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  1. #1
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    Confused about low end Suntour suspension forks

    Most bikes in my budget come with low end suspension forks. Mostly they are Suntour.

    Does anyone know the difference and what series of suntour forks are better?

    I have seen the following:

    XCM V2

    XCM V3

    XCT V2

    XCR


    They all seem low end but what makes one different than the other besides travel?

  2. #2
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    Here ya go...

    XCT

    XCR

    XCM
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    Here ya go...

    XCT

    XCR

    XCM

    Thanks for the links but this doesn't explain much to a noob like myself. I have already been to their site. That is why I am asking hear because it doesn't explain to me the difference or what is better.

    It seems like they rank from from best to worst:

    XCR
    XCM
    XCT

  4. #4
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    I wonder what "momocoque" construction means.

    Don't worry about it. I've heard that Suntour's forks are better than RST's forks, which is nice. But think of it as more of a placeholder. Sooner or later, you'll break it or it'll freeze, and then you can replace it with either a rigid or a "real" fork.

    Just ride some bikes and buy your favorite. I bet you won't be able to feel the difference between different Suntour forks.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    My '05 Fuji came with a higher-end Suntour and it was no good from the start--no rebound dampening, no adjustments except for air pressure. When you weight 230, like me, plush isn't an option.

    If you are looking to upgrade, save your dough for something better. You will get what you pay for.

  6. #6
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    Here you go

    Doug from SR Suntour here. The hierarchy from low to high would be XCT, XCM, XCR. V2, V3 has to do with the 'version'. higher number is newer generation.

    Forks specified by different bicycle brands can be configured in a number of different ways, so its hard for me to understand exactly what you are looking at, that being said;

    Our XCM and XCR models come with 30mm stanchions. ( the upper tubes) if you compare this to other forks in the price range, many of our competitors will often use 28mm stanchions. Larger diameter = improved stiffness and strength. Also, the pitch, or width of these two forks is 130mm. You will find that to be a bit wider than many of our competitors. Generally speaking, wider is better.

    Second, our XCM and XCR models are what we call QSP, or quick service products. That means if your fork's internals ever wear out our suffer a problem, the fork can be fixed easily by replacing the entire cartridge.

    Finally, if you are shopping for a bike that is less than $1,000 I'm sure you have seen that many of those bikes are equipped with SR Suntour forks. The primary reasons for this are based on the fact that the bicycle brands have come to trust SR Suntour to supply them with a reliable product that performs well. (that may seem simple, but its a big deal) Additionally, we operate service centers in North America, Asia and Europe to back up our product.

    I hope this helps and good luck in purchasing a new bike. Ride it alot!

    Doug

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by freshw00d
    Doug from SR Suntour here. The hierarchy from low to high would be XCT, XCM, XCR. V2, V3 has to do with the 'version'. higher number is newer generation.

    Forks specified by different bicycle brands can be configured in a number of different ways, so its hard for me to understand exactly what you are looking at, that being said;

    Our XCM and XCR models come with 30mm stanchions. ( the upper tubes) if you compare this to other forks in the price range, many of our competitors will often use 28mm stanchions. Larger diameter = improved stiffness and strength. Also, the pitch, or width of these two forks is 130mm. You will find that to be a bit wider than many of our competitors. Generally speaking, wider is better.

    Second, our XCM and XCR models are what we call QSP, or quick service products. That means if your fork's internals ever wear out our suffer a problem, the fork can be fixed easily by replacing the entire cartridge.

    Finally, if you are shopping for a bike that is less than $1,000 I'm sure you have seen that many of those bikes are equipped with SR Suntour forks. The primary reasons for this are based on the fact that the bicycle brands have come to trust SR Suntour to supply them with a reliable product that performs well. (that may seem simple, but its a big deal) Additionally, we operate service centers in North America, Asia and Europe to back up our product.

    I hope this helps and good luck in purchasing a new bike. Ride it alot!

    Doug
    Thanks Doug. You helped out a lot.

  8. #8
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    Wow - I'd have thought that someone from Suntour could have shed a little more light than that on what is a VERY confusing product lineup.

