X-Fusion Sweep RL2 suspension fork£454.99

Controlled, affordable fork for all three wheel sizes

BikeRadar score3.5/5

X-Fusion’s new 650b Sweep is a reasonably controlled and affordable fork with a distinctive handling feel.

The unique 46mm offset (41mm is normal) of the steeply sloped crown creates a faster, lighter steering feel (think shorter stem) that met the approval of nearly all our test team. Despite 34mm stanchions, the Sweep is relatively flexible, but it’s as light as most 32mm forks. The new, RockShox Maxle-like LockX 15mm axle clips the leg while you’re tightening it, which is irritating.

The new Nvolve seals take a while to bed in, but performance is smooth once they’re sorted – especially as the progressive air spring and secondary ‘mid valve’ compression damping mean you can run softer air pressures than you’d expect without blowing through your travel. It’ll occasionally spike on sudden high-speed hits and you can eventually outrun the ability of the rebound damping to cope on relentless rocky descents but overall control is impressive for the price.

Forks for 26in (Slant, 160mm) and 29in wheels (Trace, 140mm) are also available in the same family. Slant reliability hasn’t quite matched that of X-Fusion’s previous Velvet and Vengeance forks though.

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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