Sea Otter Report: DVO Suspension

By Mike Cushionbury

DVO (pronounced devo and short for “developed") Suspension has been not-so-silently working towards an August release for its new Emerald fork and Jade shock. The company formed over a year ago when then Marzocchi USA president Bryson Martin and four key employees walked out the door to form this new suspension company. Their plan is to focus on top shelf downhill suspension but, when we spoke with Martin at this year’s Sea Otter Classic, he hinted that there would be more products coming, targeted at other riders as well.

According to Martin the hardest product to create is high performance, long-travel DH forks and shocks. Perfecting this will set the tone and then it’s easier to go from longer to shorter travel. While the initial releases from DVO will be an inverted, 8-inch travel fork for 26 or 27.5 wheels and matching rear shock with either a coil or air spring, Martin confirmed that the future would hold enduro, all-mountain and 29er specific products and maybe even a single crown inverted fork.


The beauty of the Emerald’s internals is simplicity. It’s fairly standard save for two exceptional features. First, the Loader damper allows users to turn a bike upside down and pull the fork apart to make custom adjustments to the shim stack without loosing oil: simple, clean and efficient. Second, the fork has externally adjustable tension on the top-out spring to allow fine-tuning of breakaway force. In theory, heavier or faster riders who run a high spring rate can lessen breakaway forces for extra initial tenderness on rough courses or increase tension on smoother, more pedally routes.

DVO’s Carbon Torsion Arch (CTA) is where the Emerald gets its stiffness. This trick, integrated arch and stanchion protector is easily removed—it bolts to the dropouts and sandwiches between the forks uppers. This unique design is claimed by DVO to provide 50-percent more stiffness at the dropouts (where it’s secured) than a standard arch on a non-inverted fork. Weight is claimed to be just less than seven pounds and retail price is expected to be around $1,500.


The Jade comes in either an air or coil spring and will be available in all popular sizes and lengths. It will have externally adjustable hi and low-speed compression, and a 14mm alloy shaft with cooling fins on the piggyback. Additional adjustments can be achieved by removing the one-piece compression unit to customize the shim stack. Internally the shock will use a bladder system popular with motocross suspension. This design, according to DVO, increases small bump sensitivity.

As noted, after market shipping is planned to begin in August. In fact, DVO doubled its production order based on pre-sales (the entire first run is already sold out.) Check out for more info.


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