RockShox Pilot C 2003 Front Shocks

3.52/5 (23 Reviews)
Weight : 4.05 lbs MSRP : $190.00


Product Description

TRAVEL: 80 or 100 mm

SPRING: Single coil
Adj: Preload

DAMPING: HydraCoil
Adj: Internal


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Reviews 1 - 15 (23 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by mynameiskyle a Cross Country Rider from Dallas

Date Reviewed: July 9, 2008

Strengths:    Great on hardpack, paved or consistently predictable terrain.

Weaknesses:    Stiff, stiff, stiff. I'm 160lbs and this thing may sag 1mm when I sit on the bike (and I'm just giving the benefit of the doubt, b/c I can't see any sag). Also, the preload knob is very cheaply made plastic, and sheared off internally during a mere hand adjustment.

Bottom Line:   
If you're a commuter, paved trail, hardpack (with few small bump) or a heavy rider (I would think at least 180lbs) this might be a good fork, but for the lighter rider attacking any terrain with roots, stumps, loose rocks, short drops, stair drops, etc expect a somewhat jarring trip.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   I've never used anything this stiff other than a rigid.

Bike Setup:   Iguana, Deore, Club Roost, etc

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mathieu from Laarne, Belguim

Date Reviewed: October 24, 2006

Strengths:    very stiff strong light fork, never got problems

Weaknesses:    The preload adjuster does almost nothing.


Bottom Line:   
-

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   downhill, bmx jumps, some mud

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   sport bikes, wetteren, Belguim

Bike Setup:   Trek 4900 alpha , xtr derailleur and the rest is lx

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by matt a Racer from hansville wa

Date Reviewed: February 25, 2005

Strengths:    ummm it's okay at climbing because it doesn't bob alot

Weaknesses:    the preload broke, after a couple jumps on a 3 foot jump the legs went out of place now every time i do any thing it bends my rims against the fork, it doesn't do it's full travel and it isn't plush worth crap it flexes too much not stiff enough, it's just a piece of crap.it doesn't keep your tire on the ground enough it doesn't absorb small bumps

Bottom Line:   
it's crap i do not recommend to anyone unless it comes with your bike or if you just ride to people houses but if you take biking seriously it's terrible and it will get some kind of problem after a while. on my other review i gave it a 4 out of 5 but thats before i started biking alot more now it's just falling apart

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   where ever

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   kingston classic cycle

Similar Products Used:   fox vanilla much better

Bike Setup:   trek 4900

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by matt a Racer from hansville wa usa

Date Reviewed: January 20, 2005

Strengths:    doesn't waste all of your energy because it is pretty stiff it does alright on jumps.

Weaknesses:    my preload broke, takes alot of energy to make it go down all the way at most i probably only use 60 millimeters of it's travel, doesn't absorb small bumps well

Bottom Line:   
it's a good beginner fork especially if you don't want something too expensive or you don't want something as bad as a rst or insync suspension

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   pope and talbot land trails

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   came with trek 4900

Similar Products Used:   stiff forks

Bike Setup:   trek 4900 with michelin tires and bullet proof pedals

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Olivier from Quebec city,Quebec,Canada

Date Reviewed: October 9, 2004

Strengths:    This is a very cheap fork for the person how want to begin in the freeriding and for me is very strong ( 120lb rider) and i can do 7 feet gap with it

Bottom Line:   
This fork is good for the biginner of any type of riding but don't try is un DH is horrible but is a very big challenge to ride it. This fork came with the bike and it why i got one but is the the fork you have to buy when you need one take something better that will be a better choice

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   It come with 03 Giant Iguana

Bike Setup:   The stock setup for a Iguana 03 v-brake but i change the BB and the crank for a Hussefelt crank and Truvativ DH giga pipe

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Adrian from Corner Brook, NL, CAN

Date Reviewed: August 7, 2004

Strengths:    Pretty stiff fork for the price. It will take bigger hits pretty easily without bottoming out (150 lb rider). The fork also looks half decent with the chrome colored stanchions.

