A "dropper" seatpost has quickly becomeThe must-have accessory forTodays 5-6"TravelTrailbikes. Why?These bikes are being ridden more and more aggressively, and riders wantTo rideThem all overThe mountain. A height-adjustable seatpost allows youTo ride withThe post at full height for pedaling performance,Then drop it down and out ofThe way for more aggressive, steepTerrain.X-Fusions entry,The HILO, uses a hydraulic mechanismTo allow 100mm ofTravel adjustment, activated by a convenient bar-mounted
At the end of last year, the suspension company X-Fusion released their new 100mm-travel adjustable seatpost called the HILO or HIgh-LOw. The hydraulic seatpost is infinitely adjustable in its 100 mm range, and can be set up to be either cable actuated from a remote on the handlebar or from a lever under the seat. It weighs approximately 620 grams, and is available in 27.2, 30.9 and 31.6mm diameters. Continue reading →
Strengths: looks really good and has a 27.2 option
Weaknesses: really slow on the return especially last 10mm. seems to feel sluggish overall. kills the cable every time you use the pinch bolt.
I got this post because it was available in 27.2 before the kindshock or (KS) one was available from our parts distributor. That was a mistake. I was excited to see the great looking box and opened it to a even better looking post. Went to install on my bike and got to the weak instruction manual. It said to set the air pressure to 25. So i set it the way the book (pamphlet) told me upside down and holding the lever. Which almost requires 2 people. Once installed i hit the lever and sat down. It was extremely rough, so i thought it needed some wearing in. I proceeded to take it out on multiple rides and used multiple different lubes to make the action smoother. Nothing seemed to work. so i called x fusion. no answer. So i called again the next day and got someone who told me to lube the stanchion with demon tech lite lube and that the 27.2 has a tighter seal tolerance. got the lube and tried it again. better for about 10 motions then back to sluggish action. Then i get a call from x-fusion returning my fist call. This gentleman i feel knew more and told me i could put the pressure up to 30 psi to increase the return speed but any more will blow out the seal. I put 28 psi and it helped a little. Still unhappy with the way this post moves through its motions. Then my friend from the auto shop next door ordered the kind shock supernatural in the 30.9 and it is flawless and feels soo smooth the lever is more burly and the return speed is great. Oh yeah if i pull up on the x-fusion the seat comes up. If i pull up on the kindshock the bike comes up. you really have to yank on the KS to get it to come up and it sucks back down when you let go. the x-fusion does not return very well at all. So this was my experience with the x-fusion hilo dropper post in the 27.2. I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THIS POST.
Weaknesses: Too many to list, see my original review below (used to be "azbeerguy").
I would have amended my earlier review but I guess MTBR didn't pay for that function with the software.
Anyways, not much has changed, post has been unreliable at best & just plain unusable at its worst. Back in a box today to go back to X-Fusion to get warrantied. 2x in 1 year, unacceptable for the price. I sincerely hope they just give me a new unit this time, I believe I have a lemon.
Strengths: It meets expectations for hydraulic dropper, and far better than early Joplins out of the box.
Weaknesses: Remote could do with some better design. Won't work well snug against XTR dual controls.
I got this in a pinch as my Trail Bike was down and I was going to throw my Orbea Alma Carbon 29 HT at some of the more technical stuff in the mean time. I have ridden the Joplin 3 for 4 years until it outright died and Cb gave me an upgrade option to a Kronolog. Not wanting to plop down another $300 on a lark, I found the HiLo on eBay with remote at a steal. I figured if I didn't like it...so what? its only $169 down the trail.
Pleasantly surprised. Fit and Finish was nice and tight, not much rotation action, which was a pet peeve I had with the Joplin and it works as expected. I've had no service issues yet, no hiccups..nada.
Remote doesn't integrate with my dualshift XTR levers. I do prefer the CB Joplin toggle or even the CB Kronolog remote action, but it's all do-able.
It's a great lower cost alternative to the bigger more prominent brands that have a legacy for dropper post failures.
Strengths: 27.2 size, price is OK compared to competition, comes in all black.
Weaknesses: Return speed is slow, instruction manual could use some work, putting together the remote interface at the post takes a lot of patience; failed after 3 months of use, warranty/customer service less than expected (no sense of urgency)
I am a bit handicapped by having to have a 27.2mm post due to my frame (Ventana El Terremoto). This post is very reasonably priced, looks nice, and includes the option of remote or lever with purchase (no upcharge for remote). While the Gravity Dropper seems to be the best in this size based on the reviews, I just cannot get past the looks of that rubber accordion boot, otherwise that would have been my first choice. I was truly excited to give the HiLo a chance, and was quite impressed with the packaging and looks of the post!
