Check out this in depth review of the new Fox Transfer Dropper Post written by one of our customers, James Smith. See how the Transfer post compares to the Rockshox Reverb and the Easton Haven dropper posts!
It seems as though everyone (including their grandmothers) in the mountain bike industry is getting into the dropper seat post market, and with good reason: having a dropper post is one of the best upgrades you can do for your mountain bike. No joke! With so many choices, why not just get the cheapest one and call it a day? After all, it’s just a post that goes up and down with the press of a remote lever, right? Well, kind of, but there’s a lot of things to consider when choosing a dropper post. After, riding with the RockShox Reverb Stealth and Easton Haven dropper, I’ve come to realize that not all dropper posts are created equal. I'm now on my 3rd dropper post being the Fox Transfer and it is the best dropper I’ve ever tried/owned so far and DAMN does it look sexy with that Kashima coated bling on the stanchion!
So why do I think the Fox Transfer is the best so far? First, I’ll point out a few things both good and bad with my two previous dropper posts. This way I can give you an insight and comparison where Fox got it right with their dropper post and why it's my favorite so far.
Let's start with the RockShox Reverb Stealth. Installation was a bit complicated and it is critical you do it right the first time. Because it is a hydraulic actuated post, it will require more time to install vs mechanical actuated droppers. Not a terrible thing but I like simple installs, who doesn’t? If you’re planning on moving the Reverb to another bike, be prepared to get a new hose and a bleed kit. Yeah, not really made to be moved between bikes. Another gripe I have with the hydraulic aspect is I would eventually have to bleed the oil. It’s bad enough I have to bleed the brakes so this means more maintenance chores for my bike.
Performance wise, the Reverb was awesome and reliable. When you press the remote the dropper goes up smooth with a good amount of speed and force. Nothing harsh that might injure your family jewels, like some other dropper posts out there. My biggest issue had to be with the stupid remote. Single handedly the most annoying part about the Reverb, for me at least. It was just awkward to press and I could not find a decent place on the handlebar for it to be comfortable. *Note I do ride a Scott Genius that has their patented "Twinloc" remote, which is probably why I couldn't find a perfect spot to clamp it. I know there’s a company that makes a shifter style remote but it’ll set you back a few good pennies. No thanks. So this left me with the desire to get something better.
Next comes the Easton/Race Face dropper post. It looks awesome on paper and I thought this could be the one. Its cable actuated instead of hydraulic so no more messing around with bleeding the oil and stuff, GREAT! Transferring the dropper to another bike? No, problem. Weight wise it’s lighter than the Reverb which is another plus in my book. Installation, however, was a little easier than the Reverb but still a bit of a disappointment. That's because it's easy to make mistakes - when clamping the cable you have to tighten two little screws while pulling the cable tight. Do people have 3 hands? The remote was also much better than the Reverb’s but there's still room for improvement. The remote has no tactile grip which makes it slippery when your hands get sweaty on a hot days ride. Velcro patch should solve this or buying the optional Race Face shifter (which comes in some nice color options) but again, additional costs.
Unfortunately, the Easton Haven I bought was defective. It was slowly leaking air inside the chamber and the next day the dropper was rendered useless. I quickly exchanged it with a new one and hoped for the best. Everything seemed to work perfectly but after a few months of riding I began experiencing issues. The dropper would only extend half way up when fully pressing the remote lever. By pressing the lever twice it would then fully extend. I tried adjusting the cable barrels but to no avail. I even checked the air pressure to make sure there was enough air inside. I did pump it up just a few PSI higher than recommended but it didn’t fix the issue. When I'm out on the trail this issue started to really annoy me, especially when I was about to do some serious climbing. All I can say is Easton/Race Face needs to do a better job at quality control.
Now comes my 3rd and hopefully last dropper post: The Fox Transfer. Fox’s installation was super simple and really didn’t take much time for me to get setup. I love how the cable connects to the bottom of the dropper using the shifter’s cable bearing at the end to mount to. This is a small detail but one that is clever and definitely makes the installation so much easier when connecting the cable to the dropper. I guess after installing 2 somewhat difficult droppers you really do appreciate the thought that Fox put into the Transfer design. Actuation is very smooth, much smoother than both the Reverb and Haven. It rises at a very good amount of speed and force much like the Reverb. Not too fast, not too slow, just right. The other small detail is that the lighter or harder you press the remote will dictate how fast or slow the dropper goes up. I don’t know if this will ever come in handy while I’m out riding, but it's very cool nonetheless. Another dropper that works the same way is the Thompson, which is considerably more expensive than the Transfer. This post also goes down easier. So if I’m off the saddle and just want to lower the seat post by hand I can do so with little effort, again a small but very important detail that I’m extremely happy about.
Let’s talk about the remote: I opted to get the 1x remote. I run a 1x11 drivetrain on my bike and found it to be so much more convenient than the vertical position remote. The reason it’s more convenient is I no longer need to reach over to press the lever. Now my hands stay put on the handlebar grip at all times. Another plus with running a 1x remote is you don’t have that stupid noodle hovering over your brake. Just something to consider when deciding on which remote to get, unless you’re running a 2x or 3x then you’re basically stuck with the vertical remote. The added dimples on the end of the lever are a welcome feature for better thumb grip. Weight wise, its 29g heavier (on my scale) than the Easton Dropper but still lighter than the Reverb.
I opted to get the Factory series version which is the exact same as the cheaper Performance Series model aside from the Kashima coating. Does the Kashima make a difference in performance? I don’t think so. Does it look better? For me, hell yeah.
What are the cons with the Fox, if any?
I did notice a little play when the post is fully extended which is similar to the Reverb but with the Easton there was absolutely no play/wiggle at all. This isn’t an issue but I’m not sure why droppers have any wiggle at all. Your fork doesn’t wiggle so why should your dropper? (Food for thought.)
Speaking of wiggles, the remote lever wiggles as well. This makes it feel a little cheap or as if it's about to fall apart. Not good when this remote costs $65. The issue lies where the silver bearing connects the lever to the handlebar clamp. At first I thought the cable didn’t have enough tension but it’s just how they designed the remote. Again, it’s not a deal breaker by any means but for $65 it shouldn't wiggle.
I’ve only had a handful of rides with the new Transfer and out on the trails it’s been great, so far. Long term durability and reliability is still on the table but I’m pretty confident that this will hold up in the long run.