SR Suntour Durolux EQ NSMB AndrewM.JPG
REVIEW

SR Suntour Durolux 36 Boost EQ Fork

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major Unless Noted
Date Jan 25, 2021
Reading time

Durolux 36 EQ

"Initially suppler, notably smoother, and significantly quieter than the last generation," is a solid summation of my first impression of the new EQ air spring version of SR Suntour's Durolux fork. I've ridden every generation of SR Suntour Durolux from the not-quite-ready-for-prime-time damper and air system of the first 26" models, to the farting damper of the original R2C2 cartridge in the 27" fork I tested for NSMB that was otherwise good for the money. I continue to be very impressed with the older air spring 29" model with their PCS damper, and the EQ carries forward that chassis and damper with a new self-balancing air spring in place of the previous model's coil negative spring.

Including the first 34mm stanchion Auron RC2 29er forks, this is the fourth high performance fork from SR Suntour on which I have spent significant hours, and it reflects a steady evolution as the performance gap shrinks and the price gap grows. It's one thing to review a budget-minded product within its price bracket, but I'm happy to compare this Durolux 36 EQ to forks that are significantly more expensive.

SR Suntour Durolux EQ RC2 NSMB AndrewM (24).JPG

The Durolux EQ is easy to tune to match different rear suspension setups. On my Marin Alpine Trail I ran a softer (more sag) setup with more volume spacers.

SR Suntour Durolux EQ Deniz NSMB (1).jpg

On theBanshee Titan test rig, I'm running a much firmer (less sag) setup with fewer volume spacers. Photo: Deniz

Yes, I'm no Miranda Miller or Jesse Melamed when it comes to shredding trails. And no, I don't begrudge anyone spending more if they have the scratch - I'm right there with you lusting after an Öhlins RXF 36, Formula Nero, or EXT ERA. I love the boldest, best, and most beautiful bicycle products as much as the next nerd, but I can't leave my passion for min-maxing alone. Comparing SRP pricing, the only fork I see that makes a case to challenge this Durolux for features & chassis v. price is the Manitou Mezzer Expert. I haven't however actually ridden one; I'm only extrapolating from my experience with the Mezzer Pro.

This Durolux is highly tuneable, easy to service, and has an excellent stiffness profile thanks to the very robust uppers* with beefy stanchions and a very sturdy hollow forged crown. I went from a begrudging, I-guess-that-makes-sense attitude about the quick release fork axle, to accepting that the simple system works very well while omitting unneccessary parts and complexity from the magnesium lowers.

*CSU or Crown Steerer Unit

Going back to the Mezzer Pro for a moment, the Durolux brings similar stiffness to a product that is 200 grams heavier and 200 dollars less expensive. SR Suntour's fork likes to ride a bit deeper in its travel, where the IRT spring system on the Manitou stands tall. The Durolux is the easier fork to set up for the person who isn't going to take the time to bracket their settings. This largely comes down to the EQ Air Spring.

EQ Air Spring

SR Suntour is one of the only companies that did coil negative springs right. Off the top of my head there's also, specifically, the 2014 Fox 40 Float. When I say right I'm referring to offering multiple negative spring rates to tune the initial performance of the air spring. In Suntour's case, they also made the coil negative springs readily available at low cost so there really was a limited barrier to trying multiple rates.

While singing the praises of this EQ fork the other day, I was reminded by a friend that I initially poo-pooed Suntour's move away from coil negative springs. I still very much miss the ease and low cost of lowering the older versions of these forks. However, for the rider who is going to run the fork at one of the EQ's available travel lengths, (150mm, 160mm, or 170mm) the new air spring is smoother both off the top and through the stroke while at the same time being easier to set up.*

*easier because there's no need to swap between SR Suntour's four available negative spring rates

SR Suntour Durolux EQ NSMB AndrewM (3).JPG

EQ stands for Equalizer - a self balancing negative air system that is tuned simply by pumping up the main chamber and cycling the fork.

I've covered SR Suntour's air systems with both an EQ teardown and a teardown of the previous generation, so I won't dive too far down those rabbit holes. I'd say both systems are equally easy to take apart and clean, but I'll give the edge to the new EQ air system in terms of how quick and easy it is to get everything looking sorted. It's also much simpler in practice once all the parts are laid out.

