X-Fusion Shox, renowned for their solid performance and great value, have finally taken the plunge into the highly competitive world of dual-crown downhill forks. We took a look at their latest offering, the RV1 HLR DH, taking it for a quick spin on the dry and dusty trails of Bootleg Canyon.
In a market currently dominated by the two big suspension companies, Fox and RockShox, the world of downhill specific suspension is a tough one to break into, let alone do it successfully. There’s no denying it’s a big leap that requires products to perform to the highest level possible. But when Bernard Kerr managed to secure ninth position at the Hafjell round of the World Cup in Norway, X-Fusion certainly went some way in proving that they’re ready to make that leap.
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Video: X Fusion RV1 HLR DH Fork
The RV1 HLR DH fork is available to work with 26in or 27.5in (650b) wheels, with each fork offering a different offset – 42mm and 46mm respectively.
The 200mm (7.9in) of travel is controlled via the Twin Tube HLR damper cartridge and coil spring. Although they’ve not gone down the easy-to-adjust air spring system, X-Fusion are still offering five different spring rates to help dial the fork in accurately. The HLR damper offers external high- and low-speed compression adjustment along with rebound adjustment, while travel can be adjusted internally from 200m (7.9in) down to 180mm (7.1in).
As you’d expect, stanchion diameter measures a meaty 36mm but, as of yet, it doesn’t receive any of the super slick gold coating that we’ve seen elsewhere in the X-Fusion range.
When it comes to the RV1’s lowers, sitting just below the Nvolve wiper seals – which X-Fusion claim help to reduce stiction and increase overall durability – are the Neutra Valves. These are essentially two small buttons integrated into the magnesium lower leg casting to enable the rider to neutralise any internal pressure build-up that might occur because of changes in temperature or altitude, similar to that used on the new Fox 40 RC2 fork.
Bolted onto the outer sides of the magnesium lowers are the carbon fork guards. X-Fusion say that the RV1 is aimed at everyday racers who want to protect their pride and joy from uplift/shuttle damage. They’re easily replaceable too, so it’s always easy to keep things looking fresh.
Weight-wise, X-Fusion claim the RV1s tip the scales at 2902g (6.4lb). Pricing is still to be confirmed for the UK, but the RV1 HLR will set you back $1299 in the US and Australia.
Our limited time, on unfamiliar trails, on an unfamiliar bike, doesn’t really put us in any position to give any kind of in-depth review – but we can offer some thoughts on our initial impressions.
Off the top, the RV1 doesn’t take much to get it moving. This supple initial stroke certainly helped with keeping our front wheel stuck to the loose, rocky trail.
Support is impressive too. On the braking, bump-infested sections we rode, the RV1 sat up well into its mid-stroke, working smoothly and ironing out the repetitive bumps with relative ease.
We’ll be putting the RV1 HLR through more rigorous testing soon, so stay tuned for a full review in the coming months.