RockShox Duke XC Air 2004 Front Shocks

4.2/5 (15 Reviews)


Product Description

Aggressive Trail/Enduro Suspension

Duke forks have earned a reputation among serious mtb-ers who crave on-the-fly versatility, durability and light weight wherever they ride.


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

Reviews 1 - 15 (15 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by CorneliusThunderpuss

Date Reviewed: March 4, 2013

Strengths:    I purchased this fork in 2005 and have been riding it very hard ever since, with the seals finally failing this past fall 2012. That's ~7 years of beating the crap out of this thing! I weigh 200 lbs. and typically ride cross-country, but I have a strong background in BMX racing, so the fork had to stand up to some fast cornering and jumps; typically through rough terrain. In the corners it tracked pleasantly with enough travel to allow you to load the shock without using all the travel, and enough rebound for us big guys to spring me out of the turn. Very stiff too.

Weaknesses:    It's a bit heavy, and all the adjustment knobs can be a pain to move sometimes. Wish the cantilever mounts weren't there.

Bottom Line:   
A cheep fork that allows for explosive riding and very little worry about maintenance. I recommend it.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by bennettpaul a Cross Country Rider from kansas/france

Date Reviewed: April 12, 2010

Strengths:    rebound speed and lightness. Easy set up. still does a great job for the age of the fork

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
last year i thought about updating with a newer fork. But i after reading a lot of reviews and tips and not wanting to spend 300 plus to get something similar, i decided to keep the fork and service it with new seals and change the oil for 10wt. I even ground off the v brake mounts and resprayed the forks in white and added chrome and silver rock shox stickers to make them look a little more updated. looks really, really nice. Even though the forks don't come with a lockout i don't really have with any bob when climbing. i weigh 170 and i have the things bumped up pretty hard. The rebound of the fork is very fast and i always measure the travel at the end of a ride. i barely go beyond 70mm (my forks have 100mm) and thats jumping off anything i see. I have a pair of 2010 Tora 302 sl's on another bike and even with preload set at max, the Toras uses more travel and the rebound is much slower!!! (still a respectable fork for the money) For a fork which was designed in 2002, the duke, when set up correctly, still does an excellent job. I would still recommend you to buy a pair, especially if you are on a budget. You usually see a pair for sale for around 40

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   les vosges, france

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   came with a used GT

Similar Products Used:   rock shox tora 302 sl

Bike Setup:   GT idrive xc, xt, juicy 5, dt swiss rear shock

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by gsw35 a Weekend Warrior from N.W. Arkansas, Benton

Date Reviewed: March 31, 2010

Strengths:    Easy to work on. Air adjustable for weight differences. Modifying oil wt gives even more flexibility for various riders.

Weaknesses:    Probably not as good as some of the newer products out there but works well for me.

Bottom Line:   
Like other post I have read here it needs a heavier oil for someone of my size 235. Bike was a bit soft for climbing so upgraded Float R to Float RP23 and just rebuilt the Duke XC using 15wt oil top and bottom after reading that on MTBR.COM. Great idea. Really stiffened things up and also upgraded to the Enduro seals while I had it apart. Now all the torque goes to the wheels instead of the bounce in the fork and rear shock. Had considered replacing but after digging up some manuals and using YouTube as a reference did the rebuild. Glad I did. Nice front end with 100mm travel. Works for me.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Slaughter Pen - Angus Chute

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   Came with used Giant

Similar Products Used:   None - relatively new to the sport. Been riding a Harley and am finding a lot of fun in the MTB arena.