Thanks to the combination of generous 29 x 2.8 tire clearance, price, the excellent performance, and easy DIY home service, a lowered Durolux has long been my go-to fork, which includes running them at 100mm and 120mm travel. I hope demand is such that in the future Suntour will release more air shaft options. That is most likely an empty dream though as the only reason most riders would choose a Durolux over Suntour's shorter travel options is tire clearance, and rubber bigger than 2.6" seems to be dead in the water, especially in a 29" wheel format. Previously, the Durolux RC2 has been my one fork for everything from 100mm to 170mm travel with a 2.5" tire all the way up to a 2.8" Vigilante on an i40 rim.

Suntour Durolux RC2 29'er

The old air system used four rates of swappable coil negative springs to tune the initial performance of the air spring. It also used clip-on spacers to reduce travel.

SR Suntour Durolux EQ RC2 NSMB AndrewM (1).JPG

To adjust travel with the new EQ system it's necessary to swap the air shaft out just like on a Fox or RockShox fork. It's easy to do but a replacement shaft is, of course, more money than just swapping some plastic spacers.

I've only ridden this fork at 170mm travel, so I can't comment on how the air spring feels at 160mm or 150mm but I suspect that, like other forks with a similar layout, it works great. I've played around with running more sag (~25%), more volume spacers and less sag (~20%), and fewer volume spacers and I've found setups that work well for me both ways. Bracketing a window in there that works well is going to be straightforward for most anyone. I've ridden the Banshee Titan with the fork both ways, attempting to match both a 2021 Fox Float X2 and Suntour's own TriAir. With the TriAir, I'm running the bike much higher in its travel and I will probably go down from two volume spacers to one because I have so much travel in reserve.

SR Suntour has continued to march along with their QSP (Quick Service Product) philosophy and the spacer swap only takes a couple of minutes: let out the air, remove the top cap, remove or add a spacer, reinstall, pump air in again. If you don't think you can do it, I promise with the right tool (in my case a set of Knipex pliers) you can easily learn. Tuning your fork's air volume unlocks performance in a way that changing only air pressure does not.

SR Suntour Durolux EQ RC2 NSMB AndrewM (5).JPG

The volume spacers are very easy to install or remove and the EQ air spring is excellent with both a softer, lower volume (more sag, more spacers) configuration, or a firmer, higher volume (less sag, fewer spacers) one.

The other way to keep any fork sliding smoothly is to do a quick lower service at or even before 50 hours of riding. Most folks I meet seem to think of fork maintenance as a necessary evil but there's no expensive add-on that makes a tired fork feel better than just pulling the lowers, cleaning them out with some ISO, and re-lubing them. In the case of the Durolux EQ you can either stick with running grease (Slickoleum is the way to go) or running <10ml of Fox 20w Gold oil in each side like me. Running the Fox Gold means a little more cleanup at service time but I notice the fork runs smoothly for longer between services.

Again, there are no special tools needed here. I do it at home rather than the shop so it's just a hex-key set, Knipex pliers, and a hammer (I use a plastic one). Once I need a full rebuild, including a damper service, I book the forks in at SuspensionWerx for a full service and fresh seals, but I will say that the RC2-PCS damper is very resilient and the seals hold up well with a semi-frequent clean and lube. This particular fork has a lot of hours on it with nothing but basic patio maintenance.

Chassis Notes

Going straight back to the first 26" versions, the Durolux has always had a stout chassis. Not light by any means, though the increasingly aggressive single crowns on the market are closing that gap. It's stiff enough that many of SR Suntour's supported Enduro racers choose to fork-down to their 35mm Auron chassis which drops weight while still maintaining a line.

Here, the massive hollow-forged crown ties two heavy-duty stanchions together with a beefy steerer tube, with a lot of crown overlap, for a robust upper assembly. It resists the flexing and binding that has become an increasing issue with lighter forks combined with very slack head tube angles and, as I've noted in the past, the crown steerer units (CSU) have a very good reputation for creak-free performance to the extent that it's one of the only forks I'd consider buying used*.

*Assuming I had a solid understanding of the condition of the fork.

