Although for the time being, the 27.5 inch suspension fork offer isn’t quite generous, there are still several models in each categories to choose from and, maybe even more important, the models are purpose-built for XCO, XCM, all-mountain or enduro.
We browsed only around the offering of SR Suntour, RST, Rock Shox and Fox because manufacturers like X-Fusion or BOS are not really mainstream representatives of this trend, while names like Marzocchi or Manitou haven’t lined-up any 27.5 inch fork models. So, let’s have a look at the most important highlights of the coming year.
SR Suntour Auron
Visual appearance of the 2014 range has been thoroughly revamped by the Taiwanese manufacturer and nowhere can this thing be seen better than in the case of the Auron, a sub-2 kilogram enduro suspension fork. Available for 27.5 inch wheels, it features 160mm of travel in the RC2 version and between 120 and 160mm in the TA-RC2 version, the model relying on an air cartridge, with a total weight figure of 1.940 grams.
SR Suntour Axon Werx
Werx stands for top of the line as far as Suntour forks are concerned, and Axon represents their very best in terms of XCO/XCM. With a travel between 80 and 120mm and with a carbon crown and carbon lower arms, it’s built for 15mm thru axle wheels. The air cartridge-based fork weighs 1.530 grams and is also available in the 26 and 29 inch versions.
SR Suntour Epicon
The Epicon will be available in two version, one for cross-country, 80/100/120mm travel, and another for all-mountain with travels of 130 or 140mm. However, only the weight of the all-mountain model is public, of 1.840 grams, but there’s no reason to believe the figure of the XC version should add extra grams. And, at first glance, this model seems to aim at being one of the most valuable models of 2014, at least concerning price/performance ratio.
SR Suntour Raidon
For air cartridge at lower prices fans, the Radon turns out to be the optimal solution. And having a weight of 1.9 kilograms, a travel of 100/120mm, 32mm stanchions and lower magnesium arms, it’s hard no to take it into account, especially if you add the remote lock-out.
SR Suntour XCR/XCM/XCT
Probably the most widespread models, the entry-level ones will also feature in the new wheel size format, this being the only change as well, since the inner mechanism will not be altered.
The XCR will tip the scale at 2.5 kilograms with lock-out included, the XCM goes a further 200 grams upwards, while the XCT revolves around the figure of 2.7 kilograms too. Nonetheless, as far as our recommandations go, we would opt only for the XCR from the 3 models if we were to buy one of them separately.
Rock Shox 30 Gold
Nothing more than a budget air cartridge fork, the Rock Shox 30 Gold still manages to top its counterparts thanks to its 1.842 grams, lower magnesium arms, Solo Air cartridge and 100mm or 120mm travel. Usage recommendations take the path of XCO and XCM trails, but you can read more about it in our review.
Rock Shox Reba RLT
One step higher in terms of performance sits the Reba, with a weight figure slightly below 1.5 kilograms, rebound and compression setting and, of course, lock-out. While the stanchions are built out of aluminum in order to keep the weight low, the lower ones are made out of magnesium, as in the case of the 30 Gold. And like the 30 Gold, XCO and XCM are the specialties of the Reba RLT thanks to its 80/100/120mm travel options.
Rock Shox SID RCT3/XX
Top notch in terms of cross-country will take the form of the SID RCT3/XX, available in all three wheel formats. With 1.4 kilograms of weight, it’s the lightest of the ones presented in this article, and it uses a Solo Air cartridge, has travel versions of 80, 100 and 120mm, 15mm QR thru axle, rebound setting and 3 modes for compression: open, platform and closed.
The Fox Float will be available in several versions for the 27.5 inch size. Those with 32mm stanchions will be dedicated to cross-country and all-mountain, while those with 34mm stanchions will take the way of enduro. However, all 27.5 inch Fox suspension forks are supplied only in the Factory version, the top and most expensive one.
Weight champion will be the 32 Float 27.5 100 FIT CTD with a weight of 1.5 kilograms, while travel will vary according to the forks’ destination between 100 and 160mm.
Targeted only towards the all-mountain level, the Talas will feature an adjustable travel of 110/140mm. The 34mm stanchion model, the most versatile of the entire range, will have an adjustable travel of 130/160mm, while the lightest of them all is the 32 Talas 27.5 140 FIT (1.64 kilograms).
Simplicity makes sense every now and then, but we reckon that the sole 27.5 inch model in RST’s range hardly represents a competitive answer to the market’s trends. The Blaze 650B will work based on the spring mechanism, with 30mm stanchions and will be available in 4 different versions: RL (hydraulic remote lock-out), TNL (hydraulic lock-out), ML (mechanical lock-out) and T (w/o lockout). The model tips the scale starting from 2.55 kilograms up to 2.83, while travel ranges from 100 to 130mm.