Race Face Aeffect Dropper Post AndrewM
REVIEW

Race Face Aeffect 150mm Dropper

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major
Date Mar 22, 2018

High Expectations

At 220 USD for the post combined with Race Face's strong reputation for aftersale support, the Aeffect dropper is a winner on paper before I even open the box. For a 150mm travel post, it's a strong price-point competitor as long as it goes up and down, stays in place at those two extremes, and doesn't leak oil or explode. 

A few years ago those were high expectations for a dropper post at any price, but with reliable competition at this travel from different designs like the X-Fusion Manic, Crankbrothers Highline, and e13 TRS+ that's the bare minimum I'll demand from the Reverb-esque Aeffect. 

Race Face Aeffect Dropper Post AndrewM

I'm tight on insertion depth to run a 150mm+ dropper on my mule. For the Aeffect the height of my saddle itself and thickness of pedals are a factor in the game of centimeters. 

Race Face Aeffect Dropper Post AndrewM

Frame designers have to balance chainstay length, total seat tube length, and length of straight seat tube to design around longer droppers. 


All of my experiences with Race Face's mid-level product line to date have been excellent. The cranks and wheels I reviewed are both easily recommendable and I continue to spin the cranks on my personal test mule to date. I have no hesitation in expecting the Aeffect dropper to be an equally awesome value and my hope is that, given the relatively simple task of a dropper post, it will qualify for the 'why pay more?' category of relatively cheap gear that's great at any price.


Travel

The up-down function of the Aeffect dropper is smooth. Using the same Wolftooth remote I'll go way out and compare the action to an SRAM Reverb upgraded with Wolftooth's Reverb ReMote cable kit. On the trail, it's that good. Low effort initialization and a smooth quiet return. 

Return force is adjustable via a Schraeder valve under the saddle clamps. I had no problem with this arrangement until I set up the new Ritchey Kite. It's not that I adjust the air pressure frequently but getting the perfect personal setup is just so much easier with the ultra-accessible, no saddle removal required, valve position and Ritchey executed their valve so cleanly it left me wishing the Aeffect had the same configuration. 

Fast or fairly slow, it's possible to adjust the Aeffect to preference and it will still return to full height every time. 

Race Face Aeffect Dropper Post AndrewM

I generally ran the Aeffect fully extended or fully compressed but it will firmly hold at any position through its travel. 

Race Face Aeffect Dropper Post

For most of the test period, I've been using my favorite e13 TRS remote. The Race Face Turbine remote is an excellent option as well. 


There has been no performance degradation through my test period. Race Face doesn't prescribe a service interval but given the similarities, I'd expect a similar interval to a Reverb. For most folks I know that's a full teardown every 1–2 years. 


Teardown

With my friend Jeff from Bikeroom as my guide, the Aeffect post revealed its internals sans rebuild instructions. Any wrench who is handy with a Reverb rebuild will have no issue tackling the service on this post. 

You can see more in the full teardown piece

Race Face Aeffect Dropper Post

Let the air out first!

Race Face Aeffect Dropper Post

Remember, this is fun. 

Race Face Aeffect Dropper Post

Reverb rebuild tricks. 

Race Face Aeffect Dropper Post

IFP depth matters.

Race Face Aeffect Dropper Post

The good sh*t.

It's a straightforward process but still a lot more time consuming than servicing cartridge-style posts like the Manic and Highline. Fully rebuildable vs. basic service and then swapping a dead cartridge when the time comes I'll leave up to you. Jeff says the Aeffect will be a one-beer job once a mechanic has done it before. I'm thinking that's a tall can. 


Remotes

Race Face sells an Aeffect-level remote for 40 USD. It's cheap looking but the function and ergonomics are good. If the Aeffect is coming OE on a bike I see no reason to change it but if I'm buying the post aftermarket I will opt to spend a bit more money the first time to get a more polished remote like Race Face's Turbine model. 

Unfortunately, the Aeffect remote does not play nicely with TRP brake levers and I needed to position it quite inboard in order to get proper function. This works fine when I am climbing up to come down but in the heat of battle, the remote is too inboard for a quick dropper height change. 

The e13 TRS+ dropper remote is my favorite on the market and I have an extra one, so that is what I used for most of the test with the TRP brakes installed. It functions fantastically with the Aeffect post and at 70 USD that is the remote I'd personally buy to use with the post.   


TRP Quadiem G-Spec Brakes

It isn't pretty, but the ergonomics are good and the Aeffect remote plays nicely with SRAM, Shimano, and Magura mastercylinders. 

