Fox Introduces New Transfer SL Dropper Post

May 30, 2021 at 13:29
by Henry Quinney  

Fox Release New Transfer SL

Fox release a new and shorter travel version of their Transfer post - the Transfer SL. Although it might share some visual similarities to its bigger sibling, it's a new post from the ground up which comes in 25% (128g) lighter than the standard Transfer.

Fox's goal was to make the lightest dropper post on the market for XC applications. The post starts at 327g for a 27.2mm Factory Series model. There will be lever options for drop bars as well as flat and double shifters. The 1x lever is Matchmaker, Shimano GRX, and I-SPEC EV compatible. The Transfer SL will only be available with internal routing.

Different Priorities Sees a Different Seatclamp

One of the biggest indicators that this isn't the regular Transfer post is the saddle clamps. If anything, it looks more like a previous generation of the Transfer. Why have they done this? Simply put, weight.

The standard Transfer’s saddle clamps are made to maximize travel for the post length that is exposed outside of the frame. However, the SL isn't held to the same design constraints. In XC applications exposed post length is not such a limiting factor therefore minimizing post length doesn't reap the same benefits. The design freedom allowed by this enables the Transfer SL's clamp to prioritise low-weight over a low-stack height setup.


All-New Mechanical Spring

The Transfer SL offers a two-position system, as opposed to the infinite adjustment you may well expect. Fox say they do this for two reasons: weight and need. Typically in XC racing the post is almost always completely up or down and riders tend not to ride with it set to halfway. Because of this Fox claim there is no benefit to intermediate positions.

Windows in the lower post allow cable slack to be pulled from the post side for compatibility with GRX-style dropper levers. The design also minimizes extra cable housing length again saving weight.

Another place where Fox may subvert your expectations is by using a mechanical spring. Although it might seem slightly counterintuitive, this is again done to reduce weight. Air is of course lighter than metal. However, the associated weight needed for adequate sealing to make an air spring airtight is where the grams mount up. Using a mechanical spring eliminates the need to create a sealed air chamber. It also foregoes the oil required in a hydraulic system. Again, this is another weight saving benefit to the mechanical spring.

Because the Transfer SL's spring is only used to extend the post and not support rider weight the required spring rate is very low. This means the spring can be lighter still. Fox say the SL post's have empty space where oil would exist in a hydraulic post.

The mechanism Fox use will also have a slight noise to it, and this is completely normal. This is because the locking mechanism has hardened steel balls that engage in internal grooves in the upper post to lock into one of two travel positions.

The Transfer SL uses an anti-rotation mechanism to keep the upper post from rotating in the lower post, which has a distinctly different feeling to other posts. The mechanism has two preloaded bushings so there is zero angular ‘free play’ at the saddle. Instead, there is a spring-loaded feel if the saddle is twisted. Most dropper posts use rigid parts (the regular Transfer uses brass pins) to prevent angular rotation of the upper post, which results in a small amount of angular free play until the rigid parts engage. It's worth nothing however that the 27.2 diameter post uses traditional anti-rotation pins so there is some saddle angular free play with hard rotational stops.

A highly preloaded low rate spring, combined with no speed decrease because of the lack of hydraulic oil flowing, means the post should compress easily but still return quickly. Fox say that the return speed of the SL is slightly faster than Transfer.

Sizes and Pricing

27.2 x 50mm, 80mm min / 248mm max insertion, 350mm length, Starting Weight: 327g
27.2 x 70mm, 80mm min / 248mm max insertion, 370mm length, Starting Weight: 338g
30.9/31.6 x 75mm, 80mm min / 225mm max insertion, 355mm length, Starting Weight: 342g/352g
30.9/31.6 x 100mm, 80mm min / 225mm max insertion, 380mm length, Starting Weight: 347g/359g
XL 31.6 x 100mm, 80mm min / 275mm max insertion, 430mm length, Starting Weight: 399g

Essentially, in a 27.2mm diameter, there will be 50 and 70mm options. There will then be 75 and 100mm options available in 30.9 and 31.6mm versions. There will be the Kashima Factory model, which also benefits from lighter titanium hardware, and the blacked-out Performance Elite model.

Fox will also make an XL version of the Transfer SL. This is because some bike and rider combinations will not be able to achieve correct saddle height with the ‘normal’ length post. For such riders, the XL exists. Most users will be happy with the standard length, but it's good to see Fox catering to people of different statures. The exposed length of the XL is 50mm longer and it's only available in a 31.6mm diameter.

The RRP for the post is $399 USD for Factory models and $329 USD for the Performance Elite line. Please visit their website for more information.