Weaknesses:    Does not take little hits such as rocks and other small things at all. I find the forks to have a tacky feel to them and a cheapness about them. Preload is very hard to turn at a stiffer adjustment, you need pliers to turn them. The preload does almost nothing at a stiff setting compared to the softer setting regards to bottoming them out.

Bottom Line:   
This fork came stock on my bike, and it done me fine for the 3 months i had them until i sold them. I wanted a better AXC fork. Great fork for the price. They never gave me any trouble for the while i had them. Buy these forks if you are not too picky about the feel of your forks and you are more into mild xc. Dont buy these forks if you want a cusion feel to your fork that will take whatever you throw at it....in that case, upgrade to an MX Comp

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Marble Mountain

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $420.00

Purchased At:   TNT Pro Bicycles

Similar Products Used:   2000 Suntour M7600, 2002 Rockshox Judy XC air, 2004 Marzocchi MX Comp w/ETA

Bike Setup:   03' Giant Iguana, 04' Marzocchi MX Comp w/ETA fork, 04' Shimano Deore mech disks, deore hubs...everythin else stock

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Clive Norton a Cross Country Rider from Yorkshire, UK

Date Reviewed: June 19, 2004

Strengths:    I had two pairs of 80mm Pilot C's (two bike family).
Light. Reasonably good looking. Large range of adjustment from almost soft enough to very hard. Good damping


Weaknesses:    Poor progression - they don't move for quite a lot of force, then with not much more they're at the bottom of the travel. I'm 75kg and have a laid forwards riding position. I ran them on minimum preload off road to get any shock absorption, but occasionally bottomed them out. My 55kg wife has an upright riding position and never really got them to move.

Travel is about 20mm less than claimed. I only ever got 60mm travel.

Preload adjuster jams after a couple of days everytime it gets turned up high for road use. Needs pliers or removing to free it off again for the weekend.


Bottom Line:   
Very good for the price. But save up for a better one (probably the Marzocchi MX).

The reload adjuster that kept sticking and needing stripping drove me mad. Would be less of an issue if you only ride on-road or only ride off-road.

I experimented with air-valve fork caps, which gave more adjustment and more progression on the compression. They work just fine on the right hand tube, but need spacers on the left hand tube to take up the slack to the spring. It is only necessary to install on one side. Or both. If you install on the left you lose the spring preload dial. Which will have jammed by now anyway. Valve caps are a worthwhile upgrade if you can imagine what difference they make and know that's what you want. Can get them from ChainReactionCycles or special order at most bike shops. You might get told that they don't work because you dont have an oil bath in the fork legs. They work just fine. Partly because you do have an oil bath (open it up and have a look!), and partly because they don't need an oil bath to work anyway (there is no bath in the left side, but they do work - trust me) Max 40psi on the right and 70psi on the left. Can go higher on the left 'cos the volume doesn't decrease as harshly under compression (so the pressure doesn't increase). They're road pressures. You need much less for the trail.

Lose 1.5 Mr. Hankys for the crappy jamming adjuster and another 0.5 Mr. Hankys for poor progression. Only redeemed by value, otherwise I would've been harsher.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Ladybower Reservoir & area

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $160.00

Purchased At:   Halfords

Similar Products Used:   Marzocchi MX Comp. Far better in every sense except weight, which is the same. Get these instead.

Bike Setup:   Aluminium hardtail, full Deore groupset (inc wheels). Maxxis HighRoller 2.1" for XC, Panaracer 1.25" for road use.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Michael a Weekend Warrior from Paradise

Date Reviewed: February 23, 2004

Strengths:    A good, stiff shock that is fairly light.

Weaknesses:    The preload adjuster does almost nothing.


