Back in 2016 dropper posts were in their adolescent stage; they had been around in various forms for half a decade and were already seen as a requisite for a high end mountain bike. But they were still extremely expensive and every model out there was riddled with semi-frequent mechanical problems and reliability issues. Fox had the D.O.S.S post on the market - a trusty product but one that suffered from an ungainly and hard to use remote. It was also not set up for internal routing, which by then was a necessity.
Enter the Transfer post. This dropper bucked all the trends and gave us exactly what we wanted. Cable actuation. Internal routing. An incredibly smooth action, and internals that required very little maintenance. It also provided the same performance regardless of the conditions - note the below-freezing conditions of my initial mid-term review. At the time of that outing I had already spent six months on the post and had only good things to say. That mirrored the feedback from the hundreds of customers we’d sold them too: this dropper post was the best-of-the-best.
The Transfer maintained its standing as an affordable, zero-maintenance, pleasant to use post over the years, but became less relevant as other companies like Bike Yoke and OneUp introduced similarly reliable posts with much greater amounts of drop and shorter total lengths. Drop is important because that is, after all, the point: to drop your saddle out of the way, and the more the better. Total length matters because who cares how far your post drops if you can’t get it into your frame far enough to utilize it.
Well, now Fox has re-entered the dropper post fray by launching a 200mm version of their acclaimed Transfer, giving us all a long drop post that is high quality, hassle free, and absolutely magnificent feeling. Plus, it comes in Fox’s gorgeous Kashima coat.
Bigger and Better
Now, despite the Transfer being so successful from the get-go, Fox did not rest on their laurels. Earlier this year they launched a refined Transfer, which until now was available with up to 175mm of drop.
The largest improvement of the 2021 post over the previous model is a reduction in the post’s total length for a given amount of drop. They’ve done this in two manners, which both improve the end user experience. In the photo below we see two 125mm posts, retracted to more easily see the difference. With the seatpost collar as our baseline, we can see that the ‘21 125mm post is about 2.3 cm shorter above the collar. Fox has done this by making the saddle clamp itself shorter and by allowing the post to retract further into the lowers. Many riders that used to run a 150mm post fully inserted in the frame should now be able to use a 175mm post — assuming the lower portion of the post fits in the frame.
Fox has also tackled that potential setback by also decreasing the total length below the collar. On this 125mm model the lower portion of the post is an additional 2cm shorter, for a 43.5mm of total difference.
That means that these posts will fit into a wider variety of bikes utilizing different suspension designs. Figuring out what’ll work for you does involve a little bit of measuring on your current bike, some addition, and some subtraction, but with the specs below it’s not too hard to figure out.
It is worth noting that the decrease in total length is less for larger drop posts (e.g. the 175mm post is 3cm shorter than the 2020 model, vs the 125mm’s 4cm decrease), but this favors shorter riders, who stand to benefit more anyway.
That is the largest change that affects the end user. The post still has the same smooth, precise action. It has a highly audible bottom and top out sound so you know that it is extended or depressed without having to physically feel it out. And it has little to no lateral play, which in other posts can be so drastic that you can hear the post rattling around when it is extended and unweighted. It’s also one of the easiest posts to install on your bike because the cable stop is at the post instead of the lever, so you do all of your cable measurement once the post is in the bike.
On the bike shop side of things, Fox has implemented a few changes to make these posts easier for us to service (note how the collar now unscrews, where the old one was fixed), but it’s still something you’ll want to send in to us or Fox for maintenance, since you do need some fancy tools. That said, these posts regularly go years without servicing, depending on how often you ride.
That covers the post itself, but Fox didn’t sell themselves short, because they also totally redesigned their lever. There have been a few iterations of Fox’s own lever, but until now most of us opted to run aftermarket levers like those from WolfTooth and PNW components. They were more ergonomic, had a smoother action, and generally just looked cooler.
For 2021, Fox has taken cues from all these phenomenal products and made a lever with a large, grippy paddle, smooth actuation, and tons of adjustability so you can get it oriented exactly where you want it. You may still very well want to run one of the colorful Loam Levers from PNW components, but more high-quality choices is always a good thing.
The Final Word
With its initial launch, the Transfer quickly established itself as the dropper post to beat. A few other posts eventually took the lead, but primarily by virtue of offering longer drops at shorter total lengths. With the 2021 updates and the launch of a 200mm drop version of the post, Fox has firmly reasserted the Transfer at the top of the dropper food chain... Or maybe that would be the bottom? Either way, it is a phenomenal post, and especially if you are looking to match the golden-hued Kashima of the new Fox 38 Factory or Float X2, this is the first and only post you should be considering. It is of course loaded up into our Visual Bike Builder so you can build up your custom Dream Bike with matching Kashima components, or you can upgrade your current post here. You may even be able to re-use your current lever — shoot us a message if you aren’t sure.
If I didn’t answer all the questions you have about this post, let us know in the comments below. You can also always give us a ring at 1-844-Fanatik, or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, thanks for reading, we’ll catch you on the trails!
Dan at Fanatik
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