FOX Transfer Seatposts

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FOX Transfer Seatposts
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Go Big or Go Home - FOX Introduces the 175mm Transfer Dropper Post

One of the world's best dropper posts finally joins the long travel party.

Go Big or Go Home - FOX Introduces the 175mm Transfer Dropper Post

The FOX Transfer has been a firm favorite with Vital's staff ever since its introduction a couple of years ago now. Smooth, solid actuation and an impeccable reliability track record were enough to snag second place in our big dropper post Face Off feature, and it has seen off quite a few new podium contenders since then as well. However, as bike geo has continued to evolve and more and more riders now find themselves able to run longer posts, the Transfer with its 150mm was starting to hang off the back a bit in the travel department. With today's introduction of a 175mm version, the Transfer is back in the ring and ready for round two. We've had a test sample out on the trails for a month or so already, so here is an overview of the facts along with our early impressions.

FOX Transfer Highlights

  • Mechanically activated
  • Hydraulic internals
  • Air spring, factory preset pressure
  • “Spool Valve” modulation
  • Shifter-style or thumb lever remote options available
  • Infinite height adjust
  • 100, 125, 150, and 175mm travel options
  • 30.9mm and 31.6mm seat tube diameter
  • Weight: 731 grams (31.6/175, including cable and remote, verified)
  • MSRP: $409 USD (including lever)

Initial Impressions

There’s no denying that the Transfer is a good looking post, and the Kashima coating certainly helps it stand out in a sea of black (opt for the Performance series if stealth is the name of your game). The Transfer is a cable-actuated post with hydraulic internals, featuring FOX’s “Spool Valve” which was designed to help provide more control and better modulation throughout the post’s travel. All the hydraulics are housed in the upper portion of the post instead of in a cartridge, which FOX says allowed them to increase the diameter of the hydraulic circuit and run lower internal pressures. The air spring pressure is set from the factory and cannot be easily adjusted or modified.

The Transfer was always one of the longer posts on the market (relative to its travel), so it should come as no surprise that the 175mm version is even more imposing. At 530mm fully extended (measured from the saddle rail to the tip of the actuation mechanism) it is a full 45mm longer than OneUp's 170mm travel dropper for example, and 15mm longer than BikeYoke's 185mm travel version. However, all that length comes in handy when it comes to max extension (how far above the seat tube you can run the saddle), as the Transfer delivers a whopping 400mm here (significantly more than any other post on the market at present). Keep this one in mind if you have long legs and a bike with a very low seat tube. To figure out if this 175mm post will fit you and your bike, you'll need about 25mm more travel and 25mm more seatube insertion for a total of 50mm more length overall compared to the 150mm version. Here are all the dimensions of the Transfer 150 and 175 for reference:

Full Length (mm) Collar To Rail (mm) Minimum Insert (mm) Collar To Base (mm) Max Extension (mm) Weight (grams, with hardware)
Transfer 150 480 207 128 270 352 675
Transfer 175 530 230 125 297 400 731

The original Transfer proposed two optional levers, a small, thumb-operated number or a shifter-style version that mounts under the handlebar where your front derailleur shifter used to live. Nowadays, FOX owns Race Face which means they have easy access to one of the best shifter-style remotes on the market, the Turbine lever - and this is indeed what was included with our sample post. Since the original FOX lever is really the only weak spot of the Transfer, it stands to reason that the Race Face version may become the go-to option going forward. Be that as it may, all the lever options are sold separately, so you can always shop around (just as long as your chosen lever clamps the cable at the lever end, since the nipple end of the cable goes on the post side).

On The Trail

Installing the Transfer is very straightforward, as simple as routing the housing, installing the cable and clamping it in the lever. Cut the excess, install a cable-end and you're done. A nice touch is the use of a slightly over-sized cable end bushing on the post side, which means it gets clamped by the actuator mechanism and can’t really fall out while you’re installing the post in the frame. The hardware is of very high quality, especially when it comes to the post head – smooth and solid to wrench on. We installed the Race Face lever on SRAM's MatchMaker perch for a really clean cockpit look.

25mm may not sound like all that much, but the extra length is immediately obvious when you look at the post on the bike. If you've always dreamed of getting your saddle out of the way just a little bit more, and you have to the room to fit it in your frame, you'll really appreciate the extra wiggle room when the trails get extra steep and rowdy. We've been testing longer posts for a few months already, and going back to 150mm sometimes feels a bit awkward by now for this tester. Definitely a first world problem, but if you can swing the upgrade to a longer post, you'll probably like it.

