- Amazing value for money
- Sorted performance
- Neat adjustable remote
- A long insertion depth
X-Fusion’s older HiLo Strate cable dropper was one of the first to feature an under-the-bar remote for use with 1x drivetrains but it was let down by a rough action, significant play in the shaft and, worst of all, it’d pull up when you picked the bike up by the saddle. The Manic post is the update but has X-Fusion sorted those issues?
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The first you’ll notice about the Manic is the price – it’s £99 cheaper than the original HiLo Strate but it’s managed to keep the quality. In fact, I’d say the Manic with it’s all black livery and hard anodised is actually better looking. The collar that sits on top of the frame is nicely machined and much lower profile than the original, so you can the post as low as possible. The twin bolt seat clamp allows you to make precise adjustments to saddle tilt, but I’d like to have seen a split in the clamp bolt mount (like Crank Bros) to speed up saddle installation.
The X-Fusion dropper still comes with an under-bar remote but rather than a joystick design, this is now a push-style lever. It pivots in the clamp, so you can angle to your heart’s content and comes with tension adjustment and some shallow indents on the paddle to stop your thumb slipping off.
To make things simple X-Fusion opts for a simple leverage mechanism on the bottom of the post (it works like KS, Fox, Nukeproof, etc) but there’s no sealing, so if your bike has a split seat tube this can get bunged up with clag. I’m also not a big fan of anchoring the cable this way round because the little grub screw tends to fray the end.
There’s also a bit of play in the shaft but it’s on a par with posts costing twice the price. It’s also has a long insertion depth for a 150mm, which means there’s a lot going in the frame. If you’re tall you will have more post to play with but you may struggle with clearance if you’re trying to squeeze this post in a medium frame.
Like the HiLo Strate, the Manic still gets 150mm drop (a 125mm version is available) and comes in 30.9 and 31.6mm sizes but it has put on a bit of weight. The Manic (with cable and remote) is 751g for the 150mm version, which is nearly 200g heavier than the HiLo Strate.
This said, X-Fusion seems to have ironed out all of the creases – the Manic doesn’t pull up when grab the bike by the saddle, there’s no stickiness on return stroke and it doesn’t slowly creep down. Best of all the new post has a smooth, quality action, which for a dropper costing £200 is impressive.
During the four months testing the Maniac I’ve not heard a peep out of the Manic, it’s worked flawlessly. It’s not the lightest or quickest dropper – it doesn’t shoot back at you like a Specialized Command Post – but it gets the job done, which wasn’t something I could ever say about the company’s older post.
It has taken X-Fusion a while to get things sorted but I reckon the Manic is one of the best dropper posts on the market for the money. If you’re looking for your first dropper post this should definitely be on your hit list, it really is that good.