X-Fusion Manic Dropper Post AndrewM
FOLLOW UP REVIEW

X-Fusion's $200 Manic Dropper Post

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major
Date Jun 30, 2017

All The Bikes

I have installed the X-Fusion Manic dropper post more times than I can count. I've had the post since early in the year and I've ridden it on my personal Honzo, a Kona Wozo during Snowmaggedon 2017, my Honzo again, a Trek Stache, my Honzo again and finally it's been standing tall on a Marin Hawk Hill. 

It still goes up and down like new and when I pull the outer tube off things are surprisingly clean inside. As with other Dropper Post reviews I'm balancing a timely release of information with long term testing by updating my experience with the post now and then continuing to ride it with plans to only update further if issues occur in the long term*. 

X-Fusion Manic Dropper Post AndrewM

What's that black stuff? Test-Writing is dangerous work... focused on coming up with some words that rhyme with 'derailleur' I ate sh*t into an old cedar stump that had been burned at some point. Soot Everywhere. EV-ER-Y-WHERE... 

Min-Max-Manic

With the lightest lever action going and one of the nicest functioning remotes on the market the performance of the Manic is easily overshadowed by it's $200 (USD) price tag. With 150mm and 100mm models joining the 125mm Manic shortly it really comes down to one question; why buy anything else?

I have some nitpicks (below) and cost aside it is not my favourite dropper post on the market. It's also 42% less expensive than my preferred model which is itself good value compared to many other posts. 

I'm not suggesting there aren't reasons a rider would spend more on a different dropper post but I am saying that anyone looking for a premium dropper experience at the best price point should be considering the Manic. It's the definitive dropper post for the Min-Max-Marin project because the quality and performance are detached from the price. 

X-Fusion Manic Dropper Post AndrewM

One of these bikes is not like the other. The Marin Hawk Hill, Trek Stache and Kona Wozo have all had the X-Fusion Manic inserted in their seat tubes. 

Bonus Points

In the caption above, if you were thinking the Marin Hawk Hill is a full suspension bike that's true but that isn't the difference I was pointing too. 

The Honzo, the Wozo and the Stache all use 31.6 posts but the Hawk Hill has a 30.9 seat tube. The Manic is tailor made for upgrading bikes that come with static seat posts and bringing balance to my universe required riding the Manic on the Marin. The great news is that a new outer body for the Manic retails for $50 (USD) and it's a really quick job to swap between the two sizes. I was still waxing poetic about my morning cappuccino 20 minutes after James at SuspensionWerx completed the swap.  

It's nice to know the post can easily follow to the next bike even if it has a different seat tube size. 

Action

Thanks to the actuator linkage I highlighted in my first look the Manic has the lightest action of any dropper post I've used. The feeling is almost vague at the remote. 

It's very easy to use the infinite post travel thanks to the hyper-adjustable and very ergonomic remote. I actually prefer the post now that the cable has gotten a little bit sticky because there is more feedback when I engage the remote. 

There has been zero degradation in the cartridge's support or return speed. If I owned a Manic I would still be tempted to have a second cartridge on hand being that they are only $25 and easy to swap.  

The post is still nice and tight with only the minute amount of play at the head which it had from fresh. Replacing the key ways isn't a big job but it's great that they are long-wearing to boot. 

Niggles 

The low cost of this product makes it tempting to gloss over any issues, but problems are problems. 

1) As someone who has removed and installed the Manic many times, having the cable retention at the post end of the system is a comparative pain. I'd like to see the cable head at the post and the retention at the dropper the way many other brands are running their setups. Crank Brothers' quick connect system is so brilliant in this regard I'd love to see every dropper post** adopt something similar. 

2) Next up is the lack of retention system preventing the post from being physically extended when an upward force is applied. I first noticed it hiking over some deadfall*** this winter riding the Wozo. I grabbed the seat as part of the lift and the post extended. No big deal and no harm to the post. Just depress the remote and reset the post at the desired height but I'd rather the X-Fusion didn't do it. 

Conditions

Between Snowmageddon-2017 and the extra rainy spring, the poor Manic post has been through a lot. I think the cold had a limited effect on performance but honestly it was so negligible it could have just been my frozen thumbs. The relatively long remote lever blade and linkage actuator have kept the post feeling great even though cable friction has increased. The only riding conditions I can't speak to at this point are dry and dusty with only a couple of rides on the X-Fusion post since the sun came out. I don't envision any issues but I'll certainly report back if anything comes up. 

Capitalize

The Manic parallels my X-Fusion Trace experience. Both combine high-quality manufacturing, great pricing for the features, top0-end performance and packaging that doesn't quite convey the premium performance of the product. It doesn't look high-end and details, like cable mounting, aren't dialed to the level of some other droppers but the pricing makes it a top value. 

