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Forum Testing: Suntour Auron 34 RC2 PCS

June 5, 2017, 12:17 p.m.
Posts: 2630
Joined: Nov. 22, 2002

At NSMB our editors and contributors put a lot of time and effort into product testing. We aim to present balanced, thoughtful opinions, and try to eliminate bias in order to deliver valuable insight to you - our readers. On occasion we work with a partner to give you, the community members of NSMB, the chance to participate in product testing.

For our latest Forum Test, we have teamed up with SR Suntour. Their Auron 34 fork is a non-Boost model that is available in 27.5 or 29" versions, with travel available at 130, 140, or 150mm, and a $700 USD MSRP, making it a versatile upgrade option for those of you out there running 100mm front hubs.

How to be considered as a forum tester:

You should be an enthusiastic rider, but by no means do you have to be a suspension expert, mechanically inclined, or a pro rider. We're looking for variety in all things: riding levels, styles, locations, etc. Answer all the questions below (here in this thread, please) to be considered as a tester.

1. What bike(s) and fork(s) do you currently own or ride? And/or: what bike would you bolt your Auron test fork onto?

2. Have you had experience with an SR Suntour product in the past, or do you currently own any?

3. How would you describe your current level of comfort with setting up suspension, modifying settings, etc?* Beginner (someone else set it up for me, I just ride it), Intermediate (I can set my own sag and play around with settings occasionally), Advanced (I can service and maintain a fork, understand the innards, and am competent and comfortable setting up suspension for a variety of different applications).

*Remember, even a newbie with respect to suspension set-up can be a good candidate for this program, if we feel you'll do a good job of communicating the process of setting up, riding, and learning to play around with suspension settings and sharing your thoughts with the forum.

4. Are you currently considering a fork upgrade for your bike? If so, what forks are/were you contemplating?

5. Do you usually buy and sell bikes as a whole, or do you like to upgrade a bike bit by bit, as necessary?

6. Most importantly: Provide an example of a mini review: select any component (new or old, whether you own it or not) and provide a short review (~300 words), making sure to cover things like performance, design, value, durability, etc. Your review can be a combination of words, photos, and video - just make sure you give us an idea of your ability to do the job. Things like spelling and grammar count, as well as the quality of the photos and video. They don't have to be 'bangers' but take a bit of time and make your content compelling and informative.

Eligibility requirements:

You must be able to test the product and update your observations on a regular basis - a minimum would be a few rides one update every week, but updates can include answering questions that other BB members have, or posting photos/video of the test product in action, or a few fresh words to describe how you're getting along with your fork. That is the minimum. Remember that we will consider your past review contributions when picking testers for future reviews.

You must not have conflicts of interest, whether they are related to sponsorship or employment. If in doubt, feel free to send me a PM or an email - pete at nsmb.com.

You must be a currently active BB member or become one - it won't be held against you if you're new to the community, as long as we can see that you intend to contribute and be active. 'Active' means you have made a minimum of 20 posts in the last month.

The deadline for your application is 12:00 midnight PDT on Thursday, June 15th. Up to 4 BB Members will be selected to participate. You will be able to keep your fork once the review period is over.

Specs for the Auron 34 RC2 PCS 27.5 or 29”

34mm butted 7000 series stanchions

15 x 100 QLC2 Ti axle

Adjustable air volume pucks

Tunable coil negative spring

Hollow forged crown

New RC2 PCS damper w/ new fixed high speed rebound piston. Our PCS cartridge is simple, reliable, consistent and easy to service

Weight starting at 1970g

$700 USD MSRP

Complete info about the Suntour Auron 34 is available here.


 Last edited by: pete@nsmb.com on June 6, 2017, 8:13 a.m., edited 2 times in total.
June 5, 2017, 2:35 p.m.
Posts: 9159
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

1. I am currently riding a 2013 Banshee Prime with an X-Fusion Trace fork. I would bolt this fork to the Prime!

2. Last time I ran anything Suntour was in the 80's!

3. Solid Intermediate. Can not get into my current forks without using a special tool, or else I would have long ago.

4. I am, the Cane Creek Helm is high on my list...once they release the 29" version.

5. I prefer to custom build my bike, love nerding out on each individual part making sure that it will not break the bank, work well without needing a ton of maintenance and be strong enough to deal with my girth and hack riding style.

6. I ran a blog called The Mountain Bike Life for a few years, here are some links to some reviews I wrote:

http://www.themountainbikelife.com/2014/09/x-fusion-trace-rl2-long-term-review.html

http://www.themountainbikelife.com/2013/01/evoc-fr-trail-20l-long-term-review.html

http://www.themountainbikelife.com/2013/04/kali-amara-long-term-review.html

http://www.themountainbikelife.com/2013/06/product-review-black-tusk-jerky.html

http://www.themountainbikelife.com/2013/11/review-spank-spike-stem-and-777.html

http://www.themountainbikelife.com/2013/11/review-chromag-saddle-seat-qr-and-grips.html

http://www.themountainbikelife.com/2014/03/thomson-elite-dropper-seatpost-product.html

That should give you an idea of my writing style (or lack thereof). If you would like me to write something up specifically for this opportunity just say the word and I will whip something up.

