DT Swiss 232 ONE – The All New XC Suspension Platform

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DT Swiss launches the new 232 ONE XC Suspension Platform: fork, shock and dropper post, for tough XC performance.

When DT Swiss decided to launch an all new suspension platform aimed squarely at small travel bikes and XC racing they had a couple of conundrums to contend with. Firstly there are homologation rules and regulations set down by the UCI. Strict rules that control what can be used in competition as it needs to be available to the consumer for a period of 6 months before the event. Secondly, on the back of the homologation ruling means that the launch of the 232 ONE range would need to happen in January.

DT Swiss F 232 ONE Fork Features

  • Wheel size 29in
  • Weight 1.51kg (110mm travel with remote without axle with 230mm steerer)
  • Actuation handlebar remote or lever
  • Travel 100mm, 110mm, 120mm
  • Offset 51mm
  • Stanchion Diameter 32mm
  • Price £849.99/979 EUR/$1113 USD (lower version), £874.99/999 EUR/$1135 (remote version)

DT Swiss R 232 ONE Shock Features

  • Lightweight rear shock for XC racing
  • Lineair air spring with XC optimised spring curve
  • Three-position Incontrol compression adjustmer with Open, Drive, and Lock settings
  • Adjustable low-speed rebound damping
  • Aluminum black anodized stanchion
  • Actuation by either handlebar remote or lever
  • Available sizes Trunnion mount- 165x40mm, 165x45mm 185x50mm and Standard mount- 190x40mm, 190x45mm, 210x50mm, 210x55mm
  • Weight 230g (190x45mm with remote lever)
  • RRP: Lever versions 406 EUR / $463 USD, Remote version 429 EUR / $486 USD / (not being distributed in the UK)

D 232 ONE Dropper Features

  • Travel 60mm
  • Upside Down fully mechanical and spring system
  • Carbon seat tube & seat clamp, aluminium slider tube, titanium seat clamp bolts
  • Cable activated
  • Stanchion Black Anodized
  • Twin-bolt carbon saddle clamp
  • Diameter 27.2mm and 30.9mm
  • Offset 0mm
  • Total length 400mm
  • Weight 369g (30.9mm diameter post without cable and cable outer) remote 16.9g
  • RRP £434.99 / $566 USD / 499 EUR
DT Swiss 232 ONE
Going underground

The Big Launch

Where do you host such a launch in Europe in the middle of winter? Where else but in disused 350 year old underground mine. To me the idea of riding bikes in a mine springs up an abundance of questions, but intrigue got the best of me and I set off to Kamsdorf in Germany to see the new products in the flesh and tick off yet another thing from my bucket list.

The mine has been closed since 1958 and is home to a multitude of subterranean trails mostly in complete darkness. With lights mounted on our helmets we negotiated the steep staircase down into the black out. The trails varied from beginner through to “enduro” grade. We started on some of the simple trails as I adjusted to the lack of peripheral vision and the trail conditions.

DT Swiss 232 ONE
Is it just us, or is this pretty scary?

With the scary thought of the world’s press lost underground in a maze of dark mine shafts, DT Swiss employed the knowledge of local guide Lucas Rham to reduce the risk of disaster. Once I graduated from the beginner trails and my speed and confidence grew in the mine I advanced to sample the plethora of rollers and berms. The lack of any type of breeze underground combined with a feeble attempt to stay on the wheel of the two Flückiger brothers meant it didn’t take long before I was sweating like the proverbial pig.

Combine the loose over hardpack with tight flat turns, narrow sections of the shaft and some really low head room – it all made for precarious and testing riding. With the odd remnants of old mining metal work hanging from the ceiling and low level supports dotted around the chances of a glancing blow or a serious bump to the head inevitable, keeping my focus and concentration would be the challenge for the duration of the ride.

The DT Swiss 232 ONE suspension products have been developed with a focus on performance and XC racing. So a collaboration with Canyon and also Swiss based Thӧmus RN XC elite race team to develop the new range. The 232 ONE products were slotted into a true lightweight XC race machine, the Canyon Lux CF SLX 9.0 DT.

F 232 ONE Fork

The new XC race fork from DT Swiss utilises a tweaked Lineair air spring and Incontrol damping system that we have seen in previous forks from the brand. This lightweight XC fork takes more than its styling cues from its bigger brother the 535 trail focused suspension range.

The F 232 fork’s lower have been designed with a key attribute in mind: stiffness to weight ratio. The fork’s performance has been honed during testing in a laboratory environment and with research and development athletes in the field over the past two years. This information has been backed up by using computer aided topology optimization. But what does that mean to us non design engineer types?

