It's no secret that Race Face's initial foray into the dropper post world didn't go exactly as planned. The original Turbine dropper could be temperamental at times, and its higher-than-average price kept it out of the running as a viable option for many riders. The solution? Take the proven Fox Transfer post (Fox Factory Holding Corp. is the parent company of Race Face), switch the logos, bump up the return speed a little bit, swap out the remote lever, and voila, you have the new Turbine R dropper post.
The Turbine R is available with either 100, 125, or 150 millimeters of drop, and in either a 31.6 or 30.9-millimeter diameter. There are also two lever options – the shifter style 1x remote that's reviewed here, or a vertically-oriented universal lever
, which is the way to go if you're still rocking a front shifter. The dropper alone is priced at $295 USD, with the 1x lever coming in at $70, and the universal lever at $50.
Turbine R Dropper Details
• Cable actuated, hydraulic cartridge
• Infinite adjustments within travel range
• Travel options: 150mm, 125mm, 100mm
• Length: 456mm, 406mm, 356mm
• Seatpost diameter: 31.6mm, 30.9mm
• Weight: 587 grams (31.6 x 150mm w/o lever)
• MSRP: $365 USD w/ 1x remote
Installation / Details
Installation of the Turbine R is very simple, thanks in part to the cable actuated design.
Thanks to the Turbine R's cable actuated design, and the fact that the cable is attached at the lever, installation of the post is extremely easy. It's simply a matter of figuring out the right housing length, slotting the cable into the post, running it through the housing, and then attaching it to the lever. It's a walk in the park compared to what it took to install the original Turbine post.
The Turbine R uses a sealed cartridge hydraulic cartridge containing an internal floating piston that's charged with nitrogen to 400 psi, which means you shouldn't go trying to disassemble this thing without knowing exactly what you're doing. The oil flow inside the post is controlled by a spring-backed spool valve, which is said to reduce the force needed to activate the post, in turn creating a lighter feel at the lever. Race Face says that spool valve was altered slightly in order to create a faster return speed for the Turbine R compared to that of the 2017 Fox Transfer post. For 2018, the Race Face Turbine R and Fox Transfer post both have the updated spool valve.
All of the steps required to service the post are clearly laid out on Fox's website, but the number of specific tools required means that it's a job best left to a bike shop rather than trying to tackle it with a multi-tool and a crescent wrench in a dimly lit basement. Want to go a little deeper into what exactly is going on inside the post? You can read Mike Levy's review of the Fox Transfer post here
The Turbine R has been absolutely trouble-free for the last three months of usage, which didn't exactly come as a surprise since I've had very good luck with the Transfer post over the last couple of years. Other than one small cable tension tweak I haven't had to adjust anything on the Turbine R at all – it's been a smooth operator, even after plenty of mud baths.
I never had any issues with the return speed of the original Transfer post, and I honestly didn't notice a difference between the Turbine R vs. the Transfer when comparing their return speeds back to back. They both reach full extension in less than half a second when the remote is fully depressed, topping out with a distinct 'thwunk'. The post feels solid no matter whether is fully raised, fully lowered, or somewhere in between – there's not even a hint of unwanted vertical play.
Since the return speeds are nearly identical it's really just the lever that differentiates the two posts. Race Face's Matchmaker-compatible lever rotates on ball bearings, is closer in shape to a shifter, and has machined grooves that provide plenty of traction for your thumb, even if it's pouring rain. It also clamps the cable more cleanly than the Tranfer lever - the cable is less likely to get kinked and frayed with this design. Fox's lever
is much more compact, with a smaller paddle that feels like it requires less effort to push compared to Race Face's. There are dimples instead of grooves on the lever, but I've never had any issues with thumb slippage. It's also not Matchmaker-compatible, but the clamp itself doesn't really take up that much room.
Which one is better? It's a matter of personal preference more than anything, but if I had to choose, I'd go with Fox's design. I like the light action, and even though the paddle is smaller it feels more comfortable under my thumb. Pinkbike's Take