Bike Setup:   Giant Trance 3 - Avid bb7 - Velociraptors - Fox Float RP23 - Deore controls and derailleurs.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by anorris a Cross Country Rider from Trenton MO USA

Date Reviewed: December 31, 2009

Strengths:    very soft, lockout is very nice, easy to adjust, looks good, fairly cheap

Weaknesses:    sometimes can be too soft, alot of times only soaks up big bumps and not the smaller ones, needs oil to lockout, leaks a little air

Bottom Line:   
Good fork for the price, the lockout is nice for roads or some less bumpy trails, the adjustment is easy and very easy to get to as well as filling or removing air, it looks pretty good, does not leak very much air only about 10psi per week so its not too bad, Its a very good XC fork and for the price you cannot go wrong, i would reccommend this fork

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Mine

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $200.00

Similar Products Used:   Rockshox Dart

Bike Setup:   Rockshox Duke, Sette Ace frame, Manitou s-type rear shock, avid disc brakes, shimano wheelset

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by martin lundstedt a Downhiller from gävle, sweden

Date Reviewed: August 27, 2007

Strengths:    pretty lightweight. pretty good for street ^^,

Weaknesses:    too soft for my taste..

Bottom Line:   
i bought it because i couldn't afford a pike 426, but i'm thinking about buying it next year.. but the duke is pretty good. i haven't tested the durability of it yet though :P
well, it's pretty good for streeting as i said, but when it comes to dirting it's pretty soft. i'm thinking about replacing the spring in it :P

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   duro

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   3´60 norr (vännäs sweden)

Bike Setup:   brave machine22, duke(426 soon), mavic 729D, shimano XT hubs(...)last but not least, a green crocodile bike horn! :D

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rachid a Cross Country Rider from Vancouver/Ottawa, Canada

Date Reviewed: September 30, 2006

Strengths:    Durability, takes a licking and keeps on ticking

Weaknesses:    none so far

Bottom Line:   
It's a great fork, when I ride XC in Ontario it gets me around fast and secure, I've upgraded to a carbon handlebar so I keep the fork on a medium setting and the combo fork/bar, soak everything up. Used the fork for DH/FR in BC, firmed it up with higher PSI than suggested for my weight (190) and it reacts like a charm, rarely bottoming out. Took 3 foot drops and went dirt jumping and the thing doesn't want to die, it's a great fork.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   OEM on XtC2

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shox Judy Oil (2000 model)

Bike Setup:   xt/xtr with easton carbon bar and seatpost, hayes hydraulics and ExCalibur wheels

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by yoon Lee a Cross Country Rider from busan,Korea

Date Reviewed: October 30, 2005

Strengths:    It's enough to enjoy single track. Strong stention tube and enough travel. Looks good!!

Weaknesses:    weight, My fork is 1.77kg. It needs more diet

Bottom Line:   
It was very nice shox to m. Because it has durable components. It operated as sid shox, but it's much heavy than SId. I think it is the best shox aroun same grade

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   baekyangsan, Hwangryungsan

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   Kumchun MTB

Similar Products Used:   PilotXC, Marzocchi Mx-comp

Bike Setup:   Nrs team

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Brian from San Diego, CA

Date Reviewed: July 30, 2005

Strengths:    I'm 235# and ride moderatly aggressive. Small drops, 2 ft. or less. Shock has held up fine, and seems stiff enough, while other stuff has broken.

Weaknesses:    hmmm, weight? Not quickly adjustable. Not many weakness IMHO,

Bottom Line:   
The reason I'm writing a review is to let other big riders know that this shock is very tunable.

It was OEM on my bike, and WAY too active to climb efficiently. I'm 235#, and the front would boing WAY too much when climbing out of the saddle. Comes with 5wt oil stock. Changed it to 10wt first and really liked the effect. Went to 15wt and it is now perfect for someone my size. Compression and rebound are MUCH more controlled and the adjuster has a good range also. For fine-tuning you can adjust the oil level too. More oil = more progressive damping. Less = more linear. For final tuning I dropped the oil level about 1/4 inch, giving me slightly less activity in the first inch of travel.

To change the oil I "cheated" and just dumped the oil out of top of the fork, by removing the top cap, and pumping the shock up and down. Not the recommended method, disassembling the fork and completely flushing the oil, but my method seems to work. Also made a "dipstick" for fine tuning oil level. The fork is now "dialed in" for my size and style, and works 10X better than original. I might have already changed forks had I not taken the time to get this one working correctly.

Good fork if you fall into the designed weight range (160#'s ????) or you take the time to make it work for you!

Not gonna give it 5/5 because there may be better stuff out there for the price? But I just don't know. hThe reason I'm writing a review is to let other big riders know that this shock is very tunable.

