The dropper post has revolutionized riding bicycles off road in the last several years. In no time at all they have gone from being a niche all mountain fad to a part found on every type of bicycle from bike park rats all the way down to elite level cross country and endurance racers. With the dropper becoming ubiquitous to mountain bikes here are a few things to keep in mind to help your dropper function properly between service intervals.
1. Always, always, ALWAYS, store your dropper post in the UP position. All dropper posts are driven up by some sort of spring, usually an air spring. In the Rockshox Reverb for example there is an air chamber that is inflated to 250 PSI, (Pounds per Square inch) when the seat post is in the maximally raised position. If you compress the post all of the way to the bottom of its travel that air spring is now at close to 700PSI! This is an incredible amount of pressure to be pushing on rubber seals. In extreme situations dropper posts stored in the down position frequently, or for a long period of time, can have air migrate past those seals and into the fluid reservoir causing what we call "suspensioning." Suspensioning is when the dropper post has vertical play causing it to move up and down when you weight it and un-weight it.
2. Never, never NEVER, lift your bike or hang it by the seat when the dropper is sagged below the upper position. When the dropper is at any height below maximum it's very bad for the hydraulic mechanism and internal seals to pull up on or lift the bike by the seat. By lifting or hanging your bike by the seat you are running the risk of having premature wear in the seals and internals which can also cause suspensioning of your dropper. This will ultimately lead to a dropper that needs service or a rebuild before its recommended service interval. Always remember to raise your seat all the way before giving your bike to lift operators at a bike park or before putting it in a repair stand.
To get the most out of your dropper post it is best to take good care of it and perform maintenance on the interval recommended by the seat post Manufacturer. By ALWAYS storing your bike with the seat post extended and NEVER lifting your bike by its seat post when the seat is lowered you can help ensure your dropper will perform its best for the longest!