Suntour XCT V4 LO (2012)

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Suntour XCT V4 is among the cheapest coil forks on the market. It is a real bargain, being sold for 30-40 euro, depending on shop. Also, good news for the owners of those low cost bicycles featuring 1 inch headtube is that XCT V4 is also sold with a thinner steer tube, ready to fit frames built by old standards. Keep on reading this article and find what expectations you should have from the entry level fork of Suntour.

I took XCT V4 on a series of tracks, from easy ones, such as forest paths to more difficult ones such as rocky fire roads. I refer to these tracks as being difficult as this fork has been designed to function at its best on preferably smoother tracks.

The fork does not react when riding over obstacles of smaller dimensions, but when it starts meeting bigger bumps it comes back to life, dampening the shocks, exactly as expected from a fork in this class. Rebound is rather fast, and this can quickly become an issue on fast tracks with bigger obstacles, making the front wheel nervous. In a real life situation, if you ride through a section with prominent roots, you will have to firmly grab the handlebar as the fork is not capable to quickly absorb shocks. Thus, you’re ride quickly turns into a very swinging one.

Besides, XCT still didn’t manage to get rid of the rebound knock. Once you lift the front wheel to jump over an obstacle, the fork noisily kicks back, when it runs out of travel. It’s the same problem we meet on Rock Shox XC 28, the entry level model of the American company, but also on some other forks in this class. Also, when pulling the Lock-Out command installed on the right side of the fork, a strange squeak can be heard, same as opening a metallic door. It tells us that the oil circuit was closed and the fork is now rigid. And in fact, it does work! However, the system hasn’t been designed to compensate for eventual heavy hits, so it is not indicated to forget the Lock-Out activated when riding down the hill.

This fork is quite heavy, so that with a cut steer tube it still weighs 2.62 kg. The 28 mm upper arms are steel made, same as the lower arms, giving us a good clue on why this fork puts so much weight on the scale. Obviously, it works on coils, and one can tune their rigidity from the left arm of the fork. The knob is a bit hard to turn, but it is still better than older models of XCT which sometimes you could hardly move.

Compared to the previous models, XCT V4 is better finished. The quality of some materials is now even better, damping is more decent, but we’re still talking about a budget fork from which you simply cannot have any demands. It can be used on forest paths, even on mountain tracks, if you’re ready to avoid sections ready to make its life more complicated than it already is.

Weight: 2.620 grams

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