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Forum Testing: Suntour Auron 34 RC2 PCS

June 11, 2017, 12:35 p.m.
Posts: 2
Joined: May 3, 2017

1. Knolly Warden Aluminum, 2015 with Pike RTC3 Solo Air 160 mm, 27.5. I would put new fork to this bike

2. No

3. In between Intermediate and advanced – I can set the sag up, know what each knob does to fork feel, and set the fork for myself for a good feel but I’m not experienced mechanic. I have serviced two shocks though.

4. I’m thinking about it, because my pike is acting a weird way. Working fine but I have to use very low pressure and it is not buttery smooth. I had a good experience with FOX, but was looking recently on Marzocci.

5. It is my third bike that I bough as whole, used. Then I’m replacing parts as preferred or needed.

6. FOX 36 FLOAT RC2 160 mm. I have been using this fork for couple years now and despite it being from 2010, it is still working well and makes a ride pleasant and smooth, it definitely does what is supposed to do – keeps your wheel on the ground and your arms fatigue free. It is a simple fork – no lockout feature and impossible to lower stroke can be unacceptable for many riders, but this simplicity may be what makes this fork reliable even after so many years. I really like its initial travel feel, very easy to start compressing, there is almost no breakaway force, what gives really good small bump absorption. Stanchions are not Kashima coated but there is no noticeable stiction and not even one scratch over so many years. Lack of locking feature can be easily overcome by turning rebound knob to fully closed what makes it really slow and it is very helpful on ascents, although I prefer to leave it open for harder, technical uphills where fork would nicely eat up all rocks and roots. Rebound knob is on top of right stanchion so you can reach it even during a ride. Since it is an older fork it does not have an option for adding tokens, what becomes a standard nowadays, so there is no option to ramp up end of the stroke. However I’m fairly heavy rider and I never felt a need for doing so. Setting sag at about 25% fork feels really good and keeps me smiling during a ride, wheel feels “glued” to the ground and you can definitely tell how smooth it is even on very harsh trail. Overall it is great fork and I can definitely recommend it to everyone looking for plush, but still quite lightweight fork that will last for a long years and servicing it won’t ruin your budget. One issue I experienced on this fork is oil migrating to lowers make it impossible to use full travel. This can be easily corrected by very simple lower leg service and should not happen if you keep regular service intervals.

June 12, 2017, 3:51 p.m.
Posts: 9
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

1. I have a Kona Explosif and a Norco Range. I’d likely consider the Norco as the recipient but both bikes use the same fork so it would be nice to test on a hardtail and a full suspension.

2. Not that I know of since Biopace! I’m sure the castings for some of the forks I’ve used have likely been done at the Suntour factories though.

3. I’d classify myself as Advanced but my collarbone and back would classify me as dumbass. I am fully confident with stripping down suspension and rebuilding it. The toughest thing so far as been the rebuild of a Charger damper since you have to be so careful with the rubber. I would like to gain a better understanding of shim stacks next to really get into suspension rate tuning. The nerd in me keeps a spreadsheet of suspension settings for each bike. 

4. Yes. I’ve been eyeing the DVO Diamond or possibly an Auron though they neither seem to be too prevalent on the market.

5. I prefer to build my bikes bit by bit and upgrade as necessary. I usually get good enough components that things don’t break down often. But things wear and I prefer to replace things as needed.

6. Maxxis Minion DHF 3C EXO 650b 2.35 - 5☆

THE tire to beat....unless you're an XC racer

This is the most dependable and reliable front tire I've ever had. Let's be honest, you're going to win no uphill climb battles with this bad boy. You're going to hear it a bit as it rolls. You're going to feel it with knobs and the added 100g or so. But unlike a Michelin, Specialized, Conti or anyone else, this tire hooks up in any and all conditions. With a square-ish profile and some serious meat on the side knobs you know you're going to hook up when this tire is leaned over hard. The middle siping and grip is rather slow so you'll have to put more into getting these things moving but once you do...look out! The tires will monster truck over anything in their path. With the triple compound design of the tire it finds a good balance of speed vs. grip. It rolls well in the dry, on marbles and even tracks well on wet roots and rocks. The sidewall casing is bombproof and stable enough to run at lower pressures. I often run mine at 20-21 psi and have no folding or burping issues. The tubeless setup has worked on the two brands of rims on which I've tried them and went on with simply a floor pump with no issues. They don't lose air as much as the competition either. I won’t get into the argument as to whether they are a true 2.35” width or not. That all depends on your rim width and how the tire fits that bead. There's a reason these tires are held up as the gold standard. Maxxis nailed it with the design, the casing, the compound and the bead on these tires. May these never be retired and I will always have a front tire on which to rail!

Profile of Minion DHF 650b 3C EXO TR on WTB i25 rim.

Profile of Maxxis DHF 650b 3C EXO TR on WTB i25 rim.


 Last edited by: the-chez on June 13, 2017, 7:17 a.m., edited 2 times in total.
June 13, 2017, 8:18 p.m.
Posts: 27
Joined: June 13, 2017

1. 2016 Specialized Rockhopper Sport 29er. I wrecked on Sunday and just picked up a Bontrager replacement wheel for the front, If I’m one of the lucky folks selected I’ll be returning the wheel to purchase one with the appropriate 15X100 axle required for the Suntour Auron.

2. Yes! Currently running a SR Suntour XCM 100mm front fork (29”). It came assembled with the Rockhopper and it’s on the list of upgrades, although it has served me well so far.

3. Intermediate – Limited adjustments exist for my current coiled fork (but I can tell you that I ride with exactly 6 clicks from starboard!). The next fork I own will hopefully have the full range of available settings to tweak; I plan to learn all the necessary skills and tools required to fully customize and service the shock. I have in the past disassembled and repaired an old Manitou fork on my Giant Iguana.

