Suntour XCT 27.5 Fork Review (2014)

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Suntour has lined-up various suspension fork models for 27.5 inch mountain bicycles, having such a wide array that it covers all quality levels, from entry-level to top-end. In the entry-level category, the XCT 27.5 is present on many bicycle models prepared for this year, so it’s a good reason to take a closer look at it.

As far as construction is concerned, the new model relies on the same „recipe” as previous ones. The lower arms have been carefully crafted, keeping the spot on the brace designed for installing a light or a fender, while the stanchions are 30mm thick and the crown looks nice. However, the screws at the bottom of the fork leave to be desired giving the impression of a cheap product, and so does every bit of plastic present on the fork, especially the lock-out and preload levers.

However, despite their appearance, the two levers actuate two fully functional mechanism, which, we must admit, represents a breakthrough for Suntour forks belonging to this level. So, the preload and lock-out functions really work, and the fact that they’re reliable may probably be the best piece of news regarding the 27.5 XCT.

On the other hand, old habits die hard, and the coils lack sensitivity. They are much too hard, and for my 68 kilos of body weight (150 lbs.), I didn’t notice any smoothness when crossing over obstacles. Neither did I feel too much actual shock absorbtion. Not only do the hard coils cause a bumpy and unconfortable ride, but this, in turn, takes its toll on the overall performances of the bicycle. For example, you simply can’t expect form the XCT the front wheel to stick to the ground. Further more, the rebound is simply to raw and brutal, and in tough situations it just causes the front part of the bike to be thrown very high up. Maybe the fork wasn’t designed for riding in actual mountain biking conditions, but you have to have the proper expectations from it.

The list of drawbacks gest rounded-up by the annoying noise that appears when the fork rebounds, that makes you start asking yourself questions related to the quality of it. It’s also true that the lock-out lever gives the impression of a rusty old button, but at least it works properly.

Suntour XCT remains the same unimpressive fork we’ve known for years and years. The manufacturer did provide it with a nicer visual design this time, but neither weight, nor functionality have been improved. However, if you’re stuck in the entry-level category, you can always turn to Suntour’s XCR or the Rock Shox XC 32. The XCT is better off being ridden in the park.

Weight: 2,740 kg (4,4 lbs)

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