SR Suntour Durolux EQ RC2 NSMB AndrewM.JPG
TEARDOWN | FIRST IMPRESSIONS

SR Suntour Durolux EQ

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major
Date Aug 24, 2020
Reading time

EQ Air Spring

Say hello to the new SR Suntour Durolux RC2. It shares the same robust 36mm crown steerer unit (CSU), with the hollow aluminum crown, as its predecessor. Crisp grey colour aside, the magnesium lowers, with their air-bleeder screws, are unchanged. It has the same highly adjustable RC2 PCS damper. Heck, it even has the same 800 USD SRP.

The significant change is to be found inside the air system. While SR has long relied on a coil negative spring configuration, with four separate spring rate options, the new Equalizer (EQ) air system follows the familiar architecture first laid out by the RockShox Pike fork* with a dimple, or transfer port, in the stanchion to allow the negative and positive air springs to self-balance.

With EQ, Suntour takes a fork that already delivered performance beyond its price and makes it initially suppler, notably smoother, and significantly quieter than the last generation. All that without making it any more difficult to service or more expensive for you.

*Or Fox Float air shock - we'll accept either argument.

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Thanks as always to Jeff for the use of his Bikeroom | Wheelthing space to do this teardown.

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Thanks also to Jason @ Wheelthing for jumping on the tools while Jeff was wrapping up his latest series of Bikeroom classes.

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Right into it then - no shortage of Slickoleum out of the box for the grease-lubricated SR Suntour.

Straight up, I really want to dislike the EQ air system. I've always thought the biggest issue with forks using coil negative springs is that companies didn't offer multiple rates and the biggest issue with Suntour specifically is that riders didn't know that they needed to swap rates based on their weight, ride preference, or travel setting.

I've run my Durolux everywhere from 100mm to 170mm of travel just by quickly dropping the lowers and adding or removing clip-on travel spacers. It's a sub 10-minute job, including sorting tools and cleanup, that costs next to nothing. With the EQ that's all ruined as different air shafts are required to change travel while maintaining the orientation of the air transfer port. Those of us who like playing with fork travel may lament the additional expense and time for swapping air shafts, but for the majority of riders this is a 100% improvement without downsides.

One thing to note is that the requirement for the air transfer port in the spring-side stanchion means that the EQ air spring is not a simple retrofit for older SR chassis. It would be possible, and perhaps even cost-effective, to upgrade the air system and CSU at the same time v. buying a new fork, and any Suntour service outfit will be able to quote you on the work soon.

If you enjoy riding the Durolux chassis in a lowered format, Suntour has us looked after as well. Since the EQ air systems share many parts between different models, the air shafts for shorter XC and trail forks can be used in the EQ Durolux. At some point in the future, I'm looking forward to trying the new EQ system in a Durolux dropped to 100mm or 120mm on the front of my Waltworks.

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The familiar SR Suntour RC2 PCS damper. The newest generations of these dampers are much quieter than earlier editions.

SR Suntour Durolux EQ RC2 NSMB AndrewM (11).JPG

The shim-based high & low-speed compression circuits are adjusted at the top of the damper. More information on base tunes pending my review.

SR Suntour Durolux EQ RC2 NSMB AndrewM (9).JPG

The rebound circuit is also shimmed. Low-speed rebound is adjustable via the red knob at the bottom of the fork.

The Durolux continues to be delivered with three different damper options. The basic RC (rebound & compression) is an OE level product that also loses the hollow crown. The R2C2 (high & low-speed compression and rebound) is the highest end damper and by all accounts, SR Suntour has long resolved the damper noise issues I experienced in 2016.

This is my third experience with the RC2 PCS damper, counting my wife's Auron, and setup is straightforward as usual. I'm still playing around with settings v. the new EQ air spring but I'll have some base tune information in my full review once I've had plenty of hours on the fork.

Chassis Revisited

Two riders meet on the trail heading in opposite directions. Some friendly chirping ensues and I hear the words: "Fresh fork! Does it creak yet?" They share a hearty laugh and head in their respective directions. I chuckle. Now that I've heard the same joke multiple times a week for over a month I'll admit it's starting to get a bit old. Not as old as constantly dealing with creaking CSUs themselves mind you, but old.

I have no doubt that SR Suntour - and Ohlins, MRP, CaneCreek, DVO, etc - will all have 38mm-stanchioned single crown forks sooner than later. Heck, does Manitou regret making the Mezzer's measuring 37mm instead of 39mm? Current cosmetic considerations demand it. It's the damn 35mm handlebar story all over again.