Bottom Line:   
I like this shock alot because under hard pedaling it doesn't bobble much so your energy goes to the ground. It also soaks up the big hits well.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $550.00

Purchased At:   cyclesport

Similar Products Used:   Manitou

Bike Setup:   Stock Trek 4900

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Travis West a Cross Country Rider from Nashville, TN - USA

Date Reviewed: January 10, 2004

Strengths:    Chromed Stantions - Slippery, dollar savy, strong - for an entry level bike, this IS what you would want!

Weaknesses:    4.1 lbs - if that's it - About the same as any other except Skerab or SID...

Bottom Line:   
Ok Ok Ok - Here You go - Factory default settings Are lousy - I hated this fork - I have done some things to it, and now I love it - enough to put off buying something a little lighter until the '05's come out with more SPV tech...

First - Go to your dealer and get the 100mm conversion collar for the Pilot SL or XC.

Second - Tear the thing apart, put Judy Butter(LOTS) down BELOW both bearings, in both legs.

Third - Take the bottom out spring(about20mm tall - that's why you only feel 60mm - it's that stiff) and head up to hard ware store and find one about half that size but, KEEP IT STIF !!!

Forth - On the top of the compression spring, lock the collar into the preload knob and insert the SMALLER end into the spring - it will click..!

Fifth - Install the shorter bottom out spring were you found it.

Sixth - Put the lowers back on - check for smoothness...

SEVENTH - Put 120cc of "5" (FIVE) weight shock oil into the leg, 20cc of 10 (TEN) weight into the bottom. This speeds up the rebound - The Pilot C comes with 10 top and bottom

This will liven up the fork dramatically, and give you almost "HUCK" worthy travel..!!!

I work at Nashville's Largest Trek Shop! Now you have been schooled!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Chickasaw Trace

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Champion Cycling - Jax Bch, FL

Similar Products Used:   None - I've always had Headshox

Bike Setup:   2003 4900 - Bontrager select flat bar, Thompson 100mm X 5', coolstop pads, Sella Flite Gel Ti, Python Air lights, Continental Gravity 2.3, Specialized Most Extreme,

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jon a Cross Country Rider from Devon UK

Date Reviewed: October 7, 2003

Strengths:    Simple, stiff, does exactly what it says on the tin.

Weaknesses:    Little heavy, takes a lot of winding on the preload adjuster before it has any effect.

Bottom Line:   
Simple no messing about forks. Only reacts to the medium and big bumps, but if you can't deal with a little trail buzz you shouldn't be riding. Great tracking, very sharp reactions to steering. Set it up to your weight and it won't bob on climbing. Does exactly what a sus fork should do, takes out the big hits without affecting any other aspect of your ride. Fantastic.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   Chain Reaction Cycles

Similar Products Used:   First generation RockShox, way back...

Bike Setup:   Fairly stock Scott YZ1

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Marc a Weekend Warrior from Sydney, Australia

Date Reviewed: August 27, 2003

Strengths:    Good handling, responsive

Weaknesses:    Very stiff . . . doesn't ever go to it's full 80mm

Bottom Line:   
I got this fork on my Giant Iguana. It's done it's job very well over the time I've used it. On and off road it handles predictably and soaks up some of the bumps well. It is however very stiff and getting it to use it's full advertised 80mm travel would require some kind of heinous dropoff.

As a stiff, good handling XC fork, it's great and does exactly everything it should.

