Aggressive cross-country riders will love DT Swiss’s light, stiff 130mm travel QR15 XMC fork. We’ve been bashing one of the company's shorter travel XMC100 forks for a year and it’s as buttery smooth now as it was then, despite minimal care. So far the XMC130 is heading towards a similar report card.
Standard DT Swiss open dropouts offer adequate front end stiffness for fast cross-country, but as travel creeps over 100mm, riders now expect forks to be available in one of the lightweight through-axle formats. DT Swiss use Shimano’s QR15 system and the XMC 130 carbon lowers are graced by some very neat through-axle dropouts.
Wheel insertion and removal is a pleasure, thanks to the DT Swiss RWS through-axle ratcheting skewer. The QR15 option adds 150g to the open dropout XMC130 but we feel the 130mm model beneﬁts from a stronger union between dropouts and front hub. The extra stiffness means steering response is spot on, too.
The fork's threshold launch control allows you to shorten it on long or steep climbs. Depending on the setting, the fork can be reactivated to its original length by a certain bump force. It takes a while to become intuitive but it’s a useful feature.
The XMC130 is one of the least sticky forks we’ve ridden. From the off it moves through its travel with barely any stiction. The light, well controlled action makes it seem bigger than it is as it gobbles up lumps, bumps, rocks and roots as fast as you can feed it.
Cost is where we have an issue. The RRP of this fork has risen over £200 since we got it. It’s now much more expensive than its direct competitors: the RockShox Reba 120 Maxle Light and Fox 120 RLC. They work as well and can both be had for just over £600 – and cheaper if you buy online. This doesn’t detract from the fact that the XMC130 performs brilliantly and is a good looking fork, it just prices itself out of contention for most riders.