Thank you for your consideration,

Rivers


 Last edited by: pedalhound on June 5, 2017, 3:34 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
June 5, 2017, 8:36 p.m.
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

1. 2016 Fuel EX 9, 2014 Soma B Side SS, 2017 Stache 5 SS. Test bike would be the B side.

2. Yes, I run an Epicon RL on the B Side currently.

3. Advanced. Very comfortable in both setup, and teardown. I come from a moto background, so I learned the value of suspension tuning at an early age.

4. Not really, pretty happy with what I have now. But if a product proves me wrong, I'm happy to admit it.

5. Depends on the end goal to be honest. I've done both in the past.

6. I recently purchased a Manitou Magnum Pro 29+ fork as an upgrade for my Stache. The bike came equipped with the base model Machete fork, and full disclosure, it's the best entry level fork that I've ridden. I'm around 200lbs fully geared up, and ride the Stache as a single speed the majority of the time. But, that doesn't mean that I don't hit the downhill sections hard, or don't need a fork with more fine tuning, which is exactly what I was looking for. Sadly, on my first outing, I simply could not get the fork dialed in, and it had to be sent in to Manitou, where they discovered the compression damper circuit needed replacing. They fixed the issue ASAP, and I had the fork back in my hands in 7 days. I'd call that good turn around. After re-mounting my fork, and inflating to the proper air pressure, I headed out for my maiden voyage. Being a single speed rider, the one thing I did not pay careful attention to was that this fork does not have a true lockout. It does firm up a lot, however, there is still about 10-15mm of travel for bigger hits. I'm happy to say this has not been an issue, and I've actually come to quite like it. The things that really stand out however, are the stiffenss of the bigger stanchions to more effectively control the bigger tires and wheels, and the sheer amount of tuning options without opening the fork up. I also own a Fox 34 FIT4, and a Suntour Epicon RL, and I've owned other forks, and demoed plenty of bikes and currently feel the Magnum is the best fork that I've ridden to date. I've attached my settings, and a shot of the fork in action on one of my favorite single speed trail networks.

Air pressure - 70psi

rebound - 6 clicks out from fully closed

IPA - fully closed

HBO - fully open

Then I simply used the low speed compression generally either fully open, or fully closed when clmibing.

I am not active on the boards, but am fairly active on the home page, and would be happy to contribute for a review. I'm pretty active on other MTB sites.


 Last edited by: wncmotard on June 5, 2017, 8:40 p.m., edited 5 times in total.
June 6, 2017, 8:15 a.m.
Posts: 2630
Joined: Nov. 22, 2002

Posted by: wncmotard

I am not active on the boards, but am fairly active on the home page, and would be happy to contribute for a review. I'm pretty active on other MTB sites.

Time to get posting! Show us your ability to get active - you've got a week and a half to crank it up with some posts and threads.

June 6, 2017, 8:40 a.m.
Posts: 2630
Joined: Nov. 22, 2002

We've had a few questions that may apply to other readers, so I'll answer them here as well:

Do testers have to be based in Canada/the USA? No, you're eligible to be chosen as a tester no matter where you live. The UK, Europe, NZ/Aus, etc...fire away!

Should answers be sent/emailed or put in this thread? Please put them in the thread.

Don't hesitate to ask other questions - either right here in the thread or by PM.

June 6, 2017, 5:40 p.m.
Posts: 2
Joined: March 7, 2017

may as well kick the old can around here.

1. this fork would be swapped between a chromag rootdown BA and a Kona Process 111

2. Currently run a 2015 Auron 140mm on my rootdown

3. some where between intermediate and advanced. I could figure out how to do a full service on my fork but would rather send it out to be serviced by someone who does it regularly. I do the lowers and play with the setting on my Auron regularly

4.I am actually looking for a 160mm fork for my rootdown but for the riding I do most of the time this summer 140mm is just fine.

5. both. I flip full suspension bikes regularly but I keep my hardtails for years and replace parts as the break and wear out.

6. https://nsmb.com/articles/north-shore-billet-variable-tooth-chainring/

Discalmer, after I wrote that review I ended up forking for NSB for a few years but am no longer employed by them.

