SR Suntour Edge SuspensionWerx NSMB AndrewM.JPG
TEARDOWN | REVIEW

The SR Suntour Edge Rear Shock

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major (Unless Noted)
Date Aug 4, 2021
Reading time

Gold Metal

It's been pretty thoroughly reported that Tom Pidcock didn't ride a stock SR Suntour Edge rear shock to his gold medal victory at the Tokyo Olympics. Based on the larger chassis and some electric wire-sized protrusions it's assumed that SR Suntour has some sort of Live Valve wizardry equivalent in the Werx. It should come as no surprise that they pulled out all the stops for the biggest event in mountain bicycle racing of 2021, but I think it's important to start here for two reasons.

First off, SR Suntour athletes are racing the World Cup XC circuit this year on the same Edge series shocks that I'm testing here (take for example the awesome club, team, trail building association and cycling school in one: Creuse Oxygène). That's amazing given that these shocks sell for 350 CAD | 280 USD.

Also, having seen a fair few SR Suntour Werx products on athlete bikes, the build quality is always a match for what we're buying. Like a first production run versus a prototype. So, without seeing the Olympic-winning shock, I'd surmise that what Mr. Pidcock rode to gold is very similar to what I'm looking at here. Just add a servo motor, speed sensor, and battery.

Creuse Oxygene Team Scott SR Suntour AndrewM.jpg

The Creuse Oxygène cycling club partners with Scott Bicycles to hit the World Cup XC circuit on SR Suntour Axon Werx forks and Edge shocks. (Photo: Creuse Oxygène)

Creuse Oxygene Jens Schuermans Olympics 2021 AndrewM.jpg

They were represented at the Olympics in Tokyo by Jens Schuermans. Total aside, who doesn't want blue anodized stanchions?! (Photo: Jens Schuermans)

I mention the racing pedigree of the SR Suntour Edge shock because the early premise of this test had nothing to do with high-performance applications. When I looked at the Edge shock, I was straight up blinded by its potential as an inexpensive replacement option for the myriad of used bikes on the market with blown and unsupported rear shocks. Whether it's a 5th Element on a 2003 Santa Cruz, a RockShox SID on a 1999 Giant, or a Fox Float on a 2001 Trek Fuel, there's a limitless supply of used bikes - some barely ridden - with blown dampers that are no longer supported.

The Edge comes in an assortment of eye-to-eye lengths in trunnion, metric, and legacy imperial sizes and the stroke lengths are adjustable by adding spacers for those chasing a close-enough fit for a frame with a proprietary shock size. Further, like any air shock worth buying, they have the option to add or remove air volume spacers so it's easy to tune around a lighter or heavier weight rider; for example if the Edge is being installed on a kid's bike, or for a big fella getting back into mountain biking on their 2002 Rocky Mountain Pipeline that just won't die.

Kona 2015 Stinky 24 NSMB AndrewM.jpg

A 2015 Kona Stinky 24" could be a great used bike option for your grom, but there's no way that six-year-old Fastrax rear shock still works properly, so build a replacement damper into the purchase price. The SR Suntour Edge could be a perfect choice. (Photo: Konaworld)

Teardown

It's all well and good to talk about the relative performance of a lower budget suspension product but, to me, the most exciting aspect of the Edge is the manufacturing quality. SR Suntour builds a lot of suspension components as well as complete forks and shocks for other manufacturers in addition to their own budget and high-performance product lines, and my expectations are very high, despite the relatively low cost of the Edge. Furthermore, let's not forget that even at 350 CAD | 280 USD these shocks still represent a real investment. Just because they're 'cheap' relative to a top-end PUSH or EXT shock, and half the price of an awesome damper like the Cane Creek Inline series, that doesn't mean it isn't a lot of money.

SR Suntour Edge SuspensionWerx NSMB AndrewM (5).JPG

The purchase price is comparatively low for a high performance inline air shock that's fully serviceable and rebuildable. It's an investment-level suspension product with a price tag that's friendlier than many budget bike products.

SR Suntour Edge SuspensionWerx NSMB AndrewM (4).JPG

The Edge comes with a myriad of damper configurations in metric, trunnion, and imperial shock sizes. This LOR model has a true lockout and a rebound adjuster. There's also a LOR8 with an 80% lockout. Plus, remote lockout options for the true XC racer type.

It could be someone upgrading an older bike that probably needs other work as well or it could be a company min-maxing a budget full suspension build, like the 1500 USD Marin Hawk Hill I tested in 2017, where a rider is trying to get the best experience for their money and that includes suspension performance and longevity. To that end, there's no rocket science happening inside this Edge LOR. It has a lockout, which I used once on a road climb to see that it works, and a large range of rebound damping adjustments. It's very simple to add or remove volume spacers as well.

