2021 Fox Transfer Dropper Post

2021 Fox Transfer Dropper Post

Test Location: Montana

Test Duration: About 2 months

Blister’s Measured Weights (31.6 mm / 175 mm drop / Factory version):

  • Post alone: 640 grams
  • Lever: 33 grams

Available sizes

  • Drop: 100 mm, 125 mm, 150 mm, 175 mm
  • Diameters: 30.9 mm, 31.6 mm

MSRP:

  • Post: $299 (Performance Elite), $349 (Factory)
  • 1X Under Bar Lever: $65

Bolted to: Specialized Enduro

Reviewer: 5’9”, 155lbs

Noah Bodman reviews the 2021 Fox Transfer Dropper Post for Blister
Fox Transfer Factory & 1x Lever
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Review Navigation:  Specs //  Intro //  Design & Options //  Price //  General Performance & Comparisons //  Bottom Line

Intro

Fox’s Transfer Post has been around for a little while now, and it’s gained a reputation as being one of the more reliable posts on the market. Especially in the world of dropper posts where many brands have had ongoing issues with failures, the Transfer’s overall reliability is noteworthy.

Noah Bodman reviews the 2021 Fox Transfer Dropper Post for Blister
Noah Bodman riding with the Fox Transfer Post. (photo by Marc O'Brien)

For 2021, the Transfer got a bit of makeover. It still carries over the basic design of the prior-generation Transfer post, but it gets some welcome tweaks. I’ve spent the last couple months with the updated Transfer, so let’s dive in:

Design

The most obvious visual changes have to do with making the new Transfer shorter. Its clamp head is reconfigured to drop the saddle substantially lower, and the lower portion of the post was redesigned internally to allow it to be a bit shorter. Both of these changes make the overall length of the post substantially shorter than the prior generation of the Transfer — for example, a 150 mm 2021 Transfer is about 39 mm shorter than a 150 mm 2020 Transfer.

Noah Bodman reviews the 2021 Fox Transfer Dropper Post for Blister
2020 vs. 2021 Fox Transfer

And that overall reduction in length means that a lot of riders will be able to size up and run a longer dropper post than they could have in the past. For reference, below is a picture of a 175 mm 2021 Transfer next to a 150 mm Race Face Turbine R post (which is identical to the prior-generation Fox Transfer). The 175 mm post is only about 15 mm longer overall, and almost all of that length is in the lower post. The seal-head-to-saddle distance (i.e., the portion of the post above the frame’s seat collar) is almost the exact same length between the two, despite the 25 mm increase in travel.

Noah Bodman reviews the 2021 Fox Transfer Dropper Post for Blister
2019 Race Face Turbine R / Fox Transfer (left) & 2021 Fox Transfer (right)

As a side note, I’ve had a number of people comment on the new Transfer’s clamp head looking weird. All I can say is, once the saddle’s on there, I don’t notice it at all. And aside from dropping the saddle lower on the post, the redesigned clamping mechanism is great. Specially made 4 mm bolts slot into the top clamp, without having to thread into a t-nut, which makes installing a saddle approximately 87% less fiddly and annoying.

The new Transfer’s reduction in length also came with a modest reduction in weight — depending on the length, the new Transfer post comes in around 25 g lighter than the prior generation. The changes also include wrench flats at the seal head — it’s now easier to pop the Transfer open, which means that minor service issues can likely be addressed at home without special tools.

And the change that I’m maybe most excited about is the redesigned lever. Fox’s old under-the-bar lever was small and left a lot to be desired, but the new lever is fantastic.

Noah Bodman reviews the 2021 Fox Transfer Dropper Post for Blister
Fox Transfer 1x Lever

The paddle is bigger, and feels similar to a shifter. And the lever runs on a sealed cartridge bearing, so it’s super smooth. It’s also Matchmaker and I-Spec compatible, or you can run it on its own perch (which I did).

Price & Comparisons

For reference, here are the retail prices for a few notable droppers currently on the market. This is by no means a complete list due to the crowded nature of the market, but the Transfer does sit around the middle, or slightly on the higher end of the price spectrum compared to other higher-end posts.

$199 Raceface Aeffect R (post only; $39 for the remote)
$209 OneUp Dropper Post V2 (post only; $49 for the remote)
$299 Raceface Turbine R / Fox Transfer Performance / Marzocchi Transfer (post only; $65 for the remote)
$329–$389 KS Lev Integra (includes remote)
$349 Fox Transfer Factory (post only; $65 for the remote)
$349–$399 Rockshox Reverb Stealth (includes remote)
$399–$499 Bike Yoke Revive (includes remote)
$800 Rockshox Reverb AXS (includes remote)

On the Trail

The Transfer did exactly what it’s supposed to during the entirety of my time riding it. It goes up, it goes down, and I haven’t had any functional issues with it. It’s been smooth during my time on it, despite plenty of mud and dust being thrown at it and (at best) my casual attitude toward cleaning it.

When extending, the new Transfer post comes up at what I consider to be the “right” speed. It’s fast enough that the saddle is always there for me when I go to sit down, but not so fast that I fear for my well being. The action is fairly light, which means I find it easier to set the saddle more precisely at a middle height. Although that light action also means that if my leg is brushing against the saddle on its way back up, it won’t push through and come all the way up. That said, when it reaches the top, it has a nice “thunk” to let you know it’s there.