Once the fork has been in the lab and with the DT Swiss test riders the F 232 fork has been adjusted using computer software that is loaded with all of the forces associated with the fork and its performance during use (torsional and bending stiffness). The computer can ascertain how much material is required in which specific area to deal with forces created on the trail, accounting for flex and braking loads. Material can also be removed from areas where it is not a necessity. This results in an ideal ratio between stiffness and weight. The torsional stiffness ensures that the rider is offered a fork that feels precise, whilst bending stiffness is required to ensure that the stanchions do not flex apart or tilt in the area of the bushings a way that would compromise the performance of the fork.

A keen eye over the fork lowers, particularly either side of the brace and the axle area, will notice that the webbing detail on fork is not symmetrical. With the braking forces applied to the left hand leg that houses the Lineair air spring, there are different forces in comparison to the Incontrol damping unit in the right hand leg.

The Lineair is a dual air chamber system. The system uses a bypass located in the air chamber. This bypass ensures that the pressure inside the negative air chamber is higher than the positive chamber when the fork is fully extended to reduce the breakaway force. DT Swiss defined the size of the air chamber to create a linear but flat spring curve in the middle of the travel to maintain momentum whilst on the trail.

The F232 ONE is like many other forks in the market in that it uses volume spacers to adjust the progression of the air spring curve by adding or removing these spacers in the fork’s air chamber to tune the spring curve to the rider’s trails and riding style.

The fork uses the Incontrol damping system just like its bigger brother the F535 ONE. It features adjustable compression and rebound. It has the usual three modes to which we have become accustomed to these days: Open mode for sensitivity and traction; Drive mode has an increased compression damping with the LSC channel closed; and of course Lock mode that closes both the HSC and the LSC oil channels for when maximum power transmission is required but still features a blow off valve for the unexpected hits.

DT Swiss 232 ONE
Probably the scariest launch we’ve seen!

This is a XC race fork and you won’t find the RWS QR axle. However the neat DT Swiss QR axle is available separately and will spin straight in if you so wish. You do get a bolt on mudguard and an extra APT spacer with the fork. It comes with the choice of handlebar remote lever (additional cost) or standard lever located on the top of the fork crown. The F 232 ONE fork is a 29er only fork that comes in 100mm, 110mm or 120mm travel options.

The Ride

The fork I rode was the 110mm unit in the Canyon Lux with the handlebar remote actuated Incontrol damping lever. This option does make for a slightly more cluttered handlebar, but to have the option to quickly switch between the modes with my thumb on the fly proved beneficial with limited vision of what was coming at me in the dark of the mine shaft.

During my time on the Lux with the F 232, I was impressed with the feel offered by the fork. The quality of the ride gave me a confident and predictable feeling of what was going on under the tyre, paying dividends when you have limited vision. The F232 definitely has a quality of travel over quantity travel. The 110mm travel was well controlled and felt like there was much more than what was on offer. In the Open mode the initial stroke of the travel was supple enough to give good small bump sensitivity and tracked the hard packed mine floor well. I did managed to achieve full travel a couple of times whilst forgetting I was riding an XC race bike, and I sent the Lux a tad long off a jump but without suffering any harsh bottom out.

DT Swiss 232 ONE

I like the subtle styling, and the graphics and the feel of the levers and adjusters are typical of the quality I’ve come to expect from DT Swiss. The stealth understated matt black finish looks classy and ensures the fork matches any bike you might choose to slot it into.

The fork felt light and yet had the stiffness that is comparable to a fork with larger diameter stanchions. It tracked well and ramped up nicely with ample of support in the mid stroke meaning I could make the most of the travel. I ran the fork with the recommended pressure for my 66kg weight. On initial setup the fork was a little fast so a couple of clicks of rebound adjustment and it was impressively right on the sweet spot for me.

R 232 ONE shock

To match the character of the F 232 fork, DT Swiss has produced the R 232 ONE rear shock. With modern XC race tracks becoming more technically demanding, DT Swiss wanted to produce a shock that was optimised for cross country with a Lineair air spring that would allow grip and the racer to float over roots but offer top end progression that you could also take the bigger drops and jumps with confidence.

DT Swiss 232 ONE

The pairing of the fork and shock offers the rider a perfectly balanced suspension system with an optimised spring curve for XC racing. DT Swiss has replaced the previous carbon fibre air cans with an aluminum one on the R 232 shock. This is after direct feedback from riders during development where there was an emphasis on outright suspension performance and grip over weight saving.

