X-Fusion Roughcut HLR damper design revealed

Cartridge damper promises more consistent performance and easier adjustments

X-Fusion has launched a brand-new fork damper called Roughcut HLR at the Taipei Cycle Show.

The cartridge design supposedly offers not only better on-trail performance but also easier adjustments in an easily maintained package that will eventually be adapted throughout the entire range.

Like with the somewhat similar Fox FIT and RockShox Charger dampers that cam before it, Roughcut HLR uses a rubber bladder to keep the fully sealed cartridge completely free of air. According to X-Fusion general manager, Joel Smith, this makes for more consistent performance in a wider range of conditions, with no risk of the oil turning to foam.

X-Fusion says its new roughcut hlr fork damper offers more consistent performance and easier, more predictable adjustments:
X-Fusion says its new roughcut hlr fork damper offers more consistent performance and easier, more predictable adjustments:

The new bladder-type cartridge damper promises more consistent performance with no chance of oil cavitation

Based on our previous experience with other bladder-type cartridges, we expect a more sensitive stroke with increased small-bump suppleness, too.

Smith says the Roughcut HLR also features all-new damper circuits that now keep all the different oil pathways fully separate. In other words, one adjustment won’t have any effect on any other settings, which will make for more predictable tuning.

“We’ve eliminated the crosstalk between the settings,” he said.

Separate high-speed and low-speed compression damper adjusters are now located up top, instead of on the bottom of the fork leg:
Separate high-speed and low-speed compression damper adjusters are now located up top, instead of on the bottom of the fork leg:

The new Roughcut damper flips the locations of the compression and rebound damping adjusters, putting the former up top for more convenient access

Moreover, other internal modifications yield more even ride characteristic changes with each knob position, and the compression adjusters are now located up top for more convenient access.

The new Roughcut HLR damper will be used only in X-Fusion’s 34mm- diameter chassis to start, which includes the 160mm-travel Slant and Sweep, and the 140mm travel Trace.

Given the highly adaptable nature of the damper’s cartridge design, however, it’s only a matter of time until X-Fusion incorporates the new technology into the rest of the range.

For more information, visit www.xfusionshox.com.

James Huang

Former Technical Editor, US
James was BikeRadar's US tech editor from 2007-2015.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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