It worked ok for the first few rides, after getting the air pressure dialed. It was extremely slow on the return until I contacted them and got some better instructions on adjusting the air pressure, the instruction manual is lacking in that regard.
I purchased in February of this year from Universal Cycles, and by the end of May it needed to be returned for service, due to decrease in return speed (I didn't think that was possible) and excessive pressure needed to push it down. I attempted to check the air pressure after I noticed the issues, and the post spewed hydro fluid/oil into my Fox shock pump (ruining it), so I attempted to contact XFusion via email. 2 days later, after 3 phone calls with voicemails and a message sent via Facebook (since that seemed to be the only place they were active), I finally got a hold of John and got an RA. I was told there was a 48 hour turnaround on warranty work, so the quicker I got it there the quicker I would get it back. I sent it overnight at my cost to them last week (they had it by Friday), and as of yesterday (Wednesday) I checked in for a status update to see if it was indeed on its way back. I was told "Unfortunately our tech encountered some family issues that required him to take the week off to handle. That means the post won't go out this week....sorry." (that is actually a cut and paste from the email) I understand that sh*t happens and people have things come up beyond their control, but honestly after having explained the urgency to John of getting the post back before an MTB vacation and my willingness to pay for the expedited shipping to do so, I would have expected something more than "sorry". I am a fiercely loyal consumer when I find a product or company that is worth being loyal to - unfortunately XFusion won't be making that list in my book. If no one else produces 27.2 options (and I am sure they probably won't), I will just probably go back to the Thomson that has never failed me and ride like I have for the past 25 years.
Thanks to John from X-Fusion for saving me from spending my hard-earned $ on a set of the Vengeance HLR forks I had my eyes on, I'll stick with companies that I have had good CS experiences with. Their products may be OK, but the chance that I would experience the same type of lacking CS on an $800 item as I did on a $250 seat post isn't worth it for me.
from Portland Oregon USA
Date Reviewed: January 28, 2012
Strengths: -Available in 27.2 diameter.
-Somewhat less expensive that other droppers.
-Can be run with with a manual lever or with a remote.
-Minimal side to side play.
-Infinite travel adjust
Weaknesses: -All three sizes (27.2, 30.9, 31.6) use the same internals and the same sized stanchion, and thus, the larger (30.9 or 31.6) seatposts don't have any benefits (such as a bigger, stiffer stanchion, or more room for internals) over the 27.2 version
-Single-bolt infinite adjust saddle clamp needs a lot of torque to stay in place, and can still possibly slip (compared to a opposed two-bolt system). The single bolt is 'rated' for 14.7-24.5 NM of torque; I find I need about 22NM to make mine stay in place (190lbs geared up), and it is WAY to much torque to be placed on a single bolt with a 5mm hex interface. Even with a good hex key, I managed to ruin the tool interface after ~5 adjustments.
-Very odd cable routing on the seatpost itself; even with the seals and boots provided with the seatpost, water drips straight down the cable housing. Cable is anchored by a single 2mm grub screw, which effectively ruins the end of the cable once tightened down.
-Remote lever is quite terrible; the blade pivots on a tiny pin which develops a lot of play rapidly. It is also considerably less ergonomic than other levers, and the 90 degree noodle that is used to route the cable out of the remote makes it hard to setup in a comfortable position along with your brake lever and shifter.
-Has a bit of a break in period; it took about 5-6 rides before the seatpost would snap back up when depressing the remote lever.
-The seatpost will raise if you have it dropped and then pull up on the saddle. This isn't a huge problem, but is still a little annoying.
After trying out a really cheap dropper post for the first time, I was glad that I had enough money to buy a good one. I couldn't image getting to ride a bike with a dropper post and then have to go back to a normal seatpost. Plenty of people love them, a few still hate them, and while they aren't totally "necessary", they can change the way you can ride so dramatically that I really recommend them to anyone who loves going both up and down on their bikes.
The X-Fusion Hilo was my first real (read: expensive) dropper seatpost. I purchased it when I was riding a steel bike that ran a 27.2 post, and it was one of the few options at that time. My comments above in 'Product Strengths/Weaknesses' pretty much sum up my overall opinions of this product. My 1st post did fail after about 4 months of use. The sealed collar at the top seat post (which has no wrench flats!) came loose at some point, and began leaking thick oil whenever I actuated the seatpost. I decided to just send the post back, and I was not too surprised when they sent back a brand new post (instead of fixing mine). I was a bit disappointing that I had to pay to ship it out to them when it had failed in less than 6 months.
