Race Face Turbine R Seatpost

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Vital Rides the New Race Face Turbine R Dropper Post

Race Face rebadges and tweaks one of the best droppers in the world - does it still deliver?

Rating: Vital Review
Vital Rides the New Race Face Turbine R Dropper Post

When Race Face first got into the dropper post game, they licensed the technology for the original Turbine dropper from 9point8, a Canadian company specializing in this component in particular. Whilst the original version of that dropper, the 9point8 Fall Line scored a podium finish in our Dropper Post Face Off, the licensed version manufactured by Race Face ultimately failed to live up to expectations. We rated it highly at first, but we had to back pedal later in the face of a spate of reliability issues. Race Face knew it had to do something different to remain relevant in the dropper market, and since it is owned by FOX, the solution must have seemed pretty obvious: rebadging the outstanding FOX Transfer post. The result is called the Turbine R, and here are our impressions of it after

When Race Face first got into the dropper post game, they licensed the technology for the original Turbine dropper from 9point8, a Canadian company specializing in this component in particular. Whilst the original version of that dropper, the 9point8 Fall Line scored a podium finish in our Dropper Post Face Off, the licensed version manufactured by Race Face ultimately failed to live up to expectations. We rated it highly at first, but we had to back pedal later in the face of a spate of reliability issues. Race Face knew it had to do something different to remain relevant in the dropper market, and since it is owned by FOX, the solution must have seemed pretty obvious: rebadging the outstanding FOX Transfer post. The result is called the Turbine R, and here are our impressions of it after a month on the trail.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Awesome ergonomics
  • Best-in-class reliability
  • Creak-free head design
  • Quality finish
  • Perfect return speed
  • None as of now

Race Face Turbine R Dropper Post Highlights

  • Length: 456mm, 406mm, 356mm (body only)
  • Travel: 150mm, 125mm, 100mm
  • Lever Actuation: Mechanical
  • Lever Type: Universal, 1x MatchMaker Compatible
  • Head Type: Zero Offset
  • Color: Black
  • Sizes: 31.6mm, 30.9mm
  • Weight: 675 grams (150mm, including cable and universal remote, verified)
  • MSRP: $294.99 USD (post), $69.99 USD (1x lever), $49.99 USD (universal lever)

Initial Impressions

It’s fair to say that we were ultimately disappointed by the reliability issues that plagued the original Turbine post, so one of the first questions we had for Race Face when they told us about the new Turbine R was “OK but is this actually being manufactured by FOX?” The answer to that question is yes, so what you are looking at here is basically the same FOX Transfer post that scored a 2nd place finish in our Dropper Post Face Off last year, with an updated lever and slightly modified return speed. Of course, the graphics are different too, and the Turbine R only exists in black, there is no Kashima-coated Factory option available from Race Face.

Inspecting the goods, we were pleased to discover the same impeccable build quality featured on the FOX Transfer, and a remote lever that seemed to address one of our only gripes with the Transfer: a small and somewhat awkward 1x lever (the thumb-lever universal remote option is the same for both the FOX and the Race Face post). Now, the old Turbine 1x lever from Race Face is one of our outright favorites to use, and for the Turbine R they have made it even better, since it is now also MatchMaker compatible.

The internals of the Turbine R are based on a closed hydraulic system housed in the upper part of the post, which FOX originally came up with in order to create a “larger diameter system than a closed cartridge”. This in turns allows the system to work at lower internal pressures which is good news for reliability. Pressure is set from the factory and cannot be easily modified. Race Face told us that they wanted a slightly quicker return speed than what the Transfer delivers, which they addressed by a tweak to the “Spool Valve” that is responsible for modulating the return speed. Other than these changes, the post remains identical to a Transfer, and it is offered in all the same length, travel, and diameter configurations. The following table highlights the main physical dimensions of the Turbine R at 150mm of travel:

Full Length (mm)

Collar to Rail (mm)

Minimum Insert (mm)

Collar to Base (mm)

Max Extension (mm)

Weight (grams, with hardware)

