The X-Fusion Hilo is lightweight with a great lever but overpriced
In terms of chassis construction, X-Fusion’s new internally routed Hilo Strate dropper is identical to the externally routed Hilo XS but it’s about 25g heavier and will suck an extra £50 out of your wallet.
It has the same twin-bolt saddle clamps, hard-anodised aluminium shaft and dual-position remote lever. X-Fusion licenses this from Paul Turner, the designer of the original Maverick Speedball dropper and it works like a sort of mini-joystick, so can be operated from any direction.
It can also be positioned below the bar, making it ideal for use with a 1x set-up. It has also been tweaked recently so that it snugs up tight, even on carbon bars.
Fitting the cable to the Hilo Strate dropper was hit and miss. Unlike most of the other cable-operated posts, which have a loose cable anchor, the grub screw on the clamp is fixed permanently, but it can fray the cable as you pull it through the anchor point.
Watch: Is this the simplest dropper post ever?
For the first half-dozen rides, the Hilo returned slowly and while it’s loosened up a bit since, it’s still sluggish. There is also some rotational play and rattle when riding, but what’s more annoying is that the post pulls up when you lift the bike by the saddle. X-Fusion dropper posts have always done this, but we think it’s time the company eliminated this quirk from the design.
We also noticed a really harsh metal-on-metal sound as the post went up and down, although it does now drop fully to the bottom and has a lower ride height.
The Hilo dropper is lightweight and easily boasts the best remote lever on test, but for a £300 post, there’s a bit too much play in the shaft, and the fact it pulls up when you carry your bike over a stile or stream, can get pretty tiring.