Bright Racing Shocks Skunk suspension fork – the best-looking trail option on the market?

Bright Racing Shocks
(Image credit: Bright Racing Shocks)

Bright Racing Shocks might be a new name to some, but the brand has a long history of producing high-end race-specific MTB suspension that’s handmade, designed, and engineered in Italy. Its products are designed and engineered by Pablo Fiorilli in the company's workshop near Rome. Pablo has developed suspension and engineering solutions in many fields, which have helped him create a MTB fork that only sticks to a few of the usual ideas around mountain bike suspension.

Bright Racing Shocks Skunk

The carbon upper section measures up at 46mm wide (Image credit: Bright Racing Shocks)

The Skunk fork has 130mm of travel, but it's designed to replace a standard 150mm fork. That's due to one critical thing differentiating Bright RS forks from other brands – Dynamic Sag. Bright RS sets up all its forks to run minimal sag, so the 130mm fork sits at a similar height to a standard 150mm fork running 20-30 percent sag. Bright RS does this as it believes a race fork does not need sag to help it track the ground and that at higher riding speeds, the fork, combined with its ACAD damper, offers the perfect blend of grip and damper support.

Bright Racing Shocks Skunk

The floating bushing setup ensures maximum distance between the bushings to increase stiffness (Image credit: Bright Racing Shocks)

The unique features don't end there; all forks from Bright RS are upside-down single-crown forks. These can be prone to flex and often struggle in terms of torsional stiffness compared to a regular telescopic fork, but they have a few very clever ideas to combat this. Firstly, the fork runs on 35mm stanchions made from 7000 series aluminum, but crucially has a massive 46mm outer diameter upper tube; this increases the stiffness and creates a lot of room for lubricant and their clever floating bushing system. The floating bushing system also massively increases the fork's stiffness by ensuring the distance between the two is always as much as possible throughout the fork's stroke.

Bright Racing Shocks Skunk

The left-hand leg has a dial at the top for compression damping and one at the bottom for rebound (Image credit: Bright Racing Shocks)

Another unusual feature is that the spring and the damper are both in the same leg. The left-hand leg houses the air-spring and an ACAD 8 damper, which offers compression and rebound damping with the dials in the usual place at the top and bottom of the fork. The damper is in its eighth iteration, and they say combined with their no sag system gives the perfect blend of suspension performance, grip, and efficiency. Bright RS uses this layout as it believes it guarantees perfect alignment of both damper and spring, which improves performance, and leaving one leg just to deal with sliding helps with the balance of the fork. 

Bright Racing Shocks Skunk

The Skunk fork has damping and spring on the right-hand side leaving the left-hand leg empty  (Image credit: Bright Racing Shocks)

As well as the features above that make them stand out, the forks can be ordered in various colors, not just the upper legs as you'd typically expect. They offer the machined alloy parts such as the crowns and dropouts in red, silver, purple, or a titanium finish and the stanchions in either the standard dark gray or red. The forks retail at €1,750 in the standard black color option; the other colors are an extra cost.

You can find out more on their website brightracingshocks.com (opens in new tab).

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