SR Suntour Durolux EQ NSMB AndrewM (4).JPG

The fender is both excellent and included in the price of the fork. I have managed to break one of the long ones - shown here - in an awkward crash but a replacement is only 25 USD.

SR Suntour Durolux EQ RC2 NSMB AndrewM (17).JPG

In my opinion, simple hex screws are the best way to do air bleeders. I have yet to hear any air escape or feel a difference after opening them, but I also haven't been in the bike park with it.

Remove the lowers from the fork, take out the axle, and give them a twist and they are not as stiff as lowers on some other forks. After some of the exchanges about dual crown forks in the comments on Your Next Bike: 2023 Edition, I have to wonder if this isn't the ideal layout in the spirit of dual crown forks like the Dorado or Boxxer. A bit of flex in the lowers to keep the wheel tracking but a very robust upper to resist binding flex when pounding down less-steep trails with a very slack head tube angle.

I'm not a good enough, fast enough, or perceptive enough rider to be the right person to test the theory, but I'd love to read that person's comparison of a fork that derives much of its chassis stiffness from the lowers vs. the uppers. I feel strongly that in a blind test, maybe with an identical damper and spring system, the Durolux chassis would rate very high on most riders' lists compared to any other single crown on the market - with any stanchion size.

SR Suntour Durolux EQ RC2 NSMB AndrewM (12).JPG

A beefy steerer, lots of overlap with the hollow-forged crown, and thick stanchions all contribute to a very stiff upper that is responsible for much of the extra 200 grams that the Durolux carries over other similar travel 36mm forks.

SR Suntour Durolux EQ RC2 NSMB AndrewM (16).JPG

I'd personally kill the white patch and SR Suntour logo here in favour of a naked grey arch. I love the grey but I do think the Durolux could do with a graphics upgrade.

Continuing with the chassis theme for a minute, I think the EQ air spring is good enough and that Suntour's 35mm and 36mm chassis is prevalent enough that it's surprising that no damper hop-ups are available for the forks. Many of these forks are shipping as original equipment on lower priced bikes and do not have the RC2-PCS damper installed and in the case of the Durolux, it's getting increasing e~bike spec where the heavier bike and sometimes much heavier rider could benefit from custom tuning options of say, an Avalanche open bath damper.

I continue to be happy with the performance of the RC2-PCS damper, which I run very open, but having had awesome experiences with Avy dampers in the past, I'd love to try one on this fork.

Suntour Durolux RC2 29'er

If there was a bolt-on version of Suntour's axle, rather than the QR, I would choose to run it just for the clean look. That said, I have yet to have a single issue with SR's QLC axle.

Suntour Durolux RC2 29'er

I do love the simple dropout construction that the self-capturing QLC axle makes possible. I think sticking with simple shapes with magnesium castings is a good way to go.

Evolution

I've been asked to compare the Manitou Mezzer Pro to the SR Suntour Durolux EQ and I usually default to the simple explanation that, while inhabiting similar Enduro ecosystems and similar use cases, they are two completely different animals. The IRT-equipped Mezzer is more complicated to bracket settings thanks to the additional air spring which carries both an increased risk of a sub-optimal setup as well as the increased potential reward of a more dialed setup. The Mezzer rides much higher in its travel while also maintaining excellent traction, which should equate to a faster setup for many riders where the Durolux has a plusher feel even when running less sag.

My experience reinforces why a 'Try It At Home' opportunity, whether delivered through partner shops or consumer direct, is such a great idea for some riders. Dialling in the settings on the EQ fork is lightning fast, so for an intermediate or generously advanced-intermediate rider like myself who couldn't give a shake about brand names, this is an easy, money-saving choice.

ProTaper 76mm Riser Bar NSMB AndrewM (12).JPG

The previous fork could be easily slammed to 120mm and felt great with a heavier negative spring installed. That's not an option with the current Durolux EQ.

SR Suntour Durolux EQ NSMB AndrewM (5).JPG

As with other forks using an air transfer port, the new fork is limited to the air shaft lengths that SR Suntour offers. Currently 150mm, 160mm, or 170mm.

There is one place that the Mezzer eats the Durolux's lunch and that's in the graphics department. Whether it's a less-is-more graphic design like RockShox uses on the new Zeb or the simple and classic Manitou logos running down the legs of the Mezzer, I think a graphics upgrade would certainly sell more forks in the aftermarket.

