For a company of just four people with a very short time on the market, DVO has been on a tear with product development and introductions.
Coming in September are two entirely new products -the Garnet dropper seatpost and Sapphire trail fork- and an updated, longer-travel Boosted Diamond enduro fork. And that Topaz Air rear shock makes four to hit the trails in 2016. We saw some of this at Taipei, but now we’ve got a more in depth look at the tech.
Bounce past the break for all the details…
The Sapphire is more than just a new fork, it’s a new suspension platform for them that’ll likely be used for more short travel options going forward and add XC to their catalog. For now, though, the Sapphire has 140mm travel convertible down to 120mm with spacers.
While that’s typically the neighborhood for aggressive trail bikes and bigger sliders, the Sapphire will stand on 32mm stanchions. They did that because they could get a Lighter setup with narrower stanchions and use the Boost wheels to balance overall system stiffness.
One of the limitations of the narrower stanchions was internal space, so they moved away from the sealed cartridges of the Diamond and used a new integrated damper and air spring design that saves weight. The damping circuits are essentially the same as on the Diamond, they’re just used without the external cartridge casing. The air spring, however, wasn’t something they’d let us photograph just yet but basically puts a piston between the upper air chamber and the coil negative spring at the bottom.
The system still uses a closed bladder system (A) to maintain oil pressure to help force oil back through the circuit during rebound. That also prevents cavitation (aka: air bubbles). Their compression circuit uses a shim stack (D) under a collet (C) that’s spring loaded with a wave spring (B). During a big hit, the collet compresses the wave spring to open up the circuit for more oil flow. The adjustments on the top of the fork adjust the spring pressure and affect blowoff rate as part of the compression controls. On rebound, a shim on the bottom (E) opens up to let oil flow freely down into the lower chamber where the real rebound damping circuit resides.
The Sapphire has external high- and low-speed compression controls up top.
The recessed rebound and OTT (Over The Top negative spring preload) controls is another new design feature for them, compared to the Diamond’s exposed knobs. The gray-chocolate color is also new, which should blend in with more bikes than their trademark emerald green.
It’ll start life as an 1,850g 29er Boost fork only. The design is done for the 27.5, but they’re waiting to see what the market is for a mid-travel fork at that wheel size. But, since it’s Boost, it doubles as a 27.5+ fork.
The Diamond keeps their fully closed air and damping cartridges, but adds 10mm to get 170mm max travel. It can be adjusted down to 140mm. It also gets Boost spacing, so if you want non-Boost, you’ll have to get the old fork.
The axle spacing increase for Boost meant a new (but familiar) casting for the lowers. Weight is claimed at 2,150g and they’ll have 29er/27.5+ and 27.5 models.
The new Garnet dropper seatpost will be available in 125mm and 150mm travel with 31.6 and 30.9 diameters. We had fair warning from the folks at DVO that this one’s likely to see some major cosmetic updates, but the functional systems should carry through production.
They’ll offer stealth and collar mount versions, with the latter having the release mechanism at the green collar, not all the way up at the saddle clamp.
It uses a hydraulic cartridge unit with low pressure, which should reduced sealing woes that can plague dependability, and an air valve will let you adjust the return speed/force. They said that’s one of the biggest gripes heard is that posts are either too slow or too quick, so now you can just set it how you like it. Another big feature is user serviceability. As they put it, you’ll be able to pull it all apart in your garage, clean or repair it as needed, and get it all back together with minimal effort.
All three new products should be officially announced between now and summer, then be available in September.
The Topaz Air has been teased for a while now, with plenty of early tech info being made public at Eurobike last year. Now, it’s finally available and retails in this sweet hard case:
They’ve got Imperial and Metric sizes ready, aimed at the 140-170mm enduro bike segment. It features a 3-position compression control and Low speed rebound knob. Inside, you can adjust the spring rate with volume spacers, which can be installed without removing the shock from the bike.