    I have the Dart 3 29er 100mm fork (28mm stanchions) on my bike and my son has the Suntour XCR-LO 100mm on his 2009 Avalanche 2.0. Adjustable rebound and a blow-off valve on the lockout with the Dart 3 are pluses. On the other hand, the 30mm stanchions, better compression dampening and VERY slick progressive lockout lever on the XCR-LO make it a better fork in my opinion. I know, I know - everyone slams the Dart so saying "better than a Dart" seems like damning with faint praise. However, all Tora forks except the Tora 318's (Motion Control) have an unsophisticated TurnKey dampener, steel stanchions and non-serviceable bushings - just like a Dart fork. Most coil versions of the Tora lack adjustable preload which the Dart 3 has and several Tora models are missing a lockout feature which, again, the Dart 3 has. The major thing that separates all Tora forks from all Dart forks is 32mm-diameter stanchion tubes vs 28mm. Not that I think a Dart 3 is all that great, it's just that I think most Tora forks aren't that great either and that a Suntour XCR can be a pretty good fork - especially given it's low price.

    Perhaps the best way to get a handle on the features available in various SR Suntour forks is via this link: SR Suntour Tuning Base

    Bike manufacturers and Suntour themselves are often less than clear about what you're buying. My guess is that many consumers - after sampling the horrible Suntour M2025 pogo fork that comes on nearly every entry-level bike these days - write off the entire Suntour brand as junk but that's hardly the case. You can look through the exploded views of Suntour forks using the above site to get a better idea of what each model's properties are.

    It doesn't help that Suntour makes many dozens of forks all with cryptic codes:

    SF10 = Suntour Fork and the "10" is the model year
    then comes the fork family (XCM, XCT, XCR, Epicon, NCX, etc)
    then comes the fork's feature codes:
    ...P = Post-mount brakes
    ...D = Disc brake mounts
    ...D-P = Disc mount and Post-mount brakes
    ...E = ????
    ...DS = ????
    ...MLO = Mechanical Lock Out
    ...HLO = Hydraulic Lock Out
    ...RLO = Remote Lock Out
    ...LOD = yet another type of lock out unit?
    sometimes there is a size (20, 24 or 26-inch wheel)
    then usually comes a travel or travel range
    sometimes there is an axle spec 15QLC or 20QLC (15mm or 20mm thru axle)

    Not easy to figure out what you're spending your money on. Curiously, I haven't found that Suntour lists a range of springs for different rider weights. Unless you're of average weight, it would be nice to know before you buy any bike with a coil fork that a lighter/heavier spring is, or is not, available, no?

    Perhaps Doug from Suntour can elaborate on what all those cryptic product codes mean and explain what the situation is with obtaining alternative-rate springs? What separates the NCX, Axom, Radion and Eipcon forks from other Suntour forks?
    Last edited by Clones123; 09-04-2010 at 05:14 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clones123
    Wow - I'd have thought that someone from Suntour could have shed a little more light than that on what is a VERY confusing product lineup.

    I have the Dart 3 29er 100mm fork (28mm stanchions) on my bike and my son has the Suntour XCR-LO 100mm on his 2009 Avalanche 2.0. Adjustable rebound and a blow-off valve on the lockout with the Dart 3 are pluses. On the other hand, the 30mm stanchions, better compression dampening and VERY slick progressive lockout lever on the XCR-LO make it a better fork in my opinion. I know, I know - everyone slams the Dart so saying "better than a Dart" seems like damning with faint praise. However, all Tora forks except the Tora 318's (Motion Control) have an unsophisticated TurnKey dampener, steel stanchions and non-serviceable bushings - just like a Dart fork. Most coil versions of the Tora lack adjustable preload which the Dart 3 has and several Tora models are missing a lockout feature which, again, the Dart 3 has. The major thing that separates all Tora forks from all Dart forks is 32mm-diameter stanchion tubes vs 28mm. Not that I think a Dart 3 is all that great, it's just that I think most Tora forks aren't that great either and that a Suntour XCR can be a pretty good fork - especially given it's low price.

    Perhaps the best way to get a handle on the features available in various SR Suntour forks is via this link: SR Suntour Tuning Base

    Bike manufacturers and Suntour themselves are often less than clear about what you're buying. My guess is that many consumers - after sampling the horrible Suntour M2025 pogo fork that comes on nearly every entry-level bike these days - write off the entire Suntour brand as junk but that's hardly the case. You can look through the exploded views of Suntour forks using the above site to get a better idea of what each model's properties are.