4. Yes! My current Suntour is a lower-spec coiled fork that I’ve been intending to upgrade (*upgrade subject to indefinite-postponement due to spending entire ‘fun-budget’ on new front wheelset & knee/elbow pads ¯(ツ)/¯ …crash and learn eh? Or was it learn to crash??). Before the financial shortfall I had been looking at the RockShox lineup & generally cruising forums looking for deals/advice. Nothing set in stone yet.

5. Bit by bit - I love repairing, cleaning, disassembling, re-assembling, & looking at everything on my bike (I also have a unique desire to buy hyper-specialized tools that I’ll use once or twice then store on the bench to look at… Seriously babe! They’re pretty!). So far I have replaced the grips, front wheel, & pedals; have removed the stock 3x9 Altus and replaced it with a 1x10 ZEE drivetrain (big change!!); and have now collected a set of kick-ass tools to play with. Plans are in place to upgrade to a dropper, go tubeless, and replace the front fork. Once I’m happy with the components I may look to move things over to a full suspension frame (pipe-dreams…).



SHIMANO M640-SS Zee derailleur:

Sram or Shimano… which is better? Are you pedalling up and down the mountain with easy buttery shifts, or were you dropped on your head when you were young and can’t choose a reliable derailleur? …Bad jokes aside, for us average bikers who don’t care so much about brand loyalty (seeing as none have sponsored us), both mainstream manufacturers host fantastic products to choose from.

When I set about looking to upgrade from a 3x9 drivetrain, the options were overwhelming… I knew I wanted to go 1x10, but shifting through all the offerings available is enough to drive the average weekend warrior like myself mad… Through research it became apparent that running a reliable rear-derailleur with a clutch is the first necessary requirement when you’re looking to set up a fresh 1x drive system. Shimano’s Zee fits this perfectly as it hosts a low profile design with an integrated Shadow + clutch. I have been riding up and down some of the best the North Shore has on offer without so much as a chain-slap.

(the Zee’s clutch lever is easily accessible, turn it to ‘off’ and your rear wheel will be a LOT easier to remove…)

Shifting is a breeze as well. The adjustment screws are easily accessible and allow you to fine-tune your chain-line to a level where response is quick, and noise is minimized. Being able to seamlessly move from 11T to 32T on the rear cassette to tackle the fast approaching climb is fast, efficient, and smooth.

This derailleur does however fall short when it comes to larger rear cassette rings. The Zee comes in 2 varieties; DH supports up to 28T, while Freeride supports up to 36T max. You may want to consider using a smaller 30T front ring if you find that the climbs are making your legs glow more then you’re used to.

(fully extended on a 36T ring, the Zee shows just how short its arm is)

All around this derailleur has been exactly what I was hoping to find. Reliable, efficient, and safely tucked away from all those mean mech eating tree trunks that line the trails waiting to catch a less prepared biker off guard. At this price point it didn’t hurt too badly to take the plunge and give it a try. I would definitely recommend the Shimano Zee to anyone.



Ps: I am new to the NSMB forums and couldn’t resist signing up to throw my entry into this awesome contest. I’ve never written a product review like this before but really enjoyed the process! If I’m one of the lucky folks selected I plan to exchange my front wheelset for one with the proper through axle design to fit the Suntour Auron… I primarily ride in Coquitlam, BC (Burke Mtn.) although this summer I have been hitting Mount Fromme or Seymour every weekend.

Thanks for reading! I hope someone has enjoyed my review 😊


 Last edited by: StinkinRutBeer on June 13, 2017, 8:39 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
June 13, 2017, 10:20 p.m.
Posts: 12
Joined: June 13, 2017

Hi, I am a new member and a regular reader of content. I have been active on MTBR more recently and I have been on bikeforums for over 10 years. I'm getting more into the MTB and NSMB forums of late. This test product was the spark I needed to join and I look forward to contributing regularly.

1. Bike I own are many (road, track, fixed, cross, monster cross, fat, touring, vintage, modern etc...) but I would mount this on my 2015 Rocky Mountain Instinct 750 BC Edition, which currently has an XFusion Trace RL2, 140mm. The fork is currently at suspension werx and will come back with the RLX roughcut damper. I'm a 29er guy, I tried 650B when it was the new thing and went back to 29" ASAP. I'm 6'4 190lbs and live in Whitehorse, YT. Trail range from rolling XC, to all mountain (Carcross) to epic alpine. I like it all and like to get a bit rowdy but nothing to big.

2. I do not currently own any, SR suntour product, but am certainly familiar with the company from the Suntour of old (XC pro anyone) to the reformed SR suntour that came about in the 1990s.

3. Very comfortable setting up, I used to be a full time mechanic and regularly helped customers set-up. However, I wouldn't quite call myself advanced. I have serviced lowers and done dampers once with guidance. These days, time and tools keep me from digging deeper but it is a goal to start doing more of it myself. I would service the Suntour fork and document it for the purpose of this review. Only reason I didn't do my xfusion this time around is I wasn't expecting to blow the damper and Summer is my busy season at work so most of my spare time is riding with little to spare so I sent it off to Suspension Werx.

4. Currently, going ahead with the damper upgrade on my XFusion which would be a very relevant direct comparison to the SR Suntour fork. I'm consider a new 29er next season... maybe a hardtail.

5. I usually buy and sell as a whole, but begin changing parts almost immediately. I like the rocky BC editions because they tend to have a pretty good spec to start then I can change up the cockpit and whatever else. Currently, I have swapper, post, bar, stem, cranks and tires from stock on my bike since it has solid working DT and brakes. Next piece would be better wheels (I'd build myself). I am considering building a hardtail from the frame up, but it's hard to compete with the value of a complete bike.