The action is hydraulically controlled and you can really feel the know-how of a suspension expert behind the design.

On the trail, the Transfer stands out in several ways. First up, it is very smooth to operate. The action of the lever is not the lightest of them all, but the modulation is up there with the very best, and the addition of the Race Face Turbine lever really takes the Transfer to the next level compared to the original FOX lever which was a bit too small and sometimes awkward to operate. With just a gentle squeeze, the post starts to creep upwards, press the lever all the way and it shoots right up. The action is hydraulically controlled and you can really feel the know-how of a suspension expert behind the design. The second standout aspect is how solid the post feels. Everything about its movements is deliberate, there’s a loud mechanical clunk both at the top and the bottom of the stroke, which may seems off-putting initially, but is actually a blessing on the trail. If there is one thing we dislike, it’s wondering if our post is fully up or down. No such doubts with the Transfer. Lift the bike by the seat? Check. Press the lever to drop your seat while seated? Check. Silent and creak-free? Check. Class-leading reliability? Check!

Long Term Durability

The Transfer presents a tiny bit of side-to-wide play out of the box, but our experience shows this does not deteriorate at all over time and it cannot be felt while riding. Absolutely no sponginess nor vertical play has been detected across different testers and the many different samples we have tested by now. We have had one of our very first test samples running since the end of 2016 on several bikes, and it really is still performing like when it was new - with zero maintenance so far! Additionally, the post-head is confidence inspiring under your wrenches, and it seems to be one of the best when it comes to staying quiet and creak-free. The actuator mechanism corrodes a bit with time, but it's nothing that looks like it would ever impede operation. All in all, the Transfer is one of the most reliable posts on the market, and we have no reason to believe that the new 175mm version will be any different. We've had it out on the trails for just over a month by now and there are no issues to report. We will keep our test sample on the bike for the coming months, and update this article in the future should any issues arise.

What's The Bottom Line?

In a market that is full of options and particularly sensitive to reliability issues, the Transfer stands out as one of the absolute top performers. It is a pleasure to use, its positive and solid action quickly becoming second nature on the trail. Easy to modulate, the Transfer never leaves you guessing as to what it’s doing or where you might be in the travel. The Race Face Turbine lever option is a great upgrade, and the extra travel of the 175mm version really puts the Transfer back on the map as one of the real heavyweights of the class. Add in a great reliability track record, decidedly bling looks, and you’re looking at one serious contender.

For more information head on over to www.ridefox.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 45 // Years Riding MTB: 13 // Weight: 190-pounds (86.2kg)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Johan Hjord

Tested: FOX Transfer Dropper Post

Rating: Vital Review

by Fred Robinson

FOX is back in the dropper game with their new Transfer seatpost. Designed from the ground up, the Transfer features an infinitely adjustable system, Kashima coating (Factory model only) and two new levers which do away with the dual-paddle triggers found on the D.O.S.S. dropper. Available in both external and internal cable routing, FOX employed some new key features into the design of the post.

Both the external- and internal-routed posts utilize what FOX calls the Spool Valve, which allows for modulation when extending the Transfer. This makes small, precise height adjustments possible as the return speed is regulated by how far you actuate the lever. FOX has also housed all the hydraulic internals in the upper post, claiming a lighter overall package and larger diameter hydraulic system when compared to posts that utilize a cartridge design.

What’s the benefit of larger diameter systems? FOX says the system translates to lower internal pressures, which provide better durability as well as requires lighter actuation forces at the lever to activate the post. To eliminate pressure spikes, as well as allow for automatic adjustment for thermal expansion within the system, FOX uses a pressure relief valve which automatically relieves large pressure variances across the piston. So how does all the tech translate to the trail? We put the new FOX Transfer to the test to find out.

