X-Fusion 02 RCX rear shock review£340.00

Smooth and widely adjustable

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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.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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