How To Ruin Your Dropper Post: Strip the Entire Thing! John’s Bike Hack Continued…


How To Ruin Your Dropper Post: Strip the Entire Thing! John’s Bike Hack Continued…

If you’re a rule breaker who values individualism over warranties, snubs the naysayers, and likes to customize everything they own, read on for how you can strip your entire dropper post, making the whole thing silver, not just the stanchion!

Catching Up

First of all, if you haven’t already, read all about anodizing, what it is, and the overall concept of why and how you can do this in this article.

When I wrote a tutorial for how to strip your dropper’s stanchion last year, it caused quite a ruckus at The Radavist Instagram. Based on the comments, you would have thought this dropper would have been melted by now, spontaneously combusted, or… much, much worse. However, I’m glad to report the Black Cat’s dropper is still functioning as it did the day I bought it. It drops and returns smooth as butter on a hot cast iron skillet and still shines like Polaris.

This got me thinking, why not strip the whole dang thing? I dug the mix of black and silver components on the Black Cat, so it didn’t bother me. But on this new project I’m building right now, I thought the look of utilitarian, raw aluminum would match the rough and tumble vibes of the bike itself. More on that later…

Strip it Down

I should begin by saying yes, this will void the warranty of any post you do this to, and I am not guaranteeing it will work for you because I can’t personally oversee your project. :-) I’d also err on the side of mechanical posts, not hydraulic posts. If you’ve never stripped anodizing, try it on an older crank arm, seat post, or stem first. There is a finesse when it comes to stripping anodizing. You can also send your parts to an anodizing stripping facility if that’s more your jam.

Also, do this outside, in a well-ventilated space, wear gloves, and don’t dump your refuse down the sink or in your flower bed!

The post I decided to go with this round is the TranzX Jump Seat. It’s a 27.2 mm clamp (also in 30.9 and 31.6 mm), 100 mm travel, head actuated dropper post designed for dirt jump bikes. It would be perfect for a gravel bike, touring bike, or rigid mountain bike.  Mine is going on a coaster cruiser. Dirt dump droppers are very robust and actually use a cartridge with a shaft that pushes the head back up. That’s what that shiny cylinder is in this photo. This dropper is very rudimentary compared to others, so the process was very simple.

A step-by-step process is available here: How to Remove Anodizing and Polish Bicycle Components

I took the entire post apart. Every bolt, washer, o-ring, and plastic bit. I couldn’t get the actual lever apart due to what looked like a punch pivot, so I just left it. Using the same procedure as the other tutorials we’ve posted (vintage MTB components and dropper post), I sprayed each part that had anodizing on it down with oven cleaner, wrapped it in plastic, and let it sit for 25 minutes this time. All the smaller parts went into an old can that I cut in half and filled with oven cleaner.

Then, I cleaned the parts off with soapy water and rubbed them down with a Scotchbrite pad. I wanted the aluminum to mimic the other components on this bike, which features raw aluminum handlebars, stem, and rear hub, so I didn’t bother polishing them this round. If you’re concerned about raw aluminum deteriorating over time, I’d encourage you to browse our Vintage Bicycles category which features thousands of non-anodized, raw components, that are still fully functioning today.

The Final Product

I’ll save the final reveal on the bike for the eventual gallery and review I’m working on, but here are some teaser shots of what I think is a very unique component for a truly unique build. What I love about the dropper head remote is how it looks like something Charlie Cunningham would have built back in the late 1980s. Remember his seat collar quick-release levers? Dreamy!

When I re-assembled it, I made sure to use some stanchion grease for dropper posts to ensure it would run smoothly. I love the way the Scotchbrite rubbed aluminum looks, and yes, it still functions as it did when I first opened the package. If you’re looking to drop your saddle a bit on a bike for gettin’ rowdy on descents, check out the TranzX Jump Seat dropper. They come in 27.2, 30.9, and 31.6 diameters, all with 100 mm travel.

If you want it to look as good as this, jump down the rabbit hole!