Still, getting right down to the metering rods, and putting a shock back together to work as intended, is beyond my suspension servicing skillset, so thank you to my friend James at SuspensionWerx for making time during the busiest spring ever for his mountain bike and moto suspension service and tuning business to tear this SR shock down with me.

Trail Time on the SR Suntour Edge

When I first started down the path of reviewing the Edge shock I was solely envisioning it as a replacement unit for the blown, broken, and unsupported rear shocks on the myriad of old bikes I see around town. Then, I spoke with a couple of folks who had bought older kids' full suspension bikes only to find the rear shocks had to be replaced along with other major components that could easily add up to the difference between their used purchase and a new bike with better geometry. Essentially, a min-maxed replacement shock delivering near-universal fitment options for XC, Trail, and All-Mountain bikes that are being asked to deliver a few more years of riding.

My opinion of the shock after riding it is quite different. I regularly see bikes only a few years old where the rear shocks are roached to the point of being more expensive to fix than replace and frankly if it's an inline shock that's coming off I'd put the Edge up against most any simple shock I've ridden. The performance, never mind the limited tuning options, doesn't match my experiences with the Cane Creek IL Air and if running a reservoir is an option I also wouldn't put the Edge up against SR Suntour's own TriAir. But a TriAir is 450 USD and the CCDB IL Air runs 500 USD and that's a substantial extra investment over the Edge.

SR Suntour Edge  NSMB AndrewM (2).JPG

Someday, I'm planning to write about my various experiences on the Yeti SB104 BBR (Before Brunch Ride). I asked a lot of the Edge shock for this project and it delivered.

I asked a heck of a lot out of the little Edge shock. First off, it was going on a new to me bike I'd never ridden in stock form that represented a creative stew of sorts as I combined my interests in used bikes, mullets, and 4x bikes of old. My first ride, with no volume spacers in the shock, and far too little air pressure for the application, resulted in more bottom-outs that I care to recount. Often my bash guard or pedals would hit the sports surface first but then I used the full stroke on the Edge plenty of times.

After that, the combination of significantly more air pressure and a mid-sized volume spacer kept all the travel usable but with no unduly harsh treatment for the rear shock itself. Compared to my setup on similar inline air shocks from Fox, RockShox, and X-Fusion, I found that I preferred to run the Edge a bit on the slower side at first in terms of rebound because the damper opened up quite considerably taking larger hits and with the shorter 4" application and limited sag, that Yeti was still very playful.

I like to climb out of the saddle a lot, regardless of what bike I'm riding, and the support from the Edge didn't disappoint. If it was the LOR8 version, with the reduced lockout pressure, I may have made use of the lockout on some steeper gravel climbs; as it was I only used it on the road, and even then, just because it was there. One advantage of a true lockout over a switch that simply firms up the compression damping is that I was never going to accidentally puzzle my way down the trail without remembering to open the shock.

SR Suntour Edge NSMB AndrewM.JPG

The 45mm stroke shock was limited to 40mm so this is pretty close to bottom out. The Edge was great for this application and if it was the stock suspension on my short-to-mid travel bike I'd have no motivation to replace it.

SR Suntour Edge  NSMB AndrewM.JPG

How low is too low? It's a question I answered many times as part of this project. I'll touch on my experience with the lowered 120mm SR Durolux in a future Gear Shots article.

Conclusion

I'll sum up the SR Suntour Edge this way:

It's simple to set up.

It's easy to add, remove, or change volume spacers.

It reflects SR Suntour's quality manufacturing.

And its performance is beyond acceptable for the purchase price. I also think it's sweet that such a budget-friendly shock has had ample testing time on the World Cup XC race circuit. It's not the lightest inline rear shock, at about 290 grams for this example, but just like performance versus price, I think reliability versus weight is a key metric for most riders.

I have another project planned for this shock, so I suspect it will show up on these pages again. In the meantime, whether it's a mandatory replacement for a used bike or a budget choice for a new bike, I'd have no second thoughts about running the 350 CAD | 280 USD SR Suntour Edge shock for any inline shock application just as, SR Suntour's TriAir would be an easy choice once my frame's travel and heat management biased me towards a reservoir shock.

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Comments

mammal
+3 cole128 Andrew Major ollyh
Mammal  - Aug. 4, 2021, 2:45 p.m.

Most interested to hear about the BBR project. Just throwing out such a specific name like that and leaving us hanging...

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 ollyh
Andrew Major  - Aug. 4, 2021, 6:35 p.m.

It’s a lot of stories in one but I do plan to put together a look at it. It was a project that needed to happen but I maybe tackled too many things at once. To say it was low…

So far it’s shown up in my 9Point8 Angleset review and here.