June 6, 2017, 10:55 p.m.
Posts: 26
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

1. Bikes:  I have three, including a pair of Rocky Mountain Instincts (29"), both with BC Edition type modifications. One is running a 160mm Pike RC, the other is a 150mm RCT3 with a Vorsprung Luftkappe.  The third bike would be the test bike:
It's a Diamondback Overdrive Carbon Sport - despite the unassuming lineage, it's actually a rather capable trail bike after gutting the stock build.  It is currently running a 130mm Fox32 Evolution fork, which is a hand-me-down from one of the Instincts... I'm running it well outside normal parameters (15% sag, +5mL float oil in the air spring) which makes it a reasonably effective, if unsophisticated, 110mm travel fork for how I use it (mostly to slacken out the HTA)

2. My first real mountain bike was a Diamondback Overdrive Sport (the $600 variety) with a Suntour XCM.  The fork was one of the few components that at least survived my two weeks of ownership.  My customized Instinct is running a DVO Topaz (not an SR Suntour product, but out of the same factory).

3. I would be an advanced user by those definitions, though I don't feel that advanced since I'm never able to completely dial any suspension setup completely to my liking

4. I have been considering an upgraded fork for this bike for a while.  I've already upgraded from the stock RS Recon Silver fork to the current F32-130-29-CTD.  The divergent alternatives I've had under consideration have been upgrading the damper in the current fork (to a Fit4) to achieve a sleeper performance bike [it says Diamondback, and looks unassuming], moving a Pike and a 140mm travel air shaft over to this bike (and upgrading a fork on my full suspension rig), or trying to find a bargain used Fox34 or Reba that just needs a refresh/rebuild and installing that.

5. I am a shameless upgrade-aholic.  I buy bikes whole, but generally replace parts piecewise until I end up with a semi-custom setup which is clyde-friendly, but makes Dave Tolnai's chart on used bike resale value look like Google's stock values by comparison.

6. [[ Placeholder ]] -- I've been meaning to try and do some useful first impressions on the Luftkappe anyway - maybe somebody might even care enough to read it.

For now, this is what I left as a product review for the handlebar that currently resides on that bike:


Forte Clutch Carbon Flat Mountain Bike Handlebar:
The Forte Clutch 780mm Flat MTB Handlebar is an unbeatable value, just be sure to prepare the mounting surfaces. 

Being a larger rider, I was looking to move to a wider handlebar for my 6" travel all-mountain bike, and a 780mm bar felt absolutely right out of the box for me. If you have concerns about 780mm being too wide, especially if in areas where clipping trees/rocks/cacti is an issue, it does include very clear marks to cut the bars. It also features an excellent textured area with good graphics and markings where the bar mounts to the stem to keep the handlebar from rotating. 

Overall, the bar is markedly lighter, and feels stiffer under larger loads compared to the Aluminum Forte 720mm Flat Bar. However, it doesn't feel overly stiff, mostly as a combination of the 31.8mm bar clamp with a relatively long stem, and that the bar isn't too over-built to feel rigid. I've actually found myself running a touch more air in the air spring of my fork (a PikeRC 29" at 150mm travel) with how direct the front wheel control is.  Unlike many other carbon fiber composite parts, there isn't a tremendous amount of damping effects occurring, so the bar does transmit a considerable amount of feedback.  Depending on preference, this can either be very sports car-like, inspiring the confidence of feeling the trail underneath; or fatiguing if the right grips aren't selected.  My preferred grips (ESI Extra Chunky and Sensus Disisdaboss) really help ameliorate discomfort issues that may have emerged, but even at my hefty weight the added feedback is noticeable.

The biggest complaint is how slick the bar is where the brakes, shifters, and (if applicable) grips mount.  There is just not enough texture to get much purchase, and I found myself running some hockey tape under each of those so that I could keep those parts from rotating freely without having to exceed the torque specification.  You do NOT want to exceed specified torque, as that can create a stress riser on the bar, making it liable to snap right where something is clamped to it.  While tape does add some weight, and makes initial setup and dialing lever locations trickier, at this price point that's a very reasonable compromise.

As far as fit is concerned, this is a 9° backsweep flat bar (but rolling the bar forward can trade some backwards sweep for effective upsweep), so the combination of a low-flat bar with more width will, for taller riders, bring their shoulders a touch lower.  In my case, the wider hand contact points haven't made this any less comfortable, just helped me with keeping traction on the front end when I'm really pushing the limits in loose-over-hardpack terrain.

If you're leery about this being 'too cheap', there are other name brand units in the same width that are priced within $10, basically the unpopular colors of those models on sale.

Overall I'm extremely happy, and will add/edit this review if anything changes. 780mm is right at the limit where I start involuntarily punching trailside cacti, so if I had started at 800mm, I would have cut it down to this length.


Unrelated reviews:
http://jerkingthetrigger.com/2015/02/24/first-look-and-review-rosch-works-slm2/

About me: I live in New Mexico, which means the trails I ride are rocky, loose-over-hard, and lined with cacti.  At 6'2" and 235lb, I can be pretty hard on equipment despite being only conditionally fast.  Being an engineer, I'm prone to tinkering with settings, even to the detriment of my riding mindset.

