Fox Switch SL jettisons hydraulics & air spring to develop into new lightest dropper submit?
Even with their obvious benefits, at first, dropper posts were a hard sell for the XC crowd. That was mostly due to the added weight. But with World Cup XC tracks getting more challenging, and racers looking for every advantage possible, even the most gram-conscious have embraced the dropper.
And now that Fox has given their Transfer the SL treatment, we’re guessing this is just the beginning.
No, there isn’t a special ‘drillium’ edition of the Transfer. Instead, the SL version uses entirely new internals to make it the lightest Transfer yet. Maybe the lightest dropper post yet – Fox calls it the “lightest mainstream dropper available.”
While the Transfer utilizes an air spring with a hydraulic mechanism and infinite travel adjust within the travel range, the Transfer SL is complete different. Instead, it is a completely mechanical post with only two locking positions – up or down.
All of this was done in the name of saving weight. Eliminate the hydraulics, and you get rid of the heavy hydraulic fluid. Eliminate the air spring, and you get rid of all the seals and parts needed to contain pressurized air to act as a spring. Eliminate the infinite travel adjust, and you end up with a lighter two stop system.
Additional weight savings come from the redesigned saddle clamp, which sits slightly taller than the saddle clamp on the original Transfer. Fox redesigned the current Transfer with a saddle clamp that sits as low as possible – which is important when you’re trying to maximize dropper post travel in many frames. But with short travel droppers in XC frames, that’s not really an issue, so the new head (which looks a lot like the old Transfer head) is lighter. With it, you’ll be able to reach 70-85° saddle angles, and clamp 7mm round or 7x9mm ‘ob-round’ saddle rails.
As a result, the Transfer SL weighs in as low as 327g for the Factory 27.2mm post with 50mm travel. That works out to about 128g lighter than a 2021 Transfer.
Other than the decreased weight, the Transfer SL gets another improvement with a revised cable anchor. Now housed inside the post thanks to the two windows that allow access, you can anchor either end of the cable at the post. That allows you to run dropper post levers like Shimano GRX drop bar levers – or any dropper lever for that matter.
Offered in 27.2, 30.9, and 31.6mm post diameters, travel is kept to a minimum of 50 and 70mm for the 27.2mm posts. The 30.9/31.6mm posts get longer 75mm and 100mm travel options which are naturally a littler heavier. There’s also an ‘XL’ post which is still 31.6mm diameter and 100mm travel, but has a longer 430mm length for taller riders who need more exposed post in their bike.
Offered in Factory (Kashima with Ti hardware) and Performance Elite (black), the posts will sell for $399 for Factory or $329 for Performance Elite.
• 27.2 x 50mm, 80mm min insertion, 248mm max insertion, 350mm extended length, Starting Weight: 327g
• 27.2 x 70mm, 80mm min insertion, 248mm max insertion, 370mm extended length, Starting Weight: 338g
• 30.9/31.6 x 75mm, 80mm min insertion, 225mm max insertion, 355mm extended length, Starting Weight: 342g/352g
• 30.9/31.6 x 100mm, 80mm min insertion, 225mm max insertion, 380mm extended length, Starting Weight: 347g/359g
• XL 31.6 x 100mm, 80mm min insertion, 275mm max insertion, 430mm extended length, Starting Weight: 399g