6. RACE FACE AEFFECT CRANK SET

Race Face introduced the Aeffect crank as a budget-conscious direct mount crankset in 2016. The Aeffect utilizes the same cinch interface as their more expensive offerings, but at a much lower price. It uses a familiar 24mm spindle making it interchangeable with Shimano bottom brackets that can cost less than the Race Face offering and will typically last longer. Forged from 6066 aluminum, the Aeffect crank comes in at 650g (claimed) with a 32T chainring.

Spending about $100 more will get you a Turbine crank forged from 7050 alloy with a 30mm spindle. What does this mean? The claim is stiffness, but I dare you to tell the difference in a blind test. The extra CNC finishing and red and blue anodized options do give the Turbine some cool retro points, but as much as I love the 90’s, my wallet won me over to the Aeffect crank.

The Aeffect replaced the stock Ride crank on my 2015 Rocky Mountain Instinct BC Edition. The Ride crank has an unusually large protrusion around the spindle, and after a week of wet spring riding on the BC coast my ankles were bruised from knocking that protrusion during hasty dismounts. I needed to get a different crank and (let’s face it) the direct mount ring looks way cooler than the 4 bolt arms. Swapping cranks was straightforward and seamless. A couple spacers and one already installed self-extracting 8mm bolt and it all goes on in seconds. If you need to change the ring just grab your trusty old cartridge bottom bracket tool. Thanks for not making us buy another tool, Race Face. Over more than a year of riding the Aeffect it has performed flawlessly, meaning I never think about it when I’m riding. Chain retention on the Race Face 30T narrow wide ring is excellent also.

Expensive cranks save weight but often don’t offer any real performance advantage to the average rider. The Aeffect is a perfect budget crank that will perform loyally and save you some coin that will be better spent on fresh rubber or better wheels.


 Last edited by: cyclotoine on June 13, 2017, 10:27 p.m., edited 3 times in total.
June 14, 2017, 11:26 p.m.
Posts: 1033
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

1. My main ride is a 2017 Chromag Rootdown BA which is used 95% of my riding, she runs a 2015 Suntour Auron RC2 set at 150mm. If I'm the right reviewer for this new Auron, it would go on the Chromag where I can (hopefully) tell the improvement between it and my current fork. The other 5% of the time (bike park, or if the Rooty is down due to a mechanical), I have a 2012 Norco Truax which is currently running a Marzocchi 55 RC3Ti. I have recently purchased a previously loved Suntour Durolux which at 180mm travel should offer a better match to the Truax, however my love for the RC3Ti forks is real and I haven't had the chance or motivation to swap the Durolux over yet.

2. As mentioned above, my main bike has had the older Auron on it for about half a season now. I chose the Auron largely because it had some decent reviews, and as a value oriented consumer, I was able to buy it NOS for about $100 less than a used Pike. Fashion and brand conscious I am not, but I do appreciate gear that works half decently and stays working. I do love to tinker and wrench, but nowadays with little to no free time the less I have to tinker the more time I have to ride. I do have a Durolux planned for the secondary bike, but it gets ridden so infrequently, that would not really be a fare comparison.

3. As a solid novice/intermediate rider skills wise, I can appreciate that I don't need or maybe even want all the bells and whistles that expert and pro level riders use. I would suggest my suspension knowledge is beginner to intermediate. I set my sag typically in and around 30%, and more or less just leave it there. Same thing with rebound speed, get it to where I don't feel like getting bucked off and leave it there. Good adjustable compression has been fairly new for me, and as such I am still quite new to its 'feeling'. I can't say that I would notice 2 or 3 clicks of high speed or low speed adjustment on my current Auron. In a nutshell, I feel like I just get things reasonably close and adjust my riding to suit the way my fork is setup. The idea that a fork can be setup to suit the way I ride, that's a bit new for me.

I've worked heavily with bikes since the rigid fork, cantilever brake, square tapered bottom bracket days, so I'm very comfortable with wrenching. Having said that, I don't service/tune my own suspension and I don't built my own wheels. I appreciate the artistry and voodoo in either of these areas, and gladly fork (teehee) over my earnings to have the people who do these things all day do them for me.

I would be curious to see if this PCS feature on the new fork will be noticeable compared to my current fork. And being that it's a tester fork and I'll have my current fork as a spare, I may even try diving into it and hopefully be able to put it back together.

4. The Auron has been good for me, not great, but it doesn't hold me back. If I were to be 100% honest, with the Rootdown as my 'The One' bike, the vintage gold stanchions on my current fork don't quite do it full justice. I've ridden Pikes in the past, and I do find them more sensitive to small bumps but also more supportive than my Auron; I've been unable to replicate this feeling on my Auron thus far. A Pike would be a performance upgrade, however slight, but it would be an absolute aesthetic upgrade to my current build. I know I said above I'm not fashion conscious, but I am a bit OCD and vain at times in the right situation. In a nutshell, I would consider a fork 'upgrade' if the right deal were to present itself. Which is why this new Auron with the black stanchions is so appealing to me.

5. My first mountain bike in 1996 was a Norco Kokanee, new off the floor of Fraser Cycles. I don't think I've bought a new complete bike since. In my 20 years in the sport, I have probably bought my bikes as frames and done custom builds 90% of the time. Even my current Norco Truax, I bought it second hand as a complete but the only parts remaining from how I bought it are the frame, headset, handlebar, and seat clamp. I am a self confessed gear head, the addiction to gear is part of the drive that keeps my going. I build, I ride, I sell, I buy something else and repeat. With my Rootdown I have decided to settle on her (unless I was to find a smashing deal on the updated Surface) as my 'forever' bike, at this stage in my life it's time to commit to something.

