Suntour Fork Demo Program AndrewM
Demo To Your Door

Try it at Home - SR Suntour's Fork Demo Program

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major
Date Jan 15, 2019

Selling Forks

We're in a great moment for suspension forks, but beyond the big two - or the big two and DVO now that they're featured massively on Giant and Liv Bicycles - it's tough to close the deal if customers never have the opportunity to push on a product in their local shop, never mind thrashing one on the trail. 

SR Suntour is trying to win customers one fork demo at a time. It's a great initiative that I'd like to see other manufacturers jump on. In the meantime, I took part in an SR Suntour DTYD (Demo To Your Door) so I could write about it first hand. 


We ship the fork right to your home after it has been tuned for your preferences and then you get three weeks of saddle time with some of the best suspension that is currently available" - SR Suntour
Suntour Fork Demo Program AndrewM

The demo program consists of custom painted SR Suntour Auron, Durolux, and RUX platforms with the travel pre-set to your preference. 

DTYD

The total cost of the Demo To Your Door program, with a 3-week demo period, is ZERO DOLLARS. Which is a bit insane. I think it would make sense to charge a nominal fee to cover setup, wear-and-tear, and etc. but Suntour disagrees. Pay the deposit of 100 USD, test the fork, and then send it back and have the deposit refunded. 

If you don't have the tools or time to swap a crown race and get the fork installed on your bike there will obviously be a cost to getting the fork installed and removed. I talked to a number of shops who all said they'd be more than happy to offer this service, and help dial in the basic suspension settings.

Obviously, they need to charge to cover their time, but the estimates I received back were all over the map so if you are going to pay someone to do the swap I'd suggest making the arrangement before ordering the demo. Riders who decide to purchase a fork after their demo can get one straight from SR Suntour but, if I may be so bold, your preferred shop can also bring one in for a competitive price and SR Suntour would be happy to work with them as well. 

Suntour Fork Demo Program AndrewM

Walking down a busy street in North Vancouver with a gun case tucked under my arm elicits amazing looks from my fellow travelers. 

Suntour Fork Demo Program AndrewM

The fork came set to my specified travel, with the proper negative spring for my weight, and base settings installed. Tools and parts are included to fine tune travel or air volume. 

Suntour Fork Demo Program AndrewM

The steerer tubes are cut quite long so that Suntour can accommodate the full spectrum of people and bike sizing. No worries though, they include a plethora of headset spacers if needed. 

The fork arrived with a return label already printed out and placed inside the case. I mounted the fork up, made sure everything was good, stuck it in the box, slapped the label on it and dropped it off at the closest UPS store. Done and done. When the fork lands at Suntour the deposit is refunded, or applied to a fresh new fork. 


After the three week time period, you simply remove the fork from your bike and ship it back. We even got you covered on the shipping!" - SR Suntour

Prior Art

After a ground-up rebuild at SuspensionWerx, including purchasing a new CSU* so I could compare different offsets, the 29" Durolux RC2 PCS fork I've been riding for months is running perfectly. Whether I'm running it at 140mm on my Marin or 170mm on the Kona I find it's quick and easy to dial in my settings. 

*I mention this because in addition to being massively robust and creak-free, the SR Suntour CSUs are downright affordable should a rider ever need to purchase one. 

Suntour Durolux RC2 29'er

I'm a big fan of Suntour's latest RC2 PCS forks out on the trail. Pushing on them in the shop doesn't do justice and DTYD is a great opportunity to test that for yourself. 

That is to say, this is by no means intended to be a fork review but I do feel strongly that riders willing to give an Auron 35, Durolux, or RUX a few rides with the latest PCS dampers and the proper negative spring for their weight will be really impressed.

For a full recap on my Suntour experience please check out my review, as here I'm looking at the demo process rather than the fork itself.

Set Up

Within a couple business days of placing the DTYD order, a technician from SR Suntour makes contact to confirm there are no compatibility issues with the fork they're sending and to get all the setup details. It's in SR Suntour's best interest for everyone demoing their forks to have the best experience and I was impressed that the Auron came ready for me to ride straight out of the box. 

I arranged a demo bike from my friend Jaclyn at Essential Cycles and other than swapping non-split crown races it won't be surprising that the rest of the job is easily accomplished with a basic multi-tool. 

Suntour Fork Demo Program AndrewM

Most trail forks are PM-180 (post mount) now so the adapters, or lack of adapters, will most likely be consistent between the DTYD Suntour and stock fork. 

With the proper negative spring and a solid guess by SR in terms of volume spacers it's a matter of dialing in air pressure and damper settings. Much like RockShox forks, the damper settings are very consistent between the parking lot and the trail making it really easy to get it within 90% of perfect before leaving the asphalt. 

Other than potential issues with supply and demand - I'd say get-in before Suntour has to start charging a fee for the program - that's really all there is to it. I hope it's a raging success and that within a few years every manufacturer has a lending library so riders can test ride and then decide on one of the most expensive aftermarket purchases in mountain biking. 

For more information say hello to SR Suntour directly or place a DTYD order online.  

Comments

Brigham_Rupp
+5 Agleck7 Mammal Cr4w Niels Andrew Major
Brigham_Rupp  - Jan. 15, 2019, 8:05 a.m.

This is awesome. I don’t think any traditional marketing method has inclined me towards a brand or product more than this.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 15, 2019, 8:31 a.m.

I hope it’s a great program for them. They’re excellent forks out on the trail, easy to maintain, pricing is good, chassis’ are bomber, and aftersale support is strong.

It’s just a matter of getting folks to try them and here we are...

Reply

nouseforaname
0
Nouseforaname  - Jan. 15, 2019, 10:36 a.m.

Hey Andrew - what CSU offsets are available for these forks? I just see the 51mm offset available for 29rs on the Suntour website.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 mike
Andrew Major  - Jan. 15, 2019, 10:47 a.m.

For the Durolux  there are 44mm and 51mm crowns for 29’ers. 

The Auron 35 29’er is a 51mm offset. 

I prefer the Durolux - stiffer chassis, more tire clearance (29x3” with plenty of room if the fenders removed) , and more max travel (170mm for 29’er) but still easily lowered.

Reply

nouseforaname
0
Nouseforaname  - Jan. 15, 2019, 10:54 a.m.

No 26" CSUs? Boo.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 15, 2019, 11:12 a.m.

They’re not sold stock with the 26” CSU but such an animal probably still exists in parts inventory.

*edit:

I’d be surprised if the guts didn’t swap over.

The 26” forks were 20mmx110mm but I don’t know if the stance got wider with the move to Boost so that’s likely the deciding factor.

Vikb
0
Vik Banerjee  - Jan. 15, 2019, 7:26 p.m.

Yes quite a good idea for a company to get some exposure in a market with well established players.

Reply

Lynx
+1 Andrew Major
MountainBikeBarbados .  - Jan. 15, 2019, 9:32 a.m.

Andrew, sweet find, this is the sort of thing that will get them into the market, or at least give them a good chance. Curious what travel you got the fork set at and if you can confirm A2C at that setting? Looking at the A2C listed on Suntour's site, it seems they have taller A2C heights than say Fox or RS - just measured my 2014 F34 29er fork @150mm travel and get 555mm A2C and Suntour lists the Auron @160mm of travel at 580mm.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 15, 2019, 10:02 a.m.

The Auron shown here is 565.5mm at 160mm travel. It's called the 27+ version and while it will clear a decent sized 29'er tire it's listed clearance is 27x2.8". 

A 29'er Auron 35 is listed at 580mm at 160mm travel - based on my Durolux their numbers are accurate assuming the proper negative spring for a rider's weight - which makes it about 1cm taller than the equivalent Fox fork (Fox lists A-to-C of a 29'er 36 at 160mm travel as 567.1mm). I'd suggest the lions share of that difference is taken up with steerer-tube/crown overlap at the pressfit which is possibly justified from a chassis longevity perspective. 

.

As an aside, based on your measurements of a 2014 Fox 34 I'd think you have a 140mm travel fork with an extended negative spring (mine would always stretch within a year of use).

Fox lists the A-to-C of a 29'er 34 as 550mm at 140mm travel. Fox forks always show an extra ~1cm of stanchion more than the travel they have (bottom out is 1cm from crown/seal contact).

Reply

Lynx
0
MountainBikeBarbados .  - Jan. 15, 2019, 10:18 a.m.

Thanks for the reply Andrew. Yes you are right, forgot this was the older version F34, never did get the travel indicator above the Kashima print at the top of the stanchion, newer ones use full stanchion. Called Suntour and they confirmed A2C and said the increase in the new Boost forks was to help give clearance with the built in fender.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 15, 2019, 11:31 a.m.

Clearance is impressive. With the fender removed my 29’er Durolux clears a 29x3” tire on a 40mm ID rim with tonnes of daylight all the way around. It will clear the 3” with fender but I like a bit more room for detritus.

With the fender installed the fork makes a 2.6” tire look tiny.

Reply

shrockie
+1 Andrew Major
Shrockie  - Jan. 15, 2019, 3:16 p.m.

Wow. That's Amazing!! I've never considered running an SR suntour fork.. gotta say, I'm tempted to try this program out. Would be great to test out one of their forks!

Reply

shrockie
0
Shrockie  - Jan. 15, 2019, 3:44 p.m.

This comment has been removed.

shrockie
+1 Andrew Major
Shrockie  - Jan. 15, 2019, 3:45 p.m.

Just ordered one!

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 15, 2019, 4:24 p.m.

Cool; let me know how the process works out for you!

Reply

Shinook
+1 Mammal
Shinook  - Jan. 16, 2019, 10:12 a.m.

I used this program for a fork on my hardtail a few months ago, it's really impressive how the fork shows up. The packaging and tools provided is a really nice touch. It's surprising to me that other smaller companies, like MRP and DVO, haven't picked up on doing this. Most suspension forks are a big investment and it's risky when you are dropping $900 USD or more on something without knowing if it's gonna work for you. 

I've had 3 Suntour forks now and they've consistently been the best forks I've ridden and owned, they are super smooth and the damping is really consistent. It shocks a lot of people (heh, pun, heh) how much I like their stuff, because most folks only know them for their lower end products, but I've been really happy with all their offerings. 

I'd have one now but reduced offsets for the masses won't be available for a few more months, apparently.

Reply

robl1kesbikes
0
robl1kesbikes  - Jan. 31, 2019, 10:20 a.m.

Hey Andrew,

Read your article and was stoked on it, since my pike is basically on its deathbed to try out sth new. Ordered it and it arrived while I was not there. UPS left a note that I have to pay 55 CAD !!!! as "importer charges". Now I do not want to pick it up, it was supposed to be free (you already had to pay 10 USD for shipping. I am also based in North Van, and surprised that you did not mention this import fee. As it is just a demo program, can you get it back? Did you have to pay for it? I'd rather leave the package at UPS now, gonna send Suntour an Email and give them a call later.

Cheers,

Rob

Reply

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