With the release of the F535, DT Swiss finally went large with suspension. Here's our first look on the trail.
Words and photos: Ryan Walsch
While DT Swiss are better known for their comprehensive offering of spokes and all things wheels, since the mid to late naughties they have made some serious high end suspension for XC Racing. We have only seen DT Swiss offer a longer travel fork once before, the EXC 150 that shared 32mm stanchions like its XC counterparts and was along the lines of a lightweight trail fork rather than a burly big hitter.
It was a welcomed surprise to see the unveiling of a high end Enduro fork from the Swiss company, sporting an extremely clever damping system that is hailed to change how suspension can work.
The Plushport concept in short is this, 0%-30% has zero compression daming, at 30%-80% of the travel the mid stroke support increases, 80% - 100% and the compression damping firms up.
What does this mean?
With the compression fully open for the first 30%, small bump sensitivity is the goal and is helped by a small negative spring making the breakaway force required very close to 2/10ths of bugger all. So supple in fact that even with nearly 100psi the fork sags under the bikes weight. Blow through this travel into a corner and the fork seamlessly firms up into the second stage resisting the urge to dive. Big impacts or misjudging a line and the last 20% of travel is kept in control right up to the point it bottoms out, a well behaved bottom out control.
There is no denying that the DT F535 looks like nothing else in the market, sharing similar angles with Darth Vader's helmet. The whole fork is very sleek and it hides almost all of the adjustments out of view. DT Swiss have a clear vision for the F535: set it up and go ride.
We look forward to pointing the F535 down our rough local trails and see if this holistic approach to suspension and damping address the all 3 major requirements of trail and enduro riders in one go!