“Is it worth spending $200 on a dropper post?” is the wrong question. It’s always been worth spending that much on a dropper. “Is it worth saving a Benjamin or two by choosing this dropper post?” is the right one.
The answer—like most real ones—isn’t clear-cut.
X-Fusion’s Manic has a lot going for it. Its shifter-style remote is ergonomic and has more angular adjustability than any other I’ve used, though its incompatibility with Shimano and SRAM brake clamps will give some riders trouble finding an ideal horizontal positioning. The lever’s stroke starts with a few millimeters of play, but then transitions into a smooth band with such light action that you might wonder if the cable has slipped, when in fact your thumb’s effort has been multiplied by a linkage-driven actuator at the bottom of the post.
The hydraulic drop system actuated by the linkage is contained in a $25, user-replaceable cartridge and yields an infinite 125 millimeters of travel. The post is smooth and quick on the way up, and a traditional two-bolt-style head ensures that you’ll be able to get your seat adjusted to that perfect angle.
If you’re really paying attention, the downstroke does seem to have more resistance than we’ve come to expect from dropper posts these days, but this was never noticeable while riding. Despite its name, the Manic stayed down when we wanted it to, and stayed at full height when we needed it there.
So, should the Manic be your next post? The answer may come down to sizing. As of writing, X-Fusion only offers a 125-millimeter-travel version, which is shorter than desirable for many riders—especially tall ones. On the other end of the equation, the post’s 285-millimeter insertion depth may cause a premature bottom-out in shorter seat tubes, which could spell fitment issues for shorter riders.
Beyond those considerations, it’d be tough to go wrong with this economical up-and-downer.
$200 / xfusionshox.com