It’s impressive how much Suntour has improved this fork over the past few years
Packed with features for the cash, the Suntour Durolux R2C2 is their top-tier enduro fork. R2C2 refers to the damper being 4-way adjustable.
A hollow-forged aluminium crown holds 36mm legs and an integrated (removable) fender, and its black magnesium lowers have good mud clearance even for properly meaty tyres.
Travel can be altered internally from the 170mm (tested) down to 140mm by clipping plastic spacers above the negative spring; easily done after removing the lower legs. The Durolux chassis is one of the stiffest around too, which helps explain the 200g or so extra over enduro equivalents.
Suntour has worked hard to refine performance with its top-level sponsored riders, and, while the latest fork looks similar, it’s significantly different inside, so have the brand’s tweaks paid off?
For a start, throughout testing (including racing the multi-day Trophy Des Nations in Finale, Italy) the Durolux never missed a beat and remained consistent on the longest, roughest descents. The external adjustment range is good and, unlike previously, adding extra high-speed compression (tuneable across a five click range) for more bump absorption doesn’t make it too harsh or spiky. The negative/positive air spring set up balances rider weight well too, so there’s no excessive fettling with spacers to dial in ride height and support.
Damping both ways is plentiful (I ran high-speed rebound fully open) and more of the ‘controlled’ flavour like Öhlins or X Fusion, than the lighter touch of a high-end RockShox. It’s a little noisy and squelchy on the rebound side, but still slides smoothly throughout the stroke with minimal harshness. Riding hard and fast on hard-baked terrain, there’s solid control and support, and the Durolux works well even not totally dialled in to your weight and riding style (highlighted when swapping between riders testing).
The fork’s solidity is excellent, but you can feel the extra bulk slightly over lighter equivalents, and the fiddly Q-Loc II axle gets grouchy when crud gets in the expanding wedge – to the point I struggled to remove it through the hub multiple times, which gets annoying pretty quickly.
Testing in the UK on wet slimy dirt and damp roots, the off-the-top sensitivity (to aid tracking, grip and assurance) isn’t quite at the level of the top-tier RockShox or Fox units, so on slick, slow-speed, technical steeps, the Durolux doesn’t trace the ground as rapidly or accurately. Even run very open, the damping (in tandem with the air spring that feels quite progressive), skips a few hits in really rough stutter bumps and whoops where the best forks keep tracking, which also subtly decreases stability and fatigues hands and arms more.
In fairness though, this is subtle and harsh criticism when you’re comparing it to products costing over £400 more cash in some cases and it’s impressive how much Suntour has improved this fork over generations.
Overall, the Durolux is composed, easy to dial in, and also very reliable. Being a shade less sensitive than the best forks is offset by the Durolux chassis being extra solid and stiff, and its muscular damping feel will really suit hard-charging, heavier riders; especially those on a budget considering it offers a huge saving over many others with this much external tuning potential.