I'm no marketing or design expert but I'd start by eliminating the white hot-patch on the arch and then I'd find a more subtle way to tie in the SR Suntour logo on the lowers. Uniform bike silhouettes, like what Santa Cruz has done from their Tallboy to their Megatower, suggest that actually differentiating the model names out in the wild isn't important at all. It's much more important that a product is easily identifiable as yours.

That said, I really like the new grey lowers on this EQ, and SR has done a great job with their boxed crown and fender so I don't think it would be a huge deal to upgrade the appearance of the forks from a graphics perspective. It makes no difference towards whether I'd buy a fork or not but I do know that even for folks who claim it doesn't matter, this is the deal-breaker and it may be the next step in SR Suntour's market acceptance.

Durolux-NSMB-AndrewM-22.jpg?w=1600

Evolution. The pre-PCS damper Durolux R2C2 I rode on the Nomad, in 2016, wasn't perfect but it had potential. The new Durolux EQ RC2-PCS costs the same amount and is excellent.

There are folks who will benefit by running a boutique fork like an Öhlins RXF 36, Formula Selva, or a PUSHed RockShox Lyrik, in terms of riding speed and bump absorption. There are also riders who won't benefit on the trail from running one of those platforms but who will derive an intrinsic delight from them nonetheless, and I wouldn't begrudge their joy-of-ownership. But, if your stretch budget for a new fork is 800 USD, then chances are that this Durolux EQ is going to bring everything you need to the trail. I haven't ridden a better fork for the money, including SR Suntour's previous generation products. If you're living stateside, they also have some of the friendliest and most helpful service around at their Envelo service center. I have yet to communicate with anyone who didn't provide a great interaction whether looking for small parts, sourcing complete products, or having service done.

SR Suntour Durolux EQ Deniz NSMB (4).jpg

My settings with the RC2-PCS damper haven't changed since first riding the 29'er Durolux in 2018. I run the high-speed compression open, the rebound fast, and the low-speed compression varies a little bit by bike, sag setting, temperature, and trail. Photo: Deniz Merdano

SR Suntour Durolux EQ RC2 NSMB AndrewM (10).JPG

The PCS dampers have resilient performance that transcends a few lower services. I haven't tried to service the damper myself at home but it's a DIY project I'm going to tackle this year just for the experience.

Performance-wise, the Durolux has come a long way from showing a lot of potential when I reviewed one in 2016 to today when I can recommend it to at least 95% of riders. For that extra 5%, I think even the fastest rider and most discerning fork-snob would be beyond happy with the abilities if the chassis and EQ air spring could be combined with a boutique damper like the aforementioned Avalanche open bath.

The more chances I've had to play with the new-new of the top-end options from the market-leading suspension brands, the more confused I am that I'm not seeing more aftermarket demand for these forks on the trail. Especially since I hear endless remarks about how expensive this sport has become, particularly at the upper end of the performance curve where the Durolux EQ plays.

More on the SR Suntour Durolux EQ.

Related Stories

Trending on NSMB

Comments

jon-hillstrom
0
Jon Hillström  - Jan. 24, 2021, 11:57 p.m.

About those hot patches...any chance there is an accidental acetone spill to see if it comes off? Asking for a friend?

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 25, 2021, 12:24 a.m.

HA! No, in my experience whatever graphic is on there is better than the DIY alternative. To be fair, I don't find the graphics offensive at all - they wouldn't affect my purchasing decision - I just feel that SR Suntour would garner a lot more interest in their performance fork line with a different treatment.

Reply

cheapondirt
+1 Andrew Major
cheapondirt  - Jan. 27, 2021, 6:13 p.m.

I didn't try taking them off, but the ones from Slik Graphics fit over top nicely.

Durolux with Slik Graphics

Reply

hbelly13
0
Raymond Epstein  - Jan. 25, 2021, 5:37 a.m.

Are the graphics screened on or just decals? I personally am not a fan of any emblems, but I do like that you can easily remove the decals from Fox and Rock Shox forks.  Obviously, there is an entire industry based on customization.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 25, 2021, 7 a.m.

If they are decals they are under a clear coat (not easily removeable like most forks). There’s enough shape that I think they are decals - rather than being printed - but it’s not something I’m certain about.