    It doesn't help that Suntour makes many dozens of forks all with cryptic codes:

    SF10 = Suntour Fork and the "10" is the model year
    then comes the fork family (XCM, XCT, XCR, Epicon, NCX, etc)
    then comes the fork's feature codes:
    ...P = Post-mount brakes
    ...D = Disc brake mounts
    ...D-P = Disc mount and Post-mount brakes
    ...E = ????
    ...DS = ????
    ...MLO = Mechanical Lock Out
    ...HLO = Hydraulic Lock Out
    ...RLO = Remote Lock Out
    ...LOD = yet another type of lock out unit?
    sometimes there is a size (20, 24 or 26-inch wheel)
    then usually comes a travel or travel range
    sometimes there is an axle spec 15QLC or 20QLC (15mm or 20mm thru axle)

    Not easy to figure out what you're spending your money on. Curiously, I haven't found that Suntour lists a range of springs for different rider weights. Unless you're of average weight, it would be nice to know before you buy any bike with a coil fork that a lighter/heavier spring is, or is not, available, no?

    Perhaps Doug from Suntour can elaborate on what all those cryptic product codes mean and explain what the situation is with obtaining alternative-rate springs? What separates the NCX, Axom, Radion and Eipcon forks from other Suntour forks?
    Great info!

  10. #10
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    Does Suntour make the Rockshox brand? Seems like I read that somewhere recently, but I can't put my finger on where.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
    Does Suntour make the Rockshox brand?
    RockShox is owned by SRAM: http://www.sram.com/rockshox

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
    Does Suntour make the Rockshox brand? Seems like I read that somewhere recently, but I can't put my finger on where.
    Suntour and Marzochhi are together I believe. Spinner made some of The RS stuff untill 2006ish. Now Spinner is on its own and that is why you pretty much dont see spinner in america anymore.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clones123
    RockShox is owned by SRAM: http://www.sram.com/rockshox
    Right, but I don't think SRAM actually makes anything. Someone else pointed out that Spinner used to make some of the Rockshox-branded forks.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119
    Suntour and Marzochhi are together I believe. Spinner made some of The RS stuff untill 2006ish. Now Spinner is on its own and that is why you pretty much dont see spinner in america anymore.
    So who makes Rockshox now?

    If older Rockshox is really Spinner, then maybe a Spinner fork wouldn't be such a bad thing.

  15. #15
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    For me, a good fork is something with relatively stiff stanchions, tunable spring rate and sag, and a rebound damper. I really like having a compression damper, but I don't think it's necessary to make the experience of riding with suspension better than the experience of riding rigid. I think the other stuff is. Finally, a fork should be sturdy enough to take anything wheels-on-the-ground riding throws at it, and the occasional largish jump onto a good transition or drop of a foot or two.

    It's shockingly easy to rule out quite a lot of what's on the market just with those few conditions - a lot of the low end forks don't have spring kits available, which means that spring rate's not tunable. Rebound dampers are a bit trickier, since most forks sold now claim to have them - you really have to read reviews and see if they work. And they may work for lighter riders but not heavier ones.

    If I was looking for a fork for a loaner or tight-budget bike, I might be open to something from Suntour, Spinner or even RST. But I'd need to know I could get the spring kit to make it work for my weight, and I'd need to be able to read reviews and not find a lot of people saying "I couldn't tell if the rebound damper did anything" or "I landed a small jump and shoved the compression rod right through the stanchion. Little metal things went everywhere!" Actually, plastic caps on the crown might kill the deal for me too.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  16. #16
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    I've ridden a few Cannondales with RST Deuce's and those forks felt pretty good. Air adjustable, 32mm stanchions, and aesthetically appealing. What is your budget for a bike? I might be able to help you out.
    Quote Originally Posted by anthonys
    Its still just the push of a button away...
    I am no longer a hardtailkid. 2012 Trek Remedy 9!

