Crank Brothers Joplin 4 Review

6 08 2012

Crank Brothers Joplin 4 seatpost on my Scandal 29er…

I’d like to hold out a few more months of riding to post a review of this Joplin 4 adjustable seatpost, but I figure that with the new Kronolog seatpost on the market it made sense to post now while folks were still looking for info on the Joplin. By the end of the year they’ll probably be gone from the market and a review would be of a lot less value.

I’ve been using this seatpost since I built up my Scandal 29er MTB at the start of the year. I’ve also had a Joplin 3 for four years which shares a similar set of internals. My Joplin 3 had a seal failure which was fixed by Crank Brothers under warranty. It’s been fine for 2 years since then. The Joplin 4 on my Scandal has worked well without any issues so far. Kurt had a Joplin 3 for two years and it had a seal failure. His LBS replaced it under warranty with a Joplin 4 he’s used for two more years with no issues.

The Joplin 4 has improved seals to keep dirt out and more effective dual key-ways to keep side to side play at bay. Which seem to have cured a lot of the problems with the earlier Joplin models.

Joplin 4 tech specs – click for larger…

I’m using the Joplin 4 with the under the seat lever. My Joplin 3 has always been controlled by a bar mounted remote lever. The under the seat lever is not nearly as useful as the bar remote lever. I’m swapping the Joplin 4 in and out on the Scandal depending if it’s been used for MTBing or bikepacking. With the frequent changes I’m accepting the harder to use the under the seat lever for now. If my Scandal was a dedicated MTB I’d use a remote bar mounted lever for sure. The Joplin bar mounted remote lever is the best design I’ve seen so far – very easy to use.

The Joplin responds quickly to being raised or lowered. It doesn’t get stuck like the KS post I use on my Nomad. You can set it to any height within the range – although I find it hard to modulate the adjustment using the under the seat lever as I have less control with only 1 hand on the bars. You can’t lift the bike by the seat unless the post is fully extended –  which is a drag, but one I can live with. My solution is to put the seat at max height when I get off the bike so I can move it around by the saddle. There is a small amount of side to side play with the saddle, but it isn’t noticeable when riding. The saddle clamps are a single bolt design with infinite angle adjustment. I haven’t had any issue with mine coming loose.

Kurt’s been riding a Joplin 4 for about two years with no issues. He’s got it on his Nomad with a bar mounted remote and is pleased with it. As far as reliability goes I’m feeling okay about all the Joplins we are using. In total we’ve had 9 seasons of riding and 2 seal failures in the older Joplin 3 posts and no failures with the newer Joplin 4 models. They’ve been maintenance free which is exactly how I like my bike components!

Scandal 29er with Joplin 4…

So bottom line is the Joplin 4 is a decent seatpost. It works well. It’s been reliable for me and for Kurt.

There are some newer better options for adjustable height seatposts out there now. In particular the Rock Shox Reverb and the Crank Brothers Kronolog – both sell for around $300. Given that I’d recommend the Joplin 4 if you can get for $150 with the remote lever or $100 without it. If you are paying more for a Joplin 4 it’s probably a better investment to either wait for a clearance sale or spend the extra $$ on a newer post design.



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