DT Swiss OPM ODL 120 29in fork review

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Product Full Name | DT Swiss OPM ODL 120 29in fork review

Retail Price | £749.99

Available From | Madison

DT Swiss OPM ODL 120 29in fork review

Over the last few years, DT Swiss has steadily been improving their suspension fork line up.

We’ve been riding the distinctive looking OPM ODL 120 for a few months now – here’s how we’ve been getting on…

DT Swiss OPM ODL

The DT Swiss OPM ODL fork looks great in all black, and very neat with the reverse arch design.

The Detail

Weighing just 1600grams (a Rockshox Revelation equivalent weighs nearly 1850grams), this 120mm travel trail fork is very light.

DT Swiss OPM ODL

The Reverse Arch certainly helps increase the stiffness of the fork, but it does hold a lot of mud when conditions get bad, and makes mounting a mudguard a bit of a hack.

This is largely achieved by using skinny 32mm stanchion tubes and a unique looking magnesium lower, featuring a reverse arch.

Down below is a 15mm axle with standard 100mm fork spacing, and the crown has a 45mm offset.

Internally, the DT Swiss OPM ODL has an air spring with adjustable progression via air volume spacers. There is also a coil negative spring.

DT Swiss OPM ODL

The blue low speed compression dial has twenty clicks of adjustment, and the simple Open/Drive/Lock dial is easy to operate and effective.

The damping leg features a rebound dial on the bottom, and a low speed compression dial on the top. Under the compression dial is the ODL dial, which offers defined positions for Open, Drive and Lock settings.

DT Swiss OPM ODL

The rebound dial features 27 turns of adjustment, and is very easy to operate.

Interestingly, the DT Swiss OPM ODL fork has a 130kg maximum rider weight – no problem for most riders, but worth taking note off if you’re on the large side.

DT Swiss OPM ODL

Mud clearance isn’t much of an issue with the DT Swiss arch – we ran up to 2.4 tyres with no problems.

Out On The Trail

 

Initially the DT Swiss OPM ODL felt a bit sticky out the box, so we found ourselves running the low speed compression almost fully open to start with – though after a couple of weeks the fork felt noticeably more supple.

DT Swiss OPM ODL

The riders view of the fork from above looks a little strange at first as you can’t see the fork brace – though we grew to really like the alternative styling of the fork.

The DT Swiss OPM ODL feels incredibly light, and although it’s not a flexy fork – it doesn’t feel quite as substantial as a Fox 34. But given that the fork uses skinnier 32mm stanchions, it feels pretty solid. The reverse arch plays a big part in this.

The compression damping does keep the fork high enough, but does make the fork feel a little harsh when the going gets rough. To get it feeling good, we used 5 air volume spacers and ran virtually no low speed compression damping. This did give a supple feel, but the fork felt a little out it’s depth if pushed hard.

DT Swiss OPM ODL

If hard tails or short travel trail bikes are your thing, you’ll find it hard to find a fork this light that can cope as well.

However, it’s half a pound lighter than the equivalent spec Rockshox Revelation fork – which really is noticeable out on the trail and is an attractive feature for the more XC biased trail riders out there who need a good balance of performance and light weight.

We Say

Despite having a slim 32mm chassis, the reverse arch design on the DT Swiss OPM ODL 120 fork makes a significant difference to ride quality. 

Whilst the compression damping is a little on the firm side, the three position design of the ODL system works admirably.

It’s a decent fork at a good price – and a great option for the weight conscious out there, though not the best option for harder riders. 

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