Sort of regret the cosmetic comments now as it’s not germane to performance. Just something I think would attract more riders to try the forks.

Reply

hbelly13
+1 Andrew Major
Raymond Epstein  - Jan. 25, 2021, 7:16 a.m.

C'mon! Looks are everything! I jest, but there are very obvious fashion-driven design cues throughout cycling. Breaking through on a wide scale is very difficult. Not to mention the numerous biases that have developed not necessarily from fact. A great example of this are chrome, pale (like the old Rock Shox/Fox options) or any other color stanchions outside black or Fox's Kashima gold. There was nothing inherently wrong with other colors, but we all look down on anything beyond the aforementioned options. I for the life of me cannot discern a performance difference b/t black and Kashima stanchions, but many clamor for the gold.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 25, 2021, 7:27 a.m.

For what my experience is worth, have seen a fair few piles of badly neglected forks and air shocks with the old gold/grey/brown anodizing where the bodies & stanchions were totally fine and I think there’s a decent argument that in many cases going to black - for cosmetic reasons - was a step backwards in durability.

RockShox is maybe the exception there.

I don’t have enough data - anecdotal as it is - to compare SR Suntour or X-Fusion before/after.

The real advantage of a Kashima coating for our application is that it’s harder than anodizing (by how much depends on the level of Kashima purchased) and should hold up better to abuse. When it first came out (2011 model year) there was more of an argument for it in terms of friction reduction as SKF low-friction fork seals hadn’t showed up yet to disrupt the market. 

Now they’re ubiquitous with high-end suspension forks and I couldn’t tell you the difference between Kashima and non-Kashima forks - both fully serviced - in a blind test (if I ever could).

Reply

DG9180
+1 Andrew Major
DG9180  - Jan. 25, 2021, 5:07 p.m.

Have a 2019 Durolux and they are not decals, they are screened on!

I put same new decals over them.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+2 werewolflotion DG9180
Andrew Major  - Jan. 25, 2021, 6:48 p.m.

What did you put over them? Any photos of how it looks?

Reply

DG9180
0
DG9180  - Jan. 26, 2021, 9:19 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

DG9180
+1 Andrew Major
DG9180  - Jan. 26, 2021, 9:29 a.m.

blacked out the white upper decals that I think are horabel and went with a more stealth look.

Reply

Vikb
+2 Andrew Major Velocipedestrian
Vik Banerjee  - Jan. 25, 2021, 6:38 a.m.

Thanks for that sexy muddy fender opening shot. Lured me in without even realizing I was pressing on my mouse. :-)

Assuming they are not just decals that peel off I'd cover any offending logos with whatever tape I have on hand that matches the main part colour best. 

Too bad they went away from the easy internally adjustable travel setup. That's a feature that would sway me towards a less obvious fork choice.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Vik Banerjee
Andrew Major  - Jan. 25, 2021, 7:06 a.m.

It’s that time of year! It’s the fender-on season v. the offseason.

I can appreciate why SR decided to upgrade the air spring performance, and why they went away from coil neg springs, and why they didn’t move to a system like the CaneCreek. That makes EQ the logical choice and it’s a tuning and performance upgrade for most riders (almost all riders).

We tinkerers are in a very small minority of riders that I think are better served by the old system.

For us, the CaneCreek (Helm Air) has the best combination of top-end air spring performance and very easy travel adjust.

Reply

Vikb
+2 Andrew Major werewolflotion
Vik Banerjee  - Jan. 25, 2021, 7:36 a.m.

The easily adjustable travel has me looking at the Helm for sure.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Vik Banerjee
Andrew Major  - Jan. 25, 2021, 7:47 a.m.

From being assembled in North Carolina (QC/QA is strong at CaneCreek - the CSUs are pressed together there - I know some big dudes with lots of experience creaking forks who have had not issues with the Helm), to performance, to tuneability, to travel adjustability, and even looking at the price for that package I think the Helm makes a gentle argument for being the best overall fork on the market. Heck, it even looks good.

V1 is excellent and V2 just tweaks the things they could make better.

I’m obviously not the biggest, strongest, most aggressive rider, but I still think the 35mm chassis is plenty stiff for any rider to love assuming that the 160mm Max travel for a 29’er gets the job done for you.