Race Face Aeffect Dropper Post AndrewM

Cartridge bearing, return spring, grip tape, and SRAM shifter ergonomics. The e13 TRS+ remote is an excellent compliment to the Aeffect post. 

With a perfectly functioning dropper post the only part I'm regularly in contact with or thinking about is the remote. The combination of the TRS+ actuator and the Aeffect post feels & functions at least as good as anything on the market for a combined price of 290 USD. 


Dropper Duties

The Aeffect dropper post goes up and down easily and stays solidly in position at either end of its 150mm stroke. Less of a priority for me, but it also can stop anywhere along its travel and stays exactly where I tell it to sit until I command otherwise. It's loyally taken a beating with no complaints. 

Race Face has a solid reputation for small parts support and the post is entirely user serviceable which are both also selling features in my book. Other than my nitpicking about the Schraeder valve location I truly don't have anything to complain about, even ignoring the price-point. 

Race Face Aeffect Dropper Post AndrewM

The Aeffect post head is zero offset which works great with the majority of bikes.

I'll go further though, because like the rest of the Aeffect components I've ridden the dropper post – combined with whatever remote you like best – is impressive to the point that spending more money on a 150mm post will come down to a personal justification, not a performance one. 

If it comes on a bike, ride it. Putting together a bike on a budget? The Aeffect does exactly what a dropper post is supposed to do at 220 USD for the post plus whatever non-chuck-away remote you prefer. 

More information on the Aeffect post here

Comments

bmv88
0
bmv88  - March 22, 2018, 7:56 a.m.

Thanks for the review. What saddle are you using?

Reply

DBone95
0
Darryl Chereshkoff  - March 22, 2018, 8:44 a.m.

Looks like an SQ Labs 611 Ergowave to me.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - March 22, 2018, 9:17 a.m.

Yes, 611 Ergowave Active. It’s become my go-to saddle on a bike where I’m sitting a lot to climb.

Reply

bmv88
0
bmv88  - March 22, 2018, 9:26 a.m.

Great, thanks

Reply

oldmanbike
0
OldManBike  - March 22, 2018, 11:37 a.m.

"Race Face's strong reputation for aftersale support" does not match my own experience even a teensy bit.

Reply

DBone95
0
Darryl Chereshkoff  - March 22, 2018, 12:52 p.m.

Guess that's at least two of us....

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - March 22, 2018, 1:46 p.m.

Obviously, with anything, YMMV. But I’ve had many direct (working in/with shops) and in-direct (2nd hand accountings) experiences with Race Face after-sale support and they’ve always covered manufacturing defects quickly, worked to get small parts out ASAP, and done an admirable job with crash replacement in my opinion.

I’ve got a couple of riding friends who are still whingeing about a cracked alloy rim and bent crankarm respectively, both of which weren’t replaced for free - but c’mon right?

Anyways, I’m sorry to hear that your experiences haven’t been premium but I’ll stand by my comment.

Reply

manu_moisan
0
manu_moisan  - March 22, 2018, 2:01 p.m.

My opinion of RF after sale support is not that good, with experiences going back 20+ years.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - March 22, 2018, 2:21 p.m.

I'm not looking to defend Race Face against people's experiences I have no knowledge of - again I'm sorry that they don't mesh with my own - BUT, there were a full bankruptcy and ownership change in 2011 so I don't know that there's any value in experiences going back before then.

I hope your future experiences with the brand, directly and through your local dealer, are all awesome.

Reply

GladePlayboy
+1 Andrew Major
Rob Gretchen  - March 23, 2018, 6:10 a.m.

As a shop owner I can honestly say that my experiences with RF warranty in the past few years have been excellent.    No quibble, just quick action.

Reply

jt
+1 Andrew Major
JT  - March 23, 2018, 7:38 a.m.

No qualms here with their CS from the last 20 years, either from a consumer, shop, or industry level they've taken care of me when a problem's arisen, and they've taken care of our customers just as well. 

As for the post, I'm curious if this is a rebranded Tranz X YSP12 post. Looks spot on identical, even to the trigger.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 JT
Andrew Major  - March 23, 2018, 8:48 a.m.

Tranz-X is my guess as well. There are a few companies selling the posts aftermarket and there seem to be a couple factories selling it OE but they’re the furthest up the food chain.

Speaking of Tranz-X... Great option for inexpensive hex-key thru-axles (Shimano standard) if you can track them down.

Reply

jt
0
JT  - March 23, 2018, 12:34 p.m.

That is a good tip to keep in my mental toolbox.

Reply

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