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’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.