Bright Racing Shocks release the F929 Next-3RC – a stunning and unique enduro fork with an equally stunning price tag

The Bright Racing Shocks F929 Next-3RC
(Image credit: Bright Racing Shocks)

We featured Bright Racing Shocks in our A to Z of mtb suspension, and the brand are back with a new long travel fork packed with interesting tech made to a high standard with some Italian flair, aiming to become some of the best mountain bike forks.

The F929 Next 3RC is a new model, and like the rest of the Bright range, it is a boutique upside-down fork that has a very different look compared to other forks out there. They also offer a level of customization that is unusual, giving you the option of a range of colors for the alloy parts and different finishes available on the carbon upper tubes.

Close up of the Bright Racing Shocks F929 Next-3RC

The adjustable valve on the right hand side of the crown is part of the Everflow air system (Image credit: Bright Racing Shocks)

Upside down and packed with tech

Made for 29-inch wheels and with 140-180mm of air-sprung travel, the F929 Next 3RC is firmly in the enduro or even super enduro category. Travel can be adjusted internally in 5mm increments, and as with other Bright forks, both the damper and air spring are contained in the same leg to keep the weight as low as possible. The air spring is adjusted using the Schraeder valve at the base of the left-hand leg, but interestingly, they also use a clever system first developed by Everflow to deal with the issue of air build-up inside the legs. 

On longer descents, the air inside the outer legs can expand, which causes your fork to stiffen up through its travel. Fox and RockShox both feature relief buttons on the back of their forks to combat this, but this system takes it one step further by joining the airflow between both legs through the crown and steerer tube using a series of tunnels machined into the crown. The adjustable compensating valve on the right side of the crown isn't just a release valve though, it actually allows you to fine-tune the initial feel and mid-stroke support, which is unlike anything else we’ve seen.

Damping is taken care of by Bright's own ACAD design with its three-position dial, now in its eighth iteration. This has a different tune from previous versions and is described as a comfort setup, which should give a feel closer to other brands on the market and promises more initial suppleness. Previous options from the Italian brand feature a firm damper and zero sag, so it will be interesting to see how these compare. Despite a softer initial stroke, they use ASC, which stands for Active Sag control, to offer plenty of damper support through its travel.

Close up of the Bright Racing Shocks F929 Next-3RC fork leg

The Schrader valve for the air spring can be found at the bottom of the fork leg (Image credit: Bright Racing Shocks)

Many brands shy away from an upside-down design, as they can be flexy and are heavier than a standard telescopic design. Bright addresses this in a few ways. Firstly, they say that their high tolerances in manufacturing are way above the usual standards in the bike industry, as well as using some clever tech they have developed. The carbon upper legs are 48mm wide and feature external reinforcing ribs that stiffen the tube. These are joined using a complex machined crown made from 7075-T751 aircraft-grade aluminum that can be ordered in different colors. Stanchions are longer than previous forks but also receive extra attention to increase smoothness using special abrasive stones to achieve a high-level finish promising improved small bump sensitivity.

These are connected to the dropouts, which like the carbon upper tubes, feature a ribbed design to increase stiffness. Finally, the F929 Next 3RC uses floating bushes. The main man at Bright, Pablo Fiorelli, has been developing this concept since the early nineties, and the idea is to get as much distance between the supporting bushes in the upper legs. The bush is the surface the inner leg runs against and can make a massive difference to the smooth functioning of any suspension fork. Keeping the distance between the upper and lower bushings will increase the stiffness fore and aft but can be difficult to produce as they have to be made to extremely close tolerances.

Close up of the Bright Racing Shocks F929 Next-3RC leg guards

The F929 is available with or without the 3D printed lower leg guards (Image credit: Bright Racing Shocks)

As you'd expect, this level of detail and finish doesn't come cheap, with prices starting at €1,986 for the standard version without lower leg guards going up to €2,520 for the customized version with guards. We’re currently waiting on US and UK price confirmation. That puts them at the top cost-wise, but it isn't surprising, considering they are handmade, low-volume items. We hope to have a set on test in the coming months, so keep an eye out for our review.

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Tech specs: Bright Racing Shocks F929 Next-3RC

  • Wheel size: 29-inch
  • Axle system: 15 x 110mm
  • Travel: 140-180mm, internally adjustable
  • Spring technology: Air-spring using Everflow tech
  • Damper: ACAD 8 hydraulic cartridge
  • Upper leg diameter: 48mm 
  • Offset: 44mm 
  • Price from: €1,986
Neal Hunt
Freelance Writer

Neal has been riding bikes of all persuasions for over 20 years and has had a go at racing most of them to a pretty average level across the board. From town center criteriums to the Megavalanche and pretty much everything in between. Neal has worked in the bicycle industry his entire working life, from starting out as a Saturday lad at the local bike shop to working for global brands in a variety of roles; he has built an in-depth knowledge and love of all things tech. Based in Sheffield, UK, he can be found riding the incredible local trails on a wide variety of bikes whenever he can