Crank Brothers Joplin Maintenance…

26 03 2013
Crank Brothers Joplin 3...

Crank Brothers Joplin 3…

Sharon has been happily using the Crank Brothers Joplin 3 height adjustable seatpost for the last couple years that started life on my Nomad. On the weekend the seatpost wouldn’t work reliably and Sharon had to struggle a bit to get the post where she wanted it.

Joplin installed in her Nomad...

Joplin installed in her Nomad…

Having a key part of your bike work inconsistently is frustrating so I pulled the cable and housing from her Nomad and replaced them with fresh ones. As soon as I did the Joplin was working perfectly again. I was glad the job was so simple and didn’t require any futzing with internal components.

Joplin remote lever...

Joplin remote lever…

Although both Kurt and I had to send our Joplins in once for warranty service Crank Brothers gave Kurt a free Joplin 4 upgrade and serviced mine for free. In the years since they have been working like champs without complaint and without any servicing of the internals.

I don’t regret buying the Joplin at all.

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.

Crank Brothers Joplin Redux

13 05 2010

Got my Joplin 3" adjustable seatpost back from Crank Brothers...

My Joplin adjustable seatpost broke a few weeks ago so it had to go back to Crank Brothers for repair.

Remote bar mounted lever...the only way to go...

I really liked my Joplin seatpost when it was working for me.

Installing the remote lever cable is very easy...

But I didn’t realize how awesome this seatpost was until I had to go back to the stock non-adjustable Thompson post.

Installing and adjusting the saddle is a snap as well...

I think Crank Brothers provided me with a refurbished post vs. repairing my old post, but as long as it works I really don’t care.

30.9mm post size fits my Nomad perfectly...

Unfortunately it looks like Kurt’s Joplin is starting to leak oil so he’ll be sending his back to Crank Brothers as well…=-( As long as it’s covered by the warranty we can both live with out seatposts needing service once every year or so.

Joplin back where she belongs!

Crank Brothers Joplin R Broken

12 04 2010

My Santa Cruz Nomad & Crank Bros Joplin R

One of the best parts of my Santa Cruz Nomad mountain bike is the Crank Brothers Joplin R adjustable seatpost. Being able to raise and lower my saddle at will [up to 100 times on a 4hr ride!] is so amazingly helpful that I’d be hard pressed to ever ride a mountain bike without something similar.

Click here for my review of the Joplin R after my Moab/Sedona trip last year.

Darn we have an oil leak!

This post has been through thousands of cycles and has taken a lot of abuse in the 14 months I’ve owned it.  It has received exactly zero maintenance in that time.  As I was putting my Nomad away today I noticed oil leaking profusely out of the seal where the inner and outer post meet [shown in image above].  I checked the Joplin R FAQ and it’s one of two problems – both of which are repairable.  Happily I’m still within the 2 year warranty so it will go back to my LBS for service.

Ultimately I’d rather ride my bikes lots and break stuff than ride less a never have any problems!…=-)

More oil!

Although I don’t love when expensive bike parts break I have to say that the pounding this post gets is extreme and I don’t feel particularly hard done by.  The only real drag will be going back to the stock Thompson non-adjustable seatpost while I get the Joplin fixed…the horror…the horror!  Hopefully they can fix it right at my LBS so I won’t go too deep into withdrawal…=-)

Crank Bros Joplin R - looking minty fresh!

If you are a mountain biker that rides technical terrain you really need to try an adjustable seatpost.  It will revolutionize your riding guaranteed!  My Joplin only has a 3″ range, but Crank Brothers now have a Joplin 4 R with 4″ of range….sweet!  I may buy one in the next year or two and keep the existing post as a spare so we don’t get caught out on a road trip.

Anatomy of a Joplin R