6. I'm going to attempt to review aboth 29 and 27.5+ wheel sizes, more storytelling really, so I apologize for the length in advanced:

<span style="line-height: 1.15;">About a year and a half ago, I decided to dive full in to the technological advancements of the mountain bike world. Up to this point, I had been happily enjoying my Cannondale Rize, a 26" trail bike with wheels that moved up and down, 2x9 drivetrain, and Avid mechanical disc brakes. I had a ton of fun on this bike, but what was everybody else raving about from wheel sizes to geometry, rear cassette extenders, derailleur clutches, chainrings that were only available with even numbered teeth, etc etc. So I jumped onto a Kona Honzo. 29ers were supposed to be more cumbersome, numb to ride, not handle quickly, imprecise due to flexy wheels, but faster. Of those, the only point that I could agree to was the last one. The Honzo did such a great job convincing me that 29ers were here to stay, that I bought and built up a Kona Satori, a longish travel 130mm 29er full suspension chassis. Coincidentally, all of this was happening around the time that 27.5+ was starting to gain traction (teehee). I sourced a set of reasonably priced 29mm internal width 27.5 wheels, which enabled me to run some WTB Trailblazers in 2.8" width. This 27.5+ setup also fit both the Satori and Honzo. I had a blast tooling around Whistler Bike Park on this 27.5+ Satori, the more volumous tires rolled very well and offered a bit more something that allowed the bike to feel more like a 150-160mm bike.</span>

When I found out that Chromag had updated the geometry for the Surface with 27.5+ compatibility designed in, I inquired. I pondered. I sold the Honzo AND the Satori. I put down my deposit, almost. Simply put, I had no business putting down that kind of cheese for a frame, even if it was artistry created by Chris Dekerf (ps: I did a NSMB Reader's Rides article years back for my Dekerf Team SL). So I settled for the Rootdown BA, it came in a beautiful colour, and I could justify a nice build up from this. And I wouldn't shed a tear silently each time the frame got a ding from regular use and battle. So I built her up with 27.5 x 2.8" Schwalbe's. The first shake down ride was amazing, a bike with a 65* head angle had no business climbing the way my Rooty does. Traction for days; wet roots--no problem, slick rocks--keep motoring on. The bit of squish offered by the 2.8" tires was welcome on a stiff, heavy duty steel hardtail. Then I clipped a pedal, and another, and another, and this was just on the way up; the resultant uphill dabs were a huge blow to my ride and I instantly knew would not be sustainable. I did keep trying to work around this and over the next several months it did improve slightly. But I had to think consciously about timing my pedal strokes and making the extra effort to avoid obstacles, taking away from the overall enjoyment of my ride.

My solution was hybrid wheel sizing, why not. I was able to find a 29" Roval Traverse Fattie front wheel to match my rear 27.5 of the same, because once again I'm vain. I slipped on a spare 29 x 2.35" Hans Dampf, and I've not looked back since. I kept all the rear wheel traction and cush, brought the bb height up enough that pedal clips are a few and far in between occurrence now, improved roll over of the front wheel with its 1" greater overall diameter, and also improved steering precision. What little was lost in the plus sized front wheel traction has been more than made up for with less tire squirm that 27.5+ tires being run at 13-16psi just can't get away from. I'm amazed by what a difference raising the bb by a few mm's has done for my ride and I haven't noticed any overall adverse handling as a result of this. The bike IS slacker now with this choppered wheel setup, and it is a bit more of a challenging in slow speed sharp hairpin corners, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for the much greater good. The Rootdown BA's geometry is absolutely dialed for going up, down, and sideways. But for me and my riding environment, dropping the already low for 29er bb height an extra 12mm give or take, was just too much.

The 27.5 x 2.8" Nobby Nic mounted to a 29mm internal width rim in the foreground is roughly 1" smaller in overall diameter compared with the 29 x 2.35" Hans Dampf mounted to a 29mm internal width rim in the background. Even a 12mm drop in bb height can have a drastic effect on handling characteristics.

Another perspective, the hub axles are basically lined up in the same plane. On the left we have the 29 x 2.35" Hans Dampf, on the right the 27.5 x 2.8" Nobby Nic. Visually the HD does appear narrower than the NN, but not by much. But looking at the top, you can clearly see the difference in wheel diameter.

So, anybody looking to a buy a lightly used front 27.5 x 29mm Roval Traverse Fattie?

Thanks for taking the time to read, my bike would look so much more sexy with a full black fork ;)


 Last edited by: UFO on June 14, 2017, 11:44 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
June 15, 2017, 1:46 p.m.
Posts: 1
Joined: June 5, 2017

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?

Radon Swoop 200 9.0

FORK: Fox 40 Performance elite

Shock: Fox DHX2

Bree Sunny Day in January

Cube Stereo 160mm HPA (Test Bike)

FORK: DVO Diamond 160mm

Shock: Fox Float X

Bike pictured below in its element with Irish muck!

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

FIRST BIKE: A GT Agressor hardtail that had a 120mm SR Suntour Epicon fork on it. I rode this bike for a year and a half with the fork. Unfortunately I do not remember the name of it. It was an air sprung fork that I upgraded the bike to. It had a 15mm axle and changed my mind about mountain biking. Prior to installing the SR Suntour fork it had a coil 100mm OEM fork, possibly rockshox brand. With the SR Suntour fork installed I caught the bug and was ecstatic about mountain biking. I don’t have this bike anymore. I sold it to my cousin who still has it. The fork is still going strong. Pictured below.

Like everyones first bike, we want it back. If we sold it for another bike that is.

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).

Intermediate to advanced.

I ride with 30% SAG on the rear shock and 20%-25% SAG on the front.

After a few runs through the farmyard with a wide flat turn onto a rough roadway to get a base tune with the rebound and low speed compression I’ll go to my local trails to fine tune the settings. With high speed rebound I find I have to ride bigger, rougher and faster tracks to dial it in properly.

