Review: Suntour Durolux R2C2 PCS EQ top-performance on a budget!

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The Suntour Durolux R2C2 PCS EQ is awarded a Singletrack Recommended Award for providing quality suspension and performance at a budget price.

Suntour’s continued development of its rowdy 36mm enduro fork has paid off with Andi thoroughly recommencing this budget bouncer.

When I started to ride mountain bikes, we had a pretty varied and interesting selection of forks to choose from. It was a time of experimentation and innovation and you were just as likely to see someone on a Mag 21 as on a pair of Halson Inversions. Pace produced carbon forks, and Girvin equipped ProFlex bikes were ten-a-penny. As suspension fork design settled down and telescopic forks took over, the Judy ruled the roost, and RST flooded the market with the Mozo, offering monster amounts of travel for little money.

And then, all of a sudden, our choices dried up. We went from almost unlimited choice to just a handful of brands. Marzocchi, Fox, Manitou and RockShox won that original suspension battle, but the war isn’t over.

suntour durolux eq 36 fork
Are you ready for the beef course?

Looking at the suspension we have to choose from today reminds me a lot of those early days. We have tons of forks to choose between and linkage forks have even made a comeback! However, there is one major difference between then and now. All of the forks available today work, and they all work really well!

If you’re looking at high-performance suspension now is a great time to be shopping. You have forks from those well-established names, but we also have surprising products from brands we might not generally associate with performance. Suntour is one such brand, although it has been making high-end suspension systems for the past few years and sponsoring top athletes, the brand image is still of an entry-level fork maker.

We tend to see Suntour forks on budget mountain bikes, and while they do make some really cheap and cheerful forks, most of the Suntour range is now surprisingly good, and exceptional value for money.

The Durolux was introduced in 2017 and was Suntour’s answer to the Fox 36 and RockShox Lyrik. Using a pair of 36mm stanchions, a burly chassis, and offering adjustments and settings similarly priced forks lacked, the Durolux was a great value option but did have a few quirks that needed ironing out.

Suntour Durolux R2C2 PCS EQ
That’s a lot of fork for not a lot of money.

For 2021 Suntour has introduced its most refined version of the Durolux to date. The past few years have seen Suntour work closely with pro racers to develop its products, but perhaps, more importantly, the company has also been responsive to customer comments and this shines through with the new fork.

The MY21 Durolux range is made up of three forks. Each with the same stiff chassis, chunky legs new EQ and PCS features, and with either 29in or 27.5in wheel compatibility. The fork which I have been testing is the top of the range Durolux EQ R2C2 PCS fork boasting a bunch of acronyms and features usually reserved for forks costing double.

Suntour Durolux R2C2 PCS EQ

Suntour Durolux R2C2 PCS EQ
What does it all mean?

Before we talk about performance, let’s get our heads around the name of the fork and all those acronyms.

Not the half brother of everyone’s 2nd favourite robot (ED209 is number 1) the R2 on the Durolux is referring to rebound control. This flagship fork has both high and low-speed rebound, settings not found on any RockShox Lyrik and reserved only for Fox Factory forks.

If R stands for the rebound the C is compression, and once more the Durolux gives riders both high and low-speed compression to adjust. There are 5 high-speed settings and 1 is fully open.

This stands for the Piston Compensator System. It’s a fully enclosed IFP (Internal Floating Piston) damper that has been designed to minimise the chance of bubbles being formed in the oil. This should ensure a more consistent feel and reduce the need for bleeding. The PCS has been designed as a QSP (don’t worry, I’ll explain this) so it super easy to service or swap out.

This stands for Quick Service Product. Suntour has designed its products so that customers can think about riding more than fixing and servicing. You don’t need any special tools to service the fork, and because the PCS is a cartridge design you can simply swap the whole unit out for a fresh one come service time, meaning you can keep riding while your old internals get a refresh. The QSP design ethos also makes its way to the fork lowers, where Suntour has placed a set of grease/bleed ports.

EQ in the name refers to the new negative air spring that ‘Equalises’ the pressure to optimise performance for a rider’s weight for improved small bump compliance. It’s similar to the negative air springs we see on other forks only optimised for use with Suntour’s PCS.

Suntour Durolux R2C2 PCS EQ Features

So plenty of cool feature and adjustments but our flagship R2C2 forks get even more cool performance features.

Suntour Durolux R2C2 PCS EQ
The top-end R2C2 has a hollow crown.

Hollow crown

More affordable versions of the Durolux benefit from the same lowers, and some of the same damper features but they get a standard solid crown. The R2C2 is built with a hollow crown design that saves weight while retaining siffness and strength.

Fender and fender mount

Fox has had fender mounts on forks for some time and RockShox has just started to offer them on MY21 forks, but Suntour has been doing it for years. Suntour also goes that extra mile and ships the Durolux with a compatible fender in the box.

Bleed/grease ports

To keep your forks running smoothly with minimal fuss, the lowers on the Durolux have grease ports. This means even if you’re in the middle of a riding holiday in the Alps you can still squirt some fresh lube in your forks to keep them running smoothly without having to drop the lowers. The same ports can also be used to release any built up pressure too.

Q Loc axle

Each Durolux fork comes fitted with Suntour’s own Q Loc quick-release thru-axle design. The entry-level forks have a steel axle, whereas the R2C2 model packs a Titanium version. It’s a simple quick-release solution that is easy to adjust to ensure you maintain the right axle torque when clamping your front wheel in.

Setting up the Suntour Durolux R2C2 PCS EQ

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Review Info

Brand:SR Suntour
Product:Durolux R2C2 PCS EQ
From:SR Suntour
Price:£689 €759
Tested:by Andi Sykes for 4 weeks

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