYoke Revive. On the travel side, the options are also limited to OneUp without, once again, doubling the price. All things considered, the position of Loam is arguably one of the best values.

Prise de Pinkbike

PNW has once again released a great option for an affordable and reliable dropper. The fit built into the Loam will surely be a selling point for many riders, as will the ability to add custom color accents. While it doesn’t have the super-smooth actuation of some more expensive droppers, it has proven to be extremely reliable and I would highly recommend the Loam to anyone looking for a versatile, minimalist post.Daniel Sapp


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