Since absorbing Pace’s suspension division several years ago, DT Swiss haven’t been making a big deal of their entry into the suspension fork business. Last year, DT added magnesium-legged forks to the carbon-lewered models for which Pace had been famous and, in doing so, brought their offerings down (!) to the Fox (and high end RockShox) price level.
The XMM 140 is what DT call a “Cross Mountain” fork, which seems to be Swiss for ‘trail’ or ‘enduro’ riding. With 5.5in of air sprung travel, a 15mm screw-through axle, 32mm stanchions, and a 3.8lb (actual) weight, the XMM 140 steps right up against Fox’s 32 Float and RockShox’s Revelation trail forks. The $950 Twin Shot damped model provides external compression and rebound adjustment as well as a slick 2-stage lockout. Click through for more details and photos as well as some initial riding impressions.
At the top of the XMM 140’s right leg sits a nicely laid out set of machined adjustments. In accordance with convention, rebound damping is adjusted via the red knob, low speed compression damping via the blue one, and lockout via the lever at the front. While the first two are pretty standard, the lockout closes only the rebound circuit in its first position and both in the second. The first (“climb mode”) position is quickly proving useful on steep climbs, dropping the front end to keep weight over the front wheel. Not as versatile as a true travel adjust, but undoubtedly simpler and lighter. The second position locks the fork out completely, making for an extra rigid platform to hammer on.
Coming in at 3.8lb with a 9in steerer, star nut, and the RWS thru axle, the XMM 140 is one of the lighter forks in its category. DT’s 15mm thru axle will be familiar to anyone familiar with their RWS skewers, with what is essentially a single-armed, repositionable wingnut at the end of the axle. It’s a good thing that the composite wingnut is re-positionable, as it hits the leg on every rotation (something that DT addressed with an anti-scuff sticker on the leg but was easy to actually fix by shaving down the back of the arm with a Dremel). The 32mm black-anodized stanchions make for a unique look and run up to a forged aluminum crown that is designed to accept a remote lockout. The “Swiss Design” decal suggests… that the fork is not “Swiss Made.” Sitting behind the legs, the Torsion Box arch makes for a stiff structure while protecting the seals from wheel-flung grime. The blindingly polished cap seals off the hollow arch and matches the current generation of XTR brakes very nicely.
First impressions, beyond the fork being well made, are that it’s extremely smooth. There seems to be very little stiction from new- and it’s gotten better after 12 hours’ riding. The XMM’s air spring is also extremely linear- at least with the ~50psi that my 145lb call for in the chamber. A bit of added compression damping helps to keep brake dive at bay. Steering is as precise as anything else in the trail category. The self-adjusting negative spring (ABS) makes for a very plush feeling fork. As I’m still working with the fork’s settings and it’s still breaking in, I’ll withhold my judgement on the overall performance for the time being- but so far it’s very good. The only worry so far came on a rare grimy ride when grit got under the lockout lever, physically preventing it from being un-locked. Thankfully, that was at the end of the ride and a quick blast from the air compressor cleaned freed things up. Keep your eyes peeled for a full review next spring…