X-Fusion Trace RL2 – Product Preview

I have been riding suspension forks since…well, let’s just say a long time. I think my first set of forks had 1.5″ of travel, that’s how long. Suffice to say technology has come a long way since then, forks are getting lighter and stiffer with longer travel, but for the most part all of this advancement is coming at a price. The average cost of a good set of forks is between $800 and $1500 now and I think that it’s getting rather absurd. Enter X-Fusion who is quietly making some sexy springy bits at prices that are easier to swallow.

X-Fusion released the Trace this year and I was lucky enough to get one of the first set of forks in Canada. I would love to thank the folks at X-Fusion for giving me a great deal on the Trace forks that I am reviewing for the awesome readers of The Mountain Bike Life.

Out of the box I loved the way the forks looked, not overly flashy, and the fit and finish felt like any of the higher priced forks that I have had on my previous bikes. The decals look decent right now but fear that they will not look in the long run, I would prefer to see the graphics painted on, but time will tell if this strategy worked out for X-Fusion.

In the few rides that I have taken them on so far I gotta say I am impressed. After setting them up they have been performing flawlessly, I can’t wait to see how they last over the summer. There were a few things I was worried about with the Trace’s, first off was the 15mm axle not being stiff enough for my weight and riding style, but so far I have not noticed any extra flex over my old 26″ front end with a 20mm axle.

The next thing I was worried about was that the only real adjustment you can do externally is rebound. It’s not even that easy to get to on the lower drive side leg. The good news is I am kind of a set it and forget it type of guy and the fact that I have not had to fiddle around with this fork at all since I got it has been great.

I will give this fork a thorough thrashing over the next few months and let you know how it fares. Till then here are the details and some more bike porn for you to enjoy. Check out the X-Fusion website for more info.

Travel: 140mm
WT. LBS: (APR)4.5(15mm axle, 1 1/8 Steerer)
WT. Grams: 1995 (15mm axle, 1 1/8 Steerer) (Actual 1917 with 15mm axle and tapered steerer)
Spring: Air
Steerer: Tapered
Adjustments: Lockout, Rebound, Air
Stanchion: 34mm, Aluminum
Casting: Magnesium
Axle: X-15 tool-less axle
Wheel: 29″
Colors: White / Black
Axle to Crown: 546mm @ 140mm
Max Rotor Size: 203mm

Retail: $679

About Author