I change my rebound for wet days/tracks so I can have a little bit more traction and I will increase my low speed compression slightly for flatter, faster tracks that don’t have me weighting and unweighting the bike in steep awkward technical sections and corners.

I service the lowers and change wiper seals but don't have the workshop to open up dampers to service them in a clean efficient manner.

*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?

Long term I would be considering a Fox 36 but only if I had one “do it all bike”. Although, after trying the Diamond I would be tempted to try the Manitou Mattoc Pro 2. I haven’t seen any in depth reviews of it yet though. Saying that, I am still very found of my Diamonds.

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

I do both! I buy bikes as a whole and change components that might need upgrading if I feel the need to. I wouldn’t keep upgrading a bike as I think it would be more expensive in the long run with all the new standards and wheel changes, which makes me a little sad but my priority is going fast and having fun on a bike more so than having the sickest looking chopper at the start gate.

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.

DVO Diamond 160mm

Purchased May 2016

Initial setup:

Air Spring Pressure: 130 PSI (125 PSI recommended for my weight)

OTT 6 full revolutions

Rebound 7 from fully open

Low speed compression: 2 Clicks from fully open

High Speed Compression: 6 clicks from fully open

“Riding with the DVO Diamonds I have learned more about setting it up suspension correctly and having fun”

Initial Riding Impressions:

I went to my local trails with the recommended settings from DVO’s website, DVO Diamond Setup, with 10 extra PSI in the air spring. I quickly learned that this was a mistake. After 20 mins of riding I felt I had too much air in the fork so I dropped back the air spring back to 120 PSI and went back up and rode the trails again. I “dropped in” to the trail and pedaled up to speed for the first flat turn. I felt like I didn’t need to brake so I didn’t. I tucked between two trees on the apex of the flat corner with no hiccups. The bike had come alive! Both the bike and I wanted more speed! I pumped through the beginning of the trail and just kept getting more speed than I was not used to. I braked hard before dropping into the steeper section and at that point I knew I had made a mistake by hitting the brake so hard. The forks just railed the steep banked rocky turn and sent me straight for the off camber line which would launch me straight to the end of the valley. The Diamonds had just redefined my interpretation of an off camber line by a whole foot and a half. The previous line I took I had to turn left a little before entering it but with the DVO Diamonds I just went straight through!

Bree Grassroots Enduro Just before the EWS Rnd 4

Lovely Sunny Race day in May just before the EWS. Great day for photos, not so great for racing. Great day to finish with a beer!

Things I didn't like;

The low speed compression clicks seemed to jump too much between clicks. I was always switching between 1 to 3 never knowing which to stay on. I believe newer forks from mid 2016 onwards have a newer tune.

Also my crowns had the paint defect which are being warrantied with no hassle from DVO

UPDATE: Racing the EWS Rnd 4: Wicklow Ireland.

Throughout practice on the stages I was able to take daring lines I would usually find difficult to execute. Off camber lines with roots were a norm for me to hit and ride with ease, usually I attempt these but I never have the grip or control to get onto them. With the DVO these were hard not to take!

I was able to take lines I had looked at whilst walking the track which I never did before! My front wheel stayed glued to the ground on off camber turns while my back wheel wanted to go off line and ride another stage!

Conclusion:

This is an amazing feature in my life! I am surprised by them every time I go out on my bike! The OTT adjustment really gives you that "Dialed in" feeling to make the fork in tune for your riding and what you want from a fork and bike. The Diamonds give so much more confidence in the wet you ride the trails like their dry, minus the puddles you dodge. For the price and the awesome color scheme I would really recommend this fork!

Grassroots in Bike Park Ireland Round 1 March

Pictured above: First race of 2017, a one day enduro which put a huge smile on my face getting mucky and sideways. The €1000 price is well worth it compared to other forks that are more expensive and not as tuneable or as good performance wise.

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.

Gladly, I think this would help progress and help the review become less biased and more true!

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.

N/A

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.

I have newly signed up. I am actually enjoying it here. Especially Uncle Dave!!


 Last edited by: El_Sketchio on June 15, 2017, 2:04 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
June 15, 2017, 3:51 p.m.
Posts: 27
Joined: June 13, 2017

Time's almost up boys and girls! If you're on the fence trying to decide whether or not you can write a review, just do it! It ain't so bad...

(JK... it's horrible. You probably shouldn't. You don't need a new fork to review anyways right? I mean, 1 out of 18 are horrible odds aren't they? Better luck next time maybe...)

June 15, 2017, 8:52 p.m.
Posts: 241
Joined: Nov. 25, 2013

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?

I have two noble steeds that spend time in the mountains of the Sea to Sky corridor: Transition Bandit 29er (raked out 140/120mm f/r) equipped with a Fox Float 34, and a beat-up old Kona Stinky from the mid 2000s that I nurse along year over year to handle bike-park duties.

If selected, this fork will get a chance to play on the Transition. This bike gets the most miles be it pretending to be a strava-boss or trying to not embarrass myself in the NSMBA Fivers. I would test it in the 140mm setting and perhaps dabble in 150mm if easily adjustable.

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

I do not have any experience with SR Suntour products, but would enjoy a chance to test them.

3. How would you describe your current level of comfort with setting up suspension, modifying settings, etc?

I would say I’m Intermediate to Advanced. I can get my suspensions setup pretty close on my own. I have visited Arthur at Suspension Therapy to get things dialed in the past. I can do a tear-down for an oil change. Bushing and internal servicing (beyond wipers) is beyond my current knowledge-base. However, I am willing to learn and have spent time in the past with Jeff at the Bike Room through bench-time.

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

I’m currently running a Fox Float 34 which recently went through major surgery. A creaky CSU and sticky fork sent in for a typical service...returned with new internals and a new CSU…which is white…on my stealthy-black steed...and no more Kashima...Oh the humanity!