My new post is working fine, but I haven't used it all that much since getting it. I would only really recommend the Hilo to anyone that needs a 27.2 diameter dropper. After setting up a few 2011/12 Rockshock Reverb dropper posts on customers' bikes, I would ideally replace the Hilo with a Reverb.
Despite some initial problems, after sending in for service, the seat post works great. I would give it 5 chilis if I hadn't had such problems at first. The post would shift down for no reason about 2 cm and it would take forever to return to full extension. I tried following the directions to troubleshoot. That is where my problems began. DON'T service it yourself. Contact manufacturer and have them deal with it. It is too complicated for even an experienced bike shop mechanic. I sent mine back in and two days later returned by fedex was a perfectly working adjustable seat post. I wouldn't ride without one and this one seems to be one of the best out there.
Bike Setup: Spot 29er, Rohloff Belt, RockShox Reba
Date Reviewed: October 2, 2011
Strengths: Fits a 27.2mm tube
Option of remote or seat mounted control
Can position at any point in travel
Weaknesses: 100mm is really not enough. 120 is the optimal so often lowering it that bit extra on steep stuff.
Cable remote is cheap and flimsy design. Difficult to route it well as the cable moves with the seat and not being hydraulic the cable suffers from friction as the cable kinks.
Return speed is SLOW. Mine takes 30 seconds on a good day and that is if it returns the original position without assistance.
I am trying to return this product with the shop right now. I really feel that this product is substandard for the money paid. There are far more better products out there if you don´t have a 27.2mm seatpost.
Similar Products Used: Rockshox Reverb - Nice but not available in 27.2.
Gravity - reliable and tested
Blacx Jewel - Slick but still a few quality concerns it seems
Bike Setup: Orange Alpine with Marzocchi 55 WC fork and flatties.
a Weekend Warrior
from SF, CA
Date Reviewed: August 12, 2011
Strengths: Works great, comes with lever and remote, good price
This post kicks ass. I ran it for 8 months with no issue, on one ride it started acting up and wouldn't stay up or down. I called X-fusion, and they gave me a RA number, sent it back, and it came back rebuilt in under 5 days no questions asked. Great company, great product. I also love that it comes with the remote and the lever. I've been rocking the lever, but sometimes still think about putting on the remote, glad I have the option, but as of now prefer less cable clutter.
Similar Products Used: Joplin, Specialized command post
Bike Setup: Yeti 575
a Weekend Warrior
from Jackson CA
Date Reviewed: April 30, 2011
Strengths: It drops which helps with handling
Weaknesses: The way it activates
This is a good product that I'm still working the bugs out. It's slow to drop & doesn't go up quickly. I'm going to try upping the air pressure to see if that helps. I have the Kind i950, Gravity Dropper Turbo 4" & the Joplin 4 on other bike & like them better at this moment. If I had know that Kind made a 27.2 drop post I would have bought it & I still might even though it is more expensive by a bunch. The others were all plug & play items. I'm just frustrated right now.
Bike Setup: Ventan El Terremoto, X-9 rear & shifters, 990 Cogs, XT front, Race Face (RIP) , Stem & Cranks, Easton Havoc Bars & Wheels, WTB Pure V Saddle & Weirwolf Tires, Avid Code R Brakes, FOX Vanilla 160 Fork & RP3 With Large Air Sleeve Shock
a Weekend Warrior
from redding ca
Date Reviewed: March 23, 2011
Strengths: all black looks great.Super smooth.No side to side movement.
Weaknesses: Returns to up position slower then joplin.
This is a game changer.I love going down steep tecno stuff. With the seat down it inspires confidence and control.The bar mounted remote looks great with a low profile and works awesome.The only issue i have is its slow going back up.Thats good in some ways you wont get spanked.How ever if your going up and down short steep stuff.You need to stand up and wait a second for it to return fully.
a Cross Country Rider
from Prescott AZ USA
Date Reviewed: December 26, 2010
Strengths: Awesome fit and finish. Very smooth operation up and down. Remote lever is very nice and easy to operate. No side to side pay like other brands. A very well made post, the way it should be...by a shock/fork manufacturer.
Weaknesses: None so far
This is a must for the steep "technical" downhill sections of your favorite trails. As you know, it's game changer. No more getting off the bike and adjusting your post after each section, on the fly adjustability.