DT Swiss XMM 150 Single Shot II suspension fork£529.99

Naturally progressive and smooth

BikeRadar score4/5

DT Swiss has simplified its damping and chassis for 2014 and moved production to Taiwan but the excellent XMM proves less can sometimes be more.

The new one-piece, injection-moulded magnesium lowers include a deeply webbed rear-mounted arch and lighter 15mm dropouts for the brand’s ratchet-handle RWS axle. Staying with taper wall 32mm legs makes this very light for a mid-travel fork. You wouldn’t necessarily know it from the precise and accurate steering manners though, and the warranty allows you to use 210mm rotors for max stopping power.

The Single Shot II damper is stripped down to the bare-minimum rebound adjuster and lockout lever but this is still the best performing DT fork we’ve used. The coil negative spring means small-bump response is smooth and grippy enough to flatter the precise feel, and the naturally progressive stroke (rather than seriously linear like before) keeps ride height consistent through hard cornering or braking.

We’ve not had any binding or spiking moments smashing through or launching off big stuff either. It’s well priced too, so if reliability proves OK it’ll be the surprise lightweight trail fork benchmark for 2014.

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: 44
  • 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 tfhan 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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