DT Swiss XMM 100 29er fork

Discuss light weight issues concerning mountain bikes & parts.

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rgkicksbutt
Posts: 468
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 4:58 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

by rgkicksbutt

I have about 150 km of trails on this fork now so I thought I would give a little review on my thoughts with it.

As a preface, I have ridden about every other common fork on the market, except a DT Swiss fork. I have extensive time on: Lefty w/ fox internals (ti spring, not air), Lefty PBR, Fox 32 F100 (all but the newest model), lastest generation of SID's and Reba's, as well as Manitou R7's.

I am using it on a bone stock 2012 Scott Scale RC 29er that I wasn't expecting until February or March. I weigh 70 kg and am 188 cm tall. Have used it exclusively on trails (other than about 5 km of to and from riding), and this is the aluminum steerer tube model.

It comes in at 1638 grams, with starnut installed and a 196 mm long steerer. I set it up to have 17-19 mm sag, which takes 85 psi.

First thing I noticed was that the damping felt slow. It rebounded at a normal rate, but compression damping felt slow pushing down on it in front of my house. I also came to notice this on the trails. My dad at 90 kg doesn't really notice it, but I guess that's what you get for weighing more. What this translates to is poor small bump compliance. Though, with the 29er I have found I don't need this as much. Still not overly happy about it though. I am planning on changing out the oil in the damper to a lighter weight hoping that will help.

Next, this fork feels very bottomless, I would say the Auto Balancing Spring system lives up to DT Swiss' claims. The spring rate feels incredibly constant through out the entire fork travel, it feels even more like a spring fork than my coiled Lefty... miles ahead of Fox and Rock Shox in this aspect.

Something everyone is probably wondering about is stiffness. I have found it to be just as, maybe even stiffer, than my Fox and Rock Shox forks, obviously way more than the Manitou R7, and a little less than my Lefty - but honestly not far off. It is a stiff fork, for me at 70 kg.

Through rock gardens and off drops, big hits, etc, this fork performs great, the bottomless feeling is great. Over the roots and smaller stuff though it leave a bit to be desired. I have bottomed the fork once in this time, so I would say I have the pressure just right for around here.

Pedaling performance is great. I like to think I pedal smoothly... pedalling sitting there is little to no movement, as well as standing. If you are really throwing the bike around and stomping or 'jumping' on the pedals it obviously moves, but less than any other fork I've ridden while the fork is fully open. Lock out is pretty solid, Lefty style. The remote lockout works well enough, nothing to complain about, nothing stellar, glad DT has gone from their internal cable to one like Rock Shox.

Now the big complaint. On my second ride, after about 60 km, the fork has developed play... We'll see what happens in the near future... Basically there is play in the stanchions and when compressing the fork after full extension (ie after the front wheel lifts off the ground) there is a pretty audible clunk. I get my bikes direct from Scott, so we'll see how they or DT Swiss handle this, no LBS to go through.

Some pictures:

full bike from front
Image

remote lockout lever
Image

basic adjustments:
Image
(sorry for the dark cellphone pictures from in my garage...)

My bottom line: this fork is what they claim it to be. A race fork, stiff, fairly light (the carbon steerer tubed one should be 100 g lighter). If they fix the play I will probably be selling it though for a SID XX since I am technically supposed to be using SRAM product... Otherwise I would be happy with it as a race fork and would want to use it, I also think it looks pretty good. I would want something with a little more small bump compliance for general trail riding though.

Asymptotic
Posts: 267
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:06 am
Location: North Adelaide, South Australia

by Asymptotic

Thanks for the review. So my question is if you didn't have to get a XX SID fork, would you still get one anyway? For as I see it, the SID is the closest competitor in weight, price and performance.

Very interesting comment about stiffness, your experience is completely opposite to similar weighing people I know who have got this fork for the 'bling' benefit. I don't think the weight of the oil has anything to do with small bump compliance. I was under the impression it is more related to the viscosity, because whenever I service my RS Reba forks, the old oil is glubby and thick. Also, at it's price-point I'm not overly impressed it doesn't have a hydraulic lockout, I mean common! DT Swiss products are supposed to super Techy :?

Lastly, your build is awesome :thumbup: , how much does it weight? And do you have a limited edition XX group with orange instead of red highlights, it might just be the lighting however?
Norwood & Adelaide Uni CC

rgkicksbutt
Posts: 468
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 4:58 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

by rgkicksbutt

Honestly, I'm not sure, I would have to ride the SID and see.

How many people do you know with this fork already? It was just released at Interbike this year and you can't even get it here in Canada yet other than the limited number of Scott's that come with it. Also your comment contradicts itself - the weight of oil refers to the viscosity of the oil, my past experience is that changing to a lighter weight affects the small bump performance quite a bit. Yeah it's too bad it's not hydraulic, that's a definite advantage to the SID.

Thanks, its a completely stock Scale RC 29er comes in at 20.67 lbs with pedals, and the wheels are tanks, 1851 g for the set. Changes and weight loss to come.

I wish it was limited edition, but it's the standard red colour. Lighting is bad and it is just a phone camera I took the pictures with

rgkicksbutt
Posts: 468
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 4:58 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

by rgkicksbutt

I sent the fork to DT USA in Colorado one week ago today and it is already back.

When talking to the DT rep on the phone (from my house too, even though I work at a shop I did this all through my house) he said he was surprised to hear about the play and after talking to their Swiss headquarters they as well had not heard anything of stanchion play in the newer XMM model line (29er and 26er model are basically identical). So I sent it off, they replaced a bushing, and voila, better than new. I'll chalk it up to bad luck and a faulty bushing (it was only the right side that had play). Happy customer :thumbup:

BUT now I have to sell it since I'm supposed to be on SRAM/Rock Shox so I can't really give any long term reviews. feel free to make me an offer though 8)

Bottleboy
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:38 pm

by Bottleboy

Om SO close on buying the same svale rc 29, hos does the whole bike ride?
More pic's please :D

rgkicksbutt
Posts: 468
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 4:58 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

by rgkicksbutt

Bottleboy wrote:Om SO close on buying the same svale rc 29, hos does the whole bike ride?
More pic's please :D


See here: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=96349

Rides great. No complaints. I think it is one of the best 'valued' high end 29er hardtails going right now.

dblspeed
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:24 pm

by dblspeed

Hi rgkicksbutt. any updates on the DT swiss? Have you had the chance to compare it to other similar forks like the Sid?

:up:

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