It was OEM on my bike, and WAY too active to climb efficiently. I'm 235#, and the front would boing WAY too much when climbing out of the saddle. Comes with 5wt oil stock. Changed it to 10wt first and really liked the effect. Went to 15wt and it is now perfect for someone my size. Compression and rebound are MUCH more controlled and the adjuster has a good range also. For fine-tuning you can adjust the oil level too. More oil = more progressive damping. Less = more linear. For final tuning I dropped the oil level about 1/4 inch, giving me slightly less activity in the first inch of travel.

To change the oil I "cheated" and just dumped the oil out of top of the fork, by removing the top cap, and pumping the shock up and down. Not the recommended method, disassembling the fork and completely flushing the oil, but my method seems to work. Also made a "dipstick" for fine tuning oil level. The fork is now "dialed in" for my size and style, and works 10X better than original. I might have already changed forks had I not taken the time to get this one working correctly.

Good fork if you fall into the designed weight range (160#'s ????) or you take the time to make it work for you!

Not gonna give it 5/5 because there might be better stuff out there for the price, but I just don't know. Hope this helps. B.


Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Older shocks. Nothing else current.

Bike Setup:   Iron Horse Hollowpoint sport. Small upgrades.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Nick from USA

Date Reviewed: June 15, 2005

Strengths:    on 4. Pretty.

Weaknesses:    The rebound regulator is falling down

Bottom Line:   
I like this fork but it is not for DJ so i will change it/

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $250.00

Similar Products Used:   duke xc u-turn

Bike Setup:   evil Doc. Race face diabulous.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Nick a Racer from Cape Town

Date Reviewed: December 29, 2004

Strengths:    Stiff. Relatively plush. Cheap.

Weaknesses:    None really, I suppose it could be a bit lighter, but then it'd be flexy like a SID.

Bottom Line:   
The best value in forks. A pity that for 05 the only Duke model in the lineup is the one with U-Turn, which adds some weight. This fork is stiffer than a Skareb, and MUCH stiffer than a SID. Which means great handling upfront. Have only serviced them twice in 2 years, and had to replace a broken spring the last time, although the fork was functioning just fine. Highly recommended!!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Similar Products Used:   Rockshox SID Race, Manitou Skareb Elite, Fox F80RLC

Bike Setup:   Kona hardtail

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Liam a Racer from Flint Hill,VA,USA

Date Reviewed: October 6, 2004

Strengths:    Strong and durable, easy to set up.

Weaknesses:    Bounces around a lot for racing and there is no lock out option. It is a little heavy.

Bottom Line:   
Good basic fork. But if you are younger lighter rider like me who is getting in to racing you might want to look in to a lighter fork with a lock out. Like the Manitou Skareb Super or a Rock Shox Sid Team.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   CAMBO mtb trails

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   Bike Stop of Warrenton

Similar Products Used:   Rock shox duke U-turn, crappy huffy stuff.

Bike Setup:   Trek 8500 frame, Duke fork, Shimano XT and Bontrager race components.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Hito a Weekend Warrior from MI

Date Reviewed: September 18, 2004

Strengths:    Dependable fork, absorbs small bumps and very solid

Weaknesses:    None so far

Bottom Line:   
Good fork. Much bettern than the Pilot XC. For a hardtail MTB, Duke is probably the best bet. Go higher in price, and it'll be overkill. Duke XC gets the job done.

Duke XC seems to grab the trail better, and is a nice upgrade to any hardtail. If you are a hard trail rider, then this fork is excellent.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Northeast Park

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $270.00

Purchased At:   CBO

Similar Products Used:   Rockshox Pilot XC

Bike Setup:   Tassajara with mods.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Paul a Weekend Warrior from Tucson, AZ, USA

Date Reviewed: August 29, 2004

Strengths:    No complaints as far as function, it did what a suspension fork is supposed to do--smoothed out the bumps. A minor quibble was that I never seemed to get it quite tuned as far as pedal bob vs. small bump plushness. Did fine with the larger bumps but always was sacrificing small bump comfort for pedalling firmness or vice versa. I suppose this might be expecting too much at this price point.

