Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Leader is a Race Bike & First Impressions on the Suntour Epicon RLD Fork

I present to you, ladies and germs, the bike I will be huffin' and puffin' with at the 2012 Sea Otter Classic. I've already had the opportunity to ride the newly dressed Leader a few times, twice with the new Suntour Epicon RLD Fork.

The bike is heavy - but reasonable - at 27.3lbs. With 16 speeds, it has enough granny to make it up steep climbs without wheelie'ing to your death, and it tracks as a good XC bike should. I've been riding the Leader for awhile so I'm used to what it is capable of - but what truly has changed this bike is the new fork.

I bought the Suntour Epicon RLD off eBay for a $238 bargain. After reading as many reviews as possible, I found that riders were very happy with it for XC - the features and adjustability are everything you'd want on a good fork. Air, rebound and remote lockout makes this fork run alongside quality forks such as the Rock Shox SID Race that cost twice as much.

On the trail, the fork tracked very well and did not pogo whatsoever. I was impressed how quiet it was, and on the rocky descends, it sopped up the bumps and softball sized rocks just beautifully. The true test of the fork was the Rocky Ridge descend and it was easy to go fast down that trail with complete confidence.

I somehow managed to nail the air and rebound, and I had full travel on the worst of it.

Out of the seat climbing without the lockout didn't feel like I was bouncing around and when I did lock out the fork, it did not give as much as my SID Race fork did. Horizontal flex was unnoticeable.

All in all, I think I actually like this fork much better than my SID Race.

I'm curious to see how the Epicon RLD fares in the long run, but for $238, one really can't complain. I will update my review after 3 months of use and I expect it to work just as well then as it does now.

1 comment:

  1. hay, I'm really glad to read this review.
    How's the fork going after 3months of use. I had an Epicon on my hard tail DJ for a short period, though I rode it mostly for all mountain riding, it did a pretty good job. But I sold the bike along with the fork . So I'm currently thinking getting an Epicon, again. But I'm also itching to try out some other options. Say RST-First air and Spinner Aeris 100. Each of the three fork costs around 130 USD for a aftermarket one in the place I live. And as far as I know they are in the same application field. How's your opinion of long term performance for Epicon. Is it worth to just skip other products and get another Epicon in the price range?