Yeah, I’m a massive fan. They’ll entirely change the way you ride… I use mine more than I change gears and have used it on a cross bike with great success too. I use to stick my nose up at them, but you don’t know what you’re missing.
We import KS, which I think are regarded as some of the most reliable posts up until this point. But this next wave of droppers coming from Rockshox and Fox and all the new OEM units from the big brands (Giant, Trek, Spez, etc) are definitely going improve reliability a lot.
FWIW, droppers from any brand are not necessarily very unreliable (a few dogs I’ll leave unnamed aside). I think the general public just hasn’t cottoned onto the maintenance required for them. Keep a good amount of quality suspension grease up to them (whenever you would lube your chain - once monthly, any time after a wet ride). Remove the post from the bike after a wet/muddy ride, this prevents condensation build up within the seat post from water trapped inside the frame (particularly important with carbon frames to prevent galvanic corrosion). Being the factory service centre for KS, we get a lot of posts coming back through the warehouse, you would be amazed to see the mud/water build up in the bottom of some posts.
Hydraulic posts offer the best usability and weight, but at the end of the day they still operate on a hydraulic system. And unlike your fork which will keep going without ruining your day when it doesn’t work exactly as it should (which is still pretty often considering suspension parts have been around for 20+ years) the seat post cop a pretty unfair wrap for their unreliability.
FWIW again, I wouldn’t get that post from Merlin. Buying a 1st gen Reverb from an overseas online store is a recipe for pain further down the track. Either stump up for a 2nd gen, or buy local with warranty.
Blatant plug, but we’re a site sponsor… So eh: You can get into an entry level KS E-ten remote for <$250 from your LBS, or a top of the line LEV/LEV integra for <$499. Top quality posts, cheaper than just about anywhere else in the world, comes with 2 year almost no questions asked warranty, and keeps money in Australian businesses (Y).