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DVO Beryl Fork (discontinued)

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Discontinued
DVO Beryl
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Very good semi high-end fork

Rating: Featured Member Review
Very good semi high-end fork
The Good:

-Good value
-Very supple off the top
-Stiff chassis
-Wide rebound adjustment range
-Awesome customer service and warranty

The Bad:

-Internally-adjusted OTT feature
-Small finish issues

Overall Review:

After spending a season on the lower-end fork that came stock on my bike (Rock Shox Recon RL), I was lusting for a better fork with a bit more travel. Changing the air spring in the Recon wouldn’t cut it, and if I bought another fork I could almost build another bike with my spare parts … nice. I didn’t have the money for a “premium” fork like a Fox 36 or a Rock Shox Lyric, so I was left with three options : the Suntour Aion 35, DVO Beryl and the Marzocchi Z1. I ended up getting the 29” Beryl D2 boost with a 51mm offset (the only option for the Beryl). For 225$usd (MSRP) less than the Diamond you sacrifice a few features (the quick-release axle, the external Off The Top and high speed compression adjustments) but for me it was worth it. To me, the bolt-on axle is a plus though!

The DVO Beryl D2 installed on my Marin Rift Zone 1

Chassis and damper :

The chassis is the same as the Diamond D1 and D2 (OEM) and the damper is shared with the OEM Diamond D2. From what I understand, the Beryl is basically the same fork as the Diamond D2 as they both have the same bolt-on axle, same adjustable travel range and same 51mm offset.

The Beryl comes with the D2 damper - the same as on the Diamond D2

Adjustable travel without changing the air spring

Since I like to try new gear and had another longer-travel bike in mind for the next season, I also chose the Beryl for its 130-160mm travel adjustability that could be done at home by just adding or removing internal plastic travel spacers. My bike at the time had a 130mm travel limit, and the coveted one needed a 160mm fork so this was perfect. Wrenching on my own bikes is one of my favorite pastimes and I like to be able to do everything at home. The DVO engineers had that in mind when designing their forks and this was another point to convince me. They have many manuals online for their forks and shocks' tear-downs, including very detailed pictures and instructions for the home mechanics.

No creaking crowns

Outside of the reasonable price and travel adjustability, another thing had made the choice easier. If you want to make me sad, give me a fork with a creaking crown-steerer unit. I just can’t live with this. I had a peaceful season with the Recon RL, and I didn’t want to pay for a new fork and get the annoying creaking sound after a few rides. I kept reading about FOX and Rock Shox forks with creaking crowns getting sent for warranty (sometimes 2-3 times over the warranty period), and I had heard from DVO themselves that they had this issue covered so that was another point for the Beryl.


Bonus features

Bolt-on axle: Maybe it’s the clean look and the fact that there is no lever ready to scrape rocks, but I just prefer bolt-on axles. And I remove my front wheel each time I put my bike in the car to go riding. The torque is written on it so you know how tight it needs to be and the axle screws into a replaceable threaded cap on the other fork leg. It has never given me any trouble and was still like new even after having been screwed in and out at least 40-50 times.

Included bolt-on fender: I did not try the included fender because I like more coverage, but it’s nicely made, screws into the fork, and the shape of it covers the recesses behind the arch so they don’t get filled with mud. I thought it was a nice feature and people living in dry climates might find that is protects just enough. I wish it would have a rounder shape and better dust wipers coverage but I just ended up using a Mudhugger and called it a day.

 

The chassis looks and feels stout.

How does it ride?

I have never ridden Fox or Rock Shox’s finest dampers, but I am pickier than the average person and spent the whole season fiddling with air pressure and rebound settings on my Beryl. There is a 4-position low-speed compression adjuster, but I just left it wide open all the time. I did not even think about using it on long fire road climbs, so basically it was like if it didn’t exist. The fork’s support in the travel was fine with me and I didn’t feel excessive diving at all. Sometimes I wish it had a bit lighter compression tune, but when going faster I thought it was very well balanced. I think that this was the best compromise they could come up with : a bit less comfort when riding “light” but more performance when riding harder. If I was to open the fork, I'd most probably try the suppler OTT setting, as this would probably do just what I wished for! I did not bottom out once but came close to using 100% travel on a few bigger hits, which suggest that my air pressure setting was pretty good.

