08/03/2013 | 11 comments
As the name suggests this is X-Fusion’s new lightweight version of their Hilo dropper seatpost. Apparently it’s not just lighter either, it’s also better. The 125mm of travel is controlled via a hydraulic system so you get position your seat anywhere within that range. Unfortunately this post is one of those ones where if you have it dropped and then pick your bike up by the seat the whole thing pulls up. It’s not the end of the world, but we do prefer it if it’s fixed in place.
The action of the post feels very smooth, which is possibly helped by the new “Gold Slick” anodising treatment. X-Fusion have taken this from their forks and they see it as their equivalent of Kashima. Side to side play is kept to a minimum thanks to a double keyway system, and return speed can be controlled by adjusting the air pressure through the valve at the bottom of the post. The saddle clamp has been upgraded from a single bolt affair to a much better twin-bolt job.
The post can only be operated via a remote, unlike the non-SL version, but personally I much prefer a remote anyway. I know some people have a thing against this particular design of remote (which is a blatant rip-off of the old Maverick/Crank Brothers design) but I love it. I just find it really nice to use because you can push or pull it in any direction, which in turn means you can mount it in a whole load of different ways. The design is also very resistant to crash damage, and because this one has a split clamp it’s easy to fit. The post itself requires a fair bit less cable pull than other cable operated posts, and so this lever feels particularly positive. It’s good to see that it uses a standard gear cable too.
It’s at the post end where the cable clamps, and although it’s easiest if you remove your seat to do it you can leave it on if you really want. It’s pretty neat too, and we particularly like the fact that the end of the outer cable is well housed inside the post, as having the cable pop out is a common and annoying problem on some other posts.
Here you can kind of get a better idea of how it works. All that happens is that the cable pulls a long lever down onto the silver ball-shaped valve. Hopefully it should prove to be pretty reliable, and as I said before it does feel nice and positive at the remote.
X-Fusion claim the weight of this post is 450g without the cable, but we measured it at 567g with cable and remote (which is a far more relevant weight anyway). Maybe we’ve got a really heavy cable? Anyway, it might not be as light as they claim but it’s not too bad and it’s still lighter than the standard Hilo which sells for £50 less. Size wise it’s the usual 30.9 or 31.6mm only (the standard Hilo also comes in 27.2mm) and the overall length is 422mm with a minimum insertion depth of 217mm.
We’ve already managed to put a few rides in on one of these posts that was fitted to a test bike we had and in general the performance was pretty good. The only thing we have noticed is that occasionally it turns into a kind of suspension seatpost. We think it might be when you accidentally pick your bike up by the seat, but it’s a bit annoying. Saying that, a few cycles up and down and that seems to solve it and the post is nice and solid again.