I can't guarantee that the CSU on the Durolux won't eventually creak. I'm personally of the opinion that all pressfit interfaces will start to make noise at some point if being ridden hard on the North Shore. I also don't think of bike parts, aside from high-end hubs maybe, as life-time purchases - everything has a lifespan. But, I've seen used Suntour forks abused by Brett Tippie, Garrett Buehler, and James Doerfling that are dead silent with original crowns.

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The hollow aluminum crown saves 35 grams over the solid one while giving up nothing in stiffness.

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Generous overlap between the crown as well as steerer tube and stanchions and heavy-duty stanchion spec.

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If there's a theme to the CSU, SR Suntour is chasing stiffness and durability over weight savings.

I'm also not going to tell you the e-bike-rated Durolux chassis is the stiffest on the market. But I'd have to reserve an over-the-top incredulous look for anyone claiming it isn't in the same category as any of the big-hitter single crown forks on the market. I'd compare it favourably with the Manitou Mezzer chassis, albeit at a 200-gram weight penalty.

Anyone with enough size or aggression, or that is riding tracks where a Durolux isn't enough chassis - should just buck up and get a dual crown fork*. There are plenty of 29" wheeled bikes now, like the Enduro or Megatower, that have fully embraced the freeride ideals of yesteryear - a DH bike that can be pedaled uphill - and I routinely wonder if the only thing keeping riders from doubling up those crowns is the extra cost. I wonder if we'll look back at 38mm chassis single crowns in a few years and wonder why brands didn't just make dual crown versions of their excellent 35mm and 36mm chassis long travel single crown forks.

Suntour is not currently selling an EQ version of their RUX DH fork or a RUX 29er, but presumably product updates are coming, based on a look at what their team riders are running. I'd look for it to be an option that's easily lowered as demand for 170mm+ dual crown forks will grow.

*After checking that it's approved by the manufacturer.

One feature of the Suntour forks that has really grown on me since my first impressions in 2016 is their QLOC quick-release axle system. The stated goal of QLOC is quick wheel removal, and it certainly accomplishes that. A feature that is desirable for some folks packing their bikes inside Sprinter vans or in the boot of their hatchback after every ride.

While I would still love to see a cleaner looking bolt-on version, for those of us who'd rather pull out a 5mm or 6mm hex, the big win for me with QLOC is that the magnesium dropouts don't need to be threaded. I don't know much about manufacturing magnesium lowers beyond the fact that it's really easy to mess it up and having seen some magnesium dropouts flaking apart with porosity I think any design that simplifies the lowers' manufacturing is a solid win.

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Thanks to the QLOC axle and a utilitarian styling, there are no threads or complicated shapes happening at the Durolux's dropouts.

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Can you be a bike mechanic and not own a torque tool for installing air valves? Apparently the answer is yes but I know a lot of wrenches who own one of these Snap-On tools.

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Jason has access to every size of Knipex pliers. When I do my forks at home everything is done, carefully, with the 2"/52mm version (sometimes called the 10"/250mm based on length).

Intermission - Where's Jeff?

Over the years, I've met a plethora of interesting people taking Jeff's Bikeroom courses. From perfectionist road cycling nerds* Phil & Peter Liu of Veloholic Cycles to the incredibly sweet Mike McIntosh who I think about every time I see a driver no-look-open their door as I ride past parked cars going to and from work using North Vancouver's proven-deadly patchwork of cycling infrastructure.

It was great to have Jason tool up so I could hold the camera while Jeff was busy finishing up the last day of his latest series of Bikeroom classes.

*Said with much respect.

SR Suntour Teardown Bikeroom Jeff NSMB AndrewM.JPG

I've been around during a handful of Jeff's Bikeroom graduation speeches. It's always about where students were at the start, where they are now, and where they're going. ABL: Always Be Learning.

I've known Chris Doll since he was a customer at Different Bikes over a decade ago. He wears a lot of hats. He's a father of three, co-proprietor in the Local Life Juice Bar with his wife Jacqueline, and he's a high school shop teacher with the goal of adding a mountain bike mechanics program to the curriculum.

I've mentioned the opportunities for bike mechanics before here on NSMB.com - with A Mountain Bikers Retirement Plan - and I think it's awesome to see it added as a trade that kids can explore. Thanks Chris!

First Impressions

The new EQ air system really is better from an out-of-the-box-performance perspective and more importantly, it's dead quiet. I could argue if a little negative spring noise is bothering you there are other issues, but if SR Suntour can sell a fork that performs at the highest level but also is quiet like a top-end product, it will help them make inroads with the Fox and RockShox crowd. Particularly when you compare what you're getting from either brand at 800 USD.

I'm certain there are riders who are faster downhill on a top-end Ohlins, Formula, or other boutique fork, and if you have the money, then why not? But for a rider at my level, I'm not giving up anything performance-wise while riding an RC2 Durolux EQ compared to more expensive products.

