This review is of the X-Fusion 02 Pro R shock that comes mounted on with the Marin Hawk Hill 1. I recently picked up the HH1 and have had half-a-dozen rides on the full suspension rig.
The bike has seen a variety of trails, including some flowing single track, mostly dirt with little rocks and roots, flat dirt and grassy trails and some proper rocky and rooty trails. Certainly enough different types of terrain to analyze the performance.
The ‘performance’ of the shock is decent, with the dampening being fairly good while the shocks rebound keeps up with the harshest of technical trails. Though it does lack compression adjustment capabilities. This is a significant issue in my opinion, as well as the rebound setting adjuster being very vague when turning the knob clockwise. Turn it CCW and you can feel each of the 11 detents. Turn it CW and there are NO detents. (why 11 clicks not 10 or 12? Really X-Fusion? ) #shit
I have read that some testers and riders experience ‘stiction’ on the rear shock, but I have had no such experiences. It compresses and rebounds fairly smoothly. But the above mentioned two problems are glaring in their own right and render the shock inadequate for any long-term consistency. BUT the worst of all, is that the air chamber leaks! It fucking leaks man.
A BRAND NEW shock does not hold its pressure from week to week, this is unacceptable. Typically the shock loses 20-25 psi just sitting idle in the garage. Is this normal? Of course it isn’t, we’re not talking about tires here folks…. we’re talking SEALED dampers. It mother fucking leaks. #ugh.
So, I called X-Fusion… (this is rich) their tech said, yes he has had this issue before. Really? I’m ‘shocked.’ ( 😀 pun intended! ) He say’s, “it’s most likely the seal on the upper portion.” ” It could have been sitting in a warehouse for awhile… (define awhile please…) “You’ll (emphasis on ME, as You will) Really? “You’ll have to take apart the shock and grease the O-ring, that should seal the chamber, if not then send it on back it to us.”
Me on the other end of the phone; ah, I have to take apart? “Well, if you’re not comfortable than have a bike shop do it.” OH! Yes, let me PAY a shop to fix a brand-fucking-new piece of equipment so it then works properly, like it was DESIGNED to. Oh, I s e e. . . Suffice to say I am completely unsatisfied with X-Fusions customer service not too mention their product performance.
I had ordered a coil-over prior to taking delivery of the bike, planning on replacing the air shock anyway. But alas…I was sent the incorrect model. I did not re-order it as of yet. But will be doing so SOON!
Some may be wondering why I would replace an air shock with a “antiqued, heavy” coil over damper. ( not my description, but rather the typical punk response by the young inexperienced mtb crowd) who seem to buy into every meme and narrative out there, no matter how false or illogical it is.
Fact: Coil shocks are more reliable. Fact: Coil shocks perform better in pure suspension action. Fact: Coil shocks require less maintenance. Fact: Coil shocks will NEVER leak air and collapse.
Yes, air shocks do have more adjustability but, they require MORE maintenance and are LESS reliable. These are facts, not memes or opinions. The weight of the coil shock is offset by it’s performance and longevity all day long over the ‘popular’ air shocks. I dislike ‘popular’ things anyway. If any mtb’ers have any doubt as to these facts, just ask Curtis Keene or read mbr. AND is if that wasn’t enough for the read-a-meme and its true crowd…Rockshox had released a coil shock for trail riding in May of 2017.
The performance of coil overs is no secret to me (having an extensive moto background) as well as no secret to the top MX and SX teams. As most are on coil overs, with a few utilizing air dampers. And all the MotoGP and WSBK teams are using coil overs, ( mostly Ohlins) these are the best riders on the best machinery in the world, using coil shocks period. Done and dusted punks.
Conclusion: The X-Fusion 02 Pro is a mediocre shock at best. Throw in the that this particular one leaks and it is a complete shit show. Garbage.
Here’s a meme for you… #getaclue #dontbuythehype