The new Fox dropper lever has been similarly flawless. The bearings make the lever action super smooth, and that hasn’t changed at all since the day it was installed.

Noah Bodman reviews the 2021 Fox Transfer Dropper Post for Blister
Noah Bodman riding with the Fox Transfer Post. (photo by Marc O'Brien)

The only (very) minor quibble I can come up with is that the slight rotation of the post can, at times, make a small “knocking” sound. The best droppers out there, including the Transfer, have a tiny bit of rotation (the worst droppers have a lot of rotation). The Transfer is on par with any other high-quality dropper in my experience — a little bit of rotation, but nothing excessive. But the Transfer can make a small “ticking” sound (I’ve noticed this on some older Transfers as well), which is the post’s rotational play rattling while on bumpy trails. My theory is that this only happens on the Factory models with the Kashima coating — I think because there’s so little seal stiction, the Kashima-coated Transfers rotate a little easier. I’ve had Performance Elite Transfers (with the black anodized upper shaft) that didn’t make this noise, despite having a similar amount of rotational play. This isn’t really an issue for me — it’s more of a curiosity, but I have had some friends that found it to be annoying.

Comparisons

2021 Fox Transfer vs. older Fox Transfers (including the Race Face Turbine R).

I think the new, 2021 Transfer is better in every way. It’s shorter, lighter, the lever is far more ergonomic, and I expect its reliability to be comparable.

2021 Fox Transfer vs. RockShox Reverb

The Reverb has gone through quite a few iterations, and I haven’t spent much time on the newer ones. The older versions had notorious reliability issues, which are supposedly fixed on the new version. Time will tell as to that claim. Putting aside reliability issues, compared to the Transfer, the Reverb is a smidge shorter, about the same weight, and similar in terms of price. The Reverb still uses a hydraulic line for its lever / post actuation, and while there are debates to be had over that system, I personally think it’s pointless, unnecessarily complicated, and more difficult to work on. I give the nod to the Transfer.

2021 Fox Transfer vs. OneUp Dropper Post V2

This is a tricky one. The OneUp comes in more sizes (30.9, 31.6, and 34.9 mm) and more lengths (120 mm, 150 mm, 180 mm, and 210 mm, all of which can be reduced in 10mm increments). The OneUp has a shorter overall length (comparing the 175 mm Transfer to the 180 mm OneUp) by about 15 mm. Most of that difference in length is in the cable actuator at the bottom of the post — the OneUp has a much shorter cable throw, which makes the lever at the bar have a shorter throw as well. When it comes to weight, the Transfer is a smidge lighter, but they’re pretty similar.

Noah Bodman reviews the 2021 Fox Transfer Dropper Post for Blister
Noah Bodman riding with the Fox Transfer Post. (photo by Marc O'Brien)

Durability is the big question mark — both OneUp and Fox have a decent track record with durability, but OneUp posts have occasionally been fussy in the past (particularly with respect to clamping force at the seatpost collar). It’s tough to say without a few years on each post, but if I was a betting man, I’d put my money on the Transfer to hold up better. That said, if the cartridge in the V2 fails, it can be swapped out for about $60 — which is great because it’s easy, but not so great because cheap, disposable stuff that we just throw away isn’t an ideal use for our landfills. The Transfer, on the other hand, can be rebuilt, which is great because, realistically, all it might need is an O-ring or two, but that often means sending the post back to Fox (or a good shop). On the upside, Fox is a much bigger company than OneUp, so you probably don’t have to worry about their warranty / service program disappearing anytime soon.

At the end of the day, for a lot of people, price might be the deciding factor — the OneUp V2 dropper is more than $100 less expensive.

Bottom Line

The Fox Transfer has, for the last couple of years, been right around the top of my list for dropper posts. Reliability means a lot in the dropper-post segment of the market, and the Transfer post has proven itself in that regard. While it’ll be a few years until I can personally comment on the reliability of the 2021 Transfer post in particular, I don’t see any drastic internal changes that I would expect to render it less reliable than the old versions. But I do see a number of external changes that make a lot of sense and allow for people to fit posts with more drop, which is a good thing in my book. Long story short, I’m pretty comfortable calling the 2021 Transfer post a solid investment that’s worth the money.

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9 comments on “2021 Fox Transfer Dropper Post”

  1. One of the big things to consider with droppers that many people fail to think about is maintenance cost/ trouble. This post along with the Reverb and Thompson dropper are some of the most expensive after purchase posts to own :/

  2. Do you have to unweight the seat to lower it? Some posts I’ve ridden with, you actually have to unweight off the seat when pulling the release lever before re-weighting to push the seat down, and if you didn’t unweight then the seat would just stay up. That’s a complete deal breaker IMO.

    • Hi Steve,

      Nope – no need to unweight, butt-bump, or do any other trickery with it. Just push the button while you’re sitting on it and it’ll go down.

  3. And don’t forget the new PNW Rainier 3 post: $179, fairly low stack, and adjustable. Basically very similar to One-up (incl. replaceable cartridge system).

  4. I own a Fox transfer 175 2020 model and also an One Up 180…Between the 2 Fox is a better product. Better quality in general, and much better lever feel(using a wolf tooth lever).
    Saddle rotational play is significantly more on the One up as well. It looks like the 2021 transfer is an improved version of the 2020 model especially at the clamp area and of course the reduced lenght. For me, Fox all the way

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