On my second ride, I had a friend ask me if I think the Manitou Mezzer is a better fork. It's lighter, it's a least as stiff, it's badass looking, it's significantly more sophisticated in terms of tuning, it rides much higher in its travel thanks to IRT, and some riders are going to prefer that. Could I justify the 200 USD price difference to someone else? Absolutely. Could I justify it for myself? Harder to say.

I had months of great riding on the Mezzer and my first impressions here are based on my previous experience with the chassis and damper and a few rides on the new EQ air system. Certainly I'll be comparing the two extensively, along with my previous-gen Durolux, for the final review.

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My mechanic installing the Durolux RC2 EQ PCS. Still enjoying using the Bontrager BITS tool with this bike so it carried over to the new fork.

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A nice bolt-on fender is included in the price of the fork. It's been dead silent other than when the G5 tires have picked up rocks.

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I really like the new grey colour. I would personally choose more subtle graphics but I've been called boring more than once (today).

The basic idea of min-maxing is that I can save money on certain areas of my bike to boost up performance where it really counts. There are, however, some products like Magura's Trail Sport or SRAM's Code R brakes, the WTB Vigilante High Grip tire, the PNW Rainier dropper post, or Sensus Swayze push-on grips, where choosing the budget option doesn't give up anything while saving cash on a well-supported high-performance product.

On my Marin right now I'm running this EQ-equipped Durolux RC2 fork, at 170mm travel, as well as The Only Drivetrain That Matters, and combined - fork, cranks, shifter, derailleur, chain, cassette - that setup costs less than just buying one of the latest and greatest top-end 38mm forks. Now, I'm not racing, I know the limits of my courage and abilities, but I'm giving up nothing in terms of fun and riding all the tough terrain I want to.

I have high expectations for the new EQ air system and this chassis I'm very familiar with and that's strictly focusing on performance. Durolux is also a contender for the easiest home maintenance. I'll be riding it into the ground for a follow-up review where I'll also teardown the damper to see the newer PCS guts. In the meantime, there's a bunch more information at SR Suntour.

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Comments

Endur-Bro
+4 Andrew Major Sean Chee Cr4w Pete Roggeman
Endur-Bro  - Aug. 23, 2020, 11:49 p.m.

Price be damned we should be seeing Öhlins DH38 and BoXXer Ultimates on Enduros/Mega Towers/etc around these parts. Both forks are available in 29 with 46mm offset and lower travel options. BOOST20 could be keeping people away? Dual crowns and open face lids not trendy?  

This appears to be a good fork. Glad there are more choices besides the big two. Which mainstream Bike Co product manager will be bold enough to spec these lesser known forks on their journeyman builds in 2021/2022?

Reply

AndrewMajor
+2 Endur-Bro Pete Roggeman
Andrew Major  - Aug. 24, 2020, 12:33 a.m.

To part A. Yes, DH38. Price is a huge barrier. Weight is a barrier. But by all accounts, they feel unreal and they are very easy to lower to whatever travel you want. Boost 20 is a non-issue - just get a rotor adapter. 

Could be the open lid cosmetics? But I feel I've noticed a massive uptake in full-face usage the last couple of years anyways. 

I would add the Dorado in that list of options as well - they are a great riding platform - but I guess the 50mm offset kills them from contention?

Formula's Nero R can also be lowered easily, and also feels amazing, and also comes in the shortest offset option of 50mm.

Does the offset really matter? It's a question I've asked myself a few times, on a few different bikes, with very different geometry, going back and forth between 46mm and 51mm offset forks.

-

To part B. If we're talking human-powered bikes the answer is probably none. Once you add an electric motor SR Suntour is apparently better represented (chassis stiffness + longevity / price is very e~bike friendly).

To ~ quote a few people I know involved in doing bike spec:

"Our dealers don't care if we can put on a better performing fork for the money (even if it performs much better). If we spec anything that isn't Fox or RockShox they ask us to spec Fox or RockShox."

Reply

Jotegir
+2 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman
Lu Kz  - Aug. 24, 2020, 8:30 a.m.

And on the dealer side of things, the quote from the bike spec folk is very true, and in my experience flows right from our customers. I can explain til I'm blue in the face that the SRSuntour or X-Fusion fork that comes on that sub-$2100 CAD bike is a perfectly fine fork if it gets regular service (which ALL forks need - something people are always shocked to hear), but that doesn't mean it isn't like pulling teeth sometimes. At least at those pricepoints the bikes sell themselves, but every once in a while where one of our brands steps up and throws a non-Foxshox suspension spec on something more expensive. THEN the real teeth pulling begins. I remember Rocky had an Instinct BC that was an X-fusion spec (it was hard to sell), but Norco's opening pricepoint Carbon Sight/Ranges with DVO? not so much. And I don't even want to think about the first year of them Maiden. If I dwell too long on those the shakes start to come. 

