SR Suntour Durolux RCA details:
• Intended use: enduro/trail/all-mountain
• Travel: 160/180mm (adjustable internally
• Air sprung
• Adjustments: air pressure, rebound, compression
• 20mm Q-LOC axle system (no tools
• Axle to crown height: 550mm
• Steerer tube options: tapered, straight 1 1/8th
• Weight: 2250 grams
• MSRP $679 USD (tapered steerer, tested
), $629 (1 1/8th straight steerer
) USDOn the outside:
While looks should always be considered a distant second compared to on trail performance, there is no denying that the Durolux has a somewhat understated appearance when sat beside some of its flashier competition. The white magnesium lowers (they can also be had in black
) look quite beefy, and a substantial arch ties the two sides together - it's clear straight off, at least from the fork's external appearance, that the Durolux is designed to be ridden hard. At the bottom of the fork you'll find SR Suntour's clever Q-LOC axle system that allows you to remove the front wheel in a matter of seconds. Much like a standard quick release, you simply flip the lever to loosen the axle, but you then depress the button on the opposite side, allowing the aluminum wedges to fit through the dropout before sliding the axle out. A simple, yet effective hose guide is employed to keep the front brake line in check, and the caliper attaches via a set of 160mm post mounts.
The novel Q-Loc axle uses a compressible aluminum wedge - the anodized section on the far left - along with an expanding internal wedge to keep the axle in place. It works quite well.
You can adjust the air sprung fork's spring rate via a schrader valve atop the left fork leg, hidden under a nicely anodized aluminum cap. The RCA acronym means that the Durolux has adjustable low speed compression to tame brake dive and control the fork when setting up for corners, as well as rebound which can be found at the bottom of the fork leg. The Durolux comes setup with 180mm of travel, enough to push your personal limits on your local jumps and drops, but the travel can be reigned in to 160mm if the fork will be performing enduro and all-mountain duties on the front of your bike. While the TAD equipped Durolux models use a bar mounted remote to adjust the fork's stroke, the RCA model requires you to change the fork's top out position by removing a roll pin on the spring rod. Inside the Durolux:
Hidden within the Durolux RCA is a sealed damping cartridge that completely separates the fork's damping and lubrication oil. SR Suntour went this route for a number of reasons, including longer service intervals and more consistent damping on sustained rough terrain. The cartridge itself is manufactured completely from aluminum, and is inverted within the fork, meaning that its lightest moving components - the rebound damper rod assembly - move up into the cartridge, keeping unsprung weight as low as possible. Damping is controlled via two separate pistons, one for compression and one for rebound, with both pistons employing a shim stack to control high speed fork movement. The cartridge is not only quite easy to remove from the fork for service, but the oil change process is also simple, requiring only common sense and no special tools. SR Suntour refers to the cartridge as a Quick Service Product (QSP
), meaning that it can be replaced or worked on very easily.
The Durolux RCA's internals feature aluminum construction - there is no plastic to be found within the fork's cartridge. The rebound piston sits at the end of the damper rod (center
), while the compression assembly resides within the cartridge body.On the trail:
The Durolux is an easy and unintimidating fork to setup. Begin with your air pressure to get your spring rate in the ballpark, followed by your compression and rebound adjustments. While the fork doesn't come with a quick setup guide like many others do the process is about as straight forward as you could hope for. As with most suspension units, the Durolux required a brief break-in period of a few rides before it became really smooth, but once past that point the fork was nicely active early in its stroke, even when setup up with enough air pressure for a 200+lb rider. There is zero bushing play from new and tolerances are up to par, more than I can say of some of the more expensive competition out there. The range of adjustment for both the rebound and compression damping is large enough to deal with a wide variety of rider weights and levels of aggressiveness, and the anodized aluminum dials are a nice touch.
Given the Durolux's tapered steerer, beefy lowers and 20mm thru-axle, it doesn't come as a surprise that the chassis is as stiff as you could ever hope for. There felt to be close to zero deflection, even when pressing hard on rough tracks to keep up with riders on longer travel bikes. The novel Q-Loc axle made wheel removal a cinch and didn't back off at all throughout the test, and while the anodized aluminum wedge does make for a more complicated part, it never once needed any attention.
The SR Suntour slider proved itself over and over again on the roughest of trails, dealing with the chunder in a controlled manner that had me very pleased with how the fork handled repeated hits. The damping, while likely not as sophisticated as some higher priced forks, did a more than adequate job of dealing with both high speed compression spikes and low speed movements from heavy braking or setting up for corners, preserving the bike's geometry for predictable handling. While the Durolux managed to tame the dreaded fork dive that plagues many other forks, it was still active enough to take the rattle out of smaller trail chatter that can upset traction when pushing hard. Most of us can be found guilty of thinking that we need the latest and greatest when it comes to suspension, that it will instantly make us faster on our local loop and allow us to drop our buddies on the sketchy sections, but the truth is that a simple and well sorted damper can often provide close to the same level of performance. The question that you all want answered though, no doubt, is whether the fork's more expensive competition would take the sword to the Durolux when it comes to out and out performance. The answer will likely surprise some out there, but the performance gap between the SR Suntour slider and pricier options is far smaller than you would imagine. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I would be hard pressed to tell the difference between a Durolux that has been setup well for the terrain and a fork costing $400 USD more. The key is all in the setup - take the time to getting your settings dialed in and you'll be rewarded with a great performance.
An anodized aluminum cap covers the schrader air valve (left
), while the fork's compression adjustment can be made from atop the right fork leg.In the long run:
Although SR Suntour has been in the suspension game for a very long time, they could still be considered a bit of an up and comer in the category of fork that the Durolux is looking to compete with. With that in mind it would be easy to understand some rider's concerns about long term reliability - How do the seals last? Will the damper prove to be up to the task down the road? It isn't often that we get to test a review product for as long as we have with the Durolux, putting it through a much longer review process than we usually could. The result was positive, with the fork not showing a hint of any issues. To this day the fork seals refuse to weep, and the aluminum damper cartridge has proved to be as reliable, if not more so, than what can be found inside many other forks on the market. The fork's reliability shows, without a doubt in our mind, that the Durolux is ready to play with the big boys.
The sturdy looking lowers feature a 6" post brake mount.Any issues?
The Durolux is a solid performer that punches well above its $679 USD asking price, but there are a few bones to pick with the SR Suntour slider. While the Durolux RCA model that we tested doesn't come equipped with an external travel adjust (other Durolux forks do
), we would have liked to see a more refined internal travel adjustment than the roll pin system employed within our fork. Yes, it is easy to change the travel between 160 and 180mm by pushing the pin out to change its position, but a system of swappable spacers in the top and bottom out area of the fork would be much slicker.
Our only other concern would be the compression and rebound dial's vague adjustment feel - there are detents, but they are too light to get a good, positive feel from. We would prefer a solid click that really lets you know that you've made a change to the settings.Pinkbike says:
It isn't often that we get to put this much time on a product and have it perform consistently well throughout the entire duration of the test. Not only did the Durolux RCA surprise us with its capabilities as a true all-mountain contender that punches well above its asking price, but the fork also scored the highest possible marks when talking reliability - from the seals to the damping, it never let us down. Even before factoring in the impressive $679 USD asking price for our tapered version, the Durolux's performance makes it a solid option in the 180/160mm fork category. Have you ridden the Durolux? Like the sounds of a sturdy and more affordable option? Let's hear what you have to say
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to see their entire lineup.