EB14: SR Suntour Launches Aion Fork, Updates Rux DH, Prototype Shocks & High End 24″ Kids Forks
We spotted the Aion at Taipei bike show, and now it’s in production. Designed to be a budget alternative to their higher end Auron forks, the Aion keeps the 34mm stanchions and same lower casting, bushings and seals, but switches to straight gauge (non-tapered) stanchions, forged crown and regular steel thru axle instead of the lighter alloy one.
You’ll get adjustment options with the damper, choosing between RC (rebound / compression) or LO-R (lockout / rebound). Take your pick, they’re both the same price regardless of control knob and wheel size. Retail is $550, and claimed weight is 2,120g for the 27.5. Add about 30g for the 29er.
As for the rest of this stuff, it’s either prototype that’s showing a taste of things to come, or just a look at some cool stuff we didn’t know they had…
The non-lockout version gets a simple low speed compression adjustment knob at the top and rebound at the bottom:
The XCR kid’s bike fork is a solid upgrade option. Compared to the cheap, bushing based forks found on most 20″ and 24″ bikes, this one offers a range of compression damping adjustment via external knob and the ability to set the air pressure to match your kid’s weight.
If there’s any doubt as to its pedigree, there’s also 26″, 27.5″ and 29er versions of the XCR offered, all with magnesium monocoque lowers. This one has 63mm of travel and weighs in at a claimed 1865g for 24″ wheels. There’s also a coil spring version that’s about 85g heavier. They’re available for either disc or rim brakes, but you’ve gotta choose.
If you’re kid’s a serious shredder and wants something even better, hold out for a very limited run of the carbon bodied Axon Werx forks in 20″ sizes. Suntour’s pretty excited about the growth of better kids bikes like those from Specialized, Lapierre, Propain, etc., and seem to be working to have options available.
The Rux is their dual crown DH fork. This one’s sitting aboard 4X champ Guido Tschugg’s downhill bike. Note the new oil ports on the back of the legs. This feature is a running change that’ll be on 2015 versions and beyond, letting you add a bit of lube just below the seals and wipers when necessary.
They’ve also added a bolt-on front axle in addition to the existing quick release (shown left). This saves a bit of weight and looks much cleaner.
For now, the Rux is still a 26″ wheel fork, and they were pretty mum on 27.5″ versions, but, well, it is the future. That said, SR Suntour’s marketing guy told us that many 27.5 wheels and tires will fit, you just need to make sure you have at least 10mm clearance from the top of the tire to the bottom of the crown at full compression. Offset is still tailored to 26″ wheels, though, so the handling might not be as dialed as you’d like.
Not new but worth showing is their dual high and low speed compression adjustment knobs on the top. Having control over both circuits is more common on DH forks, but something we’d like to see make its way to more XC-to-enduro stuff.
Also not new but very cool is their lockout for the remote lockout for the Axon forks. Where most brands make you choose between external adjustment or remotes, SR Suntour gives you low speed compression controls and a remote lockout!
The far other end of the spectrum was this one-off carbon fiber air valve cap for 2014 TransAlp winner Markus Kaufmann.
And moving on to more prototype stuff, this Durolux Werx rear shock was found on Rémy Absalon’s enduro bike:
Compared to the current Durolux (shown above), the one on Rémy’s bike has a much smaller air can and switches from a multi position compression damping adjustment to a pure on/off lockout switch:
The one on the left is the current Durolux RC that goes from fully open to firmer, but doesn’t lockout. The prototype on the left keeps the same smaller rebound knob, which is how we know it’s likely a Durolux and not their more XC/Trail oriented Epicon shock. They wouldn’t divulge exactly what was going on, but I got the sense they’ll soon have another control option for the Durolux shock and are experimenting with more aggressive spring rates via various air can sizes that’ll be easily customer swappable like the Monarch and Float shocks.