I'd likely only be able to ride it a few times a week (that's basically my schedule, barring illness), but bloviating on forums is something I excel at.


I cuddle with cacti

June 7, 2017, 11:14 a.m.
Posts: 13
Joined: June 7, 2017

1. I currently ride on On-one Codeine 29 with 150mm Suntour Aion on the front. I also have ht with Epicon. I live 20 km from nice mountains in Poland and I am going to Switzerland this summer so I will give this Auron punishment. I will test Auron on Codeine.

2. I have been riding on Suntour forks for 3 years. I like their simplicity.

3. I am very comfortable with servicing forks and modding it to suit my taste. I like experimenting with volume of air chamber. I also added better orings inside.

4. I am considering upgrade for Durolux 29er at the end of this year.

5. Last 4 bikes i put together from scratch. I like to upgrade my parts often. I have wide knowlage about building bikes.

fork1

2016 29er Aion is very interesting option for people, who look for cheap, but reliable and plush fork. I was riding it for 1 year, it survived long days on rocky trials, but also freezing cold in the winter.

fork2

The fork is very stiff thanks to 34mm stanchions, it helps riding through rough stuff. Travel can be set from 120mm up to 150mm via plastic spacers that are inside left stanchion. The damper is sealed, but it is very easy to replace if something goes wrong. The chassis is almost like Auron’s, but Suntour hasn’t shaved as much weight on it like on Auron. So you get same stiffness with a little bit of extra weight. You can also adjust slow speed compression and rebound. It has wide range of these so everyone will find that sweet setting for themselves. To unleash full potential of that fork you will have to experiment with air pressure and air chamber volume, otherwise it will go through travel with ease or it will be hard like rock. When you will find that sweet spot in pressure you will forget about lack of lockout on this fork. When I was ridding it in winter i noticed slight performance drop, fork was a little bit sluggish, but you can solve that with some thinner oil, but be careful because if your damper's x-ring is poorly attached you will end up with less travel in your fork at the end of the day. You will have to remove oil from damper and refill it. It is amazing how such cheap option can perform like 80% of rockshox pike or fox. You don’t have to spend all of you $$$ to get suspensions which will be able to withstand long descents and bike park sized jumps. This fork is the cheapest fork with 34mm stanchions on the market.

fork3


 Last edited by: house1124 on June 7, 2017, 12:47 p.m., edited 3 times in total.
June 7, 2017, 4:58 p.m.
Posts: 111
Joined: Aug. 29, 2010
  1. I’m currently riding Fox forks on both of my pedal bikes.

My Honzo has a 2014 Float 34 CTD w/Trail Adjust 150mm and my Prime has a 2016 Float 36 RC2 160mm. Both are 29er forks.

I’d be bolting the Auron test fork onto my Honzo.

2. I have no experience with any SR Suntour products personally except for in dealing with all the kids bikes I’ve come in contact with in mtb coaching over the years. Those SR Suntour forks are not very good.

3. Intermediate/Advanced.

I have dropped the lowers on every Rockshox fork that both my wife and I have had on our bikes over the years. I have also modded the damper side of my Totem and my wife’s Lyrik with the help of YouTube. And, I’ve adjusted the travel on the Revelation that came stock on my Honzo.

My front step outside my home is my bike workshop which makes certain aspects of fork servicing challenging! Oh, I long for a dedicated indoor work space!!

I have not done anything to my Fox forks other than change the tokens in my 36. I was contemplating trying to adjust the travel on my 36. In the end, I had Vorsprung do it when I brought the fork in for service this Spring.

4. I am considering a new fork for my hardtail, my Honzo, as the Float 34 isn’t meeting my expectations in adjustability for how I’d like it to ride. The 34 was an upgrade from the stock 32mm stanchioned RS Revelation. I’m quite surprised I didn’t destroy that fork in the years that I was riding it on my Honzo!

5. I have done both.

It is situation dependent. With my current bikes, I built my Prime from the frameup fully custom (including fully custom-built wheels) and my Honzo I bought stock and have upgraded to the point where the only things stock on the bike now are the stem, headset, and chainguide/taco bash.

6. Here’s the review I was planning for the Ryders Eyewear Forum Testing that never happened about a year or so back. I know I didn’t submit an application as I already had a pair of antiFog Ryders glasses. But my plan was to hopefully get a new pair as my current pair have issues as you’ll find out below.

Mini Review:

Ryders Eyewear Thorn Photochromic antiFog Glasses

Are you a hot and sweaty kind of person whose eye wear always fogs up when riding? Well, I may have a recommendation for you!

Here’s my take on a pair of riding glasses that might work for you.

