It's been just over a month since I installed the X-Fusion Slide fork on my trusty steel single speed. The 29'er hardtail is a pretty stripped-down riding experience, yet my most ridden bike, so at least it's a good rig for me to evaluate something new. I'm a long time Fox and Rockshox suspension products user, with limited experience riding Manitou and Marzocchi for single seasons only. This is the first time I'd spent any length of time on an X-Fusion product. It's the first time I've not had a Reba of one flavor or another on this particular bike and my familiarity with their performance is what I compare the X-Fusion Slide RL2 against.
Fit and finish out of the box is nice, though in a fit of vanity, I did remove most of the decals on the lowers. A tiny bit of aluminum shavings had found its way onto the threads of the thru axle, but I couldn't figure out where those might have come from. Everything else seemed spic-and-span. I gotta say, with the stickers off the thing is actually the spitting image of my old Fox F29 (before they went to Kashima coating the uppers). Being finicky, I chased out the threads on the lower disc brake mount with a tap, but that's not all that uncommon. Got it mounted to the bike with no hassles and found setting sag, etc. very easy with the handy little chart on the lower to get me in the ballpark.
Initial trail rides found me adding air to keep from bottoming out. There's a surprising amount of small bump sensitivity, which I really appreciate on the local cow trails, especially after this ultra wet winter. However, to keep it from bottoming out on the larger hits, it's more of a job of balancing pressure with sensitivity. I think I'm just about there, but someone with more skill probably would nail the perfect setup faster. Finally, the lockout knob is a VERY light touch compared to the Rebas, which at first had me looking down in concern to see if the screw was tightened. Now I just love it that a mere flailing swipe of my hand can get it locked before I grunt up a punchy climb. I use the lockout more than I did on the Rebas and I think that's actually a good thing when riding the singlespeed. All in all, I'm very happy with the X-Fusion Slide and wonder what took me so long to try out X-Fusion's stuff.
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