93 Comments

  • 98 3
 I would take this for my Enduro bike if they were doing them in 150mm. I absolutely never use intermediate positions on my droppers so giving this away to gain 200g and reliability is a win win in my book.
  • 18 0
 back in my command dropper days the consistency of a set intermediate height was actually kinda nice. if my oneup had say, 5 positions i'd be totally fine with that, especially if it meant losing like 200g from the post weight
  • 15 0
 @GumptionZA: I was fine with 3 positions like on the command or the good old gravity dropper.
  • 15 0
 @EnduroManiac: agreed. The Fox DOSS had three positions and it was only let down by the remote. I would love a fully up, fully up minus 40 or 50mm, and a fully down.

I would also love Fox to get with the program and sell stuff at One-Up style realistic prices!
  • 55 0
 One might think so, especially when thinking about short travel posts.
However, an intermediate position - about 20mm from fully extended - is extremely helpful on very steep and technical climbs (over heavy roots and rocks for instance) and that is the exact reason, why our short travel 80mm DIVINE SL does allow intermediate positions and offers the "tech-climb" feature.
You can remain seated, but still keep better balance and control, as opposed to a 100% fully extended post. It does not really matter, if it's 15 or 20 or 25mm from fully extended. You can just feel, that a tiny bit of drop makes it easier to climb technical stuff.
I use this "mini-drop-method" on our trails all the time. There are plenty of occasions during a ride, where you can benfit. You should try, really!
However, of course you do have the benefit of saving a few more grams, when offering only two positions, so I can also understand the Fox way.
The Transfer SL does look nice! Chapeau to Fox and welcome to the game!
  • 7 0
 @Sacki: Definitely, there's a particularly root-filled and loose 20% section of trail at my local where dropping the post jusssssst a little bit helps me out a lot.
  • 1 0
 @mnorris122: That's exactly the feedback we got from racers before we designed the DIVINE SL. We were in fact also thinking about making it two-position-only, but quickly figured, that a bit of drop does not only help in our type of riding (Trail/Enduro, mainly flat pedals), but that is is also helpful in ambitious or professional XC racing. That's why we decided to make it infinitely adjustable. Just a matter of what are the preferences. Fox was able to make it a tad lighter that way.
  • 1 0
 @Sacki: my local trails call for dropping the mast for quite a few of the technical climbs as well as just general riding where you have good trail flow but for instance on my fat bike I like to have the post down slightly for trails with big rocks it helps to pedal up and off of the seat while still having room to take the impacts. I can see the fox transfer being a good training post but when I do enduro riding I want options on my saddle height.
  • 5 3
 One word: Bike Yoke.
  • 1 1
 I'd argue most of the weight saving comes from the shorter strokes rather than the different height system... I'd agree that a not quite full extension position is very useful for technical climbs but the market has already rejected that once so I can't see anyone trying it again
  • 4 0
 @jaame:

