The most obvious advantage to the X-Fusion Hilo 125 is the price. $220 is crazy cheap for a dropper, especially when you consider that a RockShox Reverb sells for $370 and a KS Lev costs $395! For this price, the X-Fusion Hilo is about as good as you can get. It has infinite adjustability, which means you can stop it anywhere within its 125mm of travel. This feature is what made droppers like the Reverb and Lev so good. It is also hydraulic like the Reverb, which means the post action is smooth and controlled. You get a choice between a cable-actuated remote or a simplistic, lightweight lever on the underside of the saddle. The lever works great and the action is almost instantaneous. If you use a lever, its also about the same weight as more high end droppers, 545g for a 30.9mm post to be exact.
Although the Hilo 125 employs a double keyway design in the shaft, there is still some noticeable side-to-side movement of the saddle. However, this movement is very minimal and you won't detect it while riding. The major problem with the Hilo is the shaft head. The bolt needs to be greased and torqued the hell out of it in order to keep the saddle from moving. If you torqued it enough, the saddle will stay in place. Just remember to grease the bolt liberally so you can apply more torque to it. The cable-actuated lever has a nice, easy to use design, but the action is simply too slow and hindered. With the remote, the saddle takes forever to extend or contract the last few millimeters. The action is slow and it is very noticeable. No matter how much you lube the cable and get all the slack out, the action is slow. I even tried increasing the air pressure in the post, but the speed increase was extremely minimal. My only suggestion is to use the lever. With the lever, any speed issues are solved and you start to love the post again.Overall Review: Aside from a few easily fixable niggles here and there, the X-Fusion Hilo 125 is a great dropper for the money. Its lightweight, simplistic, and will withstand a lot of abuse. The remote system needs to be fixed in future models, but the lever works a treat. Hydraulic, infiniteadjustably is a feature that only comes in the RockShox Reverb, which many deem to be the best dropper on the market currently. Aside from some saddle tightening and movement issues, the Hilo is definitely a dropper to consider for those on a budget.