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SR Suntour RUX R2C2 PCS Fork

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Tested: SR Suntour RUX R2C2

Rating: Vital Review

We had a shaky start with the original SR Suntour RUX R2C downhill fork we tested back in 2014. After some refinements provided by the brand, however, the result was an outstanding review. SR Suntour is back at it in 2017 with their new 27.5” RUX R2C2. With a redesigned air spring, a new cartridge featuring both externally adjustable high- and low-speed compression and rebound, as well a few new other revisions, SR Suntour is aiming to take on the top dogs in the suspension world in a modestly priced, high performing package. We’ve been rocking the new RUX for the past few months to see if that aim hits the target.

SR Suntour RUX R2C2 Features

  • 200mm of travel
  • R2C2 cartridge offering both high- / low-speed rebound and compression adjustment
  • Air sprung
  • Adjustable air chamber volume via spacers
  • 38mm-diameter A7050 stanchions
  • Magnesium lowers
  • Postmount 200 / 203 brake tabs
  • 1.5” tapered steerer tube
  • Claimed weight of 2,915g
  • 20mm through axle with either tooled or tool-free pinch bolt
  • MSRP: $1,200 USD

Initial Impressions

Out of the box, the RUX is definitely a mean looking fork with beefy 38mm all black stanchions, all black lowers, and of course, all black crowns. We did run into a bit of a hold up during installation, which was our fault for not noting that the 27.5” version of the RUX comes with a 1.5” tapered steerer as opposed to the traditional 1 1/8" steerer typically found on dual crown forks. Thinking it odd to go with a tapered steerer on a dual crown fork (they’re already plenty stiff), we reached out to SR Suntour for an explanation. Their reply was simply because pretty much every current high-end 27.5” bike in existence uses tapered steerers, with DH bikes being the odd ones out. Since a DH bike can utilize a tapered steerer, SR Suntour’s thinking was why keep an oddball standard around when they could simplify things by pushing for 1.5" tapered headtubes as a DH standard. As frustrating as that was, they do have a point. DVO (whose products are manufactured by SR Suntour) is also on board with the tapered steerer tube.

Aside from the added adjustability of the new cartridge, SRSuntour's new Piston Compensator System (PCS for short) employs a separation piston, which keeps constant pressure on the damping fluid in an effort to prevent any kind of vacuum from forming. This, in turn, helps prevent cavitation and should provide consistent damping at all times. You can see this system in action a little bit in the short cut scenes throughout this promo video.

Once we found the proper crown race and installed the RUX on our bike, the first thing we did was the ol’ squish test. For an unbroken-in fork, the RUX was quite supple with little-to-no stiction off the top. After setting the air spring up to yield about 20% sag (check the table below for SR Suntour's recommended starting air pressures) and setting the high- and low-speed compression and rebound adjustments to where they passed the parking lot test, it was time to get the RUX into its natural habitat.

Rider Weight (lbs/kg) Suggested Air Pressure (PSI)
121-143lbs / 55-65kg  40-50 PSI 
143-165lbs / 65-75kg 50-60 PSI 
165-187lbs / 75-85kg  60-70 PSI 
187-210 / 85-95kg   70-80 PSI 
> 100  85+ PSI 

Note that SR Suntour's 2016 manual states the maximum pressure for the RUX is 100 PSI, but SR Suntour they're revising this for the 2017 manual, and the maximum pressure will be listed at the correct 120 PSI. 

On The Trail

Testing the fork on trails that we’re extremely familiar with, right off the bat it was apparent the fork was a tad progressive for our taste. Even dialing out the compression quite a bit, we still weren’t utilizing full travel. Thankfully, this is something that can be adjusted and by removing two of the air spring volume spacers and adding a few clicks of both high- and low-speed compression, we were able to get the fork to feel much better. As far as low-speed compression, we were able to run enough so that the fork was still supple, yet supportive in corners and other situations where resisting wallow is important. One thing we appreciated on the RUX was the range of low-speed rebound, with a total of 29 clicks. For bigger riders, finding a rebound setting within a usable range can be a struggle, but we were able to slow the rebound down enough to dial the fork in for our 245-pound (111 kg) tester while still having enough range on the open side that should a lighter rider hop on the fork, a proper rebound speed is still achievable without any special tunes.

One feature that’s fairly unique to the RUX is the externally adjustable high- and low-speed rebound. Most high-end forks these days only offer externally adjustable low-speed rebound, arguably to simplify setting the fork up from a user’s perspective. That said, wrapping your brain around high- and low-speed rebound can be a bit of a challenge, so we suggest thinking of it as a position-sensitive adjustment rather than a speed-sensitive adjustment with low-speed being beginning stroke rebound and high-speed handling the ending stroke. Using that logic, we set the low-speed rebound a bit faster (less damping) than the high-speed to help keep the front end tracking through chattery sections. The high-speed rebound was set a bit slower (more damping) to help prevent a front end that bucks off lips or harsh landings. While this setting is far more important for the rear shock, it is a welcomed feature on the fork.

After we adjusted the fork setup to our preferences, it was surprising how coil-like this air-sprung fork felt. A lot of coil diehards still claim coil-sprung forks are the Holy Grail of suspension, but that does come at a cost with springs coming in incremental weights as well as a sometimes hefty weight penalty. But, we have to admit, air springs have come a long way and the RUX is extremely supple off-the-top, offers good mid-stroke support and can be setup to be extremely progressive or quite linear. 