FOX Transfer Features

  • Low lever force provides consistent actuation pressure even with saddle weighted or unweighted
  • Two remote options: Left side below bar (for 1x) or Left/Right on bar (for 2x/3x)
  • Cable-actuated with tool-free quick disconnect for easier installation and removal
  • 30.9 and 31.6 diameter options
  • Drop options: 4in (100mm), 5in (125mm), 6in (150mm)
  • Factory Series models feature Genuine Kashima Coat upper post
  • Performance Series models feature black anodized upper post
  • Weights: Factory 31.6 125mm Internal post only – 544g // Factory 30.9 125mm External post only – 533g
  • Factory post only MSRP – $314 USD
  • Performance post only MSRP - $264
  • Remote only MSRP (1x or 2x/3x) - $65

Initial Impressions

FOX sent us the new Factory Series Transfer post in the 150mm internal routing configuration. Right out of the box, the action on the new post felt pretty dang smooth. Being that our frame is setup for internal routing, installation is a bit involved, though pretty straight forward. The cable attaches to the bottom of the post using a small cable bushing which houses the cable end. After you figure out how much housing you’ll need, attaching the cable via the bushing is a painless process. From there, all you have to do is run the cable through the housing and trigger, clamping the cable with a 2mm allen and snipping the excess. Take care not to exceed the recommended 11in-lbs (1.2Nm) with this bolt, as it is tiny and likely prone to stripping if you get hammy on it. A bonus feature of the way FOX designed the cable to attach to the post is you don't need any tools to remove and reattach the cable once you get it setup. This means removal of the post and re-installation is a breeze should you ever need to remove the post.

Since our bike utilizes a 1x drivetrain, we used FOX’s left / under trigger which offered the cleanest look in our opinion. After dialing in the proper height, we did notice that despite FOX’s recommended torque setting of between 5.1 and 7.3Nm for the post clamp, if we torqued the post down any tighter than 5Nm, the post developed a distinct notch in its travel which was difficult to push through. Backing the torque off to exactly 5Nm, that notch went away. After the first ride, though, and a little break-in presumably, we were able to properly torque the seat post clamp down to the range FOX recommends without that binding feel.

For a detailed setup and installation guide, here’s FOX’s step-by-step guide. After using the barrel adjuster on the trigger to get rid of any cable slack, it was time to hit the trails.

On The Trail

What’s the first thing everyone does when they’re checking out a new dropper? The wiggle test, the yank test, and the unweighted extend test of course, and that’s exactly what we did. For the wiggle test, we did notice a little bit of side-to-side rotation in the post and oddly, there is more “wiggle” when the post is completely compressed. When the post is completely extended, the amount of wiggle is reduced by quite a bit, and in both compressed and extended positions, there really isn’t much rotation to begin with; we’d say it’s on par with a Reverb.

The Transfer passed the yank test with flying colors, and it doesn’t extend at when you pick the bike up by the saddle. For the unweighted extend test, what stood out to us was how easy the return speed of the post is controllable via modulating the lever. Barely push the lever and the post will slowly creep up. Fully mash the lever, using its entire throw, and the post will extend at full-clip.

With the Transfer fully extended and weighted, the saddle feels firmly in place and as solid as a traditional seatpost. The slight amount of rotation we mentioned in the previous paragraph goes completely unnoticed on the trail. The lever action of the Transfer doesn’t require a lot of force to actuate and is easy to modulate in regards to how fast or slow we desired the post to move. Where this feature is most handy is over varying terrain where an intermediate seatpost height is desirable. Having the post move up slowly into whatever position we wanted made finding the sweet-spot a bit easier than if the post was extended at full-speed; a nod to FOX's D.O.S.S. 3-position setup in an unrestricted package.

The trigger is keyed into the clamp, so adjusting the angle of the trigger isn’t possible. Regardless, we found the trigger position natural and comfortable. Unlike the old D.O.S.S lever, the Transfer lever is easy to actuate and doesn’t hurt your thumb, even if you’re not wearing gloves.

Things That Could Be Improved

While the return speed isn’t adjustable, being able to modulate it is quite useful. One thing we did notice is that if we let the Transfer post return to its fully extended position at max-speed, there is an audible top-out clunk. We don’t think the return speed is too fast, by any means, we just wish there was some kind of top-out bumper to prevent this from occurring. Beyond that, we’ve yet to find any flaws with the post.

Long Term Durability

We’ve only been on the FOX Transfer post for roughly four weeks, and have only used it in dusty and dry conditions. With that said, we’re can’t comment beyond saying that so far, we’ve experienced no durability issues with the post. We’ll continue to ride the Transfer and update you should any issues arise.

What’s The Bottom Line?

FOX has done a great job with the new Transfer post. Ditching the 3-position functionality of the D.O.S.S. post was a good move in our opinion and having an easy-to-control post, in terms of return speed, as well as infinite adjustability really allows users to utilize the post for a variety of terrain. At $379 retail for the Factory post and remote, and $329 for the Performance post and remote, the Transfer is competitively priced when compared to other high-end droppers, coming in at substantially less than a few of the market leaders. All things considered, the new FOX Transfer is tough to beat in terms of value, functionality, and looks (who doesn’t like gold?) and we expect it to give the competition a run for their money.