It IS kind of funny though - I genuinely believe the fork that comes on the mid-pricepoint growler will probably out perform the Gold 35, but I feel like that might be beating a dead horse at this point.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Lu Kz
Andrew Major  - Aug. 24, 2020, 8:47 a.m.

Totally. The Growler fork that isn’t a RockShox requires the shop to sell the customer on the fork.

The Growler with the RockShox has a RockShox; moving on.

It’s the same vein in which I understand shops just carrying Bell/Giro helmets. Easy to sell even if there are other interesting options around.

Reply

Jotegir
+2 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman
Lu Kz  - Aug. 24, 2020, 8:59 a.m.

If shops aren't exploring other helmet options they're losing out on a huge category. Our non-bell/giro helmets MASSIVELY outsell those two brands, and it took our average joe helmet sale from $60-100 to $130-200 because the fit on what we carry is so freaking good for most people.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Aug. 24, 2020, 9:17 a.m.

But you're putting in the time to make those sales happen right? Not saying it's not a great investment in time for floor staff but there's another level to selling a helmet that doesn't have an immediately recognizable brand name and the lower the average price of a bike sale in the shop (more commuter or entry-level mountain bikes) the more of a time investment is involved.

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Aug. 24, 2020, 11:46 a.m.

Ignoring OE sales, I truly believe that in a blind test the Durolux' performance would win over a lot of riders before they looked at the price. It's a great feeling fork out of the box and most riders aren't pushing a suspension product hard enough to eke out the performance of a top-end damper system. But then, most riders aren't honest (even with themselves) about their abilities. 

Once the price is considered, well, the Durolux and a Deore drivetrain are less than some other forks. 

It's an uphill battle though. I have friends going through multiple CSUs a year who really don't ride that hard/fast who won't even consider an SR product because they aren't cool.

Endur-Bro
+1 Andrew Major
Endur-Bro  - Aug. 24, 2020, 11:44 a.m.

Makes sense that there is an E-Version of this fork since there’s a DVO Onyx SC -E I’m assuming both forks use the same lowers. 

These lesser known forks and parts are great as I can recommend them to my retiree dad when he needs new parts. 😂

Nero R can be lowered with spacers or by balancing the air chambers. The other interesting thing is one could order it with BOOST15 lowers if their front hub isn’t convertible to 20mm  

Somewhere in my emails I have a procedure for lowing the 40s. It’s from a group of people on an island near Europe. 

Most G16/G1 w/dual crowns are using the new BoXXer if that’s anything to go by. ¯\(ツ)/¯ either stateside or in the old country. 

With the arrival of the ERA fork we might very well find out if price is the issue on the Öhlins 38. 😂

There’s a guy in PNW making reduced offset upper trees for BoXXer and 40s. Plus the MORC40 and the MORC36. 

It’s great to hear from a few bike shop employees how fashion and brand name actually moves the industry. No wonder SC and Supreme teamed up a few years ago. 

Anyway I’m just rambling now. 

PS - Bikes are like sex; euphoric and consensual experimentation is always fun.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+2 Endur-Bro Pete Roggeman
Andrew Major  - Aug. 24, 2020, 12:04 p.m.

There's a reason - and this isn't hating at all - that YT or Evil put WAY MORE effort into looking cool (bikes / sponsored riders) and flashing cool product spec at the most eyeballed areas of the bike (e.g. Fox Kashima at lower price points) rather than dumping their limited budgets into taking frame design to the furthest extent of current carbon manufacturing like say Specialized.

When you don't have an established dealer network and presence that can sell based on the technology you're left with the static HTA number, Reach number, and how cool your brand/bike looks.

-

What kills me with the bike market and this fashion obsession is I suppose the same with anything fashion related. If you can afford a Kashima Fox Factory 38 RC2 Grip VVC fork or a Louis Vitton purse then by all means buy one and use it in health.

But if you're that dude complaining about how expensive mountain biking is and trying to ride hard, janky, local trails and you aren't making an attempt to seek out high-quality products with 90-99% of the performance (depending on the rider and how they push their gear) for significantly less money then it's hard to listen to your moaning.

Just as a non-fork example, I've heard quite a few riders whingeing about the price of Maxxis rubber but haven't gone out and looked into other options. I've been having a great time on Bontrager's 29x2.5" G5 DH tires (dry or greasy conditions) and they're 70 USD / 90 CAD at SRP.

