29ers lost a little steam a couple years ago when plus bikes burst on the scene. But just as quickly as plus bikes gained prominence, they faded into the background, becoming just another option in the vast mountain bike universe. With plus cooling, 29ers are heating back up, particularly in the long-travel segment.
To meet the growing demand for 29ers with 160mm (or more) of travel, we’re seeing more and more component companies offering products for the segment. I spotted one such product at Interbike’s Outdoor Demo — the X Fusion Trace 36 fork.
The Trace has long been a staple in X Fusion’s line, but as a 34mm-stanchioned trail fork. This new Trace 36 sports 36mm stanchions, allowing the fork to run up to 170mm of travel instead of the 140mm that the standard Trace is limited to. If 170mm is too much travel for your frame, it is adjustable down to a minimum of 140mm.
X Fusion specs their top-tier Roughcut HLR damper in the Trace 36, which is a sealed-bladder cartridge unit similar to Fox’s FIT4 or RockShox’s Charger. Adjustments include high speed compression, low speed compression, and rebound. Axle spacing options are 15×110 or 20×110.
Expect the Trace 36 to start hitting shelves around Sea Otter 2018. Pricing is not yet finalized, but it should come in under similar offerings from Fox and RockShox.