For more information, visit ridefox.com


About The Reviewer

Fred Robinson, a.k.a. "Derf," has been on two wheels since he was two years old. He picked up a mountain bike in 2004 and started racing downhill in 2006. He has seen moderate success racing CAT 1 but focuses his efforts on building, maintaining and riding his local trails. He's deceptively quick for a bigger guy and likes steep, fast trails where he can hang it off the back of the bike. As a SoCal native he mostly rides trails covered with loose, traction-less turns and sharp, immovable rocks. Besides downhill, he rides trail bikes, road, and also enjoys the occasional dirt jump session.

Fox Transfer Factory 150mm dropper with 1x lever

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

This dropper is reliable, smooth, and consistent on long days.

The Bad:

1x remote lever assembly is a little small

Overall Review:

Fox Transfer Factory Dropper: 150mm w/ 1x Lever

Overall Review:

I ran the fox factory transfer dropper in 150mm length, and in a 30.9 seat post diameter. The transfer was mounted on my 2017 Yeti SB5.5c over the course of the last 6 months. This dropper has seen plenty of use, through dry desert climate, to wet and muddy mountain regions and has yet to let me down in any scenario. With 150mm of travel I never felt that I was hoping for more out of the dropper post, and the consistent performance that I have experience has put this dropper at the top of my list of must have items when building up a new bike. I have also had a ks lev, reverb, giant, and race face to compare to the fox transfer. Over the last 6 months the fox transfer has been the most reliable and consistent dropper to date that I have had the privilege to try out and has quickly become a favorite. With no maintenance required it makes riding less stressful on those days when you are out on a long excursion. At $344.00 the transfer is competitive in pricing to other top brands. The additional remote lever assembly that needs to be purchases comes in at $65.00 making the total price for the setup right around $400.00

Out of the Box:

As you can see, fox does well to package the product professionally as they do with all their products. It arrived neatly boxed up and stable due to the crafty cardboard cut outs in the box. It also had additional bubble wrap to maintain safe packaging. Everything was well organized in the box and was easy to remove and get ready for installation.

Setting up the Transfer:

The first initial organization and placement of the product makes it easy to understand which parts are for what. It also makes installation a breeze when fox includes and in depth installation guide. The transfer uses a cable actuated system and it is easy to connect the cable to the droppers trigger system on the bottom of the post. Its important to note that the air valve is located in a position opposite of the lever that will place it under the saddle, so if you have any sort of issue where you will need to add or release air then you will need to remove the saddle to do so. The most difficult part of installation will be cable routing if it is not already done for you. Once you have the cable routing taken care of and set to the proper length, its a breeze. Routing the cable through the 1x lever and the dropper is simple, as long as you can get the proper tension. I found no difficulty setting it up and I feel its safe to assume it will be straight forward for the majority of people.

1x Left Hand Lever:

Its important to note that the dropper does not come with the lever assembly kit, and is to be purchased separate for an additional $65.00. You get the options of a 1x left hand lever, or a 2x right hand lever. My first impression of the dropper post trigger system was the size and feel. It is smaller then other triggers used by competing companies and although it worked fine and was consistent, it has not been my favorite. It feels small and sometimes hard to press when in high speed scenarios or rocky terrain, however, overall I have been pleased with the consistent function of the fox 1x lever. The texture is similar to the xtr brake levers with a good feel. The barrel adjustment gives you some wiggle room for cable adjustment and has been durable throughout the 6 month use. The lever came shipped in a neat and professional fashion as did the dropper, and had the cable and everything else needed included. Overall I might prefer a different lever, but the fox transfer lever assembly has been consistent so I have continued to use it to compliment the dropper post.

Performance:

I have used both the kashima factory, and the performance dropper models, and although the internals are the same, the kashima did seem smoother overall and may last longer with the kashima coating. Overall through the 6 month test, I have not had any inconsistency with air, the post brake, or the cable lever. The infinite braking system worked flawlessly through both dry dusty terrain, as well as wet and muddy conditions. The lever and cable has been precise and has not needed any maintenance or needed to be changed throughout the 6 months. I have zero complaints about the performance, and have not seen any inconsistencies at either the top or bottom of the dropper range. I did notice that there is a little wiggle play in the saddle attachment with both dropper posts that I have used. It didn't effect the performance at all so I don't see it as a negative. Overall the performance is satisfactory at all times.

