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Suntour’s Epicon X1 gets significant weight
saving and suspension tweaks for 2012 to create an adequately controlled and
very cost effective mid-price fork.

The smooth lines of the Epicon chassis are
unchanged but it now gets a hollow crown for reduced weight in either standard
or tapered steerer formats. The damping cartridge is slimmed down and the
clever push-through, pop-out QLoc 15mm axle gets titanium trim to save 60g. 

You’ll need to have smooth sleeved hub internals to stop it getting stuck
partially in/out, but it’s generally obedient until you start hammering it
across rocks or knobbly root spreads. Weight is reasonable for a travel-adjust fork
and the remodelled remote control for the 140-100mm drop is neat enough to sit
unobtrusively on your bars. 

Tweaked spring curves mean less dive when
you’re slamming it into stuff or braking hard and feel is usefully fluid and
consistent straight from the box. Manual lockout and low speed compression
damping are easy to reach on the fork top. Long term Epicons have always held
up well even in bad weather, which isn’t always the case with cheaper
forks.   

This
article was originally published in What
Mountain Bike
magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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