X-Fusion Vector Air HLR rear shock review

Enduro and downhill suspension unit

BikeRadar score2.5/5

High and low speed compression adjustment offers fettlers the ability to tune the Vector’s damping characteristics to suit their riding style, while a heat-dissipating air can results in impressive damping consistency on long, rough descents.

There’s also a bottom-out adjuster in the piggyback reservoir, which only significantly affects the very end of the stroke. This is a shame because the Vector’s relatively small negative air chamber results in a spring that’s firm to get moving off the top, before crashing through the mid-stroke too readily. Even though it ramps up again right at the end, this causes a bucking, trap-door sensation, even with lots of LSC wound on. 

The high initial breakaway force reduces traction on steep terrain too. There’s no climbing mode and the unsupportive air-spring readily wallows deep into the travel on climbs, so it’s only suited to bikes that naturally pedal well or aren’t intended to go uphill. Even with the bottom-out adjuster and HSC wound fully off, I found it hard to reach full travel, so it’s best suited to more linear bikes too.

Seb Stott

Technical Writer, UK
Seb is a geeky technical writer for BikeRadar, as well as MBUK and What Mountain Bike magazines. Seb's background in experimental physics allows him to pick apart what's really going on with mountain bike components. Years of racing downhill, cross-country and enduro have honed a fast and aggressive riding style, so he can really put gear to the test on the trails, too.
  • Age: 24
  • Height: 192cm/6'3"
  • Weight: 85Kg/187 lbs
  • Waist: 86cm / 34in
  • Chest: 107cm / 44in
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Steep!
  • Current Bikes: Focus Sam 3.0, Kona Process 111, Specialized Enduro 29 Elite
  • Dream Bike: Mondraker Crafty with Boost 29" wheels, a 160mm fork and offset bushings for maximum slackness.
  • Beer of Choice: Buckfast ('Bucky' for short)
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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