TranzX Kitsuma Air Dropper Post REVIEW
Review by Rob Dunnet
We were excited to get the opportunity to test the new 200mm TranzX Kitsuma Air dropper post. The brand made waves with their Skyline post, which retails for $99 and has 125mm of drop and weighs in at 585 grams. While a dropper post for under a $100 is cool, 125mm just ain’t enough to cut it for our off-road riding, which is why we waited until they had something with a bit more travel. Enter the Kitsuma Air dropper: Available in 150mm, 170mm or 200mm offerings and only costing $159, we were excited to see how the latest TranzX dropper post would do. Let’s see how it held up to months of abuse in British Columbia slop.
The TranzX Kitsuma Air is available in both popular seat post diameters; 30.9 and 31.6 and is available in the three travel options mentioned above; 150mm, 170mm and 200mm. The 200mm travel Kitsuma Air we tested retails for $159 without a lever and weighs in at 632 grams.
The post is internally routed, cable actuated and is compatible with the three remote’s that TranzX offers and most of the other cable actuated remotes on the market. The Kitsuma 1X remote was supplied with the dropper we tested and weighs in at 48 grams. If you don’t already have a lever on your bike or want to buy a new matching lever with your post, the TranzX Kitsuma lever retails for $29.
A goal of TranzX was to offer the most drop possible in a lightweight package, so using a sealed alloy air cartridge and 7075 aluminum is a great balance of weight and cost effectiveness. The post also has an oversized, hard anodized 26mm stanchion, upgraded internal bushings and an adjustable return rate.
The Kitsuma Air was installed on a Transition Scout that already had a cable actuated dropper post on it, which made installation extremely easy. During installation I noticed a lot of similarities between the Kitsuma Air and the OneUp dropper post that came off the Scout. Based on my experience in manufacturing in Asia, I wouldn’t be surprised if they came out of the same facility.
Modern dropper posts don’t have a lot of issues out of the box these days. They tend to work for a while and then tend to eventually develop front to back play, sag or a spongey feeling. The Kitsuma Air felt great out of the box and it continued to work without issue. The post was tested in all of the Pacific Northwest weather conditions and has not developed any long lasting issues, which is impressive.
That’s not to say that the Kitsuma Air didn’t give me any troubles on the trail however. I usually ride by myself due to my unique schedule and even though I had months of flawless rides alone, one day I went on a group ride, and that was the day that things started to go wrong for me and the Kitsuma Air. First, on a long technical downhill I noticed a rattle and when I sat down to figure the out sound, I noticed my seat was loose. The seat clamp bolts came loose and I was moments away from my seat falling off. Luckily, Tranzx uses a 5mm allen key for the seat clamp bolts and it was a quick and easy fix. Not long after that I went to raise my seat and the actuation cable pulled right out of the remote. A rookie mistake on my part ruined the cable and I wasn’t able to get it fixed so I had to pull the post from the frame to put it in the full down position after the last climb. This was a reminder to what it was like to ride with a rigid seat post. The dropper post is the best modern advancement in bike components and I’m sure glad we’ve got them.
Both of the issues I had were easy to fix and some blue Loctite has kept everything tight since then. New bikes and new components sometimes come loose and I should have been better about checking bolts from time to time. So I share this story as an anecdote to remind my fellow riders to check their hardware from time to time, especially after installing new components.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Over the past couple of years dropper post travel has been getting longer and longer. That travel has usually come with an increase in price or a decrease in reliability, and sometimes both. With the Kitsuma Air, TranzX has tried to solve both of those issues. With a price of $159 and infinite travel up to 200mm the Kitsuma Air defiantly addresses the price issue other brands seem so proud of. Other than the two minor issues with the seat clamp bolts and the retention screw on the remote, reliability has not been a concern.
Over the last several months I have ridden this post in all weather conditions and the post continues to work the same as when it came out of the box. One of my critiques about the Kitsuma Air however is the lever. I wasn’t a huge fan of the remote that came with the post and after the cable pulled free of the remote I finished the review with the remote that came with my bike. The Tranzx remote comes with a lot of adjustment and the paddle is a good shape but I had a hard time finding a place that I was comfortable with it. Of course this doesn’t take away from the operation of the dropper post and there are a lot of options out there for cable-actuated remotes, so your preference may be different.
For $159 the TranzX Kitsuma Air is a great option and I will continue to test its reliability since it’ll be staying on my bike. Riders who want a long travel post and are on a tight build budget should give the Kitsuma Air a shot.
Price: $159 (Post), $29 (Lever)
Weight: 632g as tested (Post only)
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