It looks plain wrong. I’ve been telling folks that it’s a special prototype made of unobtanium that weighs less than carbon, adds 300% stiffness to the chassis, never creaks, and whispers motivational phrases to you as you ride. Classics like "Wow! That was totally an 8' drop", "You were totally sideways on that whip", and "Its not just your mom, I think you are cool too"…I’m not sure anyone is buying it.

My beloved bike is starting to show its age. I am starting to look around for a new rig (shhhh), and aside from geometry, suspension is the next most important item. With SR Suntour starting to break into the higher-end scene, I’m curious as to how they compare with the big names in the OEM business.

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

I do most of my own bike maintenance for our family quiver. Being a member of the Clydesdale weight-class, I tend to be hard on my equipment and I’m not terribly smooth on line-choice and I break things. Usually, I upgrade as I go after having done a ton of research on whether an upgrade is worth the cost differential.

6. Gear Review

I was a forum member reviewing the DT Swiss E-1700 Spline 2 wheels in 2015. I really enjoy riding and keeping the performance of my equipment at the front of mind.

https://nsmb.com/forum/forum/gear-4/topic/nsmb-forum-testing-dt-swiss-e-1700-spline-two-275-29-wheels-2270/

I have also been published in a letter to Uncle Dave - yeah that's right, I rock out to Raffi: https://nsmb.com/articles/too-old-wear-flat-brim/

Thanks,

Gord

June 15, 2017, 9:55 p.m.
Posts: 5
Joined: June 15, 2017

I am not sure I am eligible for this because I just signed up on NSMB today, gonna give it a shot anyway.

1. Bikes and forks

  • Polygon Collosus AX3.0 with SR Suntour Durolux R2C2

  • Polygon Collosus N9 with Rockshox Pike RC (test bike)

2. Yes, I own a Durolux R2C2. Also had experience with an old Auron.

3. Intermediate.

4. No, I don't have any plans to upgrade my fork at the moment.

5. Bit by bit.

6. Mini review:

First Impressions: Polygon Square One

So I got the chance to test ride the new Square One from Polygon back in May. This bike is really different compared to Polygon's older design. It shapes are really unique, garnering a love-it-or-hate-it response from online forums. Personally, I don't really mind. The only view that matters is the top tube from above anyway, the one I sometime glimpse when I am actually riding.

It has 180 mm of rear wheel travel courtesy of a Naild's R3act-2play suspension system. At first it looks like a single pivot, but look closer and you can see that the swing arm has a telescopic system inside it. The kinematics are controlled by a short link above the main pivot, giving it a VPP-ish feel with small consistent anti-squat along the travel. Polygon is using custom valved X2 units for Square One's rear shock, with less compression damping. This boost the bike sensitivity for trail chatter and small-to-medium sized bumps. The kind of sensitivity that can make this bike a poster boy for pregnancy test kit ads.

I weigh 73 kg, so the mechanics set me up with 45 psi in the 36 and 165 psi in the X2. Factory recommendation, they say. It works really well on rough sections of Pamitra downhill trails, smoothing small-to-medium sized impacts. Pedalling feels firm because of the anti-squat, but I find it a little bit lacking when I want to pump it hard on berms and trannys. After a few runs, I’ve settled on 60 psi on the front and 200 in the rear. Fork rebound damping is set 7 clicks from open, both rear shock LSC and and LSR are set 10 clicks from open. It still got it’s small bump sensitivity so I’m happy with that. I’d love to experiment with X2 volume spacer, adding some and reducing the compression damping. Too bad they didn’t have any spacer on site.

Beside the new suspension design, Polygon (finally) shifts its paradigm on geometry. At 445 mm, the reach for medium-sized Square One is actually longer than XL-sized Collosus N! I am 171 cm tall with forward riding bias (compared to most Indonesians) and I feel at home on medium. For Indonesian market, Polygon specced zero offset KS adjustable post to make this transition smoother for local consumers who are used to short top tube length. Me? I am just happy that we got steeper effective seat angle compared to international market.

My wallets are not though. Eight grands for the XO1/aluminum wheels model is kinda above my pay grade (fork out another two grand for XX1/carbon wheels). Nevertheless, judging from my short time with this bike, all those people lucky enough to buy this bike will get what they pay for.

In need of flow.


 Last edited by: rifu on June 16, 2017, 2:37 a.m., edited 2 times in total.
Reason: adds info about which bike will be the test bed
June 15, 2017, 11:25 p.m.
Posts: 36
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

_All photos are my own, more of which can seen here. _

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?

  • 2016 Santa Cruz Hightower - 160mm Fox 36 RC2
  • 2017 Chromag Surface - 140mm Fox 34 Fit4

Both frames are built around 15x100 and 12x148 hubs to provide potential of running either my 29er, or my 27.5+ wheel sets. I would test the Auron on both frames, and mostly with the 29" wheels.

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

I have never owned or ridden an SR Suntour product.

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). *

From the predefined levels of competency with respect to setting up suspension, I would consider myself ‘advanced’. I feel like I should follow that up with advanced hobbyist, since I would not consider myself even close to the same league as the talented professionals like SW or Vorsprung. I am comfortable with servicing and maintaining my suspension components (save proprietary damper assemblies) and have a strong interest in understanding the design and function of modern vehicle suspension systems. I have studied hydraulic circuit design theory for control engineering applications, however it is not my area professional expertise.

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

I’m very interested to try an MRP Ribbon, though I’m reluctant to faff with a boost adapter kit (and I don’t have $900 USD to spare). The on-the-fly air volume adjustment of all MRP forks piques my interest, but I will most likely purchase a Ramp Control cartridge for my Fox 36 to geek out with different positive and negative spring rates and without forgoing my beloved RC2 damper.