As expected with 38mm stanchions, the RUX is a pretty stiff fork. Deflecting in chunky rock gardens was never an issue, the front end held its line nicely and the bike steered in a precise and responsive manner. Another testament to the fork’s performance was how well the damping worked in these sections, never bogging down in its travel after successive mid-to-large hits, yet soaking up the harder impacts and recovering quickly. In hard cornering situations, the RUX was supple enough to maintain traction over uneven or chattery turns, but remain supportive and stable enough throughout its stroke with no discernible wallow at all. Overall, we’re very impressed with the RUX R2C2.

Long Term Durability

We’ve been putting laps in on the RUX for nearly four months now (under our biggest tester) and see no signs of premature failure. The damping has stayed consistent, there is no bushing play, and we’ve had to do zero maintenance to the fork. And, after watching Kurt Sorge stomp his 2015 and 2016 Rampage runs on this same fork, we’re not too worried about durability.

 

An added feature that may actually increase durability is the dual purpose of the bleed port screws we harp on a tad in the next section. These screws can be completely removed and used to apply suspension fluid directly to the wipers without the need to pull the fork's lowers. In doing so, this could possibly increase bushing life, as well as keep your dust wipers running smooth. 

Things That Can Be Improved

SR Suntour ticked a lot of the boxes with RUX R2C2. Improved air spring, highly adjustable damping, and a stiff chassis were a few things we griped about in our review of the previous RUX RC2, and they’ve all been remedied with a revision of that fork and have carried over to the new R2C2. They even added pressure relief bleed ports which was something we mentioned in that review, as well. And, while that feature is great, it does lack a bit of elegance when compared to the bleed ports found on the FOX 40, requiring the use of a 2.5mm allen key. That said, we do understand the thinking behind the design with the dual-purpose nature of them, but we have to nitpick something.

We received the RUX at the tail-end of lift season, and therefore only rode the fork locally with a maximum elevation of 1,000 feet, so when we opened up the bleed port we never heard that hiss of air. We can’t speak to the degree of unthreading needed on the port screw to purge the air because of this, but we're hoping it's short of having to almost remove each screw. Either way, a button-actuated bleed port would be ideal, removing the need for a tool.

What’s The Bottom Line?

SR Suntour may not be the first suspension company that comes to mind when making a build list for your next high-end DH bike, but it definitely should be. The RUX R2C2 offers top-notch damping and consistent performance in a stiff, highly adjustable package. Sure, it’s roughly half a pound (~290g) heavier than some of the competition, but also lighter than others. The $500 price savings over other flagship forks seems like an even trade for that 0.6 pounds in our opinion. 

For more information, visit www.srsuntour-cycling.com


About The Reviewer

Fred Robinson - Age: 32 // Years Riding MTB: 14 // Height: 6'1" (1.85m) // Weight: 240-pounds (108.9kg)

"Drop my heels and go." Fred has been on two wheels since he was two-years-old, is deceptively quick for a bigger guy, and likes steep, fast trails where he can hang it off the back of the bike. Several years of shop experience means he's not afraid to tinker. He's very particular when it comes to a bike's suspension performance and stiffness traits.

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6 comments newest first

Come on! don't be naive.
They are making this fork tapered because all their production line is of tapered forks' including DVO's.
It's just cost effective.

| Reply

If anyone is looking for a good deal too there is a winter sale on the Rux R2C2 at envelo.
http://www.envelo.cc/sr-suntour-2016-rux-r2c2-cartridge-275-matte-black.html

| Reply

I've installed Motion Pro Micro Bleeders in place of the bleed port screws for easy burping of the lowers. Make sure to get the M5x0.8 size.
https://www.motionpro.com/product/11-0095

| Reply

Yep not a stock item so if those damaged the lower it would not be a warranty. It's all about the yin and yang of set up choices right? Easy way to burp air, still easy to remove those for oil service. One down side is if you're running a decent amount of lubrication oil on the foam wiper when you do burp the air oil gets in the Micro Bleeders so then you have to clean those out every so often.....life's full of choices :-)

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Specifications
Product SR Suntour RUX R2C2 PCS Fork
Riding Type Freeride / Bike Park, Downhill
Wheel Size 26", 27.5" (650b)
Travel 200mm
Spring Type Air Spring with 5 Position Air Volume Adjust
Damping Fully Sealed R2C2 PCS (Piston Compensator System) Cartridge
External Adjustments High and Low Speed Compression, Hi and Low Speed Rebound
Crown Dual
Front Axle 20mm x 110mm
Brake Mounts 200mm Post Mount Disc
Steer Tube Diameter 26": 1-1/8"
27.5": Tapered
Steer Tube Construction AL7050
Stanchion Diameter 38mm
Colors Black or White
Weight 6 lb 5.9 oz (2,890 g)
Miscellaneous Two step coil negative spring (additional spring rates available)
Air bleed/lubrication holes
Adjustable air volume spacers with preload adjust
Magnesium lowers
Tool type or tool free 20mm axle
Quick Service Product (QSP)
2-year limited manufacturing warranty
Price $1,200
More Info

SR SUNTOUR Website

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