  17. #17
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    I ran across this post by a guy who found different springs for his Suntour fork:
    http://www.bikeradar.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=15991688

    Hunting around some, I found that the XCM forks appear to have 30mm stanchions (28mm on older versions and with a clunky On/off lockout) and aluminum lowers while the XCR forks are 30mm with magnesium lowers. Other than that they seem pretty much the same.
    Last edited by Clones123; 09-11-2010 at 03:22 PM.
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  18. #18
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    Codes, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Clones123
    Wow - I'd have thought that someone from Suntour could have shed a little more light than that on what is a VERY confusing product lineup.

    I have the Dart 3 29er 100mm fork (28mm stanchions) on my bike and my son has the Suntour XCR-LO 100mm on his 2009 Avalanche 2.0. Adjustable rebound and a blow-off valve on the lockout with the Dart 3 are pluses. On the other hand, the 30mm stanchions, better compression dampening and VERY slick progressive lockout lever on the XCR-LO make it a better fork in my opinion. I know, I know - everyone slams the Dart so saying "better than a Dart" seems like damning with faint praise. However, all Tora forks except the Tora 318's (Motion Control) have an unsophisticated TurnKey dampener, steel stanchions and non-serviceable bushings - just like a Dart fork. Most coil versions of the Tora lack adjustable preload which the Dart 3 has and several Tora models are missing a lockout feature which, again, the Dart 3 has. The major thing that separates all Tora forks from all Dart forks is 32mm-diameter stanchion tubes vs 28mm. Not that I think a Dart 3 is all that great, it's just that I think most Tora forks aren't that great either and that a Suntour XCR can be a pretty good fork - especially given it's low price.

    Perhaps the best way to get a handle on the features available in various SR Suntour forks is via this link: SR Suntour Tuning Base

    Bike manufacturers and Suntour themselves are often less than clear about what you're buying. My guess is that many consumers - after sampling the horrible Suntour M2025 pogo fork that comes on nearly every entry-level bike these days - write off the entire Suntour brand as junk but that's hardly the case. You can look through the exploded views of Suntour forks using the above site to get a better idea of what each model's properties are.

    It doesn't help that Suntour makes many dozens of forks all with cryptic codes:

    SF10 = Suntour Fork and the "10" is the model year
    then comes the fork family (XCM, XCT, XCR, Epicon, NCX, etc)
    then comes the fork's feature codes:
    ...P = Post-mount brakes
    ...D = Disc brake mounts
    ...D-P = Disc mount and Post-mount brakes
    ...E = ????
    ...DS = ????
    ...MLO = Mechanical Lock Out
    ...HLO = Hydraulic Lock Out
    ...RLO = Remote Lock Out
    ...LOD = yet another type of lock out unit?
    sometimes there is a size (20, 24 or 26-inch wheel)
    then usually comes a travel or travel range
    sometimes there is an axle spec 15QLC or 20QLC (15mm or 20mm thru axle)

    Not easy to figure out what you're spending your money on. Curiously, I haven't found that Suntour lists a range of springs for different rider weights. Unless you're of average weight, it would be nice to know before you buy any bike with a coil fork that a lighter/heavier spring is, or is not, available, no?

    Perhaps Doug from Suntour can elaborate on what all those cryptic product codes mean and explain what the situation is with obtaining alternative-rate springs? What separates the NCX, Axom, Radion and Eipcon forks from other Suntour forks?
    Hi, Doug from SR Suntour here again. Here are some answers to your questions:

    ...E = ???? - versus D - Typically E is chromoly stanchions and steerer versus D which is STKM stanchions and steerer

    ...DS = ???? - Don't know at the moment.

    LOD - this means Lock-out with Rebound Damping

    In our 'system; R typically stands for Remote and D stands for Damping, but is really rebound damping.

    NCX = 700c city bike fork
    Axon = short travel XC Race fork
    Radon = short to mid-travel general purpose fork
    Epicon = mid-travel Trail to All-Mountain fork

    Finally, I am hopeful that in the coming months/years you will see improved consumer based communications from our company so that it is easier to understand the features and performance of our products.

    Thanks.................Doug

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by freshw00d
    Hi, Doug from SR Suntour here again. Here are some answers to your questions:

    ...E = ???? - versus D - Typically E is chromoly stanchions and steerer versus D which is STKM stanchions and steerer

    ...DS = ???? - Don't know at the moment.