You can also squeak a 29x2.8” Vigilante in an i40 in there with plenty of room to ride - though not enough space for a fender.

It’s a beauty!

Reply

morgan-heater
0
Morgan Heater  - Jan. 25, 2021, 9:13 a.m.

I find the Helm a bit fiddly to set up. My son has one on his bike, and I kind of wish it was a pike.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+2 Morgan Heater Cr4w
Andrew Major  - Jan. 25, 2021, 12:24 p.m.

Morgan, how much does your son weigh?

Assuming he’s quite lightweight (the only riders I’ve met who don’t love the Helm Air are very light) have you already pulled out the volume spacer assembly entirely  and installed SKF low friction seals?

If you already have tried those things and it’s running fresh a d still not working for him you can always convert it to coil - which works really well for light riders - or, if you have a Fox-or-Shox on your bike maybe a swap!?!

morgan-heater
0
Morgan Heater  - Jan. 25, 2021, 1 p.m.

Yep, quite light, but quickly getting heavier (40 lbs since quarentine, and none of it fat, as far as I can tell), which means that I've had to go through the setup process multiple times.

bobthestapler
+1 Andrew Major
Mitch Stockwell  - Jan. 25, 2021, 9:31 a.m.

I'm loving my V2. Put it on a hardtail at 130mm. Once I figured out my shock pump was 15PSI off, it was a dream to ride.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Morgan Heater
Andrew Major  - Jan. 25, 2021, 12:30 p.m.

The variance between multiple pumps can be impressive(ly awful). Even from new. I always recommend folks set their sag with whatever pump they’ll be using most at home.

craw
+1 Andrew Major
Cr4w  - Jan. 25, 2021, 11:16 a.m.

I'm on my second Helm, this one's a Mk2 and it's great. I don't find it fiddly at all to set up. Depressurize the main chamber, set the volume adjuster, inflate to 60% body weight, press the equalizer button, set the final main chamber pressure. Do a coarse set of LSC, HSC, Rebound. Ride. 

It's the best fork I've had by a massive margin. 240lbs of my did three seasons on the Mk1 and zero creaking. I've had RS/Fox that didn't make it 3 days without creaking.

I got Mk2 so I could build up a second bike. Mk1 is still going strong.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+3 AJ Barlas DadStillRides twk
Andrew Major  - Jan. 25, 2021, 12:34 p.m.

240lbs on a 35mm fork chassis?! It must be a virtually unrideable noodle. Better check the updated rules of mountain biking for 2021, I think you have to ride a 38mm stanchion single crown now.

SteveR
+2 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman
SteveR  - Jan. 25, 2021, 10:20 a.m.

Based largely on Andrew's positive experiences with Suntour forks- I took a leap of faith after many years as a Rock Shox guy, and ordered the latest  Auron as an update to the Revelation on my Chromag Surface. Direct from Suntour USA- it came in at $710 Canadian all in, taxes, shipping and handling included, delivered to my door in 4 days. It's still sitting in the box waiting for springtime in Alberta, so no "first impressions" for a while. Will be looking for that future article on DIY damper service...

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 25, 2021, 12:27 p.m.

I hope it works great for you! I have a few friends (and my wife) on the Auron on my recommendation and everyone is very happy with the performance  - even aside from the price - so thus far my batting average on Suntour fork recommendations is perfect!

Reply

seanlikesitslow
+1 lewis collins
seanlikesitslow  - Jan. 25, 2021, 8:11 p.m.

I'm riding a 2020 Durolux fork and I'm very happy with it. I'm running it at 150mm on a 130mm Commencal Meta TR. It's been a great setup.

I'm a big rider (250lb) so I run fairly high pressures, but I haven't noticed any problems with the fork not being stiff enough for me. I also benefitted from a great deal, snagging my fork for less than $700 CAD even including duty and shipping. Haven't seen them on for that cheap since then.

Reply

tehllama42
+2 Andrew Major lewis collins
Tehllama42  - Jan. 26, 2021, 9:56 a.m.

I, too, am surprised that there aren't some enterprising brands looking to make very high performance aluminum trail bikes running Suntour or Manitou suspension with XLS/Deore builds and just throwing them headfirst into every high end bike comparison with the goal of having those bikes make the final round because they legitimately are 90% as good for well under half the price.

