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I'm a Beginner Mountain Biker. Should I Upgrade to a Dropper Post? Other Upgrades?

Hello! recently bought a 2021 DRT 1.2 on the recent promotion and now have $100 bucks to spend. Was thinking whether dropper post would be a good use of that (beginner mountain biker) and if so what would be a good starting point from REI's selection. I also have read mixed messages regarding this year's bike with internal routing of dropper post? Any thoughts? Any other good uses of that money? Thank you!

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@djor - I'm a big fan of droppers, especially since I have shorter limbs so anything that gets me more space to move around the bike is a plus. That said, finding a decent one for $100 might get tricky. My go-to recommendation is PNW and most their posts are just shy of $200 although they do have the cheaper Ridge post at $130. And that's for the post only. You'll have to add on $30-50 or more for the remote lever to actuate it, and running the cable housing, plus any shop labor if you don't do it yourself. Most bike frames are internally routed these days so that's typical.

Outside of droppers, I might focus on contact/touch points. Your tires are ultimately what touches the ground and provide your traction. Grips, saddle, and pedals are where you the rider physically touch the bike and are good places to dial in comfort. To go with pedals, a decent pair of riding shoes is also key, stiffer than a walking/running shoe with good grippy rubber for platform pedals, or cleats if you go the clip-in route. Five Ten and Ride Concepts are a couple of the biggest shoe names you'll hear.

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