I have been riding with the Ryders Eyewear’s Thorn Photochromic antiFog glasses for the past year or so. Do these glasses live up to the antiFog technology/hype that they are sold with?

Sorta.

I’m someone who runs hot and sweats at the mere thought of physical activity. A sustained walk gets me thinking I should have worn some sort of technical garment to deal with how warm and sweaty I’ve become on said walk! With that in mind this is how the Thorn antiFog worked.

These glasses definitely take longer to fog up than any other eye wear I have previously used. But… but, they still fog up. The temperature and humidity really play into how long it takes before I can no longer see the trail I’m riding. However, in my time using the Thorn antiFog glasses I’ve come up with a “hack” to make the antiFog work better. More on that in a moment.

The fit of the Thorn frames is great for my large-ish head. I like the styling and how the lenses/frames wrap around my eyes and face for good coverage for deflecting any trail debris that is kicked up. The fit isn’t supper close to the face but close enough that errant bits of dirt don’t get up behind the glasses. There is a reasonable amount of air flow through the glasses when moving at a reasonable pace. Your eyes won’t water moving at a blistering pace. However, when climbing at slower paces there isn’t enough air flow to help with the antiFog technology.

Alright, to the nitty gritty.

The antiFog that is used by Ryders is impregnated into the lens rather than applied as a coating. Which means it should last longer.

There is a downside to this wizardry. The lenses have a tacky matte feeling when trying to wipe them clean. You can feel your lens cloth grabbing when trying to wipe them. This means that any piece of grit no matter how small will scratch the inside of the lens because of that tackiness. These lenses scratch so, so easily! My current Thorn glasses have a lovely scratch patina to the lenses. It hasn’t gotten to the point where they are unusable but the scratches are definitely visible when wearing them. You will need to wipe them as sweat and, in my case, fog gets on the lenses. If you don’t wipe them then what’s the point of having glasses?!

The photochromic of my yellow lenses work very well. When the they are at their darkest they still provide good sight of the trail when going from sunny to dark shadowed forested sections of trail. I even use them as regular sunnies when I’ve forgotten my regular ones as the photochromic goes dark enough for regular use as sunnies.

Okay about that hack I spoke of earlier.

I use an anti-fog goggle spray. Before every ride I spray the glasses and this gives me substantially more time of wearing the Thorn before they start to fog up. There are only a handful of days during Spring and Fall that the planets align and the temperature, humidity and my heat exertion don’t fog my Thorn antiFog glasses from start to finish on a ride.

With that in mind I take the glasses off when climbing for extended periods and put them back on once the descents and pace picks up.

Would I buy these glasses again? Yes, yes, I would. These antiFog glasses do a substantially better job of staying fog free for longer than any other eye wear I’ve previously used.

Edit: I would add photos but I cannot as I do not host my photos anywhere online (kind of a lie).

Edit #2: I figured out how to post pictures!


 Last edited by: RideEverything on June 10, 2017, 12:52 p.m., edited 3 times in total.
Reason: Formatting
June 7, 2017, 9:08 p.m.
Posts: 27
Joined: June 7, 2017

Hey there,

I'm a new member, forwarded this by a friend. But I will be an active member in the future. As a reviewer, I'll be able to include high-quality product photos. Please see my instagram: @junsupes

1. What bike(s) and fork(s) do you currently own or ride? And/or: what bike would you bolt your Auron test fork onto?

  • 2014 Specialized Enduro Evo 26", with a Fox 36 Float RC2 FIT 180 mm
  • 2015 Transition Smuggler, with a MRP Stage 29" 140 mm
  • 2012 Kona Honzo, with a Fox 34 Talas RLC 140 mm

I'll bolt the test fork on the Honzo and the Smuggler, as I can use the 29" 140 mm 15x100 axle on both bikes.

2. Have you had experience with an SR Suntour product in the past, or do you currently own any?

I have no experience with SR Suntour products. I have never owned any SR Suntour products.

3. How would you describe your current level of comfort with setting up suspension, modifying settings, etc? Beginner (someone else set it up for me, I just ride it), Intermediate (I can set my own sag and play around with settings occasionally), Advanced (I can service and maintain a fork, understand the innards, and am competent and comfortable setting up suspension for a variety of different applications).

I would describe my level of comfort as advanced. I set up sag/settings, and I maintain/service all of my forks (oil, seals, etc). 

4. Are you currently considering a fork upgrade for your bike? If so, what forks are/were you contemplating?

I've been contemplating purchasing another MRP Stage for the Kona Honzo 

5. Do you usually buy and sell bikes as a whole, or do you like to upgrade a bike bit by bit, as necessary?

A bit of both actually. I have a bit of a problem; I really like building bikes and upgrading them. I usually end up replacing almost all of the parts of a bike at least once per bike. As a result, I end up with a parts kit, and start building another bike in the process. Rinse and repeat until I end up with n+1 bikes. 