This does make me wonder how close the DVO offerings are to filling the gap between stock Durolux and something that would involve a full Avvy treatment

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 26, 2021, 12:06 p.m.

I prefer Suntour's air systems - either swapping the negative springs or the EQ - over DVO but you've just opened up an interesting question in my find about damper swaps. I brought up the Avy damper as I've been a bit nostalgic about my last one lately and taking the excellent Durolux chassis and EQ air spring and adding in a custom valved Avy damper is still cheaper than other top-end forks on the market. 

I probably shouldn't give away the whole review, but combining a Suntour TriAir shock with an Auron RC2-PCS up front would be an excellent suspension package for any 140-160mm travel bike with the giant-killer type of build you're talking about. Shimano Deore drivetrain, RaceFace Aeffect R cranks and wheels, CODE R brakes, and Maxxis EXO+ MaxxGrip tires. Just add CushCore. 

One cool thing about SR Suntour that I've seen in the past is that they'll decal their forks and shocks as you like. So, for example, if Rocky Mountain wanted to do a killer min-maxed Altitude build they could order up TriAir shocks and Auron or Durolux forks that are Rocky Mountain branded. Same service/warranty from SR Suntour but trading off their name rather than a suspension company that the average rider of that price point of bike may categorize with more entry-level bicycles. Rocky comes to mind because that's exactly what they do with their Rocky Mountain branded X-Fusion Manic dropper posts.

Reply

Ripmoslow
0
Ripmoslow  - Jan. 26, 2021, 10:35 p.m.

Any idea if the coil negative springs in the older suntour forks are the same as the negative spring in a DVO diamond? Im a lightweight and would like to run a softer negative spring to get more range from the OTT adjuster. Im not sure if what I’m saying makes sense, but at the psi they suggest for my weight, they suggest 0-2 turns of OTT. My thinking is that a softer negative spring would give me a wider range of adjustments.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 27, 2021, 7:12 p.m.

If I had to pull a bet out of my hat I’d say definitely not, but it’s a question I would suggest you contact DVO about for a definitive answer.

Reply

Ripmoslow
0
Ripmoslow  - Jan. 27, 2021, 8:58 p.m.

Thanks :)

Reply

velocipedestrian
+1 Andrew Major
Velocipedestrian  - Jan. 26, 2021, 12:40 p.m.

While I'm sure you meant 'perceptive' when you wrote "I'm not a good enough, fast enough, or perceptible enough rider", I like the idea of you cruising invisibly through the dank. Ready to pounce on the rider with the expensive drivetrain chewing itself to death, offering the [lecture] wisdom of 1FG. 

Great review, as usual.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 26, 2021, 12:44 p.m.

HAHAHAHA. Thanks for the catch!

After a moment of thought, I did fix it to read perceptive... but I love this comment.

Reply

cheapondirt
+1 Andrew Major
cheapondirt  - Jan. 27, 2021, 6:30 p.m.

Hey Andrew, I have the older coil negative spring version (purchased used, largely influenced by your review). I noticed my preferred pressure of 55psi doesn't fully extend the fork. I'm talking 5-10mm of sag, unloaded.

I don't care about the missing millimetres and the fork feels really dialed to me, but is there any other reason I should spring for a lighter coil? Surely the relatively stiff neg spring makes for the most supple fork possible, but is there a downside to consider?

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 cheapondirt
Andrew Major  - Jan. 27, 2021, 6:51 p.m.

Pretty hard to say without knowing how much you weigh and the state of the fork.

If the seals/bushings are well lubed with Slickoleum and you’re getting that much free sag then one of two things is happening. Your negative spring rate is too heavy (go to lighter neg spring) OR the fork was built partially compressed. 

The latter is a common enough issue with forks that use a self-balancing neg spring (especially after a basic service) but in this case I’d suspect the former.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 27, 2021, 6:52 p.m.

Oh, obvious third possibility - if the seals and bushings are not well lubed then you probably aren’t running enough air.

Reply

cheapondirt
0
cheapondirt  - Jan. 27, 2021, 7:09 p.m.

