from Seattle, WA
Date Reviewed: January 13, 2010
Strengths: light, steers well, looks spectacular, great price, plush but doesn't pogo, does not bottom out, etc.
Weaknesses: Too light, steers too well, looks great, bottom line is there are no weaknesses.
This fork has been in service for over ten years and is still kicking butt. If you are riding cross country this is the fork for you (light as is gets). White Brothers was way ahead of the curve on the oversized stantion
tubes(something that Rock Shock, Marzocci, et al finally caught up with). Nickel plating on stantions looks
sweet, is tough, and is very scratch resistant. The fork handles flawlessly, soaks up any and all impacts,
doesn't pogo, and makes it feel like you are floating on a cloud. White Bros should dust off the old design
and start producing this forks again, because they were way ahead of their time in 1999 and to this day are
unparalleled in the marketplace for a lightweight/medium travel/badass fork. Bottom line: get one if you can,
slap on some Lizard Skin shock boots and it will last forever.
Bike Setup: FSR w/ full XT. A 4.5 inch travel cross country machine.
a Weekend Warrior
from Fresno, CA
Date Reviewed: September 23, 2000
Strengths: Light weight- especially for the amount of travel, buttery feel, very chic pewter sliders- not that hoopty gold of the newer DS>3, classy, understated graphics (not "extreme"), very cool silver stanchions, torsional and lateral stiffness, understated brake arch, CNC-machined parts, bolts instead of pressings. Dual crowns are cool, no matter what the magazines say.
Weaknesses: No boots! Questionable disc mount, lack of external rebound adjustment. Do the preload knobs do anything? Customer service so-so. Dual crowns, however ARE a bit heavier than singles.
I am just very glad I wasn't the one who spent $600 on the fork to begin with, not because they aren't worthy, but because I'm cheap. I'm just not the kind of guy to spend 600 clams on anything short of a frameset. That out of the way, there is no denying the fact that White Brothers make some killer forks. The workmanship is notable in the sense that it doesn't look as generic or cheap as some Rock Shox and especially Manitou offerings from the same year. The only other forks that are as visually appealing are Marzocchi's. And it's no wonder I owned a A-Bomb before the WB. The A-Bomb wore out its welcome, though, after two years by being deficient in one category. Travel. It had only 3" and my FSR's back end has 4.3". I needed a match. The 116mm (4.5") stroke of the DC-118 (Why name it "118" when it gets 116mm? What's that about?) would work perfectly. I didn't know too much about White Brothers before I bought the fork, just a couple reviews, usually just footnotes attached to the larger picture of a bike test. I saw reviews of the SC-90, SC-72 and one of the DC-118 and took them to heart, what little I could scratch up. Still, others' words can't really tell you what you need to know. When I received my fork from a seller in Washington, I slapped it on my FSR and took it for a spin on the pavement. "What kind of cheesy piece of junk is this?" I thought. It felt harsh, and didn't seem like it was doing much. I didn't feel any stiction when I pressed on it, though, so that was something. It didn't pogo back at me either, like so many other forks I had ridden. But, it didn't feel like anything great. I was starting to regret selling my Marzocchi to a friend. A week later, though, I hit the real dirt for the first time with the DC-118. If clouds can be ridden, they must feel like a White Brothers. The travel was smooth (like buttered silk) and rebound was perfectly modulated. Compression was perfect as well. It had felt harsh on the street, but on the dirt, it all came together. I was also so surprised that at my weight (220 pounds or thereabouts) that the medium springs are adequate to the job. I regularly use the best part of the 4.5" stroke, but don't bottom out a lot, and never top out hard. I was also leery of going with a dual crown after being a staunch advocate of singles for a long time, but I couldn't find a SC-90 for a price I like at the time, and now it's a non-issue. It didn't add that much weight over my old Marzocchi and gave me better stiffness and more accurate steering. Overall, a good trade. Now, about those boots. None. Why? I can't believe seals and wipers by themselves can keep out all the bad stuff. I know the trend is toward the naked look, but taking boots off doesn't save that much weight and they make up for it by keeping maintenance cycles down. If you're a racer-type on a 22 pound hardtail, hey, maybe that extra 30 grams or whatever is noteworthy, but with a 4.5" travel dual-crown fork, is it even an issue? I don't want to tear down the fork every six months to get crap out of it or end up having to buy seals and wipers every year. I also don't want stanchions damaged, because they ain't cheap.
Customer service is so so. I got a response out of them with a week when I had some technical questions, but no real people ever answer phones and you can't get in touch with them via e-mail. Luckily, I haven't had any real problems yet, so I can't give an educated, in-depth examination of their customer service. Basically, I have been very pleased with the fork. If I can find some boots, I feel I might have an almost maintenance-free fork. I know it works like a dream. Performance-wise, I can honestly give it five flamers. Weight gets an A for a fork of its type. Adjustment is quirky and difficult, but come to think of it, I haven't had to adjust anything anyway. If I had to, I'd take it to my friendly neighborhood shop. Let them mess with it. Looks are another A. Strength- well it hasn't busted, but really just doesn't look as strong as a downhill fork. Then again, it ain't- despite the "DH" on the end of its name. Stiff. Accurate. Perfect travel. The disc mount doesn't seem to be worth much, though. Oh well, I use rim brakes. Overall, I think 4 and a half stars would work. Where my rating will be strange, though, is the value rating. I only spent $265 on it, so for me, value was off the charts. But, I might've spent $450 on it. Five stars. The point? If you got one, keep it, ride it till it falls apart or you can get another. If you are looking for a good medium-long travel dual crown, I don't think you can beat it. If you can find one cheap and in good shape, go for it.
Similar Products Used: Nothing dual crown. Manitou SXs from '97 (owned) to 2000. '98 Manitou Pro (came on my bike- now on wife's). '98 Judy T2 (Judy? yeah, right) now on my beater. '99 Jett XC. '98 Marzocchi A-Bomb (previous fork, now a friend's). 2000 Manitou SX-R. 2000 Marzocchi Z-2 X-Fly. '99 SID XC.
Bike Setup: '98 Specialized FSR with MRP bearings, XT/XTR mix, Mavic 517s, Panaracer Fire XCs, Easton Monkey Lite riser, Kore stem, Bontrager FS2000 seat, Easton EA-50 post.
a Cross Country Rider
from Fremont CA
Date Reviewed: January 22, 2000
Strengths: They worked ok when new , and are stiff.
Weaknesses: No boots to keep the grime out and is very high maintanance because of this.
These forks blow and so does the company. I dare you to try and get any warranty work out of these cheap bastards. The plating wore off in no time even with constant greasing and then the clunking started . I ended up selling them to some sap for $100 and got a Marzocchi Z1 bomber which I should have done in the first place . Do yourself a favor and steer clear from these forks and the company . They charge an arm and a leg for their product then do not stand behind them.
Similar Products Used: Marzocchi Z1 , Judy SL , Manitou TI spring and Sid.
Bike Setup: FSR full XTR ,517 rims , and now sports a Z1 fork.
from merrimack nh
Date Reviewed: August 18, 1998
good fork,they just keep getting better the only forks to ride.can't wait for my own dc 150 with prostop disc brakes.by one and go fast.if you want to be in front you need a fork that works and these forks work,go to a race and talk to people who own them and you'll see why