X-Fusion Manic Seatpost

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X-Fusion Manic Seatpost
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First Ride: X-Fusion Manic Dropper Post

An affordable and easy to maintain dropper post that offers good performance on the trail.

Rating: Vital Review
First Ride: X-Fusion Manic Dropper Post

X-Fusion has been playing the dropper post game for a bit, but its previous offerings failed to make much of an impression. Going back to the drawing board, X-Fusion sought to change all that with an affordable and easy to maintain post. Those are certainly traits we look for in a good dropper, so we put the Manic to the test to see how it measures up.

X-Fusion Manic Highlights

  • Stealth cable routing only
  • Shifter style remote
  • Double key-way design prevents lateral twisting
  • Wide range of seatpost angle adjustment
  • Two bolt style head
  • Travel: 125mm/150mm
  • Diameter: 30.9mm / 31.6mm
  • Color: Black
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Weight: 733 grams (150mm travel, including cable and remote, verified)
  • MSRP: $199 USD

Initial Impressions

$199 is at the very low end of the “performance dropper post” market – by that

X-Fusion has been playing the dropper post game for a bit, but its previous offerings failed to make much of an impression. Going back to the drawing board, X-Fusion sought to change all that with an affordable and easy to maintain post. Those are certainly traits we look for in a good dropper, so we put the Manic to the test to see how it measures up.

X-Fusion Manic Highlights

  • Stealth cable routing only
  • Shifter style remote
  • Double key-way design prevents lateral twisting
  • Wide range of seatpost angle adjustment
  • Two bolt style head
  • Travel: 125mm/150mm
  • Diameter: 30.9mm / 31.6mm
  • Color: Black
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Weight: 733 grams (150mm travel, including cable and remote, verified)
  • MSRP: $199 USD

Initial Impressions

$199 is at the very low end of the “performance dropper post” market – by that we mean, there are even cheaper posts out there, but now you’re talking catalogue Chinese stuff where the post is held up by a pin through the middle. The Manic is a quality product from a reputable manufacturer, and as such, the price point is even more remarkable. To hit such a low number, X-Fusion relied on a sealed gas-cartridge (which can be replaced for $25 if yours should fail outside the 2-year warranty, to give you an idea of the cost involved).

The overall finish of the Manic is good, although the base is perhaps a bit crude. Not a major point of concern since it’s going to spend the vast majority of its life inside your seat tube. The color is rich and glossy, and the overall look is fairly sleek.

The remote is an innovative little piece of kit, it can be rotated 360 degrees within its clamp, and also offers a certain degree of angle adjustability. In terms of overall construction, the lever blade is made from aluminum and is well finished off.

Examining the dimensions of the Manic, there are two sides to the story here. On the one hand, the collar is short and the stack height of the post head is low, which results in a low overall Collar to Rail number – great if you are right on the limit for a given amount of travel. On the flip side however, the Manic is one of the longest posts we’ve tested overall, meaning that you need a frame with a very long max insertion depth. The Manic is also among the heaviest posts we’ve weighed so far. Here are the external measurements of the Manic (check our Dropper Post Face Off feature to compare it with others):

Full Length (mm)

Collar to Rail (mm)

Minimum Insert (mm)

Collar to Base (mm)

Max Extension (mm)

490

198

148

290

342

On The Trail

Installing the Manic was devoid of any drama. In general, we prefer designs where the cable head sits at the base of the post, which makes it easier to adjust and cut the cable, but this is just a minor observation. Getting the cable tension right on the Manic is not complicated, especially since it’s not a very sensitive design. The adjustable shifter-style lever meant it was also easy to find a natural position to place it (note that you will need a size 8 flathead spanner to tighten down the clamp once positioned).

On the trail, the Manic is easy to use. The remote requires very little pressure to operate (pretty much the least amount of any post we have tested so far), and the action of the post itself is smooth and predictable. The return speed is not really adjustable, although you can modulate it with the lever throw. Initially, we were a bit put off by a certain amount of “dead” travel at the beginning of the lever stroke (until you reach the point of actuation), during this part of the travel you are only working against the little return spring located at the base of the post. Past the actuation point, the pressure on the lever goes up a bit, but it still remains light to the touch. Once we got used to these “2 steps of lever travel”, it has become second nature. A bit like finding the bite point on your brakes.

The Manic presents a tiny bit of side-to-side play out of the box, very much inline with other posts on the market today. We have only tested the post for a few weeks, but so far, the amount of play has not increased. In terms of the cartridge itself, it has been rock solid so far. There is no detectable amount of sagging when you sit on the post, and picking the bike up by the seat even when the post is lowered does not reveal any extension or slipping. Drop your seat and hit the gnar, confident in the knowledge that it will stay where you left it.

Overall, the Manic has put in an impressive performance on the trail. It has so far remained creak free and very easy to use. X-Fusion backs it with a 2-year warranty, and the post was designed to be easy to service even for the home mechanic. Any cartridge failure is dealt with by way of a replacement ($25 if outside of warranty, $50 to send it in to X-Fusion to have them do the actual work), for the rest, things like seals and keyways should also be easy to keep fresh if need be. All in all, there’s a lot to like about this $199 post – not least that very competitive price!

Things That Could Be Improved

The Manic is very long, which is a bit of a shame, since the Minimum Seat Height measure is actually on the short side. This is not an issue if you have a deep seat tube and/or long legs, but it will be a limiting factor for others. The Manic is also quite heavy, although if the design proves reliable, we’ll gladly take the extra 100 grams.