Weaknesses:    Fork cracked six months after purchase and RockShox refused to replace under warranty.

Bottom Line:   
I am a beginning mountain biker who is returning to cycling after many years. I enjoy riding singletrack and while I like going as fast as my meager abilities allow, I certainly don't do anything extreme. The fork cracked when the front wheel dropped in a rut in the trail and stopped the bike cold, throwing me over the top in the process. After my initial relief at finding only a couple of minor scrapes, imagine my surprise when I noticed the front wheel wobbling back and forth after starting to ride again.

I took the bike back to the shop and after commenting they'd never seen that before, they called RockShox and sent the fork back to them at their request. Well, it's their conclusion that there is no manufacturing defect and therefore I'm not covered under warranty. I've since talked to more than a few riders who have had or witnessed similar crashes without a resultant cracked fork. However, I'm not going to argue whether or not there was a manufacturing defect. I've just had a catastrophic failure of a major structural component of the bike under what I would consider routine use. Their argument was that since it was secondary to a crash, the warranty was void. They in fact commented to the dealer that this was like going back to the car dealer expecting replacement parts after a car crash. While car drivers may not be expected to be involved in crashes, last I heard mountain biking was a contact sport. Crashing IS an expected occurence. Is RockShox arguing that bicycle components should not be expected to survive a crash? That only riders who never crash can expect to have their warranties honored? Suffice it to say, I am extremely disappointed at their attitude. At the very least, I feel that they could have offered to replace the shock with another at a discounted price. A good company making good products should stand by what they sell. Customer service is an important of product quality. RockShox fails miserably at this. I will never buy another RockShox product and would discourage anyone who is considering buying from them. I would rate them a big fat zero if I could.

As an aside, I have similar issues with R & R Bicycles. It was only after some not so gentle persuasion that they offered to replace the fork at a discount. And then they charged me the shipping cost of the fork I wanted when they didn't have it in stock. It seem they're satisfied having one time customers rather than repeat business.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   R & R Bicycles, Tucson

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   Trek Fuel 90 stock except for Avid mechanical discs and Sun Ringle Disc-O-Tek wheels

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jason a Cross Country Rider from West Chester

Date Reviewed: June 11, 2004

Strengths:    Soaks up everything, great climber, Very Durable

Weaknesses:    None Yet

Bottom Line:   
This is a very solid fork that will serve everyone from the racer to the regular rider very well. The Duke series is known for their toughness and durability. I just finished riding an 02 Duke and it still works great. I just wanted a new version and color.

This fork soaks up all the small to medium bumps with easy and keeps your wheel planted on the steep climbs.

310 installed at Beans Bikes...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   French Creek, Fair Hill

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $310.00

Purchased At:   Bean Bikes

Similar Products Used:   2002 Duke XC


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by kenneth lin a Weekend Warrior from melbourne Australia

Date Reviewed: January 20, 2004

Strengths:    pretty light, and smooth after getting abit warmed up

Weaknesses:    not too smooth on the initial few bumps, works as intended after some warm ups

Bottom Line:   
a good fork that works fine, have not really wacked it much as i am new in melbourne and do not know any trails here, just went down hill on a fire trail and bashed through some roots and off the track. not too bad performance, and its pretty worthwhile for the cash, its not the most expensive but it works, dun need too much tuning and maintanence this is my first review by the way thanks guys

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   still looking

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   singapore

Bike Setup:   Klein attitude with attitude V stuff, changed to XT cranks, front derailer and shifters

Reviews 1 - 15 (15 Reviews Total)

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


2003 Duke XC Air fork any good?

This is NOS 80mm version. Also, what current fork replaces the Duke? TomRead More »

Rock Shox Duke XC Air

The Iron Horse website list the Duke XC Air that comes on the Hollowpoint Sport at 100mm of travel, but Rock Shox's site lists it at 80mm. I'm guessing that Rock Shox's specs are accurate?Read More »

Read More »



 




Interbike Featured Booths

Check out the hottest mountain bike products from these brands!



















See All Interbike Coverage - Click Here »

   

MTBR on Facebook