DT Swiss 232 ONE

The shock has the same three position adjustments of the Incontrol damping as the fork, to offer the rider control and the best compression for any given situation. On the Canyon Lux the fork and shock were controlled simultaneously via the handlebar mounted remote lever, so the adjustment could be made on the fly and at a moment’s notice to the changes in terrain.

The Ride

Shock setup was a doddle, I ran the shock rebound in the mid way point but eventually chose to slow it down slightly by a couple of clicks. This is not the easiest feat, as the rebound dial is tucked into the top of the air can and requires a two finger operation. Combine that with the front shock mount bolt position and it was a little bit of a faff and not the easiest of tasks to undertake whilst riding and wearing gloves.

Riding the R 232 ONE shock I switched between the three modes. The lock mode was rarely used during my ride in the mine, but it offers the option for sprinting and delivering full power in race situations. The drive mode offered the best balance between maintaining rear wheel grip and contact with the trail and climbing efficiency. I only switched to open mode during the rougher rocky sections, the jumps and descents.

DT Swiss 232 ONE

The rear shock perfectly complemented the fork both in terms of performance and grip. The bike had a light and lively feel. The Lux felt comfortable in pumping rollers and jumps and actually felt more nimble and fun akin to a lightweight trail bike than a harsh uncompromising focused XC race bike. The suspension was both supportive and controlled matching the fork well. The initial stroke was sensitive allowing the rear wheel to track the ground over continuous small bumps and holes.

D 232 ONE dropper seat post

The D 232 is the brand’s first foray into the dropper seat post market. With the days of fire road long laps a distant memory, modern World Cup XC racing is more technically demanding than ever. With steep descents, drops and riders even getting some wind under their wheels during the race, the dropper seat post is now adopted by an increasing number of riders.

The D232 ONE dropper is a lightweight race seat post, offering 60mm of travel and features a carbon seat clamp. What sets this post apart is the Upside Down technology. That’s it, you read that right: an upside down dropper seat post.

The D 232 ONE seat post is fully mechanical – that means no hydraulic system like that used by many other manufacturers. This means that the post isn’t just lighter, but it should also be a highly reliable option. The seat post conceals a spring inside to extend the dropped post back to its full height. Inside the post there are a number of ball bearings that locate in a metal collar in the saddle up position. When the lever is pressed (whilst seated) the ball bearings disengage from the collar and the spring is fully compressed and the ball bearings seat into a groove scalloped out inside the body.

The small neat lever on the bar is connected to the bottom of the post in the frame via a cable. The release mechanism is actuated by the lever cable that simply pulls a spoke to retract the ball bearings.

The cable can quickly be removed from the bottom of the seat post meaning hassle free removal of the D 232 ONE post from your frame for servicing or loading the bike into a travel bag when you go off on your next adventure.

All this means the D 232 ONE seat post should be easy to maintain. No special tooling, no visit to the local bike shop or bleeding required. Just release the lock nut for the slider tube by hand, remove the upper and clean out the mechanism. Once its been cleaned, simply grease the guide key, the latch and guide ring and away you go. A service apparently easily achievable in five minutes.

The Ride

The 60mm of travel felt ample on the Canyon Lux. Just enough to get the seat down and out of the way so you can manoeuvre around the bike and still be able to grip the seat . The lever and the post both had the trademark DT Swiss quality feel to them. The styling is in keeping with the rest of the 232 ONE range, although the upside down design did take some getting used to it just purely on an aesthetic point of view as it looks unusual.

Overall – The 232 ONE XC Range

DT Swiss 232 ONE
Subtle quality.

For me, the standout item of the 232 ONE range is the seat post. Simplicity is king in the seat post market. I love the fact that it can be serviced at home in the garage in no time at all, keeping you on the trails or at the races and out of the workshop – although admittedly the post hasn’t yet been put through a winter of hard UK riding conditions.

The 232 ONE XC suspension platform range has a clear focus on quality, feel and performance over purely just the lightest weight products – and all that comes at a hefty price. DT Swiss has made a conscious effort to produce an all round race package for the rider who values this performance. Neither the fork or shock is the lightest on the market, that said they’re far from porkers either. But the pairing is supportive and very well matched. The fork’s stiffness, its feel and the feedback it offers the rider is impressive.

Review Info

Brand: DT Swiss
Product: 232 ONE
From: Madison
Price: tbc
Tested: by Dean Hersey for

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