Fox is arguably the biggest player in mountain bike suspension and has had a reliable dropper post, the DOSS, in its line up since 2012. While few found fault with the DOSS's actual function, the external cable routing, lack of infinite travel adjustments and large, unsightly remote were shortcomings that some riders found hard to deal with.
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Drop, cable and remote options
Like almost all dropper posts, the amount of saddle drop is dependent on the seatpost length. For the Transfer, the 100mm drop is housed in a 356mm long post, the 125mm drop in a 406mm long post, and the 150mm drop in a 456mm long post. All lengths are offered for either 30.9mm or 31.6mm diameter seat tubes.
Both internal and external cable routing options are available. The external cable routing terminates at the top of the seatpost outer (instead of at the seat clamp) so the cable is fixed thereby preventing any excess cable movement as the post cycles up and down.
Two remotes are available. An over the bar option for bikes with a front shifter and an under the bar remote for bikes running a single ring drivetrain. I tested the under the bar remote since I'm front derailleur free, plus I like the ergonomics of having the remote readily available without having to unwrap my thumb from the grip quite as much. It should be noted that whichever you choose, the remote is sold separately from the post in the US for $65.
The new remote is a thing of beauty: small, well placed, easy to find, push and set up. I ran it on the inside of Shimano XT brake clamp and found the length to be fine with my large hands. Those with smaller hands or shorter digits may want to place the remote on the grip side. The previous remote on the DOSS post was rather large due to the extra lever force the post's mechanical internals required. The Transfer's internals are hydraulic and therefore require much less lever effort and a tidier remote.
Durable and smooth
Fox breaks down its products into three series: Evolution, Performance and Factory. The Factory items are the best of the best, highlighting every bit of technology that Fox has to offer. Factory is the choice of World Cup professionals and the Transfer Factory dropper post earns it name.
Through over six months of testing the Transfer has been faultless. There was a tiny amount of side to side play at the tip of the saddle out of the box, but it hasn't increased and is impossible to feel or notice while riding.
The post's up and down movement has been perfect with smooth action. Surely the blingy gold Kashima helps, but Fox's self-adjusting pressure relief valve inside deserves some credit as well. I've ridden the post on rides with 4,000 feet of elevation difference, enough to feel the changes in my air-sprung suspension, but the Transfer remained consistent.
It is seemingly impervious to weather as well, it's been out in everything from 90°F/32°C hot days to sub-freezing temps without any drastic performance changes.
Furthering the reliability is the internal hydraulic cartridge, which resides in the upper shaft of the post; it houses more fluid volume, which in turn allows lower pressures. In short, it's a more durable design than trying to stuff the hydraulic cartridge in a lower part of the post where the shaft and bushings are crowding up the real estate.
The feel of the drop and return are very smooth, and highly controlled. Feathering the return speed can be done at the remote, and even at full force the return is quick but not frighteningly so as with other dropper posts. Being able to slow the post's movement came in very handy as I've grown accustom to dropping my seat height just a bit (15mm or so) when taking on super technical climbs. Depressing the lever slightly gave me the control to find the height I wanted.
In addition to the controlled speed, I very much appreciated the 'clunk' when the post bottomed out or returned to full height. It's a little audible cue that when you plop back down in the saddle after a huge effort there's no surprise to where your bum is going to land. It's also reassuring when you're planning on cranking hard in the saddle that the post is at your correct pedaling height.
I also came to enjoy the ease of dropping the seat. Some dropper posts have a small hiccup where it takes a good amount of weighting to initiate movement. The Transfer doesn't. Hit the remote and it smoothly glides out of the way and stays put. Since of course one of the more frustrating things is having to double or triple slam your butt on the saddle to make sure the seat is out of the way.
The two-bolt saddle clamp was also brilliant, following the industry-standard design of Thomson. It was easy to use, offered plenty of tilt, and once set proved very solid. Every seatpost should just use a two-bolt set up like this and call it good.