2011 SR Suntour Axon RC - first look

New cross-country fork with carbon lowers and sub-1,500g weight

SR Suntour plans to offer their flagship Axon RC suspension fork with a monocoque carbon fiber lower assembly for 2011. The new lower legs drop 130g from the 2010 model’s weight, which allows the RC to break through the 1,500g-weight barrier with 15mm thru-axle dropouts.

The 2011 Axom RC RLD has a claimed weight of 1,539g (with 15mm thru-axle). This can be compared to Fox's benchmark F100RLC that weighs a claimed 1,500g with its axle and RockShox' new 2011 SID 100/120, also with a standard 1 1/8in alloy steerer, that weighs 1,590g.

The new fork fits within the cross-country and marathon suspension categories with the option of 80mm or 100mm of travel. Furthermore the carbon lowers’ bonded magnesium dropouts will only fit SR’s 15QLOC titanium 15mm thru-axle. The new axle relies on an aluminum axle and lever paired to a titanium quick-release skewer. The axle assembly weighs just 69g (claimed), which represents considerable savings from the 2010 model’s 130g weight.

The 2011 Axom RC carries over the 32mm aluminum upper stanchions, hollow-forged alloy crown and alloy steerer tube, which is available in a tapered configuration, from the 2010 chassis. While the upper design carries over, the length of the stanchions is shorter to better match the fork’s shorter travel. This modification results in a few grams of savings as the previous uppers accommodated up to 120mm of travel.

Internally, the forks use a modified air spring with a more progressive curve. SR says this reduces brake dive and betters downhill performance. The dampers rely on similar designs to the previous generation forks, either RLD (hydraulic lockout with cable remote) or ELD (hydraulic lockout with electric remote), although the damper cartridges use a smaller chamber with a subsequent lower volume of oil to save weight (60g claimed). The cartridge features a new tune to complement the progressive air spring and provide good small bump sensitivity.

The 2011 SR Suntour Axom RC carbon forks should be available in March, while pricing has yet to be set.

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