SR Suntour has just launched a new gravel suspension fork, it's called the GVX and it'll give you 40-60mm of squish at the front end of you gravel or adventure drop bar bike. All the details of the tuneable short travel fork for 700c and 650B wheels are here.
Hot on the heels of Cannondale's new Lefty Oliver suspension fork, Suntour have released a short travel fork for retrofitting to your current gravel bike. The new addition fro Suntour to the range of forks already available from brands such as Fox and MRP, is likely to be more affordable making it a promising proposition for those wishing to experiment with some front end cushioning.
The Suntour GVX is based around an adjustable air-sprung cartridge with rebound damping adjustment and a lockout switch. The travel is adjustable from 40-60mm in 10mm increments through inserting or removing plastic spacers in the air shaft, so it's not trail side alteration but rather something you'll need to decide on pre-ride.
The 32mm stanchions are made from alloy and will be adonised black to match the black lowers of the fork which are made from magnesium. The lockout switch is mounted on the crown of the fork as is common on most mountain bike suspension forks and rumour has it that there will be a remote lockout switch that will be able to be fitted to the bars following shortly.
The fork can be used with both 700c and 650B wheels with clearance for 700x45mm tyres and 650x50mm. It also appears that there will be a removable mudguard fitted to the crown of the fork too. The fork is compatible with flat-mount brakes and 12 or 15mm thru-axles.
There are some geometry complications to be considered if you are thinking of fitting a suspension fork to your gravel bike. The axle to crown measurement is about 400mm on an average gravel bike with a rigid fork, the Suntour fork has 436mmaxle to crown measurement when it is at 40mm travel and 456mm axle to crown measurement when it is at 60mm travel. This increased length will change the head tube angle of your bike, the bar height, it'll raise the bottom bracket height and slacken the effective seat tube angle too - all things that will significantly alter the handling of your bike. It's worth mentioning here that not all gravel suspension forks are this long, Enve's new suspension fork comes in with a 395mm axle to crown length, whilst some other bikes get geometry designed to work around a longer fork, take Bombrtrack Hook Adv, that's designed to work with the 420mm MRP Baxter with 40mm of travel. If you want a riders' perspective, take a look at our review of the Fox AS fork where Dave talks about this issue.
The change in travel also changes the offset of the fork, it's 45 mm at 40 mm travel, 46 mm offset at 50 mm and 47 mm offset at 60 mm. The brand says the offset has been built into the crown which alters the offset at each of the longer travel options. Over at road.cc Matt has delved into adjustable geometry where he explained that altering the offset alters the 'trail' which impacts upon handling; "Shorter trail results in more nimble and faster steering, longer produces more stable and relaxed handling.
The fork is claimed to weigh 1,725g and will cost $500 USD (GBP to be confirmed), it'll be available in August 2020. It'll be available to buy on its own of course, but interesting it appears that it is rated for e-bikes too giving Suntour the option to sell to manufactures of e-gravel bikes, meaning we might see this fitted to complete bikes sent in to test soon as the e-gravel market grows.
- www.srsuntour.com - we can't see the fork on Suntour's website yet but here's the homepage link anyway....
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