Fox has finally given the mountain biking public an internally routed dropper post that is worthy of the suspension manufacturer's name. The Transfer Performance is an infinitely adjustable cable actuated dropper that impressed us with its consistent performance and reasonable price. The Performance version has a non-Kashima coated stanchion but is otherwise the same mechanically to its $50 more expensive sibling, the Transfer Factory. The Transfer Performance's sealed nitrogen cartridge returns at a fixed and reasonable rate with smooth travel during extension. The Fox was among the easiest posts to compress, with moderate force required on the nicely machined 1x lever to actuate. The Fox dropper held its own and out-performed some posts that cost over $100 more. It didn't have quite what it took to take home one of our top pick awards, but it was pretty darn close. Read on to see how the Fox Transfer Performance compared to the competition.
FOX Racing Shox Transfer Performance Series Review
Cons: Noticeable saddle play, long extended length, on the heavier side
Manufacturer: FOX Racing
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Over the course of our test period, we rode extensively with the Transfer Performance in a variety of locations and trails. We also scrutinized its performance against all of the other posts in our test during side-by-side testing in a controlled environment. There was much to like about the Transfer Performance. First, it was incredibly easy to install. Second, the post doesn't automatically come with a remote, so you get to order the style that you want. Third, it works, and it works well. Fourth, it's among the least expensive posts in our test.
There's nothing earth-shattering about the performance of the Fox Transfer, but it has a smooth and consistent action in its travel, and it worked perfectly the entire time we used it. It's hard to complain about a product that you like, but we discovered that we didn't love the noticeable lateral play in the saddle, although we found it easy to overlook. We also weren't super impressed by the weight of the Transfer Performance, one of the heavier models in the test, or the overall length of the post, one of the longest we tested in a 150mm travel length. These gripes are minor, and we still thought the Transfer post was a real step up for Fox from their last dropper the D.O.S.S.
Smoothness and Functionality
The Fox Transfer Performance functioned well and consistently throughout our test period and during our side-by-side testing on our controlled dropper post-test apparatus. The post moved smoothly through its travel both during compression and extension with a fixed return rate in the nitrogen charged spring. We aren't exactly sure what the speed of the spring is, but is the second fastest in extension of our test selection, with an audible thunk at the top out. In field testing, we found the speed of extension to be quick but did not make us fear injury to our undersides. We also enjoyed the fact that the rate of extension can be modulated by feathering the remote as you press it. The Transfer is the also among easiest in compression force, only the 9point8 Fall Line, the e13 TRS+, and the Bike Yoke Revive got out of the way more easily.
Our biggest gripe with the functionality of the Transfer Performance is the lateral play or wiggle, that is noticeable in the saddle. Every other seatpost in our test selection had barely any saddle play, and the Thomson Covert Elite had absolutely none. The Transfer's saddle play was apparent out of the box, and while it didn't get any worse over time, it was quite noticeable virtually any time you touch the seat, and it occasionally makes a very slight knocking noise while riding through exceptionally rough terrain. Because the seatpost performed flawlessly otherwise, we wouldn't call it a deal breaker, but it is slightly annoying and noteworthy nonetheless. It's also important to note that the overall extended length of the Transfer is among the longest in our test for a 150mm travel post. This won't be a big deal for a lot of riders, but may potentially cause fit issues for some.
The Transfer post may match the color of your Fox Shox. When it does, it gives the bike an overall better look. We always put performance over looks. However, we had to mention how much cooler we thought this made our Yeti SB5.5 look.
The Fox's saddle clamp features a zero offset head with a standard two-bolt design that tightens down the upper and lower pieces of the clamp around the saddle rails. The two bolts, fore, and aft, are adjusted to determine the angle of your saddle. There is nothing fancy or innovative about this saddle clamp, but it gets the job done, and that's about all it needs to do. At no point during our test period did we experience any loosening of the bolts or noise of any kind coming from the saddle rail and saddle clamp interface. We can't complain about the performance of the Fox saddle clamp. However, other posts like the 9point8 Fall Line and Crank Brothers Highline feature more user-friendly designs that make installing and removing the saddle much simpler.