-

*Edit: Actually DVO and Suntour forks share fewer components than you might expect. I don't know either way what DVO's e~fork is using for a chassis.

Reply

agleck7
0
Agleck7  - Aug. 25, 2020, 3:27 p.m.

Transition seems like an exception to this example. Definitely pushing an aesthetic but also pushing creative design/performance ideas with generally great spec. And i doubt a huge R&D budget

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Aug. 25, 2020, 4:29 p.m.

I have nothing against Transition but, I don't see how they'd be singled out as an exception. Example? 

I mean, the Sentinel frame looks awesome, the Spur is right up my alley in terms of geo/travel (super jealous Cooper got to test that one), I absolutely enjoy their marketing, and I've met some really, really nice folks who work there. The standard Horst/FSR configuration works great, the geo is great (but then a lot of companies have great geo now)...

They're absolutely one of the coolest brands going, the frames are heavy-heavy compared to technology leaders (see Specialized), the suspension design is quickly becoming the industry go-to, and there's nothing creative or interesting about the bike spec that sets them apart from any other medium-to-large bicycle company unless you count the OneUp post. 

Like a whole bunch of other brands, you have to spend ~$10,000 CAD on a complete to get a hub that's going to last more than a season or (maybe) two of hard uphill riding (eat it, Stan's / DT370) which makes for an expensive upgrade not that far down the road. There's no min-maxing going on here that I see. 

And I get that they're not looking to sell framesets, but, just as an example, a USA Made Guerilla Gravity Gnarvana, with the same Float X2 shock,  is $550 CAD cheaper than a Sentinel frame (GG $3850 CAD / Sentinel $4400 CAD). That seems crazy?

agleck7
+1 Andrew Major
Agleck7  - Aug. 25, 2020, 6:09 p.m.

@Andrew replying to you below (for some reason i can't reply directly to your comment).

I was more referring as Transition being an exception to your example of "that YT or Evil put WAY MORE effort into looking cool (bikes / sponsored riders) and flashing cool product spec at the most eyeballed areas of the bike (e.g. Fox Kashima at lower price points) rather than dumping their limited budgets into taking frame design to the furthest extent of current carbon manufacturing like say Specialized."  Wasn't citing them as a great example of min-maxing.  Although I do think they generally have spec where nothing needs replacement.  I don't think the stans hubs are as bad as you do, but point taken.

Granted Transition isn't pushing carbon manufacturing to the limits like Specialized, but they've certainly been a leader in pushing now current geo to the mainstream (see original Patrol and SBG). As you say, lots of companies have great geo now, but Transition is a driver there I'd argue.  I think the Spur is an example.  It's not revolutionary, but it's pretty much unique in its geo/spec.  Again, this is as a counter example to brands doing "meh" stuff and focusing only on coolness/flashy spec. And yeah, the prices have gone up....especially frame only. Fair.

I don't mean to say they're a stand-alone exception, but your example above made me think of them as a relatively small brand that's pushing "cool" but also backing it up with some innovative bikes and solid, not 'flash, spec.  I'm sure I could think of other brands that fit that description too (but if you couldn't tell I'm a bit of a Transition fanboi ;))

tehllama42
+1 Andrew Major
Tehllama42  - Aug. 24, 2020, 5:21 p.m.

Also, Clyde/Oaf weight/style makes the particularly attractive - just wish it was more of an OEM option - particularly for smaller/niche brands, this would be a way of standing out in a crowded market - SunTour makes great stuff (also DVO - mix and match between those should be kosher)... but that can mean the difference of competing with high volume options.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Tehllama42
Andrew Major  - Aug. 24, 2020, 6:17 p.m.

I find writing about the Durolux tricky because it's a really good platform (both the previous gen. and even more so the EQ) by any measure and, like the new Deore 6100 drivetrain, it shouldn't just be measured as a pricepoint product. 

For example, the Honzo ESD looks like a rad frameset but 3600 CAD seems like a lot of money for the complete package given that for a lot of riders a hardtail will be a second bike. It has some great spec choices like the Aeffect R crankset, some choices I personally wouldn't make like the Shimano hubs w/ Center Lock rotors, and some 'did you guys ride this before you chose to spec it?' choices like the Shimano dropper post remote and all in all it's totally safe but a bit pricey. 

I imagine a creative min-max build with a Durolux RC2, full Deore M6100 drivetrain instead of SLX/XT, Code R or Magura MT-5 brakes, some J-Bend Race Face Aeffect R wheels (Micro Spline driver is no problem), PNW Rainier Gen 3 dropper (200mm on the XL - travel adjustable for the shorter inseam rider sizing up), and I can go for days. You're correct though, this kind of thing is probably destined to be the realm of the smaller builder. But smaller with enough purchasing power to still compete for value builds?!