Top adjusters : air pressure on the left and low-speed compression on the right

The sweet spot for me was 120-122 psi in the fork (which is on the upper range of my 180lbs weight with pack), open compression and 7-8 clicks of rebound from full open. I like to run a fast rebound so that the fork doesn’t pack up on fast successive hits and I still had quite a few clicks of adjustment, so in my opinion, the Beryl’s rebound adjustment range is wide enough for pretty much everyone. Unfortunately, I can’t tell what my Off The Top setting was since it was adjusted internally and I didn’t feel like changing it. The stock setting just felt right and the small bump compliance was awesome but you can choose one the 3 settings (softer to firmer off the top) if you feel like opening up the fork. I should add that all the adjusters were easy to turn with gloves and the finish of all the parts is very nice. The steerer even has written lengths on it so it makes it easier to remember where you want to cut it. 

I didn’t feel any binding in the chassis and the stiffness felt very good, but I think that the small creaking sound that I was sometimes hearing at the end f the season was coming from the CSU. Maybe it was because my fork had a 2017 serial number stamped on the crown and they hadn’t perfected their press-fit process by that time yet. It wasn’t too annoying though and was very subtle Nowhere near the annoyance of friend's Fox, X-Fusion or Marzocchi forks! I have had a few surprises when riding trails that I didn’t know and sometimes landed drops a bit nose-heavy or held on tight in steep rocky sections and never really felt the fork flex or bind. It never held me back from going faster in any way, which I think is one of the most important qualities of any component.

Small issues with the fork 

The finish and machining was nice and it functioned very well but unfortunately, my Beryl probably had defective bushings from the start. I started to see some vertical scoring lines on the right stanchion in the very first rides. Being very meticulous with my maintenance and extra careful when cleaning my bike, I knew this wasn’t caused by a lack of care. I installed a Mudhugger fender before hitting the trails and always kept the dust wipers clean. 

I have shown the scoring lines to the local distributor from whom I had bought the fork (S4 suspension in Canada) and they told me that they’d warranty the CSU at the end of the season (very nice of them!). It never felt like the bushings were too tight, but I could feel a bit of play in the right leg’s bushing after the middle of the season. Still, the fork worked wonderfully and consistently, and I was finally told that I would get a warranty fork at the end of the season, so I had the peace of mind to ride until the snow started to fall. The second Beryl that I have received arrived with a few really small lines in the stanchion’s anodizing, but since I am very picky most people might have not noticed it and it did not affect the first fork's peformance. The service I have received from S4 and DVO is exemplary and the fork is backed with a 2-year warranty, so it feels like I’m in good hands. This time it will be set at 160mm travel on a 160mm-travel enduro bike, so I’ll be able to see how the fork behaves in a different setup. It will be paired with a DVO Jade X coil shock in the back, so the combo should feel pretty balanced to start with.

In conclusion

So even with the small issues I’ve had, is the performance/cost ratio worth it ? I think so, and if I had to do it all again, I’d probably buy the same fork. The Beryl is discontinued but it’s still available in 27.5 or 29” boost versions on some websites, and for the price you can currently find it online I’m even thinking about buying another one. I feel like if it had more press coverage or reviews it would have been much more popular. I’m hoping that DVO will continue to make a more affordable fork like the Beryl for people like me who don’t have an unlimited budget but still want a durable, sturdy and well-performing fork.

Specifications

Product DVO Beryl Fork
Riding Type Trail
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b), 29", 27.5+
Travel
  • 130mm
  • 140mm
  • 160mm
  • 170mm
Spring Type Air
Damping D2 closed cartridge bladder system
External Adjustments Low speed compression (3 positions), rebound, OTT ("Off The Top" negative spring preload, 3 settings)
Crown Forged CNC hollow
Front Axle 15mm x 110mm (Boost)
Brake Mounts Post mount
Steer Tube Diameter Tapered, 1.125" top, 1.5" bottom
Steer Tube Construction Alloy
Stanchion Diameter 35mm
Colors Black
Weight 4 lb 10.1 oz (2,100 g)
Miscellaneous Tapered alloy stanchions
Magnesium lowers
"Quick Range" low speed compression
Non-QR axle uses 5mm allen key
Maximum width 27.5" tire: 3.0"
Offset: 44mm (27.5"), 51mm (29")
Axle-to-crown: 572mm (27.5" at 170mm travel), 565mm (29" at 160mm travel)
Price $775
More Info

dvosuspension.com

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