X-Fusion Velvet RL 2 suspension fork£405.00

Well-balanced, progressive stroke for such an affordable fork

BikeRadar score4.5/5

The X-Fusion Velvet RL 2 has always been ahead of its game – this 26in fork can handle a fat 650b x 2.4in tyre with space to spare. Internal pins make stopping the travel down to 120mm or 100mm simple, which only increases its future-proof versatility even further.

That steeply-sloped crown with scooped underside keeps weight reasonable, and the Syntace-licensed X-15 axle (with adjustable stop angle) is easy to use and secure.

The progressively rising rate of the stroke is impressively well-balanced for such an affordable fork too – even when it feels too soft in the car park it rarely blows right through its stroke, except when you really need it to.

There’s no obvious ‘lump’ as it slows down through the mid-stroke either, so tyre and traction feedback is clear and consistent enough for hard riders to enjoy.

Rebound is also consistent, although it eventually struggles if you’re pushing it hard down steps or rocky sections. A metal lockout lever and air cap give a quality feel, and we’ve had great reliability from Velvets for three years now. You get the same top value performance from the Trace fork in 29in format as well.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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