Reply

tehllama42
+1 Andrew Major
Tehllama42  - Aug. 25, 2020, 8:17 a.m.

So much of that reply makes me absolutely giddy - if you all are ever hurting for content, I think having every writer included to do a'Product Manager for A Day' article... basically  'how I would spec a frame to hit an interesting price point' as the theme, and pick up some interesting frame makes (or even find random commodity frames that could be picked up as an addition to a product line to fill a niche), and also find a real bike that has taken some of the same concepts and applied them well (e.g. Marin Hawk Hill).

If one of those companies really want to play and have a press bike kitted as such, that's just a bonus win.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+2 Mammal Agleck7
Andrew Major  - Aug. 25, 2020, 10:22 a.m.

Hahahaha, isn’t that and bar sweep really all I ever write about?!

mammal
+1 Andrew Major
Mammal  - Aug. 25, 2020, 1:31 p.m.

Andrew, you forgot bucket helmets... You also write about buckets.

AndrewMajor
+1 Endur-Bro
Andrew Major  - Aug. 25, 2020, 2:19 p.m.

And bucket lids! And also doing long XC rides in DH shorts. Oh, and wiring on Push-On grips!!! HAHAHAHA

Reply

tehllama42
+1 Andrew Major
Tehllama42  - Aug. 26, 2020, 1:24 p.m.

Well, looking at the spec of the latest Polygon Siskiu - somebody somewhere is picking up on that information, and has obviously figured part of it out.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Aug. 26, 2020, 11:48 p.m.

The new N9 looks great for the money. Do wish they'd gone spec with a more powerful brakes system. I'd also prefer to see RockShox suspension at that price point (as I noted in my review of the previous model). 

Also, once it has 29" wheels give me WC-proven DH brakes. From TRP that's the G-Spec not the Slate.

Bad-Sean
+3 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman Endur-Bro
Sean Chee  - Aug. 24, 2020, 7 a.m.

I'm far too fat for a single crown on my party time bike since I've been using a backhoe to build some new trails. 

Dual crown compatibility is definitely a consideration for me as I am shopping for a new long travel bike. I have to pedal to the top of my hills so weight is also a consideration. I'm hoping to pick up an oem boxxer or even 40 that's been swapped out, but a rux, dorado, mrp, 58 etc are also possible options for me.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+2 Pete Roggeman Sean Chee
Andrew Major  - Aug. 24, 2020, 7:33 a.m.

I like that the Boxxer and Dorado are very easy to lower. 

The latest Fox 40 is supposed to be an awesome product (and the old coil 40 was great for being travel adjustable) but the people I’ve heard of lowering them are apparently just using sorcery with the positive/negative chambers which I find suspect.

If there was demand though I’m sure it would take nothing for Fox to offer shorter air shafts.

Reply

Mojo16rider
0
Jakub Gábriš  - Aug. 27, 2020, 6:26 a.m.

Yeah for fox 40 lowering you need to pump her up good bit higher than intended pressure, compress it and while holding it compressed you let some air out. This way piston seal never reaches the EQ dimple. Side benefit is having significantly bigger negative chamber than 200mm setting does.

Reply

Jotegir
+3 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman Sean Chee
Lu Kz  - Aug. 24, 2020, 8:32 a.m.

Highly recommend the base pricepoint OEM Boxxer from 2019 or later (the one with an air spring and charger damper). The performance for what you can pick those suckers up for on the used market is insane. My Aurum HSP came with one, I got a Factory 40 for it close to the end of last year..... and the Boxxer is back on the front of my bike. How's that for a good review?

Reply

AndrewMajor
+2 Lu Kz Sean Chee
Andrew Major  - Aug. 24, 2020, 8:44 a.m.

Once you’re talking about the most ubiquitous DH chassis (Boxxer) with a plethora of spare parts around and it being DC (no creaking CSU) suddenly buying a used fork makes a lot of sense (personally have a powerful aversion to used single crown forks).

Investment wise, solid. Performance wise, I think a used Boxxer with an Avalanche cartridge installed will go toe-to-toe with anything on the market for at least 95% of riders.

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Jotegir
+2 Andrew Major Sean Chee
Lu Kz  - Aug. 24, 2020, 9:01 a.m.

In the case of the OEM spec boxxer, if you're scouting out right before bike park season most of them haven't even seen dirt. I do understand the aversion to used forks. People never service lowers (this kills the fork), and no warranty in the land of creaky CSU's is bad (this kills the rider).

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AndrewMajor
+1 Sean Chee
Andrew Major  - Aug. 24, 2020, 9:18 a.m.

