Suntour can certainly do better than XCT, XCM or XCR, and while it was widely known that the company manufactures air cartridge forks, their performance wasn’t that notorious. So we got our hands on the Axon Werx 29er, the 2014 edition, which has a particular construction that combines a hollow crown, aluminum stanchions, lower carbon/magnesium arms, aluminum steerer and the new Q-LOC titanium axle mounting system. And, as in the picture above, our test revealed some shining things.
Our review begins with the bottom, more exactly with the lower arms, that have a carbon main body, but magnesium drop-outs, probably for strength reasons. Axon Werx relies on an air cartridge to provide the 100mm of travel, and it also includes a lock-out remote, and adjustements of the compression and rebound.
Along the trail, the fork gets to work for each and every bump, being highly sensitive, with the stanchions simply gliding everytime needed. As far as performance goes, Axon can be compared with the Rock Shox SID, but the latter bests it in terms of weight. We must admit that we’re having a hard time understanding how a carbon-arm fork can weigh more than a magnesium-arm one (1.614 grams opposed to 1.485 grams), but maybe the answer sits in the price. While Axon isn’t exactly what you’d call a cheap fork, it’s still the most affordable of its class, with a pricing around 800 euros, about 200 euros cheaper than the SID.
We’d also emphasise the new locking system, Q-LOC 2, which relies on a titanium axle that allows quick and easy release of the wheel by simply pushing and twisting the lever. And you’ll have to give it credit for its appearance, because it really looks neat.
Bottom line, we’d choose the Suntour Axon fork on the spot for its great performances and looks. Yep, we really love how it looks, but still, we would go on Rock Shox’s models, for a number of reasons. However, Suntour can pose a threat to the major players if it’s going to keep up this pace of development, the Axon already being the weapon of choice of World Cup riders.