Sea Otter 2010 – DT Swiss

by Brian Mullin on April 27, 2010

DT Swiss finally had their new forks ready for prime time (functioning) at Sea Otter, and it was nice to test out how the mechanisms work. They had on display the upgraded EXC (130,150), and XMC (120,140), and the new EXM (130,150), XMM (120,140), XRC (100) and XC (80,100). The ending ‘C’ designates them is having Carbon lowers, while the ‘M’ is Magnesium. The Magnesium forks will have a very competitive price point, especially in comparison to their uber expensive Carbon forks.

EXM 150

I was really stoked to try out the new Launch Control II damping system, which is offered on their EX fork line. The new system has an indexed rebound and threshold adjustment (no more accidentally moving the rebound lever), and an integrated high speed compression. The EX family is comprised of the EXM (Enduro Cross Mountain) and EXC (Enduro Cross Carbon). Although it was only a parking lot test, the new Launch Control II works quite well, and I am looking forward to a long term test. The LC II has three positions, open (dependent on compression adjustment), firmed up at 2/3 of its travel (for climbing), and locked. Like its predecessor, the LC II has an automatic blow-off, so either a hard hit from terrain or a simple good bounce on the handlebars turns it off.

LC II – Red (Rebound) and Silver (Launch Control) Adjusters

The XR and XM series uses their new Twin Shot damping system, which uses a Low Speed rebound and compression adjuster, and integrated high speed damping, and a two step lockout. Their entire fork line uses the ABS (Auto Balance Spring) system.

Twin Shot adjusters – Red (rebound), Blue (compression), Silver (lockout)

Some of the main strength and rigidity for all the forks come from the lower units, which is a Torsion Box for the EXM and XMM, and a Hollow Carbon Arch for the EXC, XMC, XRC and XC. I did some rigidity testing of the Torsion Box, using some cut up pieces, and I was amazed how a simple strengthening piece added to the fork rigidity.

They also had a super trick all carbon rigid fork, named XR Rigid, which was gorgeous and uber lightweight. The weight weenie crowd will love this one. MSRP of $440, and weighing in at 375 grams (26″) and 570 grams (29″).

XR Rigid
XR Rigid – carbon steeer and crown

EXM 130/150: torsion box, magnesium lower, launch control damping and ABS, 9 or 15mm, $900-$1000
XMM 100/120/140: torsion box, magnesium lower, twin shot damping and ABS, 9 or 15mm, $800-$900
XMC 100/120/140: all carbon, mag dropouts, twin shot damping and ABS, 9 or 15mm, $1000-$1200
XRC 100: carbon, mag dropouts, twin shot damping and ABS, 9mm, $?
XC 80/100:  carbon, mag dropouts, twin tube damping and ABS, 9mm, $?
XR Rigid: all carbon, rigid, 26 or 29 inch, 9mm, $440

XMM 140

Last but not least, rumors of some 29er suspended forks?

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