6. Most importantly: Provide an example of a mini review: select any component (new or old, whether you own it or not) and provide a short review (~300 words), making sure to cover things like performance, design, value, durability, etc. Your review can be a combination of words, photos, and video - just make sure you give us an idea of your ability to do the job. Things like spelling and grammar count, as well as the quality of the photos and video. They don't have to be 'bangers' but take a bit of time and make your content compelling and informative.

I was told that a shock shouldn’t really change how a bike rides. I was told that the OEM shock was good enough, and I shouldn’t waste my time or my money. But I didn’t listen to “them”. I am happy I didn’t. 

My Specialized Enduro Evo shipped with a Fox Van R. It’s a great little shock; I loved the simplicity and reliability. But, I had an itch. I heard that the Cane Creek DB Coil was a great shock. I heard that you can dial in your bike by fiddling with some dials. So, I jumped in. As you folks may know, Specialized uses a proprietary shock mount. Fortunately, the lovely people at BikeYoke had an adapter that allowed me to swap in the rear shock. I bought that little piece of hardware (~$120), and got myself a Cane Creek DB Coil. (~$300 used).

I installed the shock and the BikeYoke adapter on the bike, and started fiddling with the High/Low compression and rebound settings. It took quite a while to dial in everything. I would take a lap at the bike park, and bust out my Cane Creek tool. A little less low-speed rebound dampening here, a little more high-speed compression dampening there. It took me at least 2 days on the mountain to dial in a jump run setting and a “gnar DH” setting.

I remembered the euphoria I felt when I dialed in the settings; and how my bike responded exactly how I wanted. It’s like having the right amount of beers for that social situation; where enough of your inhibitions go away so you start to go for actions that you normally wouldn’t. But it’s that perfect level of buzz where you’re not going to make an ass of yourself. So, imagine that feeling but with your bike. You have utter confidence in your equipment, and it responds predictably. And it pushes you to take that hip, to take that jump because it feels so damn good.

Now, some of you will think – Was 2 days of fiddling and ~$420 worth it? I wholeheartedly say “yes”. The bike’s personality completely changed; from a brutish oaf to a man with a smoking jacket and a dinner jacket. I can go on a jump run and pop off all the lips and then rock down a gnar DH trail. The adjustments allow for the bike to change for the terrain, and your riding style. Additionally, the BikeYoke adapter also allowed me to utilize different shocks. So, if you have an Enduro Evo, get a BikeYoke and a Cane Creek DB. It will change how you look at your bike.

@junsupes

June 7, 2017, 10:43 p.m.
Posts: 4
Joined: June 7, 2017

1.

Bikes, 4 of them! My trail bike is a 2015 Specialized Camber expert evo carbon 29er with a 120mm Rockshox Pike RC solo air, non-boost.
- My Enduro weapon is a 2016 Specialized Enduro Expert carbon 29er with a 160mm Rockshox Pike RC Solo Air Non-boost, Custom Rebound Revalve.
-My DH bike is a 2017 Specialized Demo 8 II Alloy with a Rockshox Boxxer 200mm Team fork, Firm spring, Custom Compression Revalve.
-My Slalom bike is a 2016 Specialized P- slope with a Rockshox Pike 110mm.
--The Test bike i will be using for the test fork is my Enduro.

2. I have ridden a 2016 Auron on my Enduro bike for 2 months from a friend. I loved the fork, felt way plusher than my Pike, More tunable and Interesting.

3. My level of setting up suspension is definitely advanced. I Fully service all of my forks. I have done some Revalves on forks and shocks my self. I am Very in depth with Suspension service, set up procedure, Kinematics, testing.

4.  Yes, I am currently looking into buying a new fork. I was looking at the Formula Selva, Ohlins RXF 36 and the Auron.

5. I like to buy a bike as a whole. Typically i buy a $6000 to $7000 bike and swap out some parts, Handlebars, Tires, Wheels, Brakes, Grips, Stem, seat, chainguide, pedals, chainring.

6. A Component i have owned for about 2 years now is my Ohlins TTX22M coil shock on my enduro bike. I knew Ohlins was very good at what they do in there other racing sports. With that in mind, I knew i was in for something good. The first day i mounted the shock on my bike i did a fairly decent ride on my local trails and right away i felt the rear traction of the bike  on a level i never felt before. The rear wheel was very consistent cornering over small bumps and large bumps. The suppleness of the shock was like no other. Amazing support and stiffness with the harshness taken out. It felt like i had ohlins them self come out and set up my shock. That is how good it was stock. Yes of course the shock did get hot but it was no where near as hot as i have felt other AM/DH shocks. With the benefit of a coil shock being more consistent, it made the ride so much more enjoyable. The shock never faded even after a long harsh rocky run. The shock was definitely a game changer and made my rides a whole lot fun and faster.

