The Aion all-mountain fork always sat just below the higher-end Auron model on Suntour’s family tree, but it impressed enough back in 2015 to win the Best Value Product of the Year. It sounds like the Aion might surprise a few more people, though, with there being an EVO model for 2020 that gets Suntour’s sealed PCS damper cartridge used in the Auron.
The layout of the sealed, spring-backed Piston Compensator System is not new – it’s been around for many years inside of competitor’s forks and shocks. Suntour’s goal, however, is to bring the benefits of a sealed cartridge damper with an IFP system – damping consistency thanks to 1Nm of back-pressure provided by the IFP and the spring behind it – to lower price-points. In other words, better suspension that costs less.
Travel options will run from 130mm to 150mm for big wheels, and 130mm to 160mm for 27.5” hoops. They’ll be a few different models of the updated Aion, with prices ranging from $549 to $579 USD that still put it well below the pricier Auron. Expect the Aion EVO to hit the shelves by this coming September.
Cables and housing don’t exactly make for riveting reading but stay with me here because Jagwire’s Pro Dropper Cable Kit might be a useful upgrade for riders facing a not so uncommon issue.
Internally routed dropper posts are great, aren’t they? No more having to use a dozen zip-ties to keep slack housing from rubbing your legs or rear tire, and bikes just plain look better when all the lines disappear from view until they get to wherever they need to be. Installation can be a headache, sure, and there’s often a relatively tight bend in the line where it transitions from being inside of your downtube to being inside of your seattube. That means friction, and friction means that the remote is harder to push and that the cable might even have slack in it despite it not being activated.
The answer according to Jagwire: More flexible housing and a smoother running cable, which is exactly what you’ll find in the $19.95 USD Pro Dropper Cable Kit. The 4mm housing looks a lot like what you’d find connecting your shifter and derailleur, but they’ve used a more flexible type of steel for its construction that better handles tight bends.
The cable is also not your run of the mill job, with it measuring just 0.8mm in diameter. Regular shift cables are 1.2mm across, so you can see where they’re going with this. The polished cable is also stainless steel and felt impressively smooth between my fingers.
We’ve seen OutBraker and their small ABS add-on before, but now they’ve got a sleeker, smaller production-spec version that blends in much better than the older design. A lot of riders (including myself) dismissed the OutBraker gizmo as, well, just another gizmo, but I can see why it might be useful to some riders now that they’ve had a second go at explaining the concept to me.
Just like the anti-lock brake system in your car, the idea is to keep the wheel from locking up when you yank on the brake lever, especially in panic situations. It’s adjustable as well, with riders able to tune how much it affects their braking via a small dial. Remember, you have the most braking traction just a nip before the wheel locks, so if you can keep it right on that edge, you’ll effectively be getting the shortest stopping distance.
It’s essentially a small pressure regulator that screws into your hydraulic disc brake levers or calipers. Okay, so it’s probably not the thing for a lot of us, but put yourself in the shoes of a green rider, or someone whose introduction to mountain biking is a rental rig in a bike park, and the idea might begin to make a lot more sense.