Travel 130mm / Axle to crown height 523mm / 32mm stanchions / Springs: positive air / Damping adjustment: rebound, compression and launch control / 9mm QR dropouts with 20mm option / Weight 3.5lb
Pace has never been shy about going its own way and the one-piece carbon lowers with their hollow reverse arch are evidence of that. Carbon is used because it is light and stiff, while running the arch on the rear makes it shorter for a given amount of tyre clearance. Magnesium dropouts are then bonded to the carbon. The lowers weigh 0.99lb, which is 0.3lb lighter than the magnesium Fox 32 lower legs.
But the lowers aren’t perfect and we managed to split the rim on one of the disc brake tabs, as the permanent washers on the bolts of the XT brake caliper are slightly bigger than the recesses on the tabs. The damage was only superficial and swapping to Avid bolts solved that. When we tightened the brake caliper into place it pulled slightly out of alignment. Running the disc mount facing tool over the tabs showed that they tapered out towards the fork leg.
We faced the mount and everything lined up a treat.
With the brake sorted we set the sag at approx 30mm but the fork bottomed too easily. Upping the compression damping at the foot of the right leg helped resist bottom-out but it also introduced a pronounced step in the action of the fork. We backed the compression adjuster off three full turns from closed then upped the spring rate by 20psi. This obviously reduces sag but gives a more progressive feel to the fork. As a result it resists brake dive better and props the front up on steeper descents. If you’re worried about the front end being too high for climbing, that’s what Launch Control 2 is for. The tools-free threshold adjust offers everything from a gradual creeping return to an extreme lock-down that has to be manually overridden. Somewhere in the middle you can press down the rebound dial and the fork gets compressed under rider weight and then pops up again automatically when you hit a sizeable bump. What you class as sizeable depends on tyre size and pressure so occasionally we had to pop a wheelie and tap the front wheel on the ground to switch it off. If you want an ultra-lightweight trail fork that offers very good front wheel traction, but not necessarily comfort, the RC41XCAM is your only option.
MBR RATING: 8/10