Looking to clean up the inside of their 34mm stanchion forks and up performance, X-Fusion has created an all new damper for the Slant, Sweep and Trace forks.
It’s a closed cartridge system, so air can no longer mix with the oil since it’s encased in a bladder. That means less fade for more consistent performance on sustained descents. Inside of it, they tweaked piston placement that puts them in less direct contact with the shims, which means the parts can start moving more freely upon impact
Another benefit to the design is it puts both high and low speed compression damping controls on the top of the fork. And, each click on the buttons has a wide range of adjustment all the way through the range. Even better, the oil now flows through the damping circuits separately, so any compression adjustment isn’t going to affect the rebound or anything else. So, performance is more consistent and predictable.
Under compression, the bladder expands. It’s a single wall membrane, though, only thick enough to keep things contained and not add undue pressure to the system. They say they tried about 20 different materials and thicknesses, and the result is less pressure on the system than the cartridge system they’re using in the 36mm stanchion forks.
Another little known improvement that started with 2015 forks was improved wiper seals and air piston seal designs, plus a new lubricant co-developed with Torco, that made things much smoother.
For 2016, the new damper will only be available in complete forks. After that, they might offer it as a drop in upgrade. But, to kick things off, they want to make sure you’re getting all the latest seals, lubes and tech and not just dropping a fresh damper into a worn out fork and expecting miracles.
For the rear end, the O2 shocks get about a 10% larger air volume canister and three models. The added air changes the final 15% of the shock’s travel, making it easier to get through all of the travel on modern mid-to-long travel trail bikes. The RL is a simple open/locked version with remote switch. The RLX adds an intermediate compression adjustment, and the RCX adds yet another. All three have external rebound knobs, which was made slightly larger so it’s easier to reach and turn on tighter frame placements.
Not shown, their dropper posts get a new Hilo Ace model for OEM placements. It’s almost 100g heavier than their aftermarket posts, but it’s about half the price, which means more bikes can come equipped with a solid brand dropper.