X-Fusion RV1 HLR DH fork review£1,099.99

Light and composed downhill fork

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At 2,970g, X-Fusion's RV1 is no heavyweight, coming in lighter than Fox and RockShox’s coil-sprung downhill forks, and only 130g heavier than an air-sprung Boxxer World Cup.

Out of the box, the clip-on frame bumpers fit easily, with cable ties holding them in place – not the neatest solution, but it works. The post mount disc brake tabs are sized for a 180mm rotor, but a neatly machined adaptor for 200mm rotors is included.

We like how the axle secures too – it screws into a threaded insert so there’s just one pinch bolt to do up. It’s a shame, however, that two different size Allen keys are needed.

Our first impression when we fitted the fork was just how supple it is to get moving. We did find the stock spring to be far too soft for our 80kg tester though. X-Fusion says it doesn't include other springs in the box to save waste, but five other weights are available for £29.99 each. After swapping between firm and extra firm springs we settled on the latter.

The rebound adjustment is on top of the right leg, while high- and low-speed compression dials hide beneath a protective cover at the bottom. The adjusters are all easy to turn with clear indexing, so you know where you are with setup.

After a brief first ride on the RV1 late last year, we’d been looking forward to getting some proper time in on it, so we jumped at the chance to put it through some intensive testing in Spain as well as plenty of riding back here in the UK.

Out on the trails, we couldn’t once get the RV1 to miss a beat. The compression damping provides seemingly endless support through the mid stroke, no matter how hard you push or how much you rely on it to save you from those over-the-bar situations on steeper stuff. The high-speed damping remains composed and controlled, never spiking and just helping the fork deal with the task at hand. The lack of friction and super-supple stroke also means the RV1 tracks the ground well and keeps the front tyre glued to the trail.

After months of abuse, it’s easy to see the benefits of the carbon leg guards. The odd bash and scratch mark may have scuffed their finish up a little, but things are still looking remarkably tidy.

We used the pressure releasing ‘Neutra Valves’ (two small valves on the lower legs to remove air pressure built up inside) while in Spain. When air pressure did build when at altitude, the Neutra Valves proved to work effectively.

Freelance Writer, UK
Jake comes from a downhill background but now spends most of his time smashing shorter-travel trail and enduro bikes down those same downhill trails. He's well known for pushing components and gear to their limits, and a little further.
  • Age: 27
  • Height: 170cm / 5'7"
  • Weight: 75kg / 165lb
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Any type of razzing, anywhere, on any bike!
  • Beer of Choice: Cider! West country, like.

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