Once I put the price back into consideration the Manic is a top choice for a dropper post. It possesses no true negatives and only a few niggles. In my mind the only reason to buy anything else is a desire for particular features not found in the Manic.  For more information check out the X-Fusion Manic here. 

*For example I've been on a Crankbrothers Highline for over a year now with zero issues. 
**I was going to say "every cable actuated dropper post" but really...
***Too big to move or to cut with my folding saw. 

Comments

GladePlayboy
0
Rob Gretchen  - June 30, 2017, 6:15 a.m.

In reference to sizing... I only buy 30.9 posts and shim them to any frame size if I switch bikes... cheap and easy and future proof.   Unless its a 27.2 seat tube which is rare these days.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2017, 12:19 p.m.

That 30.9->31.6 shim is suspect unless you just set and forget?

Reply

the-chez
0
The Chez  - June 30, 2017, 1:22 p.m.

I just use a beer can shim on my Kona. Most of us aren't swapping between bikes. i.e. not testers. Problem Solvers also makes some nifty shims but it's nice to know you can get a different body for the dropper. I don't think anyone else offers that. X-Fusion thinks things through.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2017, 6:44 p.m.

My issue with the beer can (and beer can thickness) shims is more about riding in different shoes than swapping bike to bike. My shoes vary enough that I tweak my saddle height depending on what pair I'm wearing.

Reply

hechtn
0
Nate Hecht  - June 30, 2017, 9 a.m.

"...it is not my favourite dropper post on the market. It's also 42% less expensive than my preferred model..."

$200/(1-0.42)=$345, so can we assume your preferred model is the Fox Transfer?

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2017, 12:18 p.m.

Definitely - definitely - not.

Crank Brothers Highline is my favourite dropper post. Over a year and counting and it's still working awesome. I wrote three pieces on it for NSMB.

Reply

hechtn
0
Nate Hecht  - June 30, 2017, 1:13 p.m.

Awesome.  Thanks for the article(s)!

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2017, 6:45 p.m.

Thank You for reading Nate!

Reply

D_C_
0
DMVancouver  - June 30, 2017, 10:18 a.m.

I have this post and it's awesome. I have used it for a couple of months so far and it has been flawless to date. Hopefully it holds up in the long run.

Cable setup really isn't too bad. The only thing I wish X-Fusion did is publish the distance from the end of the housing to where the cable stop needs to be clamped. The cable setup on the KS Lev Integra is very similar and they publish this measurement, which takes out the trial and error.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2017, 12:21 p.m.

It's not that bad - but it could be much better by just flipping the orientation of the shifter cable head and putting a set screw on the remote.

Reply

D_C_
0
DMVancouver  - June 30, 2017, 12:25 p.m.

I wonder if you could use a different remote that has a set screw and just run the cable the other way through the cable stop at the post end.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2017, 12:52 p.m.

You definitely can - I had the cable with no shifter end at all tightened down on the Manic, run through the housing and then tightened into an E13 remote. Worked beautifully.

Reply

JBV
0
James Vasilyev  - June 30, 2017, 2:29 p.m.

who is the Vic on the NSB top cap

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - June 30, 2017, 6:53 p.m.

Vic Gioia, a long time trail builder at Burke (Upper/Lower Vic's, Bean, Nescafe, etc, etc) who is still actively maintaining heaps of trails and ripping hundreds of days a year on his mountain bike in his mid-70's. 

Inspiration & Aspiration for a bunch of my riding buddies so I ordered us a small run of stem caps as a send-up of sorts.

Reply

GawiQ
0
Mateusz Gawęcki  - May 16, 2018, 4:37 a.m.

Hi 

I'm looking for a dropper for my girlfriend and she weighs about 50kg. Question is - is she going to be able to lower the Manic? She bought XLC dropper (cartridge post as well) a while ago and just couldn't drop it with her weight :/ To be honest I tried it (75kg) and could barely drop it... Do you know any droppers suitable for lightweight riders? Do we have to look for something with adjustable pressure instead of a cartridge?

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 16, 2018, 7:42 a.m.

Hi Mateusz,

I’d think she’d have no problem dropping the X-Fusion. Super light action at the remote and the cartridge style posts tend to drop without much effort as long as the seal head is well lubed.

Crankbrothers Highline is easier to drop - less resistance due to lower cartridge charge - but takes a bit more input at the remote unless you switch to a lighter action option remote like the Wolf Tooth. It’s also a great option.

Hope that helps,

Reply

GawiQ
0
Mateusz Gawęcki  - May 16, 2018, 9:21 a.m.

Great, thanks for reply :)

I've read about Bikeyoke Revive and seems like a nice option as well. It is also the shortest for the travel which is a desirable feature too :) Have you used it?

Reply

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