I should also point out that I weigh less than 60kg so even with the preload on its minimum, I'm very light for this fork. That could mean that my complaints about it being too stiff aren't relevant to a heavier rider.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   Cranks North Sydney

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   2003 Giant Iguana + computer, S.I. Flite Gelflow saddle, Time ATAC Alium pedals

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Russell Smith a Cross Country Rider from Boulder, Colorardo, USA

Date Reviewed: August 21, 2003

Strengths:    durable

Weaknesses:    It does not do anything for small bumps i only get 50mm of travel for the advertised 80mm

Bottom Line:   
I way 100 pounds. My dad tried, hes 170 lbs, my bike on the weakest setting and couldnt bottom it out now that says alot. after a ride my arms hurt becuase of the lack absortion of small bumps. This shock Sucks!!! Not to mention its a 200 dolloar shock the 150$ duke c's i tried are 100% better.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   upper ledges

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $519.00

Purchased At:   Cycle loft

Similar Products Used:   2002 duke c, Post moderne sls

Bike Setup:   trek 4900

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by eric klatt a Cross Country Rider from morden mb canada

Date Reviewed: August 17, 2003

Strengths:    Stiff, (i have never bottomed it out yet. Even on a 5 foot drop.) yet it is sensitive enough to absorb some of the tiny bumps.

Weaknesses:    The rebound adjuster has been stuck for awhile now, but it doesnt matter since the adjustment does barly anything. false advertisment there is no way taht that the shock uses the whole 100 mm. About 80mm max.

Bottom Line:   
This is a very good shock if you are just sarting but once you get more daring and more agressive you might want to swith to a shock which will handle the bumps a bit better than a pilot c mabey a duke u turn or something. the price was descent. cdn

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   tinker creek cycle

Similar Products Used:   A piece of crap shock didnt even have a name (walmart)

Bike Setup:   Rocky Mountain Trailhead

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by mark a Weekend Warrior from mass

Date Reviewed: August 15, 2003

Strengths:    clean lines, no bells and whistles to worry about. fork appears to be well built and has not failed me in 3 months of riding.

Weaknesses:    make sure if you have the option to order the 100mm. my bike came stock w/the 80mm and there is no way that fork is giving up 80mm of travel. maybe 60mmm. and the pilot "C" CAN NOT BE CONVERTED TO 100MM. I DO FEEL LIKE I WAS MISLEAD BY ROCK SHOK AND REI. IF I KNEW AT THE TIME I WOULD HAVE GIVEN THE PURCHASE A SECOND THOUGHT. AND TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE THE PEOPLE AT ROCK SHOK SEND ME E-MAIL EXPLAINING HOW TO "CONVERT" THE PILOT 'C' . PRETTY GOOD TRICK SEEING HOW IT CANT BE DONE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bottom Line:   
A GOOD FORK FOR THE MONEY. NOT A GOOD FORK IF YOU ARE PAYING FULL PRICE (MSRP COMPLETE BIKE $1000.00) RETAILERS AND MANF. NEED TO BE ON THE SAME PAGE. THERE IS NOTHING MORE ANNOYING THAN RETAILERS NOT KNOWING THE PRODUCT THEY SELL AND EVEN WORSE THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE IT NOT KNOWING. IF YOU CAN LIVE WITH LESS THAN ADVERTISED TRAVEL IT'S A GOOD ABOVE AVERAGE FORK.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $650.00

Purchased At:   rei

Similar Products Used:   SPECIALIZED F.S., 2 OTHER 2003 PILOT MODELS,MAN.. AXEL

Bike Setup:   STOCK 2003 NOVARA F.S.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Menachem Begin a Weekend Warrior from Melbourne Australia

Date Reviewed: June 16, 2003

Strengths:    This is a really good fork, 100mm travel and fully adjustable and soaks up everything I've encountered so far

Weaknesses:    none so far

Bottom Line:   
Great fork for a low price, if this hadn't come stock on my bike and i was looking for a good fork without spending a fortune, this would be it.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   Freedom Machine

Bike Setup:   came stock on Avanti Barracuda

Reviews 1 - 15 (23 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Rock shox pilot c is rigid : (

Hey I have a 2004 trek 6500 with a rockshox pilot c fork the problem is the fork has NO travel it will travel say 50mm if you push as hard as you can on it but wont absorb anything out on a trial (im 170lbs) any ideas? I have a marz mx comp eta on another bike the difference is unreal i have prett ... Read More »

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