Thanks for the answer. I'm 155lbs running one volume spacer and very rarely bottom out, so I think the air pressure is right for me. I haven't had the fork apart but this seems to indicate the negative spring is too stiff.

Assuming that is the "problem," I guess my question is more about whether it matters. Since I'm overforked and don't mind missing out on that little bit of travel, is there any reason to get the lighter spring?

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 27, 2021, 7:17 p.m.

Shortest answer - sounds like you’re running a bit soft on air. 

How much sag you getting? Fork feels smooth?

Short answer, doesn’t matter. If you like how it rides who cares. I know a few riders who would build their own Fox forks - in the days of coil neg springs - partly compressed to get much better small bump (at the cost of a bit of free sag).

Longer answer, if you didn’t like the free sag you could try a lighter neg spring. At 155lbs before I changed the spring I would grease the seals/bushings and reassemble the fork extended. If that didn’t help then I’d spend the $10 or whatever to try one rate lighter than stock.

Reply

cheapondirt
0
cheapondirt  - Jan. 27, 2021, 10:45 p.m.

Don't know my exact sag but it's around 25% by eyeball. Feels pretty smooth to me!

I'll try adding just enough air to extend it fully and see how it rides. I have been really happy with it, but wondered if it could be better.

Thanks again

Reply

davidt93
0
David Tran  - Jan. 29, 2021, 1:13 a.m.

Would be great if you can do a indepth article/video of servicing the damper. No suspension shop in Australia services Sr suntour in general. Purchased the 2019 fork becuase of your review back then, also i got some decals from silk graphics. They seen to be the only people who do sr suntour. 

ps. would a photo but don't know how to do the url.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+2 lewis collins David Tran
Andrew Major  - Jan. 29, 2021, 9:58 p.m.

I'm not the video type. 

SR Suntour has done some great service videos in the past so I could see them adding a PCS damper teardown at some point.

Reply

lefthandlewis
0
lewis collins  - Jan. 30, 2021, 2:19 a.m.

After your initial look at this fork I decided to give it a go. 

At the time the UK importer had only ordered two! With another few coming around Feb (and unfortunately they didn't seem very informed about the new fork features and the new needs for travel adjustment...so im a little concerned that spares may take a little longer to acquire than normal)

It's been very impressive so far, and only really shows signs of getting better as I make a few further tweaks to its setup. Very quiet, and super plush, I had to check that my front tyre hadn't gone flat a few of the first times I rode it! Have been very impressed with the stiffness and stability, its had me forgetting about the fork and just taking the lines ive wanted to take (and soaking up the errors along the way!). 

I don't mind the graphics, but they are love or hate, and have quite a racy image...some electrical tape has done the trick for me right now.

Reply

PrancisFens
0
Francis Peña  - Jan. 31, 2021, 1:51 a.m.

But where to buy em online? Local distributor doesn't want to bring them in

Reply

taprider
0
taprider  - Feb. 7, 2021, 6:07 p.m.

https://www.srsuntour.us/collections

10 to 20% off right now too if you use the code in the upper banner

Reply

taprider
+1 Andrew Major
taprider  - Feb. 7, 2021, 6:13 p.m.

Just received an Axon Werx 34 (I have given up on Fox since every service, and I mean every and am not exaggerating, Suspension Werx  notifies me that I need a new CSU. So that means buying a new CSU every second service, since you only get one replacement per purchase)

Hey Andrew - any advice to remove the initial stiction? Just ride it more, or remove the bottom nuts and inject in <10 cc of light (or heavy) fork oil?  I'm looking to reduce as much buzz to my hands as possible to prevent nerve damage.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 8, 2021, 9:02 p.m.

Let out the air, pull the lowers, generously Slickoleum the seals, inflate the air system a bit to ensure the fork will be built at full extensions, slide the lowers most of the way on, shoot ~5cc of Fox 20w Gold into each side, reassemble fork.

First 2-3 rides there will be some excess Slickoleum but the fork will feel as good off the top as anything on the market for a decent while.

Reply

taprider
+1 Andrew Major
taprider  - Feb. 7, 2021, 6:17 p.m.

Another cool thing I noticed, is that the thru axle/QR can be inserted left or right

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 8, 2021, 8:59 p.m.

The QR system seems a bit 'different' at first but it works really well.

Reply

Please log in to leave a comment.