DVO’s OTT (off the top) system allows you to adjust how soft the beginning-stroke of the fork feels. Winding the adjuster clockwise preloads a coil negative spring, which then pushes the fork down into its travel against the air pressure in the positive spring.
This can make for a super smooth start to the stroke once you get it right, but wind it too far and you might reduce the travel available because the fork won’t be able to extend fully.
- This fork was tested as part of a group test including ten of the best enduro forks. All forks were tested back-to-back on the same tracks, keeping all other variables as consistent as possible to ensure our findings are as reliable and accurate as they can be.
DVO Diamond D1 fork setup
At 86kg, I settled on 130psi in the air spring, which roughly tallies with DVO’s air pressure chart, along with the OTT adjuster fully wound clockwise for maximum suppleness. This resulted in 22 per cent sag.
Because I was using a lot of pressure in the positive, winding on all the negative spring preload didn’t cause me to lose any travel.
I felt no need to adjust the end-stroke progression of the fork, but if you want to increase bottom-out resistance that involves measuring out oil into the spring instead of adding volume spacers.
Counter-intuitively, the high- and low-speed compression dials are turned in opposite directions to increase damping, but there is a useful adjustment range where fully open is very lightly damped.
DVO Diamond D1 fork performance
My fork took a while to bed in. At first it was insensitive over small bumps, but after a few rides it offered impressive small bump and beginning-stroke sensitivity, giving it a stuck-down, high-traction feel over rooty cambers or small stones where the front wheel was lightly loaded.
However, over long-runs I was consistently getting more hand pain than with the top-rated forks here, even with the low-speed compression fully open and despite using all the travel on the biggest landings.
No matter what I did to the damper, it occasionally gave more feedback through the bars than the best forks on test and felt slightly less controlled when faced with big holes and repeated rocks.
Perhaps even more tinkering with high- and low-speed compression and rebound damping could have eked more out of the fork. But without changing the setup it simultaneously felt less supple and more unsettled than the best forks on test, making it a catch-22 as to whether to add or remove damping.
I suspect that friction or flex may be holding the fork back in this regard.
How does it compare to its rivals?
The DVO consistently gave me more hand pain than the Fox 36 GRIP 2, RockShox Lyrik RC2, Marzocchi Z1, RockShox Yari or DT Swiss F535 ONE over long rough tracks.
Like the DT Swiss, it can’t quite match the consistent control of the other four when faced with big holes and square-edged impacts. It’s also harder to set up and heavier than the others mentioned above.
On the other hand, it’s both easier to setup and more supple than the Cane Creek Helm, and a far better bet than the X-Fusion Trace 36, Öhlins RXF 36 EVO and MRP Ribbon air.
This video shows how we tested the forks and how they compare.