DVO Diamond enduro race fork review£849.00

Reliable and adjustable

BikeRadar score3.5/5

DVO’s Diamond fork has the potential to be a truly super plush and sensitive gem when it comes to mining the ultimate speed and grip from the trail. Patient set up is crucial, though, and it’s not without practical niggles.

The 35mm stanchion structure creates a seriously stiff fork that doesn’t get unsettled by the biggest hits or most aggressive lines. There’s no loss of suspension performance through binding if you’re hard on the brakes or slamming the tyres right over at the same time, either. The arch on the 29er version is so low that large 2.4in tyres will actually rub on DVO’s bolt-on fender, though, and mud jamming can be an issue unless you downsize for the dirtiest conditions, too. 

The threaded insert that the 15mm QR axle screws into is loose in the dropout, making losing a definite risk if you remove the axle, and re-engaging it a double-handed job that’s more awkward than it needs to be. Our long-term sample has suffered significant and disappointingly early onset paint flaking around the top caps, dropouts and where it’s had knocks on the trail.

DVO Diamond fork ride impression

If you’ve had experience of the classic squelchy oil-rich forks from Marzocchi’s heyday you won’t be surprised to hear that the DVO design team had significant time with the Italian brand before splitting off to form their own suspension company. The extra volume of oil in the compressive (rather than expansive) damping bladder does mean the Diamond is around 100g heavier than most forks in its category – though a little lighter than the SR Suntour Durolux R2C2. But consistently succulent, minimal friction movement throughout the stroke is a hallmark of the DVO ride. 

Adjust high speed compression through a 29-click dial, but look out – it turns the other way to most
Adjust high speed compression through a 29-click dial, but look out – it turns the other way to most

Initial sensitivity is potentially taken to ultra plush levels by the mechanical ‘off the top’ negative spring adjustment, which allows you to pick a sweet spot somewhere between a firm start with linear stroke and a hyper-sensitive start with an obviously progressive ending. Winding on the preload does noticeably shorten ride height, though, so take your time to find the right balance of length, sensitivity and support for your riding. 

Low speed compression is adjustable via a six-position fork top lever for climbing stiffness, while high speed compression gets ultra-fine adjustment through a 29-click dial. The dials turn the other way to most forks, such as the Ohlins RXF 36 and Fox 34 Float 29 Performance 140, in terms of increasing/decreasing damping so be sure to remember that while you’re new to the fork. 

Rebound is also fully adjustable, and while getting all the damper tunes and spring rate possibilities to line up is potentially a painstaking exercise in Venn diagram overlap, the suggested base tunes on the DVO website are pretty good. There’s definitely the potential to create a supportive but fast-reacting ‘sticky’ feel that really flatters tyres and adds speed/control if you get it right. It’s certainly worth taking the time to get it right, too, as mechanical reliability of our long-term samples has been excellent despite minimal maintenance.

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

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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