Long term review: SDG Tellis dropper is designed to last
Excellent feel meets durable function in new dropper seat post
“Reliability” has not always been synonymous with “dropper post,” but SDG is doing what they can to change that.
Tellis post was a departure for the SDG when it was introduced last year. Prior to the Tellis, the brand had primarily focused on seats, grips, and other components. It’s first foray into the complex moving parts of the dropper post, though, has produced a top quality component, mixing function and reliability.
Since it’s release, SDG has made some minor upgrades to the already solid product. It’s also added a 170 mm post option to the existing 100, 125, and 150 mm options.
SDG Tellis on the trail
In my initial review of the Tellis, the post had a smooth action, and solid feel. Nine months later, it still hasn’t developed any significant play or sag. It’s a great feat, considering I waited far too long to do anything more than basic service on the post.
Impressively, the SDG’s own remote lever still has the excellent light actuation feel that it did when first installed. It was easy to set up at first, with a very simple design. It has been quick to make any adjustments to for the expected cable stretch, using the barrel adjuster at the lever. The Tellis has seen duty on several different bikes at this point, and SDG’s decision to attach the cable head to the post end instead of at the lever has made it easy to move between bikes.
The Tellis lacks the ability to adjust return speed, but the seat has promptly returned to full extension at a reliable speed throughout the test period.
When the post did get service, it was straight forward and quick to do. SDG has a a range of videos on its website to guide customers through the short and long term service procedure as well as initial installation.
New parts waiting to be installed
Old parts on the left, new parts on the right
Looking fresh after months of use
Upgraded seals and bushings
SDG hasn’t had problems, but is has found some room for improvement anyway. For new models, the original seals and bushings will be replaced by a Trelleborg seal and IGUS bushings without changing the Tellis’ price. “We haven’t had any concerns on seals yet,” said SDG’s Devyn Pelley, “but we found a seal that works even better so we figured we might as well upgrade.”
The new IGUS bushing is much stiffer than the original, and has a smoother surface. This reduces the amount of force required to overcome the initial stiction and get the post moving, especially on bikes with slacker seat tube angles. SDG sent a set of Trelleborg Seal and IGUS bushing to upgrade the post with. After installing, the already-minimal force required for the post to break free and start through its travel was improved.
SDG says moving to the upgraded seal and bushings also allowed them to switch to Slickoleum grease. Lighter than the original grease used in the Tellis post, which should make the post move even smoother through its travel.