X-Fusion Velvet RL120 suspension fork review£310.00

Slick looks, budget price

BikeRadar score4/5

The Velvet’s new chassis gets a Syntace X-15 screw-through axle (70g extra) that makes it one of the stiffest in its category on trail and in the workshop. You get a hose guide and direct-fit brake mounts making it look slick despite the budget price. It’s switchable to 130mm internally too.

It’s pretty stiff over small stuff out of the box. Finding the right pressure takes a while, but the more we rode it the more it eased up and started sucking up chatter and sticking the front tyre down well through rough corners and rocky/rooty sections.

We smashed it through serious boulder sections on timed testing runs without coming unstuck or running into any spiking or diving problems. While it’s not the most consistent and composed fork through the big stuff it’s better than a lot of comparable budget options in all-round control terms. There’s a lockout lever for charging back up too.

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: 45
  • 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 than 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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