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

I like to build my bikes from the frame up with parts that I already have in mind. I tend to stick with what I know and like, and owning/servicing multiple bikes becomes a bit more streamlined when I have similar brake bleed kits, bottoms bracket tools, freehubs, etc. I continue to upgrade bikes piece by piece as, ahem “necessary”, and then sell off the builds when I succumb to the New Bike Tractor Beam.

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.

This mini review summarizes my initial impressions of the Cane Creek DBcoil [IL] fitted with a Cane Creek Vault spring.

I acquired and mounted the shock in late April 2017 and have ridden ~3 times per week on trails from Bellingham to Pemberton, totaling roughly 280km of trail covered. The shock was mounted to a Santa Cruz Hightower with a 160mm Fox 36 and 29x2.4 wheels. Before mounting the DBcoil [IL], I was using a Cane Creek Double Barrel Inline (air) that will serve as a reference to my experience with the coil variant.

Cane Creek took a lot of heat for poor quality control of their inline air shocks, however I was impressed with their willingness to amend their image through their shock trade-up program and overall customer service. As such, I had no reservations when considering their trail-oriented coil shock. I elected to purchase the steel Valt spring to save some weight over standard coil spring, while forgoing pricier (aftermarket) titanium spring options. Using Cane Creek’s online spring calculator, I estimated a 500lb spring would fit the bill with my 85kg riding weight.

Unsurprisingly, the DBcoil [IL] comes with a significant weight penalty in comparison to its air cousin registering a combined spring+damper weight of 647 grams vs 369 grams, respectively (both in 200x57).

DBInline Weight

Coil Weight

The Coil [IL] features the same high speed / low speed rebound + compression adjustments found on other Cane Creek dampers, as well as the popular climb switch which provides on-the-fly damping of low speed compression and low speed rebound; a claim Cane Creek touts to differentiate their climb switch from competitors. Setting up the shock was straightforward thanks to following the predefined base settings accessed through the Cane Creek App, including number of rotations for proper preload.

The climb switch has shown itself to be exceptionally effective at increasing climbing efficiency. Without making any quantitive claims, I can say that ascending a local favorite climb trail using the climb switch left me feeling more spry than without the switch activated. In forgoing a sacrifice in efficiency, climbing steep and/or loose trails with the climb switch open dramatically increased the available traction which I would attribute to the more immediate forces of the coil spring in the early shock stroke in combination with the low speed rebound (and compression) circuits open to provide a very planted tire feel.

The climbing ability provided surprisingly excellent results, however the sought after mid-stroke support of the coil truly motivated my purchase. A major concern before purchasing the Coil [IL] was that the leverage ratio of the Hightower (2.5->2.65->2.35) was not progressive enough to accommodate a linear spring rate and I would find myself bottoming out more frequently. After my first boogie down a local jump line, I did indeed bottom out which translated as a much more gradual thud than I expected, thanks to the rubber stopper at the end of the damper strut. After few clicks of high speed compression, I was pleased with my setup and have not made contact with the rubber stopper again. Overall, the shock feels lively and playful at low speed tech, and smooth and supportive without any fatigue to report in high speed descents. I am also pleased with the relative silence of of the shock in comparison to my experience on air shocks, thanks largely to the lack of an air spring. I have not observed any significant rotational deformation of the spring during compression which can often result in a noisy and resistive feel in coil systems.

Overall I am very pleased with my purchase of the Cane Creek DBCoil [IL]. On a personal (and yes, rather vain) note, the bike looks more aggressive with a coil in the back. With a significant weight advantage being my only true qualm with my experience thus far, I would gladly recommend the shock to prospective buyers looking for a taste of the good ol' days.

At $550 + $130 USD MSRP for the shock and spring, it's priced amongst the best shocks from the big industry players. It would seem that the DBCoil [IL] is a complimentary upgrade to the modern long, slack and short-travel trail bike market, however an assessment of suspension kinematics in and a proper assessment of spring weight is essential to the ultimate user experience.


 Last edited by: jan on June 15, 2017, 11:36 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
Reason: proof reading is hard. :/
June 15, 2017, 11:58 p.m.
Posts: 1
Joined: June 6, 2017

1. I currently own a 2014 Kona Process 134 DL (I love this bike!). I have upgraded the rear shock to a Fox Float X which greatly increased suspension performance. I ended up increasing travel on the RockShox Revelation RC from 140 to 150mm to balance out the improved rear, but still find that the Revelation is occasionally outgunned with my riding style. I would be bolting a 150mm 27.5 Auron onto my Process.

2. I only have prior experience with lower end XC Suntour products (XCM, XCR). I currently do not own any Suntour products.

3. Intermediate / Advanced. I regularly service and annually rebuild my Revelation, and have also adjusted travel and installed bottomless tokens to adjust geometry and tune ride quality. The RC damper only has high-speed compression and rebound adjustments so I am somewhat less familiar with adjusting more tuneable forks.

4. I am and have been for about six months. I am currently considering a RockShox Pike or Yari. I feel like as my riding has progressed I need a burlier fork to match up with the Float X in the rear. I appreciate the ease of maintenance with the Revelation and Yari's motion control damper, which is a consideration as well.

5. I purchased my Process as a used demo bike but have been upgrading it slowly as funds allow (1x10 drivetrain, lighter Stan's wheelset, Float X). It's insightful to be able to compare ride quality on the same bike while only switching a single component.

6. Mini Review:

(This review was inspired by the discussion on the newer version of this saddle here: https://nsmb.com/articles/3-new-products-spring/ and to contribute my experience in more detail. Caveat, this review is for the older non-Ergowave version of the 661 Active.)

SQlab 661 Active TiTube Saddle

So flexible, so much support, best saddle everrrrrrrr. That's it, that's all you need to know. And now they have a newer model, even better!