It is important to note that the Transfer Performance does not automatically come with a remote or cable and housing. The post is sold for $294 on its own, and the remote (includes cable and housing) is sold separately for $65 making the price of the whole system $359. This is inconvenient if you aren't aware that the remote is sold separately, but this way you get the remote style that you want and the price of everything is still toward the lower end in our test selection.
The remote options are a left side under mount for 1x drivetrains, shaped like a shift lever, or a right/left side on bar for 2x or 3x drivetrains, a small paddle style lever that is oriented perpendicular to the handlebar. Since we are running 1x drivetrains, we opted for the 1x remote. The Fox 1x remote is beautifully machined, features a nice clean design, and looks good mounted on the handlebar. It is easy to install due to the hinged design of the clamp as you don't need to remove your grips. The cable feeds through the lever and is held in place with a small set screw and cut and crimped at the remote end of the system making setup of the Fox among the easiest in our test selection. The crimped end of the cable hides in a slot on the backside of the lever.
The lever action is smooth and among the easiest in actuation force among the remotes that we tested; only the 9point8 Fall Line, Bike Yoke Revive, and the KS LEV Integra were easier to press. The rate of return when extending the post can also be modulated by feathering the lever while pressing it. We did find that we wished we could adjust the angle of the lever to improve the ergonomics to our exact preferences, but it is in a fixed position. The fixed position is good but certainly could be better if it were adjustable and less reach with the thumb was necessary.
The Transfer Performance tipped our scales at 668g with the 1x lever and cable/housing. This is the up there with the heavier posts in our test, and 92g heavier than the lightest model, the KS LEV Integra. That said, when compared in our grams per millimeter of travel calculation it is lighter than our heaviest weight competition like the Thomson Covert Elite, Crank Brothers Highline, and the e13 TRS+.
Ease of Setup
The Transfer is tied for the easiest post to install on our test bike. The hinged remote went onto the handlebar in seconds, and the saddle is extremely straightforward to attach. The post features a tool-free quick disconnect design that is so simple it almost hurts, making installing and later removing the post from the frame a snap. The most challenging part of the installation is routing the housing through the frame. If possible use a housing coupler to pull the new housing through the frame with the old housing that you are removing.
The lead, or barrel, end of the cable is at the bottom of the seatpost on the Fox Transfer and sits in a cable bushing in a slotted cradle on a lever that actuates the nitrogen spring within the post. If you take cable tension off the lever you can remove the bushing and cable from the lever and disconnect it and the housing from the seatpost to remove the post from the frame without the need for tools. The cable runs through the housing to the remote where it is held in place with a small set screw on the lever, cut, and crimped. Believe us when we say that virtually anyone with a set of cable cutters can install this post — the process is simple and very user-friendly.
This is a great seatpost for the non-anal-retentive mountain biker. The lateral play in the saddle when attached to the Fox Transfer might be enough to turn off some folks, but if it doesn't then you've got yourself a consistent and reliable product from one of the best suspension manufacturers in the biz. Virtually the same post as the Factory version, minus the Kashima, the Transfer Performance does a fine job of getting your saddle out of the way and putting a smile on your face.
At a retail price of $359 (with remote), the Transfer Performance is one of the best values in our test selection. Combine the price with the fact that the seatpost is well designed and performs its duties consistently and reliably and we would recommend this dropper post to everyone, especially those on somewhat of a budget.
Fox has made a great product in the Transfer Performance dropper post. It looks good, works well and couldn't be easier to install. We also liked the fact that you have to order the remote lever separately, ensuring you end up with the style you prefer. Our only complaints with the Transfer are minor, the weight, the overall length and stack height could present some fit issues, and the play that is quite evident in the saddle. Assuming you can get past these minor gripes, the Transfer performs its duties consistently and reliably, and we would recommend it to a friend and install it on our bikes.
Other Versions and Accessories
The Transfer Performance is available in 30.9mm and 31.6mm diameters and 100mm, 125mm, and 150mm lengths. Fox makes an externally routed Transfer post in the same sizes for the same price. The 2x/3x universal remote is also available for $65. The Fox Transfer Factory version features a Kashima coated stanchion and retails for $344 (post only).
— Jeremy Benson