Didn't figure with DH bikes sales being as low as they are now that there would be that many riders buying a bike and immediately upgrading the fork? I guess you only need there to be one!

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LoamtoHome
+3 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman Sean Chee
Jerry Willows  - Aug. 24, 2020, 9:50 a.m.

99% of my bikes I've altered the suspension...  Avalanche Cartridges, EXT suspension, Vorsprung Smashpot, etc and with the 2020 Boxxer Select + that come on my HSP, I didn't have to do a thing.  It felt so good out of the box that I didn't even add a 2.1 charger damper.   RS Suspension is killing it.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Aug. 24, 2020, 11:27 a.m.

Is that a 29" wheel or a 27" wheel Jerry?

Boxxer at the full 200mm?

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LoamtoHome
+3 Andrew Major Sean Chee JVP
Jerry Willows  - Aug. 24, 2020, 2:38 p.m.

29" at 200mm.  With all the creaky Fox 38's already, I bet more product managers will be spec'ing RS.

Bad-Sean
0
Sean Chee  - Aug. 25, 2020, 4:56 a.m.

That's definitely a great testimony. A boxxer is the obvious choice for the many reasons you guys have listed. 

6'5" me is just really glad that long travel bikes are now long enough that a DC can work without knee clearance issues like the past.

I'm going to get my lbs manager to keep an ear out for me at home in oz and will also scout out the Singapore market  where bikes and their specs are all about status and almost never get used in anger. I've picked up ridiculous deals on oem, and new aftermarket parts there in the past.

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Endur-Bro
+2 Andrew Major Sean Chee
Endur-Bro  - Aug. 24, 2020, 11:55 a.m.

Another thing often overlooked with a DC fork is that the A2C measurement will often be less than a SC fork with the same travel.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Sean Chee
Andrew Major  - Aug. 24, 2020, 12:06 p.m.

And most DC forks also bring a range of adjustment to A2C height.

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rwalters
+7 Marc Fenigstein Endur-Bro Andrew Major Pete Roggeman Luix Andy Eunson Mammal
Ryan Walters  - Aug. 24, 2020, 9:54 a.m.

I can probably offer some insight here re: dual crown forks on trail bikes. I've been running a 180mm travel Boxxer on my Norco Range for about a year now. I just had enough with creaky crowns, and decided to be the guinea pig. Living in the Sea-to-Sky - we are blessed with an absurd amount of perfectly good (often brand new) gear being flogged on buy n' sells. I was able to find a brand new Boxxer take-off for a quite reasonable price. The 180mm air shaft cost me ~$60. I also upgraded the damper to the Charger 2.1 - a considerable expense, but totally worth it in my view (mainly due to the fact that I blew the lower end damper after a few months).

My take-away from a year experience riding a dual crown trail bike is almost entirely positive. No CSU issues obviously, and the stiffness is totally noticeable. I would say that a good portion of riders might find a dual crown too stiff for general riding (especially when you throw in an integrated stem). It took a few rides to really figure out how to ride the bike. I was so used to a floppy single crown, it became second nature to expect it to deflect all over the place. The dual crown on the other hand (with 20mm hub, integrated stem, 35mm bar and carbon wheels), by god - that thing goes exactly where you point it.

I found that getting the air spring setup properly was the most challenging part. My take is that the Boxxer is optimally designed around 200mm travel, and even though you can drop it to 180mm - I think it does funny things to the air chamber volumes. Also consider that a Boxxer is designed for DH racing where you encounter hits much faster and harder than on a trail bike. I found that my optimal setup involved shoving a bunch of tokens in the fork, and running somewhat lower pressures than suggested for 200mm travel.

One last thing - if you're considering a dual crown, and you're worried about steering lock on slow sections, I would suggest that you don't worry too much. Obviously some frame/fork combos are going to experience more-less steering lock than my setup, but I honestly can't remember a single instance where I couldn't make a slow corner due to the fork stops.

Overall, I've been super happy with the Boxxer. It's not for everyone though, mainly due to the stiffness and ultra-precise steering. All that said, I'm planning a fresh bike build, and I'm thinking of giving a Zeb a try. But you better believe that the frame I'm picking up is certified for a dual crown. Just in case ;)

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AndrewMajor
+2 Pete Roggeman Mammal
Andrew Major  - Aug. 24, 2020, 11:36 a.m.

Multiple people that I've talked to have mentioned they thought the Boxxer was much better at 200mm than 180mm. This is interesting because their SC forks seem to be happy to run a wider range of settings. 

