|Plus: Decent performance, hydraulic brake mount, does not flex, very good price|
|Minus: IS Mount for brake caliper (not Post Mount), gained weight compared to previous model, unrefined|
In 2012, the Suntour Trekking fork went through a few changes. As we had the occasion of testing the previous model, we were eager to see what improvements the Taiwanese have brought to this new model. We have nothing but good news for those wanting to buy a trekking fork with a decent price, ready to offer satisfying performance.
“Thanks” to XC series of forks, M, T and R, Suntour managed to build itself a negative image, but when it comes to the NCX model, things are getting better. It doesn’t catch any play in time and it doesn’t put too many kilos on the scale.
NCX D-LO is a coil fork, as air damping is out of question in this price segment. Hence, our first impression on how it takes hit on the track: small potholes in the asphalt are decently damped and passing over curbstones is smooth enough to keep the rider happy. But, when it comes for refinement, NCX D-LO is not among the most representative forks in this range.
The 63 mm travel may seem rather short, but it is quite enough for the city. On some particular surfaces such as slightly uneven forest trails, the new NCX D-LO proves to be a little more capable than its predecessor, but it is still far away from an air model. You can see the difference while riding over roots, branches and other small obstacles any forest has to offer: damping is brutal and rebound is too fast.
Once you leave the forest behind, you may activate the Lock-Out, which, for the D-LO version does not have a handlebar command as it is manually actuated through a small knob installed on the right arm. This function is indeed useful on asphalt, and the lack of a command is not the end of the world, except for the most demanding riders. Suntour has oddly named it Speed Lock-Out but it does nothing else except locking the fork. Speed? This is a function of how fast you’re willing to turn that knob…
Disc brake mount is another new option that can be found on this fork, and, why not, another plus. Unfortunately, Suntour considered an IS standard to be enough, and has not considered the newer Post Mount. This means that if you’re using a set of modern hydraulic brakes, you will have to buy an adaptor in order to install the caliper on fork’s arm. It is not an expensive part, but, it could have been a lot simpler… Should you chose a classic V-Brake, this can easily be installed as the mounts are already waiting on the fork.
If you also consider installing a set of lights on the bicycle, there is a mount for such thing right on the crown.
To sum up, I can say that the 2012 Suntour NCX D-LO is a good offer, even if it gained 300 grams compared to the previous model. The damping is modest but honest, and the fork will remain in our service for a long time. There are of course better trekking forks, but they work on an air cartridge and not on fork. We have to appreciate that the producer struggled to offer a hydraulic brake mount, even if the chosen standard is rather old.
Weight: 2.200 grams