SR Suntour Auron 29 Werx

SR Suntour Auron 29 & TriAir Shock

By Drew Rohde & Nic Hall

We’ll be the first to admit it, SR Suntour has not historically been one of our first picks for suspension when putting together a “dream build.” Their large OEM market has traditionally been on lower end big box bikes and the entry level spec of larger name brands. But the pendulum seems to be swinging back the other way thanks to forks like the Auron 29. For those that only think SR Suntour makes cheap forks, the brand actually developed one of the first magnesium-built forks way back in 1995. Since that time, they have continued to quietly innovate in both suspension design and gearbox technology.

While some brands have focused on merely creating expensive, top-shelf products, SR Suntour has remained steadfast in their quest to deliver quality suspension at affordable prices. Don’t let that fool you though. An SR Suntour rider stood on the top step at the 2014 Olympics. They have helped athletes stand on podiums at Red Bull Rampage, North American Enduro Championships and World Cup Downhills.

In typical SR Suntour fashion, without a huge marketing campaign and little in the way of fanfare, they released the Auron fork and TriAir 3CR shock earlier this year. We were lucky enough to get some of their first few units and have been stoked on them ever since.

SR Suntour Auron 29 Werx

The Lab

We were sent the Auron 29 fork in 150mm travel and 110mm Boost spacing. The fork weighs 2171g with the axle thanks to magnesium lowers and a hollow crown. Damping is controlled through the Piston Compensator System (PCS), which is a proprietary floating piston that is said to decrease oil cavitation and provide a more consistent feel. The right fork tube has two adjusters to control both the low and high speed compression circuits. Rather than having to count dozens of clicks, the Auron sports an easy to use adjuster with numbers 1-5.

Rebound adjustment is found on the right lower fork tube and has a very useful range of clicks, with two clicks being a very noticeable change. There are four different levels of spring tuning available for the air chamber, though we found the stock setup to offer a good amount of small bump sensitivity and progression.

SR Suntour Auron 29 Werx

Our SR suspension upgrade matched the Auron 29 with a TriAir 3CR. The TriAir, like many other rear shocks has a three position adjustment lever. Depending on your preference for climbing efficiency and platform, you can switch the lever to stiffen the shock. A simple, red rebound adjust knob accurately and easily controls the shock’s return speed. SR Suntour offers the TriAir in several configurations in both metric and Imperial measurements.

Although simple, the system never left us asking for more adjustability. The bushings have an ultra-low friction coating and the supplied hardware bolted up with no problems. Spacers are available for the air can, but again we found no reason to adjust from the stock setup.

SR Suntour’s integrated fender works great and blends nicely into the lines of the arch. We also really liked the axle. The QR system took a minute to understand when we first got it but once we had it down, it was quick to use and trouble free throughout our test.

SR Suntour Auron 29 Werx

The Dirt

Our test mule was a BMC Trailfox. We’d grown very familiar with the bike and its ride characteristics with the OE-spec’d Rock Shox dampers. In all honesty, up until the swap the bike was pretty average and didn’t really stand out. It was a good bike, and rode well, but nothing to write home about. We weren’t expecting it to me much different with the Suntour stuff on board.

Our first day out on the new stuff was at Mt. Bachelor Bike Park, and each tester took a lap on the bike without sharing input to the other. Both our testers were blown away at the transformation. We spent two more days swapping the bike back and forth, and riding other forks as the Auron was also part of our upcoming 29er fork review roundup.

We ran the fork at both 30% and 20% sag during our testing. At 30% the fork had ridiculous levels of small bump sensitivity. The first 20mm is so compliant that you can push on the stem with one finger and see the fork react. However at 30% we quickly and harshly found bottom on drops over four feet in height. If you’re a charger then we suggest 20% sag as it still offers impressive compliance but a much better curve in progression.

SR Suntour Auron 29 Werx

At speed and in the mid-stroke, the fork is supportive and ramps nicely on larger hits. The Auron has a keen ability to offer a ton of lateral compliance and flex while tracking in a strait line. The hollow 35mm stanchions offer a nice compromise of stiffness and strength. Off camber root sections and rock step offs are easily handled.

The rear shock kept pace with the performance of the fork without a hitch. Much like the fork, the new damper actually improved the performance and ride of the bike. We found the adjustability to be just enough and ran approximately 33-35% sag throughout our testing. The open setting on the compression was sufficient for all but the most boring road climbs. The BMC has a great pedaling platform thanks to their suspension design and it is only complimented by the TriAir.

The shock reaches full travel nicely and doesn’t have an overly aggressive ramp. We were banging the o-ring off the shaft on almost every run but never noticed a harsh bottom or felt out of control on larger hits. The small bump compliance is not as amazing as the fork, but was still impressive. Mid-stroke support is well controlled and where we felt the shock spent most of its time.

SR Suntour Auron 29 Werx

The Wolf’s Last Word

We were thoroughly impressed with the performance of the SR Suntour Auron, TriAir package. Even though the fork makes a sloshy-kind of sound under rebound, it’s a noise we can deal with for the performance/value ratio. The noise is easy to forgive with the amount of confidence and control gained. The finish, adjustment knobs, integrated mud guard and the very slick QR axle all show the care and refinement put into their high level dampers. We feel the decals/graphics could be improved as they are really the only indication that you’re not riding ‘A league’ suspension products.

We feel that saying anyone looking for a budget-minded suspension upgrade is insulting the capabilities of SR Suntour’s new Auron and TriAir. The truth is, riders with or without budgetary constraints will enjoy the performance offered here. We’re walking away from this review with some preconceived notions shattered and happy that we’ve got a new fork to write home about.

Price
Fork: $699.95
Shock: $449.95

Contact: srsuntour-cycling.com

SR Suntour Auron 29 Werx

We Dig

Performance for Price
Fork Tracking
Black

We Don’t

Fork Damper Noise

LEAVE A COMMENT, WIN FREE SWAG!

Want to win some free schwag? Leave a comment and vote up the most thoughtful comments and each month we’ll pick a winner. The person with the smartest and most helpful replies will earn some sweet new gear. Join the Pack