Fox sort of has a “One-up realistic price.” It’s called the Race face dropper post series. Made with Fox transfer platforms, but $50 less on average.
  • 5 4
 @Lemmyschild: That's actually two words ,Einstein
  • 5 2
 @likeittacky: man, nothing gets past you.
  • 3 0
 @likeittacky: It's all relative, you know.
  • 1 1
 @Lemmyschild: that’s two words
  • 2 0
 @RayDolor: That depends on how you look at it......
  • 3 1
 @Corinthian: I gotta quit coming here for the humor.
  • 1 0
 ok im confused. on my 125 dollar brand x dropper, i can sit down and stop my seat at any height. With this two position thing does that mean that if i try to put it halfway is springs back up?
  • 1 0
 @mior: right? Mine just stops wherever I let off the lever. Anything else seems restrictive to me.
  • 1 1
 @mior: yes but try hitting the same height twice if it’s not full up or full down.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: what, the same height every time? Why would that matter?
  • 1 1
 @Lemmyschild: if you don't understand why it matters then it obviously doesn't matter to you. It matters to some people though. It's about getting the correct balance of pedalling efficiency and the ability to move around.
  • 2 0
 @jaame: ive never had any dropper but a bike yoke. Having an infinite number of stops, even if they are not exactly repeatable seems less restrictive, i.e. more versatile than a set number of specific heights. Especially if you dont like the number of stops, which i think was the part of a comment that caught my eye. I honestly didn't know some droppers had settings like that.
  • 1 1
 @Lemmyschild: more used to actually. The max pedalling height is a pretty much exactly science. The bumpy pedalling setting would be that but a little lower so you can still live around but also get good pedalling efficiency. Then max drop would be as low as you can get because you want that seat away.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: I think I like the options of low, somewhat low, mid low, mid mid .... Being in exactly the same spot never occured to be that important. Most of the time I'm in one of those random in between settings its not for long.
I guess this is what happens when you take 20 years off, I bet I missed all sorts of random stuff that I dont even know about.
  • 1 1
 @Lemmyschild: probably. Most of it not that good! Open bath coil forks are the only thing I can think of that died and I wish they hadn't. Companies found out that weight was a better selling point than long service intervals.
  • 36 0
 You had me at “hardened balls”
  • 5 0
 clear upvote
  • 32 3
 Where is that guy that uses intermediate position on his dropper and how can I meet him?
  • 71 2
 Just use a dating site and search for 'insert shaft half way'.
  • 26 0
 As I just tried to explain above. I do use intermediate positions all the time - be it for coasting around or during technical uphills. I bit of drop can be very useful at times. I guess not so much, if you always use a lift for getting up the hill maybe. But if you stay in the saddle for hours, you will definitely appreciate intermediate positions to relax once in a while. That being said, I could probably easily live with 3 or 4 positions only, but not with only fully up and down.
  • 4 1
 @bigtim: flat out funnyest thing I've read in a long time.
  • 6 0
 It's mid position for me everytime I bike with my littles. There's a lot of stopping and waiting and getting off and on.
  • 1 0
 I use it occasionally
  • 3 0
 @Hotwheels09: that’s why I want to put a dropper on my pump track bike. Lol
  • 1 0
 @Sacki: dam I usually go on like 3 or 4 hour rides and its never occurred to me to use it somewhere in between on technical stuff, 100% will now tho! lmao
  • 2 2
 The only times I drop it all the way is when I get off the bike or I have a single obstacle that is just that steep. In all other instances I only drop it an inch or two.
  • 8 0
 I use a position an inch or two down from full height when attacking very difficult technical climb sections. Lowering your post a little gives yourself that little bit of room and using a bit lower position during these kind of sections can make a huge difference. I also use it through some flatter but rough pedaling sections when I’m trying to keep speed or gain speed but pedaling while seating at full height just isn’t as easy to get through those sections fast. I use these positions every ride, multiple times.
  • 3 0
 wheelie position?
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: Same. I like to be able to feel my saddle and sometimes use it for balance or guidance in tricky spots. I also use it on those trails that are constant up and downs where I don't want to descend with it up but I don't want to have to raise it to climb. I'll drop it like 2 inches. Doesn't blow out my knees and gives me clearance for descending that type of stuff.
  • 13 0
 Just waiting now for them to release the longer versions as Marzocchi - for those who want the coil over air experience everywhere
  • 2 0
 I'd be up for that.
  • 10 1
 The 9point8 Fall Line R is lighter, infinitely adjustable and has the best seat clamp design. Not cheap however.
  • 6 0
 user serviceable too
  • 6 0
 I always wanted one but had trouble justifying the price. However, I ended up with one on a bike I picked up used recently. I LOVE IT. Forget the weight (mine's not the light xc one, but still an impressively low weight). The air spring in it runs best between 15 and 25 psi and the trigger has a feather-light action. It just feels so effortless to move both the trigger and the post itself when riding. Then I go back to my other bike with a pretty typical-feeling dropper and it's just not as nice. It's hard to describe, but the 9point8 droppers just feel so much more premium than any other dropper I've used.
  • 1 0
 100% agreed
  • 10 0
 Gravity Dropper were right all those years ago
  • 3 0
 Apart from the Turbo, which used to come up at such a rate of knots they were wondering what those walnut looking things were going past the ISS windows were every once in a while.
  • 8 3
 XC racer here. My area is covered with flattish twisty single where you are seated and pedalling. Dropping the post about an inch is perfect to get that body a little lower and rail corners sweetly. I'd want full up, a little down, and fully down for descents. For that reason, I'm out. By the way, my Transfer is pretty dead but it took over 29k kms to get it that way. I would like these more user serviceable posts. After a muddy race, you can't take the thing apart.
  • 2 0
 Isn't the Yep dropper the only one that's serviceable?
  • 2 0
 @iamamodel: Put a Lizard Skin rear shock sleeve on the dropper post - only adds a few grams but it sure protects from all the mud, water, and fine dust from getting into the seals. I check the post once in a while to make sure there's no fine dust on the post and wipe everything down. Haven't had to do any maintenance on the post since. Without the sleeve before. my post would always be stuck in the unlock position where the saddle would go up, but when you sat on the saddle, the post would go down with weight on it.
  • 1 0
 @CSharp: I will check it out. Ta.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, getting lower sure feels faster through corners. I'd like to see a physics explanation of why this seems to work.
  • 8 0
 "Air is of course lighter than metal."
Does either weigh the same as a duck? Or a very small rock?
  • 5 0
 A witch!!?
  • 10 3
 Now I'm just waiting for a Reverb AXS SL so I can get rid of the cable without the weight penalty.
  • 8 0
 Hardened steel balls
  • 2 1
 I actually prefer shorter Droppers on enduro/trail bikes. Being tall (6'5") I don't need 200mm with the seat slammed, honestly 100mm is fine. I like to be able to control the bike with the saddle, similar to my DH bike. These might be a way to save a little extra weight.
  • 1 0
 The current Transfer post is so soft it gets stuck on my baggy basketball shorts when riding lol. There has to be a nice middleground, not featherweight, but also not a pogo-stick punch to the gooch either. I think I'm gonna try out PNW next!
  • 2 0
 I have a PNW Bachelor and it's a great post. It's easy to service and has an adjustable air cartridge.
  • 1 0
 This in a 200 drop would be perfect. Spring for minimal maintenance, low weight.

