Technically this fork has a Launch Control lockdown rather than a travel adjuster, but the
benefit for climbing is the same. Pressing down the red rebound adjuster allows you to compress and hold the fork down into its travel; hit a bump or press down on the front end and it releases automatically again to full travel.
The fork is locked out in this mode but you can vary the automatic release pressure via the black dial underneath. However, at the lighter end of the range the fork doesn’t always lock down and sometimes pops open unexpectedly. At the other end it often needs an extra bar slam to breakaway. The best compromise is to run the dial bang in the middle.
The Launch Control dial does double duty as the rebound adjuster but pressing it down does cause it to turn ever so slightly, affecting the adjustment. Flapping cables, clothing and even undergrowth also knocked it off line. To stop it moving accidentally we feel DT Swiss needs to stiffen the action of this lever or have some sort of detents.
The EXC has a main air spring and coil negative so there’s only one air chamber to tune. The EXC has a very linear spring curve so does dive through the mid-stroke and bottom easily even with the 25 per cent sag recommended by DT. We ended up propping the fork up by running more air pressure and the rebound fully on.
Performance wise it’s super smooth, but due to the issues with the spring we felt we couldn’t hammer as hard on the DT as we could on the Fox. The EXC is very stiff for such a lightweight fork but for £900 we didn’t bank on play developing in the bushings, having to pack out the disc caliper or the RWS QR lever catching on the lower, never mind the issues with the Launch Control.
Mbr rating: 8