At A Glance
The dropper seat post market is without a doubt currently saturated, with options from numerous brands of varying acclaim. For a product that has very few necessary requirements there sure is a lot of choice. The classic adage for bike parts, is cheap, light, strong; choose two. I guess this ties in with the dropper well, but it also comes down to how well they work, and again for a product of so few requirements the usability varies hugely. The X Fusion Manic Dropper has done a good job of taking on all of these headings.Buy Seat Posts on
Out of the box, it’s not the lightest dropper on the market, at 630grams for the 150mm version, but there is less than 100grams in it between the Manic and a lot of its competitors. When you compare this to the decidedly crazy price of X Fusion’s latest offering, which brings home at less than half of the price of some of those same competitors, you’d be crazy not to possibly consider this for your next build.
Sub-£200 GBP gets you a fully stealth routed post in 150mm, or 125mm in either 30.9 or 31.6mm, cable pull, fully adjustable lever, hinge actuated key locked dropper post.
The Manic is what you have probably come to expect from a seat post, in full black, from remote to clamp and only a small amount of branding on the lever and collar, fully stealth.
On The Trail
The Manic comes with a keyway system, which is designed to prevent lateral movement whilst maintaining the infinite adjustability of the full 150mm. This is intended to combat the all too common saddle wobble you used to feel on a large percentage of dropper posts, and it works. Combined with the simple but effective two-bolt seat rail clamp the saddle remains remarkably stable up, down or at any point in the travel. Although there is still a small amount of movement it is definitely one of the better posts I have used on that front, plus the added bonus that after 3 months of use it has not changed.
This brings us nicely onto the topic of reliability, another questionable element of a lot of droppers. The Manic is easy to fit, even with the cable end inside the post (as recent designs from other brands have proved even simpler by placing the barrel end inside), and with a quick tweak of the adjuster barrel on the remote, I was away. Much to my amazement, I have not touched it since and then, with what must have been thousands of uses, it is still running smooth and the lever is slick.
The lever itself is simple and inoffensive to look at and fits neatly with both my Hope and SRAM brakes on the bar. This is helped largely by a locking ball-joint style adjuster that allows you a huge amount of flexibility on the angle of the lever. In the past, I’ve had levers where you had to settle for the least bad option, whereas this allowed the perfect set up for a good straight push with the hands fully on the bars.
This brings us to the push… The Manic has a seriously smooth actuation, buttery smooth in fact. Partly down to the degree-perfect lever placement, but also contributed to the simple yet effective linkage at the bottom of the post. The linkage itself multiplies the force you put through the cable and in turn halves the forced needed to drop and raise the seat, a small spring also makes sure the cable goes right back into place.
The seat collar is smaller than most of the competition, combined with a reasonably small lower post length and compact seat clamps, this would be a great opportunity for someone with a shorter leg to possibly still manage a 150mm drop in their frame. Unfortunately, it doesn't yet come in anything longer than a 150mm, but here’s hoping that's on the way.
The Manic has replaced the old style hydraulics within the post, from the Hilo model which had numerous issues and whilst having built a seemingly bombproof post. If the need arises, the post has been designed to be easily serviced and a replacement hydraulic cartridge can be purchased, for just £25 GBP. A cheap and simple fix for another long stint in the saddle.
All told, the X-Fusion Manic dropper post has surpassed all my expectations. Whilst it isn't the lightest on the market, the reliability, adjustability, price point and great user experience win out every time. A great dropper for those on a budget, or just wanting a quality piece of reliable kitBuy Seat Posts on
This review was in Issue 54 of IMB.For more information visit X-Fusion