The crazy thing is with suspension geometry, seat angles, shock platforms, etc, it's believable that the next bread of 'freeride' bikes could be 200mm fr/rr. Think about the Rocky Mountain Slayer or Specialized Enduro, no reason they couldn't be a longer-travel platforms and still pedal really well. Especially as the Enduro teams have chosen to race shorter travel rigs - they really show themselves as a park bike that can pedal. 

I think that's where it all really comes full circle. The Knolly Podium is the closest thing I've ridden in terms of being a dual-crown DH bike with a full-length seat tube that actually pedaled really well (with a shock platform engaged for road/gravel). That's a decade old chassis. Lower the BB, lengthen the front center, throw on some 29" wheels, and bring ten years of manufacturing lessons to lowering the weight and I think it's a bike that would be very interesting to the next-gen of riders pedaling hard and going huge on the Shore. 

Even for us old(er) guys. I like short travel hardtails, I'm a pretty wheels-on-the-ground rider, more than a little obsessed with the idea of system-flex or absolute stiffness, and I could see myself pedaling a longer travel bike up the hill if it was more fun on the way down.

...

TL;DR: Maybe instead of a fork to suit your frame you need a frame to suit your fork that can still be happily pedaled all day?

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rwalters
+3 Andrew Major Luix Mammal
Ryan Walters  - Aug. 24, 2020, 12:59 p.m.

Heh. Stay tuned Andrew ;)

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Aug. 25, 2020, 4:06 p.m.

You're an awful tease, Ryan.

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IslandLife
+2 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman
IslandLife  - Aug. 24, 2020, 11:56 a.m.

Nice looking/sounding fork!  Quick take on bleeders... they should be on every fork.  Few years ago, had a Yari (still one of the best performance for dollar forks), and over a year, it annoyingly suffered from the trapped air phenomenon 4 or 5 times... which can really ruin a ride/s, especially the first couple of times when it takes you some time to figure out what's happening.

My next fork was an MRP Ribbon Air (w/ bleeders).  I'd tap the bleeders every once in a while and never heard much happening (side note... I don't think you can actually hear the relatively low pressures being released from these bleeders, but they are still doing something).  Never experienced any "trapped air" events with that fork.

This year, I'm on a 2020 Fox 36 (no bleeders like the 2021 version).  20 rides or so in and during a trip to a bikepark no less... over a few rides my fork feels like it's getting harsher and harsher and I realize that even hauling ass into super rough terrain I'm not using much travel.  Next ride, instead of a 170mm fork, might as well have been a 100mm fork.  Finally get it home to try and figure out what's up and finally realize it's trapped air (after not dealing with it for a year, I forgot what it looked/felt like).  So I take the pressure out... add a little pressure and then reef on the arch (downwards, because trapped air makes your fork suck down at low pressures) until I hear the familiar "squelch" and it releases... all is back to normal.

How long until happens again on this bleeder-less fork?  And... I don't seem to hear much of this from many people... I know I'm not the only one, but how often is this happening to people?

Anyway... point being... all my future forks will have bleed ports.

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AndrewMajor
+1 IslandLife
Andrew Major  - Aug. 24, 2020, 12:09 p.m.

I've never heard air being released from the bleeders but have definitely felt a difference with my older Durolux fork and agree they're a great feature (more on that in my final review).

I like the bleeder screws that SR is using v. the buttons for a few reasons. Firstly they're simple (less expensive / nothing to go wrong). Secondly, if a rider lays their fork down on the bleeders nothing happens with the SR where a lot of riders can tell you a story about getting bath oil all over their floor, car, or the shop's service counter.

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Mojo16rider
0
Jakub Gábriš  - Aug. 27, 2020, 6:22 a.m.

If you want to use button style bleeders you can get MX style ones for few quids on ebay/aliexpress, it´s standard m5 thread after all :)

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prairiedirt
+1 Andrew Major
prairiedirt  - Aug. 28, 2020, 8:27 p.m.

Is the EQ system going to make it's way to the Auron for 2021?   I want a 130 or 140mm fork to replace the almost adequate MoCo Revelation on my trail bike.   I'm currently debating between the Mattoc and the Auron and I have analysis paralysis.  EQ in the Auron would probably just make that worse.

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AndrewMajor
+1 prairiedirt
Andrew Major  - Aug. 28, 2020, 9:10 p.m.

I don't have any insider information but the writing is obviously on the wall that the whole high-end suite of Suntour forks will be EQ. Their XC racers are on EQ equipped Axon forks, the Durolux is awesome - there's no reason for them not to make the switch.

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Sprtn
0
Sprtn  - Sept. 17, 2020, 4:23 a.m.

@Andrew Major

Where can one get this awesome looking version from? I like that color way very much and it would be nice to receive more information on thus.

Thanks, Rene

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