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New Gear: DT Swiss Forks for 2011

  • By Lennard Zinn
  • Published Oct. 12, 2010
  • Updated Oct. 11, 2012 at 5:05 PM EST

The magnesium lower legs of the XMM140 (or the XMM120) fork can house either Single Shot or Twin Shot damping. A remote lockout lever is an option. Both forks weigh in at about 1550 grams.

DT Swiss has replaced the last of the dampers from the original Pace forks with dampers of its own design (DT purchased British fork maker Pace a number of years ago to get into the fork business).

The Swiss company’s cross-country fork damping lineup has a new addition for 2011, called Single Shot. Twin Shot remains the top of the line superlight cross-country damping system; Single Shot is just as lightweight, but simpler and less expensive. Where Twin Shot allows adjustment and lockout of both low-speed rebound and compression damping from the top of the crown, Single Shot only has low-speed rebound damping and compression lockout knobs atop the crown.

Like Twin Shot, it is also compatible with a remote lever that can be retrofitted. (And 2011 forks also now come with a cable eyelet for the lockout cable integrated into the edge of the crown, whether it’s a carbon or aluminum crown; this cleans up the cable routing nicely.)

The main difference between the two dampers is that Twin Shot offers three settings: lowered for climbing (or getting lower in the wind on smooth roads), fully locked for sprinting, and fully open, whereas Single Shot does not offer the lowered option — in which the fork is locked partway down but still has some suspension travel available at the bottom. Both are lightweight, low-oil-volume dampers in which damping oil and lubrication oil are kept separated. And compared to DT’s old, simpler cross-country damper inherited from Pace, it has more oil volume, fewer restrictions on oil flow, and the speed-sensitivity of the compression damping is improved for smoother riding on small stutter bumps with big hit absorption not compromised.

The superlight XRC100 Race cross-country fork has a carbon crown as well as carbon lower legs and arch. It weighs a mere 1170 grams with remote control (cable not included in the weight) and Twin Shot damping.

The lockout blowoff protects it from big impacts when in lockout mode, but it is not a pedal platform — there is no movement until you bang something really hard.

Single Shot is coming available on XRC 100 (cross-country racing), XRM 100, and XMM 120 and 140 forks (both of which blur the line between cross-country racing and cross mountain riding).

The model names in DT’s fork line make their purposes clear. The numbers, of course, indicate travel, while the letters indicate intended use and materials. For instance, XMM means cross mountain with magnesium lower legs, whereas XMC indicates a cross mountain fork with carbon lower legs, and XRC is a cross country racing fork with carbon lower legs. However, the actual writing on the fork is hard to read. So at Interbike, even though the names clarify lots of details about the forks, without tags next to them, these details remained obscure to all but the dedicated booth visitor.

RockShox model names, on the other hand, are meaningless, but the tags with specifications and explanations next to the forks in its Interbike display kept visitors clustered around them reading.

Readers can send brief technical questions directly to Lennard Zinn.

Technical writer Lennard Zinn is a frame builder (www.zinncycles.com), a former U.S. national team rider and author of numerous books on bikes and bike maintenance including the pair of successful maintenance guides “Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance” – now available also on DVD, and “Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance,” as well as “Zinn and the Art of Triathlon Bikes” and “Zinn’s Cycling Primer: Maintenance Tips and Skill Building for Cyclists.”

Zinn’s regular column is devoted to addressing readers’ technical questions about bikes, their care and feeding and how we as riders can use them as comfortably and efficiently as possible. Readers can send brief technical questions directly to Zinn.

Follow Lennard on Twitter.

FILED UNDER: Bikes and Tech / MTB / News TAGS: / / /

Lennard Zinn

Lennard Zinn

Our longtime technical writer joined VeloNews in 1987. He is also a framebuilder, a former U.S. National Team rider, and author of many bicycle books, including Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance and Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance, as well as Zinn and the Art of Triathlon Bikes and Zinn's Cycling Primer: Maintenance Tips and Skill Building for Cyclists. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Colorado College. Readers can send brief technical questions to Ask LZ.

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