X-Fusion Velvet RL 2 suspension fork review£405.00

Well-balanced, progressive stroke for such an affordable fork

BikeRadar score4.5/5

The X-Fusion Velvet RL 2 has always been ahead of its game – this 26in fork can handle a fat 650b x 2.4in tyre with space to spare. Internal pins make stopping the travel down to 120mm or 100mm simple, which only increases its future-proof versatility even further.

That steeply-sloped crown with scooped underside keeps weight reasonable, and the Syntace-licensed X-15 axle (with adjustable stop angle) is easy to use and secure.

The progressively rising rate of the stroke is impressively well-balanced for such an affordable fork too – even when it feels too soft in the car park it rarely blows right through its stroke, except when you really need it to.

There’s no obvious ‘lump’ as it slows down through the mid-stroke either, so tyre and traction feedback is clear and consistent enough for hard riders to enjoy.

Rebound is also consistent, although it eventually struggles if you’re pushing it hard down steps or rocky sections. A metal lockout lever and air cap give a quality feel, and we’ve had great reliability from Velvets for three years now. You get the same top value performance from the Trace fork in 29in format as well.

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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