I know some people use an intermediate height on their droppers but for those of us who don’t, this would be perfect.

Also, the new low-profile seat clamp on the longer stroke Fox droppers has a VERY limited tilt adjustment. I’d take the older head design and lose a few mm of drop!!
  • 1 0
 As long as we don't see issues I do expect to see longer options arise. Aimed at XC, but the relative "unbreakableness" of a mech dropper, plus the lighter weight will appeal to people that live in an up then down kind of riding terrain. I might be willing to sacrifice the extra 25mm I currently have to go with this. Not a fan of the cable end at the post though. Just make a gravel specific one if that's the constraint that requires it.
  • 2 0
 Wondering how that compares to BikeYoke DIVINE SL in terms of reliability, which I thought was the lightest option on the market for 31.6mm.
  • 1 0
 I really hope the return speed as it says, my non oil damped command post will take you out if you're not standing out of the way. Hopefully they don't have the issue with the mechanical locking mechanism too.
  • 3 0
 bikeyoke divine SL ALL DAY. they dont make a 27.2 because theyre concerned about reliability there though.
  • 2 0
 Is it light enough for roadies to use in the Tour day France? Now the super tuck is illegal someone is going to try a dropper on the road.
  • 2 0
 So... going to the Past and updating a Gravity Dropper?
Weights around 450mm and has 75mm. Do belive we can place it under 400grm with some carbon and titanium.
  • 3 0
 You had me at hardened steel balls...
  • 2 0
 You'll need need some if the post shoots up like the Command Post. Big Grin
  • 1 0
 I use my 125 at intermediate heights on my top fuel. But reality i only need a 75mm. Im just on an xl and needed the 125 length.
  • 2 0
 I was hoping for a wireless fox release tbh, axs is great, but I'd love to see some competition there.
  • 1 0
 Magura has one
  • 1 0
 @T4THH: Tested that, but the magura one is not "realtime" meaning you press the butto it takes 0.5s to open the valve, you have 2s to change the position and then it locks - suprisingly the UX of it is very poor comparing to cable/axs.
  • 1 0
 @pycior: That's interesting, didn't know that.Thanks
  • 2 0
 Where is the 400mm option?!?
  • 1 0
 "hardened steel balls" !! But I thought those were a proprietary component of [insert favorite rampage rider here] ??
  • 2 0
 Gravity dropper + Ka$hima and internal routing.
  • 2 0
 Half the weight of an AXS post
  • 1 0
 I'm holding off until they can make these out of carbon. Then Kashima the carbon. That would be sweet.
  • 2 0
 is this the one that was stucking all the time during nove mesto race?
  • 2 3
 Back In my day, 100mm of dropper travel was a luxury. Now they're making short, lightweight droppers that long.


*shakes head in 26"*
  • 7 0
 Back in my day 75mm was the long travel dh fork. Get off my lawn.
  • 1 0
 This article reads like a robot script and I like it
  • 1 0
 Undampened? So will it be as ballslappy as the old school e13 droppers?
  • 1 0
 Looking at you Rockshox/Sram....
  • 1 0
 Main thing is will it work in the cold??
  • 1 0
 No "fox" given!!
  • 1 0
 I believe zero Fox® are given, yes.
  • 1 0
 ha inflation.
  • 2 1
 Kashima
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