X-Fusion’s O2 shock family has been revamped for 2011 and it’s a smoother, more capable shock. It needs time invested in accurate tuning to get it into the ballpark with established names though. The squared off shock body makes it a reasonable weight and the ﬁller cap didn’t cause interference on our host bikes. New seals and compression damping mean it’s not as stubborn to start as it used to be. There’s still enough stiction to make it less sensitive over small bumps compared to the best shocks available.
Four stages of compression damping from lockout to open give a variety of stroke characters and it’s spike-free whichever setting you use. The linear stroke means air pressure and compression settings need to be nudged back and forth to ﬁnd the right balance between clattery small bump character and controlled but not too generous movement. The detented dial is awkward to turn when wearing gloves. Actual rebound damping is ﬁne and we had no heating issues even on long sessions.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.