480

207

128

270

352

675

On The Trail

Installing the Turbine R is easy, and it is not very sensitive to cable tension. The hardware is a pleasure to work on, and plenty of trail time on the FOX version has proven to us that it remains solid and creak-free for a long time. The post features a bit of side to side play out of the box, but our experience shows that it does not get worse with time, and it goes by unnoticed on the trail. We were very pleased to note the arrival of a MatchMaker compatible version of the excellent Turbine 1x lever, which can of course also be installed with the supplied separate collar should your cockpit not be MatchMaker-ready. On the hardware side, the burly lever features a proper cable bolt which should be able to deal with even the most ham-fisted of home-schooled bike mechanics.

Coupled with the very distinctive “clack” at the top of the travel it means getting your post back to full extension is as snappy as can be, yet the smooth and precise action of the lever will also let you modulate the return speed of the post as needed.

Heading out for our first ride, we were immediately reminded of why we appreciate the FOX Transfer so much: smooth, reliable actuation and a dead solid lock at any seat post height. Go ahead and lift your bike by the saddle too, the post does not extend unduly at all. Whilst not a night and day difference, increasing the return speed of the Turbine R was a good call in our opinion. Coupled with the very distinctive “clack” at the top of the travel it means getting your post back to full extension is as snappy as you want it to be, yet the smooth and precise action of the lever will also let you modulate the return speed of the post as needed.

As previously mentioned, the 1x Turbine lever is one of the best, and for the Turbine R version the MatchMaker option makes it even better. The ergonomics are perfect, and pairing it up with one of the best posts in the market has created a powerful combo that will likely upset the pecking order on the podium of our Dropper Post Face Off. Has Race Face done enough to unseat the BikeYoke Revive, the current dropper king? Not quite, but the slightly quicker return speed and the outstanding 1x lever will likely see it snag second place by leapfrogging the FOX Transfer, the very post it is based on. Of course, there is nothing to stop you from buying the FOX branded post and the Race Face remote separately, if this tickles your fancy, and if you want the Kashima bling this is indeed what we recommend you do.

Things That Could Be Improved

Our only complaint with the original FOX Transfer dropper is the 1x remote, which is a bit underwhelming compared to the rest of the post. The Turbine R features one of the very best remote levers available, which leaves us with precious little else to put in this section. Pretty much a homerun, all we can ask for now is a longer version with more drop to keep up with one of the latest trends in frame design.

Long Term Durability

Aside from the excellent ergonomics, the reliability record of the FOX Transfer is one of the main reasons that we rate it so highly. Our test samples have proven themselves over the course of more than a year, surviving several different bike builds in the process with nary a squeak of discontent to be heard from any of them. The same smooth, predictable and precise action, ride after ride, in any weather. The Race Face Turbine R is the very same post, still manufactured by FOX, which lets us assume that this reliability record will indeed carry over. We only have one month of trail time on the Turbine R so far, but all signs point to a trouble-free experience ahead. We will certainly keep a close eye on it however, to make sure that this is indeed the case. Check back for future updates as we rack up some more miles.

What’s The Bottom Line?

Take one of the very best dropper posts on the market, and make a few well-founded tweaks, and you land yourself a winner. This is precisely what Race Face has done with their new Turbine R, building on the excellent design and track record of the FOX Transfer post while adding their own twist to the remote lever. If you are looking for a super-smooth and ultra-reliable dropper for your next bike build, the Turbine R is seriously worthy of your consideration.

More information at: www.raceface.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 45 // Years Riding MTB: 13 // Weight: 190-pounds (86kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

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

Specifications

Product Race Face Turbine R Seatpost
Riding Type Freeride / Bike Park, Trail
Seatpost Type Dropper
Interface Railed
Remote Adjustable Yes
Diameter 30.9, 31.6
Travel 100, 125, 150
Length 480mm (150mm drop version)
Tilt
Materials Aluminum
Colors Black
Weight 1 lb 7.8 oz (675 g)
Miscellaneous Weight: 675 grams, 150mm drop, 31.6mm, verified
Price $365
More Info

www.raceface.com

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