Seriously though, this is an amazing saddle, and if you experience butt fatigue or lower back pain on longer rides an ergonomic saddle may be a worthwhile investment. At a respectable weight of 270-275g and with a good brand reputation it's hard to go wrong with this saddle. However, at a pretty wallet-attack inducing 160 € (~$178 USD) price tag, prospective buyers want to make sure that the marketed benefits will be worth it. $178 is a lot of burritos . . . 

661 - 1

^ The 661 Active has a wide, flat base and long nose, with a comfort groove down the middle. Also note the kevlar wrapped sides for crash protection and patterning on the surface for increased grundle to saddle friction.

You can see the 15cm width of the saddle and comfort depression just in front.

^ Oh that comfort groove...............

Design

The 661 Active has a long nose for climbing efficiency. It also allows your sit bones to perch on top of the saddle base as opposed to straddling over as in many other designs. SQlab claims that sitting on top of the saddle greatly reduces ride fatigue is more ergonomic for climbing in the upright position on a modern mountain bike. To accommodate this, SQlab offers the 661 in wide (13cm), wider (14cm), and DAYUM GINA (15cm), all fit based on your hip width and riding position. However, rather than just ask for your chamois size, SQlab uses a ultra high-tech German measuring system involving space age cardboard and a titanium ruler (https://www.sq-lab.com/en/sqlab-ergonomics/sqlab-concepts/sqlab-the-way-to-the-perfect-saddle.html). Just plop your butt down on the cardboard and then measure between the centers of the depressions to determine your ideal saddle width. Add or subtract 1cm based on a more or less aggressive riding position. The advantage of this approach is obvious, a rider can quite accurately determine their ideal saddle width in the comfort of their own home (even if it turns out their hips don't lie) and order a saddle confident that it will fit their body correctly. Additionally, SQlab is in the process of setting up an old-fashioned/new-fashioned saddle demo program, whereby they will mail you a saddle to demo for three weeks for a small fee. If you then decide to purchase the saddle the fee is rolled into the purchase price. SQlab is going out of their way to make their products easily accessible to most riders, even if you live in a van down by the river (as long as you have a P.O. Box).

But what about the "active" part? SQlab employs an elastomer suspension system that allows the rear of the saddle to actuate with the motion of your hips (photos below). This allows for more hip motion while pedaling and increased riding endurance. This feature is also particularly helpful if you have hip or lower back issues, as it relieves riding pain and muscle tightness in those areas. There are three elastomers based on rider weight, white (spandex weight weenie), gray (endur-bro), and black (full downhill armor).  I started out with the gray elastomer based on my weight but quickly dropped to the white for increased rear-end movement. Andrew (NSMB) even fully removed the elastomer on his saddle to be able to really lean into those uphill switchbacks.

661 - 3

661 - 4

^ Left, left, left, right, left. No wonder you didn't clean that rock garden . . . .

Ride Impressions

But how does it ride, you ask? The 661 rides better than any other saddle I have tried. The long nose definitely helps direct the bike on steep climbs. I have wide hips (apparently my middle name is GINA) and the saddle's wide base allows me to comfortably perch atop the saddle. The actuation of the saddle has allowed me to accommodate my lower back injury and regularly push into the 3-4 hour ride territory without worrying about my back seizing up. I have also put in full days with greatly reduced lower back soreness as compared to other saddles. 

Is the 661 Active for you? Maybe. If you have hip or lower back issues, or simply want increased riding endurance (not in the legs, that what squats are for) this should be on your list to consider.

Is it worth the 160 € (~$178 USD) price tag? The decreased pain and soreness that I've received has absolutely made the purchase price worth it. I would recommend keeping an eye out for the SQlab demo program to test one out for yourself.  And you know what they say: "you don't know what you're missing until your ass hurts like hell...." (or something like that).

June 16, 2017, 2:50 a.m.
Posts: 5
Joined: June 15, 2017

Posted by: StinkinRutBeer

Time's almost up boys and girls! If you're on the fence trying to decide whether or not you can write a review, just do it! It ain't so bad...

(JK... it's horrible. You probably shouldn't. You don't need a new fork to review anyways right? I mean, 1 out of 18 are horrible odds aren't they? Better luck next time maybe...)

Well, Pete said there will be up to 4 BB members selected to participate. 4 out of 22 doesn't sound so bad. Fingers crossed!

June 16, 2017, 6:04 a.m.
Posts: 27
Joined: June 13, 2017

Posted by: rifu

Posted by: StinkinRutBeer

Time's almost up boys and girls! If you're on the fence trying to decide whether or not you can write a review, just do it! It ain't so bad...

(JK... it's horrible. You probably shouldn't. You don't need a new fork to review anyways right? I mean, 1 out of 18 are horrible odds aren't they? Better luck next time maybe...)

Well, Pete said there will be up to 4 BB members selected to participate. 4 out of 22 doesn't sound so bad. Fingers crossed!

Oh man! That's even worse... :P

Good luck!

June 16, 2017, 8:30 a.m.
Posts: 2630
Joined: Nov. 22, 2002

Great job on the entries, everyone! The deadline has now passed and we're going to stop accepting them and start on the process of deciding who will be our SR Suntour Auron testers. Stay tuned - we'll announce them here in the thread and if you're selected, I'll contact you directly to make arrangements.

If you're not chosen or didn't get your entry in on time, don't worry - we're working on a few more of these for the upcoming months.

June 28, 2017, 12:24 p.m.
Posts: 2630
Joined: Nov. 22, 2002

Update: we've selected our 4 testers, and they have been contacted. I'll announce them publicly once I've heard confirmations from all four that they're still able to participate fully. Then we'll ship them their forks and get this underway asap.

Forum jump: