X-Fusion is getting serious. No longer is it the preserve of budget bikes, instead the suspension company upping its game with a serious investment and development strategy that sees it releasing a slew of new forks and shocks for the 2013 model year.
34mm the future?
It seems 2012 could be the year when 34mm forks start to go large. In the constant quest for lighter and stiffer, forks with 34mm stanchions appear to be the next step forward. We've already seen Fox begin to expand their line of 34mm forks, and they've been well received.
They’re ideal for those people who can’t decide between a 32 or 36 platform, offering the ideal in-between option with less weight and extra stiffness of the latest raft of trail/all-mountain bikes. How long before 32mm forks are confined to cross-country bikes?
What's new from X-Fusion?
Lots and lots. Most exciting for us is the new Slant fork, an all-new chassis built around 34mm stanchions. It’ll also be available in 650b, as well as ‘traditional’ 26in sizes. It’ll offer up between 120mm and 160mm of travel with weight around the 4lb mark.
Inside there’s some brand new magic going on. Mid-Valve is a new damping unit that gives more mid-stroke support, the part of the travel the forks spend most of their time in, and should prevent the fork ramping down in rooty corners. Outside a new Gold Slick Ano coating on the stanchions will reduce friction for an ever plusher fork.
Next up is a new 29er fork, the Trace, with 100mm or 140mm travel. Like the Slant it too uses 34mm stanchions for extra stiffness with the smallest of weight increases. A new single piece forged crown and steerer tube is said to increase stiffness by a whopping 40%. Weight is 4lb for the shorter travel fork.
Microlite RL is a new rear shock that gets the company’s new Gold Slick Ano coating. Rebound and lockout is adjustable, weight is 170g and there’s two sizes on offer; 165mm/38mm and190mm/51mm.
The Hilo SL is an updated seatpost with the aim of bringing the weight down, now at 450g without the remote lever. It’s only available in 30.9mm and 31.6mm though, no 27.2mm size appears to be available. It too sees the Gold Slick Ano coating. Travel is 125mm.
While producing those must have clearly kept the X-Fusion guys busy, they still somehow found time to update the Vengeance and Vector Air forks with Gold Slick Ano technology, add a 15mm axle option to the Slide 29 fork and the RL2 damper, a remote lever for the Hilo and more tuning options for their range of rear shocks.