Such has been SR Suntour’s success that their General Manager for Europe, Fabio Sturaro, is able to comment that "in some segments we have substantial market share and currently we are increasing our market share for e-bikes in all categories."
An increase in production capacity, especially in their Vietnam plant, has gone hand in hand with leading the way in suspension technology. Let’s take a quick tour of some of their most important tech milestones:
- 2008 Patented quick release Q-LOC thru-axle system. Its natural successor, Q-LOC 2, guarantees 100% compatibility with all kinds of hub axle designs with the added advantage of light weight and quick “in-out action”
- 2010 AXON full carbon lightweight fork
- 2011 SR Suntour announces its first electronic lock out system, ELR 2016 Piston Compensation System. PCS is a simple and repeatable way to reduce cavitation (air and oil mixing, creating pressure, building bubbles) inside the cartridge.
- 2019 SR Suntour’s EQ equalizing system improves fork sensitivity over small repetitive bumps while providing plenty of mid-stroke support for those bigger hits, resulting in enhanced comfort and performance when riding any kind of terrain.
700C size compatible forks and suspension for what SR Suntour describe as ‘SUV e-bikes’ are hugely popular as are trekking and MTB units. But whatever type of fork they are producing, Sturaro emphasises "there are two extremely important factors: the safety of the rider and the simplicity of use of the product. These two aspects have driven the design of our products for years, working to increase the stiffness and strength of our forks is vital to the safety. Given the increase in average speed and weight of bikes over recent years, propelled partly by the rise of e-bikes, safety and simplicity are increasingly important."
To give one example of the above, single cartridges with more than 200,000 cycles on Suntour’s testing machines and countless hours with our WERX team have proven that their PCS technology is built to ride more hours and spend less time in a stand.
SR Suntour have increased production whilst increasing safety through quality control procedures and very specific and stringent standards. This has allowed them to support new technologies such as ABS braking. They have also learned from their successful involvement in the racing scene, their EQ spring optimisation system being a prime example.
Research and Development and Production departments work together to pioneer new manufacturing methods such as innovative magnesium and aluminium casting techniques, using materials in a more efficient way to produce a light but equally robust product. This approach is also good for the environment, allowing SR Suntour to make extensive use of metal recycling technologies.
Aftercare is hugely important to SR Suntour too, hence they have invested in improving the level of support offered by their service centres worldwide. This involves training technicians in the use of both standard specialised tools, improving the system for delivering spare parts and providing training to our service partners.
Importance of distributors and dealers
Sturaro also stresses the importance of distributors and dealers and that SR Suntour wants to support them in the best way possible. For example, SR Suntour have established an Academy at their French Service Centre aimed at providing training to teach the characteristics of their suspension systems and, naturally, how to maintain them. The French Service centre delivers these training programs both on site and remotely. So distributors, dealers and other service centres anywhere in the world can be kept up to speed on all aspects of SR Suntour suspension and maintenance at the click of a mouse.
In short, e-bikes are now highly sophisticated and expensive products and the demands of the average customer in terms of product quality and service levels is constantly growing and SR Suntour aims to meet those heightened expectations.
SR Suntour are rightly proud of their reputation for producing suspension systems with increasingly able technical features but without a huge price tag.
This article is sponsored by SR Suntour.