    LOD - this means Lock-out with Rebound Damping

    In our 'system; R typically stands for Remote and D stands for Damping, but is really rebound damping.

    NCX = 700c city bike fork
    Axon = short travel XC Race fork
    Radon = short to mid-travel general purpose fork
    Epicon = mid-travel Trail to All-Mountain fork

    Finally, I am hopeful that in the coming months/years you will see improved consumer based communications from our company so that it is easier to understand the features and performance of our products.

    Thanks.................Doug
    Hi Doug,

    Are either of these forks Hydraulic?

    SF11-XCR MLO 29'

    SF11-XCM V3 MLO 26'

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
    So who makes Rockshox now?

    If older Rockshox is really Spinner, then maybe a Spinner fork wouldn't be such a bad thing.
    Having a spinner fork in the united states is a bad thing. For some reason, they only send there junk here. The spinner grind, eagle, other forks you find on low end entry level bikes are junk. The spinner aeris and cargo are decent forks. I use to have a cargo air that I got off ebay and it worked really well. It had 100-140mm adjustable travel, a thresh hold lock out that work like the flood gate on the newer RS stuff, and rebound. it was heavy at 5.4lbs but worked pretty well. The aeris is a sub 4lbs fork (One version I think is 2.9lbs.) With a decent damper. Problem is you cant find these forks very easy in the US and finding parts for them is almost impossible.

    http://www.cycletaiwan.com/shop/inde...d=68&Itemid=73

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by joepa150
    Are either of these forks Hydraulic?

    SF11-XCR MLO 29'

    SF11-XCM V3 MLO 26'
    I don't think that Doug Stuart monitors this board daily. You'd be better off e-mailing him directly if you have a question. You'd think it would be easier to just go to the source anyway but...

    SF11-XCR MLO 29'
    http://www.srsuntour-cycling.com/SID...tail&tnid=3082
    Related Exploded View: SF9-XCR LO
    http://www.srsuntour-cycling.com/cus...SF9-XCR-LO.pdf


    SF11-XCM V3 MLO 26'
    http://www.srsuntour-cycling.com/SID...tail&tnid=2886
    Related Exploded View: SF10-XCM V2 DS PM 26
    http://www.srsuntour-cycling.com/cus...26-80%2610.pdf

    Unfortunately, Suntour's documentation is as confusing as it's product lineup. The 2011 XCR has a related exploded view of a 2009 fork which shows the expected dampener cartridge. Meanwhile, the 2011 XCM links to an exploded view of a 2010 fork clearly showing only a spring & friction dampener in the right leg which surprises me. I wasn't previously aware of any current XCM forks without a hydraulic dampener.

    I think you'd need to e-mail Doug at Suntour to get a straight answer on your question.

  22. #22
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    Dan,
    I have a SR Mag 32 on my GT Force. It has been fantastic and really plush. Honestly I have broken every thing on this bike but the fork has been perfect.

    I don't know if you can tell me this but is it the OEM Epicon? which model ? I am trying to do some service on it(off your website and want to know which model it is).

    Also a really dumb question but the rebound adjust. Do I need a special nob? It didn't come with one. How do I make it rebound quicker?
    Thanks,
    Mike

  23. #23
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    Any new insights on the Suntour forks? I just got a catalog and the newest XCR forks don't look too bad for the price.

  24. #24
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    HELLo-:

    Just bought SR Raidon 29" air RLO QR15... will be on the bike by the weekend so will post the ride update. Seems to be good quality straight from the box, interesting QR though!

    Doug: I've found some info on Greyville(UK distributor) that you can extend the travel to 120mm. Can that be done at LBS or does it need to be sent out to Service Centre and some new parts has to be fitted?

  25. #25
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    HELLo-:

    Sr Raidon 29er fitted to my DiamondBack Mojito, ridden it a few times in different terrain and all I can say about the fork: I'm impressed! It's not too heavy, works well, adjustments DO make the difference(unlike some other cheaper Suntours or RSTs) it doesn't flex when cornering or under heavy braking...the only thing I'm not 100% sure about is the QR.
    Bottom line: if you're on a budget or need suspension forks for your "second" bike, ride with Raidon...

    Regards!

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