June 8, 2017, 9:07 a.m.
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: pete@nsmb.com

Posted by: wncmotard

I am not active on the boards, but am fairly active on the home page, and would be happy to contribute for a review. I'm pretty active on other MTB sites.

Time to get posting! Show us your ability to get active - you've got a week and a half to crank it up with some posts and threads.

I honestly wouldn't feel right doing that just to get enough posts to possibly get some free stuff. I'm just a professional nerd that enjoys tinkering with mechanical things. Thanks for the opportunity though, and good luck to everyone who is eligible.

June 9, 2017, 2:36 a.m.
Posts: 8
Joined: June 9, 2017
  1. <span style="font-family: monospace, monospace; font-size: 1em;"></span>  2016 Giant Trance 2 and a 2015 Dartmoor Primal. I will test the Aurin on both bikes. Both are 650B. The Travel adjust will be usefull here, as the Trance can comfortably run a 150mm fork, and the Primal will be swapped around between 130 and 140mm

2.No. Here in South Africa SR Suntours are mainly seen as OEM forks, and they do not have a presence as aftermarket upgrade forks.

3. Advanced. I love tinkering with settings to find the sweet spot for different spots. I also service my forks myself since learning to do it years ago.

4. I plan to upgrade the fork on my Trance. I want a 34-35mm stanchion fork for the Trance. Either a RS Yari, or a Manitou Mattoc. Outside contender at the moment is the XFusion Sweep

5. I usually ride bikes into the ground, and then replace the bits as needed. First new bike I've bought in 13 years was the Trance. Everything else has been bit-by-bit upgrades.

6. Mini Review:

Extreme Lights have been building up their reputation in the South African market with their solid products at affordable price points.

The Phoenix tail light comes in simple packaging, with clear instructions and a charge cable. It is a USB rechargeable light that has a (claimed) 120Lumen output and a 240° Angle beam and it costs R295 without shipping. It’s available through their online store. https://www.extremelights.co.za/product-category/cycle-lights/tail-lights/

When plugging the Phoenix into a USB port to charge a Red LED lights up, and when fully charged the light switches off. The USB port cover is a bit fiddly and care needs to be taken to ensure it is closed properly to prevent water ingress.

The mount uses a simple swivel and elastic to wrap around the seatpost. A neat touch was to angle the rubber bracket to ensure the light does not point downwards when mounted on a seatpost. As with all elastic bike lights it is very easy to swap between bikes.

Switching the light on and off requires a long press, making it harder to accidently switch on or off. With a short press of the button used to switch between its four modes. It has High, Low, Slow Flash and Fast Flash modes. Another neat touch is that the light remembers the mode it was switched off in, and remain in that mode when switched back on. Thus it does not need to be cycled through all the modes to switch off or to go to a preferred mode.

Tail lights are largely homogenous products, and it is hard to stand out in a bunch of lights. In the Phoenix’s favour is it’s comparatively high lumen output and being USB rechargeable at it’s price point. Competitors with a similar cost need either AAA or CR2032 batteries.

In use the light does what is asked of it. It is bright enough to be a dazzling bright in daytime, and the flash mode is very noticeable. I feel safer riding with it in traffic, as it is visible from a fair distance.

Pro’s:

Competitive price point

USB Rechargeable

Very Bright.

Easily swops between bikes

Angled bracket

Cons:

USB Cover is fiddly and looks fragile

Rating: 8.5/10

Here is a review I did on a local trail park:

http://cycleculture.bike/garden-route-trail-park-2017/

for a better idea on my writing style:

http://cycleculture.bike/when-it-all-goes-wrong/

http://cycleculture.bike/the-midday-ride/

http://cycleculture.bike/ezelenduro/


 Last edited by: PhilipV on June 9, 2017, 2:42 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Reason: formatting
June 10, 2017, 9:02 a.m.
Posts: 41
Joined: June 6, 2017

1. Road bike: Cannondale CAAD8 2015 (heavily upgraded)

AM Hardtail: Vitus Sentier 29 2016 (140mm travel)

Obviously I'd bolt the fork onto the Sentier.

2. Only their absolute base-level forks (XCM, I think) on my bike as a kid, but I was pretty young at the time (and never really used it for real MTBing).

3. In terms of modifying setting and setting it up, I'd be a strong intermediate. I'm a mechanical engineer, and I understand well how the fork works and functions - so I'd be completely up with learning to service and rebuild the fork (and provide my observations and experience doing so as a mechanically adept fork newbie).

4. Yes - the stock Manitou (Minute Comp) forks that came on the Vitus are a bit flexy, and have fairly high breakaway force. I'd also like the ability to adjust LSC and HSC separately.

I was considering an X-Fusion Trace or a Rockshox Yari, but erring towards the trace due to fairly limited budget.

5. I tend to buy a bike with a good frame (features, geometry etc), and then gradually upgrade all the kit on it piece-by-piece - mostly to spread out the cost of a nicer (custom-specced) bike over time (and I also find that it makes you really appreciate each upgrade as you go).

6. Selle Italia SLR Superflow

It looks like an accident in a bike factory; some sort of medieval torture device – but if you’re willing to believe me, it’s the comfiest saddle my backside has ever met.

Now to be fair, Selle Italia HAS been making saddles for a fair few years (since 1887 – even my gran isn’t that old!). They worked from a little shed in Italy all the way up the ranks, becoming the saddlemaker of choice for many thousands of cyclists and bikers around the world…. I digress. Apologies, it seems my inner fanboy got carried away again. You get the idea though. These guys know a thing or two when it comes to backside-holders.

Shape

While saddles are a personal thing – I’ll leave you to work out why – I have always got on well with the SLR shape (long, thin and flat). I have, however, often struggled to find a saddle that is truly comfortable for other reasons. I’ve tried saddles with dips, grooves, slots, and found nothing that quite worked – until now, that is. If comfort in the middle is what you’re looking for, as such, I can wholeheartedly recommend this saddle.

Construction

Unfortunately, however, shape isn’t the only thing that makes a saddle – and if you’re looking for lots of padding, you’re going to be pretty disappointed here. Selle do flag up the addition of a small elastomer between the saddle body and seatpost rails for comfort, and while it does seem to soak up some of the force from bigger bumps, it isn’t a total padding substitute. If you (like me) prefer to sit on something akin to a log, great! If not… you might want to look elsewhere.

Durability

I’ve been thrashing (and crashing) two of these saddles around on various bikes for over 9000Km now, and durability-wise I am genuinely impressed. While the branding on the upper surface has faded, the fibra-tek amterial itself looks almost good-as new (bar the crash-marked sides), and the padding is just as (un)supportive as when it arrived.

Price

Sadly, however, even one’s favourite things must have downsides. With this saddle, the key issue is the price. The SLR Superflow retails at £150 (280 CAD/207 USD/€184) – well above anything else in it’s class. Sure, the titanium rails and carbon/composite shell bring it down to 185-195g (size-dependent), but it’s still quite a price to pay.

If you’re looking for a firm, super-comfy saddle, and are willing to shell out the cash, this might be your new best friend.

Thanks for your consideration.

Sam

June 10, 2017, 6:27 p.m.
Posts: 30
Joined: June 7, 2017

1. Currently Own: 2014 Ibis Mojo HDR 27.5 with a 2016 Rockshox Pike RCT3; 2016 Surly Karate Monkey with a 2016 Fox Float 32 FIT 4 (29). The Auron would go on the Ibis.

2. I’ve never ridden a Suntour product, but I am definitely open to trying one. I was so impressed with the X-Fusion Slant that I’m starting to question the Rockshox and Fox dogma.

3. Intermediate, however I do my own fork oil and seal changes.

4. I don’t have any plans to upgrade soon.

5. I usually buy a frame and go from there. I have bought two complete bikes, but the last four bikes I have owned have been built from the frame up.

Mini Review

As mountain bikers we live in an age of one product to do it all. Looking for a helmet that breaths well enough for after work spins, but can morph into a full face for rowdy weekend rides? Giro and Bell have just the thing.

The one size fits all approaches are convenient but there is something appealing about a product designed for one job. The Five Ten Kestrel has a strong focus on pedaling performance at the expense of off the bike comfort, but maybe that's not such a bad thing.

The description from Five Ten emphasizes the stiffness of the shoe and it's not just marketing hyperbole. The power transfer is immediate and deliberate making quick work of sprints between turns. The thick sole also eats up trail chatter and rock gardens offering enough insulation to keep your feet from feeling like they just stepped off a cheap foot massager.

The Kestrel doesn't look like a breathable shoe. It features a mesh tongue and little else to suggest it will be anything other than an oven for your foot. However, the airflow is surprisingly good considering the lack of vents. I found dry feet after multiple rides in 90° Southern California heat.

The major downside to the Kestrel is it lacks the off bike capability of some of its competitors.

While the sole is excellent when clipped in or navigating dry rock, it is quickly overwhelmed by mud or wet roots. Blame this on the Five Ten dot pattern and the generous cleat slot which easily packs with mud. If lengthy hike a bikes are a regular part of your rides, you would be better served by a different shoe. Between the lack of lugs and the stiff sole, hiking in the Kestrel can be a burden.

Having one product fill multiple roles is in vogue for the mountain bike industry but it is refreshing to see a product so dedicated to one purpose.

It may be outclassed by competitors when it comes to off the bike comfort but you will be hard pressed to find a better shoe for on the bike performance. If you need a stiff sole made for pedaling then the Five Ten Kestrel should be high on your list.

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