June 9, 2011
X-Fusion might be one of the newer kids on the suspension block, but lately they’ve been making products that are standing up against the big boys. Upgrade Bikes are bringing their range to the UK and we’ve just had a set of the new 160mm travel X-Fusion Vengeance HLR forks land in the office. Those offer a wide range of adjustment with independent high and low speed compression along with adjustable rebound and preload from the air spring, all at a price that undercuts similarly specced forks.
As well as their range of trail and race forks, they also do a number of rear shocks and they’ve just announced the latest addition to their range. The Vector Air shock has all the same features as their coil sprung Vector shock and is pitched as hard-hitting air shock to rival the Fox DHX Air and the Rock Shox Vivid Air.
However X-Fusion say that, at 450g, it’s lighter than either of those, losing a claimed 80g over a Vivid Air and 30g over the DHX Air. Of those two, the layout of the shock shares more in common with that of the DHX Air, with reservoir at the same end as the air can, the damping circuits running through it rather than at the opposite end as in the Vivid Air.
Two models are going to be available; the all singing, all dancing Vector Air HLR which will have high/low speed compression and rebound damping as well as bottom out, air pressure and air volume adjustment. A cheaper Vector Air RC model will also be available without the high speed compression adjustment.
X-Fusion say that the machined air can has extra thin walls for greater cooling and that, along chunky 31.5mm damper body, should provide consistent damping and will provide a wide range of riders and bikes with “the highest level of descending performance”.
The shock will be available in the HLR or RC spec in 200×56, 215×63, 222×69, 240×76 or 267×89 lengths and strokes, which should cover most of the bigger bikes out there.
As soon as one turns up Benji will be strapping it to his Saracen Ariel and give it a thorough testing. Along with the Cane Creek Double Barrel air prototype we saw at Fort William last weekend, it seems that interesting times are ahead for the chunkier side of air sprung riding. Until then, here’s some cutaway diagrams…