X-FUSION FORKS - COMPONENT TEST
Updated: Aug 11, 2019
X fusion is a brand that have been around for some time. Having supported the likes of the Dirt team and Bernard Kerr in the past, there is no doubting that they produce some quality kit.
In recent times it has been the more lower end dampers, fitted to cheaper production bikes that have been showing up. But have no doubt, with the new Trace 36 fork, they are arriving with a bang. Could this be up there with the big names Fox and RockShox?
HLR damping systems are on the performance line. They offer external rebound adjustment and external high and low speed compression adjustment
Brake house guides for simplistic and easy brake line mounting.
Revised All CNC Aluminium Damper with New Mid-Valve for Improved Control.
Push-pin system on air rod to adjust fork travel.
New locking axle for all 15mm forks.
New ultra durable, low friction wiper seals for all forks.
X-Fusion’s Roughcut HLR is an HLR damping system with single wall bladder system that completely separates the oil in the damper from air outside the cartridge.
One piece aluminium crown steerer assembly.
X-Fusion have been around for some time, having certain units that have impressed over the past few years. One being the RV1 HLR dual crown DH fork. These were great, offering performance and a great look to go with it, for a reasonable price. This new Trace 36 fork has most definitely blown all previous models out of the water. Straight out of the box, it is clear to see that X-Fusion have really worked hard with the look on the new damper. Clean cut lines and a burly chassis. Having a bit of bling with the adjuster setup also goes a long way in our minds. The setup was simple, having removed the air cap to play with the volume spacers, it was just a case of getting the correct amount of air for my weight and away you go. The compression dials are easy to adjust and it did not take long to get these dialled in. The setup is very much like the RockShox equivalent that has also been tested recently.
The ride feel was where the Trace 36 fork comes into its own. The new seal setup makes for very little resistance on that initial stroke, giving a great small bump feel. The ability to change the amount of volume spacers is always handy on a fork of this calibre. With the aggressive riding style that I have, the fork needs to have plenty of hold in the lower end and ramp up for the hard impacts. An extra spacer and some high speed compression makes all this possible. The Trace, with its 36mm chassis, is also plenty stiff enough to handle anything thrown at it. With the 29” wheel option, at no point was flex an issue.
When setting the fork up for Alex to take for a spin, it was as simple as popping one of the volume spacers out, winding back the high speed compression and setting the amount of air up again. Hey presto! It was a totally different fork. Supple and forgiving with plenty of grip for the less aggressive stance that Alex has. I can tell you, she was not best pleased when these had to be returned.
If you are in the market for a high performance fork and fancy a change from the Fox or RockShox platforms, then look no further. This X fusion fork is a vast improvement on anything from the company to date. With looks and performance, they are the complete package. Easy setup with a bombproof chassis, this in my eyes is a great option to put alongside the big names leading the way.
PRICE - £800
WORDS - Ieuan Williams
PHOTOS - Alex Hunter, Ieuan Williams