FOX Racing Shox Transfer Performance Series Review
Cons: Noticeable saddle play, long extended length, on the heavier side
Manufacturer: FOX Racing
Our Analysis and Test Results
Throughout 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 offered at a fair price.
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 it had one of the fastest extensions of our test selection, with an audible thunk at the top out. In our 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 return can be modulated by feathering the remote as you press it. The Transfer is also among easiest in compression force.
Our biggest gripe with the functionality of the Transfer Performance is the lateral play or wiggle, that is noticeable in the saddle. 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 Shocks. 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 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 around average in our test selection.
The remote options are a Fox left side under-mount for 1x drivetrains, shaped like a shift lever, a Race Face left side under-mount for 1x drivetrains, 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 Fox 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. 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 falls right around the average for the posts in this test. It's far from the lightest, but when compared in our grams per millimeter of travel calculation, it is lighter than our heaviest weight competition.
Ease of Setup
The Transfer was quite easy 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.
At a retail price of $359 (with remote), the Transfer Performance is a pretty good value. 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 anyone.
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 own bikes.
Other Versions and Accessories
The Transfer Performance is available in 30.9mm and 31.6mm diameters and 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, and 175mm 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