Reply

kavurider
+2 Andrew Major ollyh
KavuRider  - Aug. 5, 2021, 3:52 p.m.

Can't wait for the deep dive into this bike!

This shock might be just the thing for my new project.  An engineer at work gifted me his old Giant Reign.  It is super clapped and the RP23 is shot.  I didn't want to spring for a Monarch, so this might be just the thing!

Reply

AndrewMajor
+2 Lu Kz ollyh
Andrew Major  - Aug. 5, 2021, 4:42 p.m.

It’s a great little shock for the money.

What year of Reign? Just watch out for straight 1-1/8” steerer compatible only frames.

Reply

kavurider
0
KavuRider  - Aug. 6, 2021, 10:39 a.m.

2007. I believe I can use a Cane Creek adapter to run a tapered steerer. If not, it did come with a Fox 32 that I might be able to bring back to life.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 ollyh
Andrew Major  - Aug. 8, 2021, 12:54 p.m.

I think you'll find that while the headtube is a straight 44mm that even with switching to the EC44 lower cup (assuming the insertion depth of the headtube is adequate) the headtube itself is too small diameter for a tapered fork to work. But, don't take my word for it as it has been years since I played with one of those frames.

Bikeryder85
+2 Andrew Major ollyh
Bikeryder85  - Aug. 5, 2021, 3:33 a.m.

This is awesome, suntour is so underrated...now if I can just finish designing my homebrew FS bike....

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 ollyh
Andrew Major  - Aug. 5, 2021, 8:02 a.m.

I’ve been really impressed with the latest SR stuff I’ve ridden. It’s interesting going back to my first Durolux review experience where the potential was obvious but the damper especially didn’t measure up.

What sort of FS bike are you building? Single pivot, multi-pivot? Steel? Bamboo? Carbon? Always interested in a project!

Reply

Bikeryder85
+1 Andrew Major
Bikeryder85  - Aug. 5, 2021, 1:23 p.m.

It's only in my headspace right now, but linkage driven single pivot, possibly out of carbon ( I was inspired by vlads easy composites bike last year, thrilled he got a job at WAO!) I have it roughed out idea wise, just figuring out the best way to make it happen (if at all). If it materializes it will be a shortish travel 27.5 bike, since they don't exist.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Aug. 5, 2021, 4:44 p.m.

Cool! Good luck with the project. I hope you tackle it.

Reply

Bikeryder85
+1 Mammal
Bikeryder85  - Aug. 5, 2021, 5:08 p.m.

Thanks! If fatherhood allows I probably will, I want a FS bike...but haven't found anything I like, so figured, eh...why not build it? I'll put it on the forum if I do.

Reply

velocipedestrian
+1 Andrew Major
Velocipedestrian  - Aug. 5, 2021, 4:12 p.m.

Sorry, hijack incoming. 

I'm not in the market for a shock, but the Durolux is high on my list for the hardtail. I read your review of the older version (the chassis you're still using?) and prefer the idea of the coil negative spring and easy travel changes... Less geometry change through travel, 130-140 possible but not offered in the new spring type.

Any thoughts? I'm contemplating asking Suntour about the old spring in the new fork.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Aug. 5, 2021, 4:47 p.m.

The chassis I’m using is a Durolux EQ. The beauty of SR is that they try and maximize inter-compatibility. 

The air shaft out of an Auron combined with the air piston of the Durolux would give you a 140mm fork.

My Durolux is currently built up with the air shaft from a 120mm Axon (for 120mm travel). You need heat, axle clamps, vice and Loctite to do the job yourself. But any SR service center should be able to get you sorted (subject to Covid parts shortages).

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Aug. 5, 2021, 4:48 p.m.

I love the inserts air system and the easy travel change but the EQ is smoother and that’s especially true at lower travel/higher pressure.

Reply

velocipedestrian
+1 Andrew Major
Velocipedestrian  - Aug. 5, 2021, 6:34 p.m.

Good beta, thanks. Maybe I'm best to order a few small parts with it if it wins the spreadsheet war.

Reply

formartha
0
formartha  - Aug. 6, 2021, 11:42 a.m.

Great to read your experience with the shock. How would you rate it vs the Deluxe inline shock?

Im looking for a budget friendly option for my future down country AL bike. (Eyeing on the 210x50)

Also,

How is it's platform in open mode, as well as how is the small bump sensitivity?

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Aug. 8, 2021, 12:58 p.m.

I obviously haven't ridden the Edge in a host of frames so I can only comment to say that in my experience the damper has good support when open and I thought the small bump performance, even over-inflated, matched my expectations for an air shock.

The specific frame you're riding will have a huge effect on your experience depending on the suspension geometry through the stroke. So example, on an Ibis DW bike all air shocks feel like they have a ton of platform and also like they initialize very firmly.

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