X-Fusion Trace RL2 29 fork £565

Long-travel 29er suspension fork

BikeRadar score 4/5

X-Fusion’s new 34mm-legged 29er fork is a great, simple but sorted option if you can’t afford Fox’s 34. 

Both forks use 34mm stanchions for impressive tracking stiffness, and both stretch travel out to 140mm. X-Fusion use Syntace’s removable-lever X-15 axle system rather than a QR-style cam closure. 

The Trace is lighter than the Fox, so it’s not surprising that riding the two back to back shows the X-Fusion to be more flexible. X-Fusion could only get us a straight steerer version, though – we expect the difference to be a lot less marked with a tapered one. 

Patience is needed as initial chatter over rough sections soon smooths into consistent control, and the RL2 damper stays composed through all but the most rapid rough sections. 

The progressive spring rate means you can run it soft for small bump compliance and traction, and it doesn’t dive badly when you push hard through corners or grab big handfuls of brake either. 

The Trace is a new fork, but all our long term X-Fusions have been totally trustworthy. 

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

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