Suntour Raidon RLD (2011)

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What have we got here? Can it be an air SR Suntour fork? With this product, the manufacturer wants to break away from his image, strongly related to low cost products and quite manages to do so! So, we were very curious to see what the Suntour Raidon RLD has to offer on easy mountain tracks, but also on those technical tracks.

Its 100 mm travel can be internally extended to 120 mm, by removing some spacers. We haven’t disassembled the fork to extend its travel, so we were “forced” to enjoy it in its standard 100 mm version. As soon as you get on a bike fitted with this fork, you can notice the difference from the well known XCM, XCT or XCR. In fact, even a person who’s not into bicycle can immediately spot the difference, all you have to offer him or her is the possibility of testing all these forks in parallel.

If you look at it upfront, the air cartridge is on the right arm, together with its pressure adjusting valve, while on the left there is the rebound adjuster and the Lock-Out. If we are talking about Rebound, I have to say that it functions quite decent, there is indeed a difference from plus to minus, but it positioning is rather uncomfortable, as it installed on the bottom of the left arm. This makes it impossible to be operated while riding. The knob which very much resembles to a Firemen siren is made of cheap plastic.

If you ask me about this fork’s refinement, I must say there is a little problem: if you just stand still over this fork, you can immediately feel that an air cartridge is working beneath you, but if you start riding, the feeling quickly goes away. One of the reasons could be the insensitivity of this fork when taking minor shocks while riding over those small bumps.

It also flexes. And you can’t realize it while standing still, but on the descents you will notice the lower arms migrating forward while you brake. Nothing alarming, but this tells also something about production standards.

The Lock-Out works perfectly, the weight of 2.120 grams is acceptable for this segment and the price is right, approximately 160 euro, while some other competing forks can be bought even for the double of this price. On the lower arms one can notice the reminiscent V-Brakes mount, which are quite unaesthetic.

In conclusion, the Raidon RLD Suntour may be used for XC, Marathon, and with some caution, also for All Mountain, only if you promise that you won’t take it on too difficult trails! It allows a 185 mm rotor to be installed, which is absolutely all right if you consider the disciplines it has been created for. And if you consider buying one, all what’s left is to quote the producer and wish you – in approximate English – “Raid on!”

Weight: 2.12 kg

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