SDG Tellis

SDG Tellis

Words & Photos By Andrew Lee

When I first saw the SDG Tellis I was optimistic and excited. SDG takes me back to my roots. In the early 2000’s, I was a young and impressionable teen with an addiction to motocross. Grippin’ and rippin’ motos is what I yearned for. Hitting the track at least once a week, and on the weekend, faking sick at school to stay at home and play MX unleashed, I simply couldn’t get enough. Being a southern California native, the scene out here is nothing less than a mecca.

Hailing from Huntington Beach, California, SDG made a big impact on moto world dating back to 1992. Naturally, I lusted after their seat covers. Let’s face it, every 15-year old just wants to be cool. Well fast forward roughly 13 years and I’ve since stepped back from my motocross roots and now find myself equally motivated by wanting to be cool, just on a different kind of bike. Much like myself, SDG parted ways with their moto roots many years ago, and the SDG Components brand is now solely focused on mountain bike products.

SDG Tellis

The Lab

SDG’s Tellis is a cable actuated, cartridge system dropper post design. We tested the 150mm travel version, but riders can choose between 100-, 125-, 150- or 170mm options. Several months ago we took a trip up to Kamloops to get our own SDG Tellis and spend some time testing the post and learning about their design philosophy. If you’re looking to get all the techy details click here, otherwise we’ll keep it brief and focus on the ride in this review.

Key features SDG put at the forefront while designing the Tellis were: simplicity, durability, actuation and affordability. The Tellis does this by having very few moving parts. The simplicity creates durability, and should you ever need to service your post, a simple cartridge swap will get you back on the trail. That probably won’t be necessary though since we’ve been riding this post for over six months of heavy abuse without issue. It’s been on a bike that’s seen bike park laps, cold and muddy trails and has been hung up on a wall for long periods of time. Hell, we even boxed the bike and post up, shipped it across state lines and it’s still problem free!

At $299, it’s competitively priced with many other posts on the market. SDG worked hard to keep costs down on this post and they claim that their small size and low overhead actually worked to their advantage in this situation. By not having tons of other expenses, the folks at SDG were motivated to pass the savings on.

The last ingredient is one of our favorites; actuation. By manipulating the shape and length of the lever, SDG has created what they say is the lightest lever feel in the industry. Along with lever design, the actuator itself provides extra leverage under load. This decreases the amount of force needed to make the post move.

SDG Tellis

The Dirt

If you check out our unboxing and installation video, you’ll see we were pretty excited to get on this new post! SDG’s entire approach to this post was to create a system that fixed the shortcomings of the posts already on the market. While interviewing Tyler Anspach and Devyn Pelley of SDG, they interrupted me and said, “When we asked ourselves why we wanted to make a seatpost, we agreed it’s because dropper posts still suck!” When you’ve got that as your motivation, you better deliver! Lucky for us and SDG, it seems like they have.

Installation was easy, straightforward and problem free. Setting up the cable tension was much easier than some posts. We like the way the cable head attaches to the bottom of the post, and the range of usability based on cable tension is more generous than others. Some posts have to be right on the money, otherwise you’ll get sag or other issues. Not so with the Tellis. The clamp system for the handlebar and the end of the cable are both tidy and work well. Overall it was one of the easiest and most plug and play installs we’ve done.

Once on the bike, the textured lever and light actuation were instantly appreciated. A lot of people complain about levers being too hard to push, but that’s a non-issue with the Tellis. It’s feathery and plush— words I typically reserve for suspension reviews. The lever is large enough that it’s easy to find, but doesn’t get in your way or make cockpit setup a pain.

Return speed on the Tellis is another win. There are a variety of posts out there and it seems they all operate a bit differently. Hit the lever too quickly on some and you might need an ice pack, while others feel like they require to make an appointment to get back up. The Tellis hits the nail on the head in terms of return speed. It’s quick and responsive without the potential to send your testies into orbit.

SDG Tellis

The Wolf’s Last Word

Quality is something SDG is very familiar with and there is no absence of it here. If we’re scratching off their checklist, we think they hit all the marks. Durability, simplicity, feather light actuation and affordability are all things we observed during our test period with the Tellis. It will continue to live on our bikes well into the future.

This test post has seen months of incredibly dry and dusty conditions as well as cold, snowy trails in the PNW. In fact I was the second rider to get the post and when I texted our other tester and asked him for some notes, he simply replied, “I loved it, the end. Haha.” Thanks for the great notes guy! With top shelf performance, minimal side-to-side play and a price tag nearly $100.00 below most of its competitors, you can bet your ass this is a good deal. It looks like dropper posts may not suck as much anymore, thanks SDG.

Price: $299


We Dig

Textured Lever
Super Light Actuation
Simple, Simple!

We Don’t

Nothing, Still Stoked!


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