Final Recommendation:

If you want a consistent dropper post and are willing to spend the money. This fox transfer is a top choice.

Fox Transfer Performance (External)

Rating:
The Good:

The best external post I have used. Super smooth action throughout its travel. Easy to place the post anywhere along its travel. No squeaking at the saddle clamp. (I’m looking at you KS Lev!). Not cheap, but you get what you pay for.

The Bad:

Sensitive to seat clamp pressure. That is, you cannot clamp it too tight. Fox lever is good, the Wolftooth is great.

Overall Review:

All things considered, it’s probably the best external post I can buy.

Works the same 1 year later as the first day

Rating:
The Good:

Steady reliable performance day in and out. Honestly I have forgotten that there was such a thing as dropper post problems because of this post. Never sticks always comes all the way back up at factory show room speed.

The Bad:

I had to buy it and it didn't install itself. Also the seat wiggles - which I (and no one I've ever known) has ever noticed on the trail. Maybe a con would be it doesn't anticipate that I'm going DH or climbing and adjust accordingly.

Overall Review:

Buy it. Use it. Works. I've never serviced mine. It's a dropper.

Fox Transfer - looks fancy, works average

Rating:
The Good:

The Kashima version looks fancy, especially if you have a Kashima fork and shock - it ties together nicely. Has a loud top out "klunk". The twin bolt head is common, but never bettered. Competitive weight, but not especially light.

The Bad:

The price. The fact that it's only average in terms of function and maintenance - it just isn't better than many others. The collar is not threaded/removable so the only service is a full strip down. The cable clamps at the the handle bar, which isn't better or worse, but there are fewer compatible levers. Mine has fairly significant side wobble after 4 months, which isn't noticeable when riding, and not worsen than others, but I hoped for better on the Fox Transfer Kashima version.

Overall Review:

As comments above really  There isn't much more to say. It looks great, but in terms of functionality is only average. I probably wouldn't get another.

Amazing! Where is the 200 mm drop?

Rating:
The Good:

Bullet proof performance! Always works. Even extreme temraptures (15 below freezing)

The Bad:

The only gripes I have. The seat clamp and bolting. It is rather tricky to get those bolts and clamp to work right. There is no clear dirction on what way to bolt the clamp on. (I have installed it backwards many times.) The travel could be longer. I am tall with long legs. With modern bike frams I find that when in the correct ridding height 150 mm drop is not enough to get the seat out of the way on the really rowdy dissents.

Overall Review:

This dropper works. All the time. Every time. 

Cold, hot, wet, dry, clean or dirty it works. 

The only gripes I have. The seat clamp and bolting. It is rather tricky to get those bolts and clamp to work right. There is no clear dirction on what way to bolt the clamp on. (I have installed it backwards many times.) I also find I hit the post while tightening or loosening the bolts. Please angle them  like on the KS or rockshox. 

The travel could be longer. I am tall with long legs. With modern bike frams I find that when in the correct ridding height 150 mm drop is not enough to get the seat out of the way on the really rowdy dissents. 

Specifications

Product FOX Transfer Seatposts
Riding Type Cross Country, Enduro / All-Mountain, Freeride / Bike Park, Trail
Seatpost Type Dropper
Interface Railed
Remote Adjustable Yes, cable actuated
Two lever options: left side below bar (for 1x) or left/right over bar (for 2x/3x)
Diameter 30.9mm or 31.6mm
Travel 150mm, 125mm, or 100mm
Length Internal Routed: 483mm (150mm), 434mm (125mm), 384mm (100mm)
External Routed: 461.1mm (150mm), 411.2mm (125mm), 361mm (100mm)
Minimum Frame Insertion: 100mm
Tilt Adjustable head
Materials Aluminum
Colors Factory Series: Black / Kashima
Performance Series: Black / Black
Weight N/A
Miscellaneous Tool-free quick disconnect for easier installation and removal
Low lever force provides consistent actuation pressure even with saddle weighted or unweighted
Modulate return speed with lever
Remote options for 1x or 2x/3x
Internal or external cable routed options
Saddle rail compatibility: 7mm steel/Ti or 7mm x 9mm carbon
Price
  • $344
  • $294
  • $65
More Info

For more info, go to ridefox.com.

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