We tested the Auron last year, and it showed promise at slow speed but soon became uncontrolled and random if you ran it flat out. Some sleuthing with the folk at Suntour revealed that was due to oil/air mixing, which was sorted out for 2015 year production.
Unfortunately, our first 2015 sample was prone to obvious choking under higher impact and braking/steering loads so we sent it back and a bushing issue was confirmed as the problem. At the same time, Suntour cut the 35mm air volume spacer down to the 11mm length its sponsored pro riders use.
The resulting fork is simply outstanding. As smooth off the top as a Pike, a naturally progressive air spring keeps it riding consistently midstroke unless you really need full travel. The low speed and high speed compression damping works well and unlike many forks the two are independent so you can set the fork solid for cornering but still suck up big hits.
There’s an occasional clunk or hiccup at the start of the rebound stroke when you’re absolutely at the ragged edge but 99 percent of the time it’s genuinely as good as the best 160mm forks around – for a fraction of the price. At 2010g it’s a reasonable weight, stiffness and tracking are sound and the ambidextrous Q-Loc 15mm axle is fast to use once you get the knack. The current production run will arrive with revised bushing alignment and the shorter spacer will be the stock tune for all 2016 models.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.