DT Swiss MTB Suspension

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"With the 232 ONE Platform, DT Swiss presents a group of high-performance Cross Country suspension components. The 232 ONE Series suspension forks and rear dampers distinguish themselves through their precise response characteristics. In particular, the forks demonstrate incredible Swiss engineering artistry: the topology-optimised construction makes a perfect ratio of low weight and high rigidity possible. It is an undisputed recommendation for all XC riders with an inclination towards Enduro!"

Jens, Purchasing
Video
Video

DT Swiss 232 ONE Platform – for more downhill thrills on the cross-country trails

DT Swiss is overhauling its XC suspension forks and rear shocks entirely for the 2020 season. The goal: Push the boundaries of modern cross-country bikes even further with the brand new 232 ONE Platform. This new trend is called “downcountry”. The portfolio is expanded fittingly by a dropper post. We had the opportunity to create our own opinion on the novelties, at DT Swiss in Switzerland.

“I do not think I have ever had this much downhill fun on a XC bike,” is the spontaneous reaction from Nils, our product manager at bike-components, after his test ride with the components of the new 232 ONE Platform by DT Swiss. “And this is moving with the times” Because if you look at modern XC tracks, you will notice that this discipline is going downhill more and more. Obviously not in the sense of demise, but the increasing number of descending trails. The courses are steadily becoming more challenging. In response to this, the bikes and their components are increasingly suited to downhill sections. The good news: You do not have to make compromises in drive and speed when going uphill! This development even coins a – perhaps not quite so serious, but definitely accurate – term for a category of bikes: downcountry. Deft and light-footed uphill, with the ability to take punches and a stable geometry downhill.

Suspension components for modern XC racers

It is precisely for these demands that the Swiss high-tech manufacturer DT Swiss has now launched an extremely exciting trio of components with the brand new 232 ONE Platform: the perfectly harmonizing suspension fork, rear shock and a XC compatible dropper post. At our visit in Biel, Switzerland, we were allowed to test the new components at the local trails in the Jura Mountains which are in close proximity of the DT Swiss headquarters.

The fact that DT Swiss is a master at wheel construction should not be news to anyone. Perhaps for this reason their wheels seem to steal the show from the excellent suspension products. This occurs even thought the DT Swiss suspension forks and rear shocks – and now also the new dropper post – are made with the exact same demand for precision, performance and Swiss engineering standards. It is not without reason that, next to the roller test benches for wheels, DT Swiss also has the equivalent equipment to test the load-bearing capacity of suspension components at their testing laboratories.

And the trails just outside their door are the outdoor testing lab. Test drivers? Well, on the one hand, the DT Swiss staff consists of not only excellent engineers but also fantastic mountain bikers – or both in unison. On the other hand, the professionals from the Thömus team, such as Mathias Flückiger, who won the first XC World Cup of the 2019 season with a production-ready prototype of the F 232 ONE suspension fork, provide valuable expert feedback.

F 232 ONE suspension fork: low weight, high stiffness

Let us have a look at the new suspension components in detail: For the F 232 ONE suspension fork, the suspension engineers around chief developer Jerôme did not "only" work on the inner workings (with an air-air suspension) of the new XC fork: "We paid special attention to the stiffness of the fork to counteract the jumps and drops on modern XC courses. However, in order not to concomitantly increase weight, the topology of the casting was optimised: We have functionally translated the various influences of the brake, damping and suspension into the product design and can therefore absorb the forces that occur as needed – and save weight where possible and, above all, where it makes sense."

R 232 ONE rear shock: Spring characteristics for cross-county cyclists

To offer suspension for the rear of the bike, DT Swiss offers a complementary air rear shock as a component of the 232 ONE Platform: the R 232 ONE. Its three-stage adjustable damping (which can be operated with a remote lever if necessary) is based on that of the larger 535 damper which is designed for all mountain and enduro usage, explains Jerôme. The air chamber has also received a great deal of attention in order to design the spring characteristics of the air damper according to the requirements of cross-country (racing) sport.

D 232 ONE dropper post: lightweight highlight Upside-Down

In light of the increasingly technical XC descents, the dropper seat post is still a fairly recent requirement. The DT Swiss D 232 ONE, presented to us by Jerôme is a real highlight in this segment: "With an eye on the desired adjustment range of 60 mm on the one hand and the requirement for easy servicing on the other, we have developed an Upside-Down seatpost. The entire mechanism – we call it the Upside-Drop technology – is hidden in the upper part of the seatpost, on the outside of the frame and immediately below the saddle. This allows the new seatpost to be serviced completely without the requirement of special tools and within only a few minutes.”

Conclusion: the first impressions

"On our MTB tour just outside Biel with a view on the Bernese Oberland (Highlands) I got my money’s worth, not only because of the view: The ascend was almost playfully easy because of the lightweight XC fully equipped with the new DT Swiss suspension and during the descend I did not have to restrain myself – although I am used to an enduro bike. In particular I appreciated the short-stroke dropper post; there was room for movement on the bike. And I have to admit, I like the approach of Downcountry. Probably because of the downhill sections..."

Nils, Product Management