In this review, our customer Matt talks about his new DVO Diamond mounted on an Evil Insurgent. For those who hesitate to consider DVO as a challenger to Fox and Rockshox, we urge you to read this review! Here we go.
Thanks for asking me to write a review of the DVO Diamond fork that I purchased around a month back. For the TL: DR folks out there, I'll just open up with the conclusion. This is the single best fork I have ever used.
Now for the actual review. Appearance-wise, the fork is beautiful. It has a blacked out appearance and while some may find the green anodizing too much, it complements my bike well. The fork went on a 2017 Evil Insurgent XTR/Hope build mated to a Push Elevensix rear shock (Excellent shock). The best thing I can say about the fork is that it mates to the rear shock extremely well. The fork has an almost coil-like performance, meaning great small bump compliance (tunable with the OTT dial), strong mid-stroke support, and a very planted feeling. On the downside, the tunability of the fork, which gives you excellent control over all aspects, means increased in difficulty and necessary understanding of HSC/LSC/OTT/Spring rate/Rebound in arriving at the ideal setup. With that being said, the DVO suggested profile was pretty well on point.
I've had three rides on the bike since building. The first ride was at a local course which has aggressive/technical XC components, a freeride area, and a few jump lines. It performed great on the technical XC, soaking up the roots and rocks, really feeling planted. Most 160mm forks will do just fine in this regard, so I wouldn't say that this is a fair test. Where it stood out was the more aggressive riding. In the freeride area, there are 4+ foot drops, steep roll-offs, 15-20 foot gap jumps. The composure of this fork is unreal, giving excellent support and never feeling bottomed out, despite using full travel. The stiffness is also very high, though not quite to the level of a Fox 36. On the jump lines, I upped the LSC a bit and the bike did great allowing me to get air without ever feeling harsh.
After that ride, I tore down the fork (as I do with all new forks). The first purpose was to change the travel to 150mm, which took approximately 30 minutes requiring a 32mm socket, a decent set of pin spanners (by decent, I mean any as my Harbor Freight $3 spanner did fine), an 18mm socket, and a torque wrench. The second purpose was to change out the oil. I've found that many forks (not only DVO, I've had the same problem with Fox and Rockshox forks) tend to ship without sufficient lubrication or oil in the lowers. It was during this service that I realized how much I love this fork, mainly because it is incredibly easy to perform ALL service on this fork at home with an appropriate toolkit. Not having to head to a service center or send the fork off for service is something I value. DVO has videos for all necessary service on their website (though I recommend to double check torque values with the user manual, as the videos were inaccurate on the footplate values). Two rides after this, all of the positive attributes noted on the first ride have been reinforced.
In the past two years, I have owned Fox 34, Fox 36, Rockshox Lyrik, Rockshox Pike, Rockshox Reba, and MRP Stage forks. The Stage fork (and likely the ribbon) comes the closest I'd say, but the DVO truly is in a league above the others. I've yet to push it down a true downhill (I'll update after my 3-week biking road trip coming up in March), but I have no doubt that it will not disappoint. I enjoy the fork enough that I have suggested it to several members of my riding group already (something which I don't do lightly). Additionally, it has made me respect DVO enough to consider the DVO Topaz as a second shock for my Insurgent for the lighter riding days. If I end up purchasing a Topaz, I'll certainly be buying from Worldwide Cyclery, which has become my go-to source for components.
Attached is a photo of my setup on its inaugural ride. Please excuse the poor photo quality, I spend far too much money on bikes to afford an up to date phone.