Product Review: 2016 SR Suntour XCR Air 24" Fork

XCR Air 24 Fork Review

            2016 version of the XCR Air 24 fork with newly updated graphics

          2016 version of the XCR Air 24 fork with newly updated graphics

Dirt Merchant Bikes has an XCR Air 24 fork available for demo in the Seattle area.

Contact us at 425.429.0865 for details and to reserve a demo.


For 2016, SR Suntour has released an all-new version of their XCR Air fork for 24” kids bikes. For the new version, SR/Suntour switched from a single air/damper cartridge to a larger air chamber with a standard prefixed rebound lockout cartridge.  The negative spring has also been changed to a softer spring rate. As with the previous version, the current XCR Air has an alloy steerer and magnesium lowers for reduced weight. Compared to the previous model, the new fork is more sensitive and better tuned for the low air pressures needed for smaller riders. The larger air volume reduces end of stroke ramp up to allow lighter riders to more easily access the fork’s 80mm of available travel.

Fork Specifications:

Retail Street Price:                                         About $170 to $180
Fork Travel:                                                    63mm or 80mm (80 mm tested)
Axle:                                                                9mm Quick Release
Brake Mount:                                                 Disc only
Fork Weight (with uncut steerer tube):       1832 g
Crown to axle measurement:                      430mm

Test Rider:

Age: 10
Height: 4-foot 5-inches
Weight: 74 pounds
Years riding singletrack: 3

Ride Impressions (based on my son’s comments & my observations)

The new XCR Air fork has worked really well for my son. With the larger air chamber, the air spring curve is very linear allowing lighter riders to easily access all of the fork travel.  A more linear spring rate means that the firmness of the air spring remains relatively constant through the fork’s travel while a more progressive spring rate means that the air spring becomes firmer as the fork goes through its travel. At 45 psi in the air spring, the fork had a good balance of initial plushness on small bumps with a good level of mid stroke support.  At this air pressure, only large bumps bottomed out the fork. Typical riding on flat but slightly rocky trails uses only about ½ of the fork travel.

Other Comments:

One other reason why I decided to get the SR Suntour fork is that SR Suntour has a US distribution and service network. The other competitors in the kids air fork market (Spinner and RST) don’t. Availability of parts and warranty service from SR Suntour in the US seems good. 


I like SR Suntour’s new XCR Air fork a lot. At a very reasonable price, it does everything I expect an air fork for a kids’ bike to do with great build quality. 

Impact of wheelbase on the handling of kids' bikes

My 10 y.o. son has been transitioning from a Marin Hidden Canyon with 20" wheels to a 24" Specialized Hotrock which he is riding until the 24" Cleary bike is available in September. He mentioned that he had a tougher time climbing and cornering on the Hotrock than he did on the Marin. It seems to me that the Hotrock is a little slow to turn into corners. I remember when we got the Marin that it was a lot shorter than the singlespeed 20" Hotrock that he rode for a while. He didn't like that at first since the longer Hotrock felt more stable, but quickly like the shorter Marin better since it was faster & more intuitive feeling on singletrack.


I checked out the specs for several bikes and indeed the wheelbase on the 20" Hotrock is about 1.8 inches longer than that of a 20" Marin kids bike and almost 3" longer than that of a 20" Cleary bike.  Out of curiosity, I just did some research on kids' 20" & 24" bike geometry. Specialized does indeed have very long wheelbase frames. It seems like the "enthusiast" brands offer frames with especially short wheelbases which may handle better under kids with some trail riding experience.