The front bolt of the seat post head is a bit finicky to work with, because it does not offer a good angle for your allen key. Even with the ball-tip side, the bolt is a bit difficult to manipulate.

The amount of travel in the lever is almost too much – specifically, because the lever is quite short, you can feel like you “run out of lever” at the end of the travel, and your thumb wants to start slipping. It doesn’t actually happen, but giving the blade more of a rounded profile or reducing the lever throw would perfect this already good design. Note that you can also increase the amount of preload to take up some of the “dead travel”, which partially remedies this issue. Overall, we do like the lever design, but in the name of nitpicking, this is what we came up with.

Long Term Durability

This is just a First Look type of review, so we cannot comment on the actual long term durability of the Manic. Ultimately, that will be what most droppers are judged on, so we’ll come back to this point if we manage to put in a few more miles on it in the future. In terms of the design, the gas cartridge option has already proven itself, and the fact that it can be replaced for a mere $25 outside of warranty does bode well for the long-term ownership experience.

What’s The Bottom Line?

There’s no shortage of good dropper posts out there, but most of those do tend to come in at a significantly higher price point than what X-Fusion has managed to hit with the Manic. Yes, it is a bit on the long and heavy side of things, but it makes up for it with silky smooth actuation and solid performance on the trail. If you are looking for a quality option that is easy to maintain at home, at a price that defies most competition, look no further.

More information at: www.xfusionshox.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord 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 and Nils Hjord

Best bang for your buck

X-Fusion Manic

Rating:
The Good:

Value Reliability Performance

The Bad:

Long insertion depth Finicky remote Remote feels a little cheap

Overall Review:

We have 2 Manics in our house, my wife has the 125mm that I got for her birthday a year and a half ago and I have a 150mm that picked up at the start of this season to replace my Reverb.

I bought the Manic 3 days before one up released their dropper post. The Manic was still close to $80 (cad) cheaper since it included the remote and the replacement cartridge is significantly cheaper as well. We have had zero issues with either post that includes riding in temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius and above 30 degrees Celsius. The action of the post is smooth and fast enough that I have never felt like I was waiting for it to extend.

While there is a small amount of side to side play it has not changed since we recieved our posts.


My only complaint is the remote was finicky to set up, and

Overall Review:

We have 2 Manics in our house,  my wife has the 125mm that I got for her birthday a year and a half ago and I have a 150mm that picked up at the start of this season to replace my Reverb.

I bought the Manic 3 days before one up released their dropper post. The Manic was still close to $80 (cad) cheaper since it included the remote  and the replacement cartridge is significantly cheaper as well. We have had zero issues with either post that includes riding in temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius and above 30 degrees Celsius. The action of the post is smooth and fast enough that I have never felt like I was waiting for it to extend.

While there is a small amount of side to side play it has not changed since we recieved our posts.


My only complaint is the remote was finicky to set up, and feels a little cheap. Though a significant improvement over the reverb plunger.

The post is also long, though this didn't cause a problem for me, it could be a problem for some bikes with limited seat tube lenghts.

Overall I'm very happy with the post, so much better than the reverb for the same cost as 1 service on the reverb.

The most reliable dropper available

Rating:
The Good:

Reliable, smooth, cheap

The Bad:

“Only” 150 mm drop max

Overall Review:

I have owned two of these, a 125 and a 150. Both have been 100% reliable, the 150 over a season and the 125 over two. They work as well as the day I bought them. Knowing that servicing is as easy as popping in an inexpensive replacement cartridge, though the post is so reliable I bet they haven’t had to sell many.

The cable clamps at the post end rather than the lever, which makes getting the cable tension right a bit trickier than lever-clamped setups. But you can also pair it with a cable-clamping lever like a Wolf Tooth ReMote for a bit of luxury and extra-easy setup.

I really don’t see why anyone would spend more, unless more drop than 150 mm is needed.

Overall Review:

I have owned two of these, a 125 and a 150. Both have been 100% reliable, the 150 over a season and the 125 over two. They work as well as the day I bought them. Knowing that servicing is as easy as popping in an inexpensive replacement cartridge, though the post is so reliable I bet they haven’t had to sell many. 

The cable clamps at the post end rather than the lever, which makes getting the cable tension right a bit trickier than lever-clamped setups. But you can also pair it with a cable-clamping lever like a Wolf Tooth ReMote for a bit of luxury and extra-easy setup.

I really don’t see why anyone would spend more, unless more drop than 150 mm is needed.

Specifications

Product X-Fusion Manic Seatpost
Riding Type Cross Country, Trail
Seatpost Type Dropper
Interface Railed
Remote Adjustable Yes
Diameter 30.9mm or 31.6mm
Travel 125mm or 150mm
Length 421mm (125mm), 454mm (150mm)
Tilt Adjustable, zero offset, two bolt style head
Materials
Colors Black
Weight
  • 1 lb 9.9 oz (733 g)
  • 1 lb 6.2 oz (630 g)
  • 1 lb 5.5 oz (610 g)
Miscellaneous Features:
- Cable actuated
- Internal cable routing only
- Shifter style remote with bevel-style clamp
- Double key-way design prevents lateral twisting
Price $199
More Info

​X-Fusion Website

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