RockShox J3 2006 Front Shocks

2.96/5 (24 Reviews)
Weight : 2117 grams


Product Description

  • Travel: 80 or 100 or 125mm
  • Steerer Tube: Steel
  • Damping: TurnKey Lockout
  • Crown: Forged 6061 T-6 aluminum


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Reviews 1 - 15 (24 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by MKor a Cross Country Rider from Vermont

Date Reviewed: October 24, 2009

Strengths:    Adjustments, strong fork, not flexy came with bike

Weaknesses:    Weight, doesn't work very well when cold. Not very smooth.

Bottom Line:   
Overall, this shock has been okay, I've used it on some pretty rough terrain and it's held up pretty well. It gets stiff pretty quickly when the weather cools down, and isn't all that smooth. This shock is pretty much exactly the same as the new Dart 2-3. Get it if you are going to do mild off road, or on road. If your going to do a lot of biking the weight is going to be tiring.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Beat Bog

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   Village Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   Rockshox Judy TT

Bike Setup:   GT Avalanche 1.0 disc, shimano deore components

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Alex a Cross Country Rider from Bath, Uk

Date Reviewed: February 25, 2008

Strengths:    Came with the bike
Lots to adjust
Lockout good for road riding and climbing


Weaknesses:    Its basically a rock , hence the name, rock shox, it come from the fact it really takes a hefty rock to make it move

Bottom Line:   
I got this fork on my first bike with real mountain ability and found the fork incredibly solid, excellent for bouncing, but no good for riding slow bumpy singletrack. The Preload adjust also broke when in the middle of a mountain track, maybe i overwound it, but now it just clicks and does nothing.

These forks look nice and perform well for a stock fork, but i wouldnt advise anyone buys this as an aftermarket fork, its just too rigid and tempramental

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Cwmcarn

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   Came with bike

Similar Products Used:   n/a

Bike Setup:   Saracen mantra 3, stock apart from new upgrade marzocchi forks

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Rob a Weekend Warrior from Jefferson, GA

Date Reviewed: July 13, 2007

Strengths:    Looks good, Inexpensive

Weaknesses:    Very weak, Plastic threaded onto metal never holds up, especially when under alot of pressure.

Bottom Line:   
After only three 10 mile mostly leisure rides. I was messing around in my driveway, and did a 10 inch bunny hop, just to see if I still could, and the Spring along with every other component in the left tube shot out of the fork, at an ungodly speed. A U.F.O. struck me in the abdominal area with the velocity of high speed paintball gun, and 4 seconds later the spring landed in the bed of my truck 10 feet away. After looking at it harder, we found that the preload adjustment cap for the fork, which would be the piece that holds all of these components in this steel tube with a tension of probablly 400 pounds, is made of plastic. The tube being steel stood strong, while the cap being plastic, folded like oragami, stripping the threads of the cap, and damn near taking one of my eyes out. The only damage done was to my lower left abdominal area where there is a small bruise, and to my saturday morning ride which I was looking forward to. Rock Shox now became Rock Suux, in my book. I give this 1 chili only because that is the lowest rating. In fact the fork probablly owes me a couple, can you sue for chili's?

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Fezzari Bikes

Bike Setup:   Stock Fezzari Wiki Peak

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Lyndon a Weekend Warrior from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Date Reviewed: June 4, 2007

Strengths:    Rebound adjust.
Preload adjust.
Lockout.
Quick Single Track.


Weaknesses:    Spring stiffness.
Travel length.
Compression on slow rides, small bumps.


Bottom Line:   
This fork came with the bike. So far I rode to work for one winter with the bike. Since the end of winter I've continued riding to work and have gone trail riding about 4 times 4hrs each time.
I weigh around 240lbs and it does flex when cutting side to side because I hear the rotor ping against the pads when doing so. Like others have said the fork doesn't seem to soak up the little stuff, especially at slower speeds.
The springs are whatever comes in them by default and are too stiff. To get full travel I have to get over the handle bars and throw all my weight up and down compressing the fork over and over till it loosens up a bit, not that this would help while riding.
I set the sag as per directions and my rebound adjust is in the middle of the range. It works great on fast single track, soaking up roots and rocks. The lockout really saves me when riding to and from the trail up and down paved roads.
Took a hard fast hit into a big root and got worried after hearing the noise it made but its still holding up and no oil leaks.
If you can get a great deal on this fork its good for its intended use and I would say buy it. If I was shopping retail I would not buy this fork though.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   GT Avalanche 1.0 Disc. 2007 Mavic Crossride Wheelset.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sherm a Weekend Warrior from SoCal

Date Reviewed: May 28, 2007

Strengths:    Inexpensive, light, lockout, rebound, great on small stuff. With all the abuse I've put it though, it's never leaked one drop. Stood up to some serious crashes and keeps going. Very resposive on quick single tracs. Doesn't bob much on big climbs even with the lockout turned off.

Weaknesses:    Waaayyyyy tooo stiff. I have the 125mm J3 and I weigh 210lbs. I've taken 4 foot drops onto flat and have never been able to get beyond 75% travel. I've even taken it on a DH race and didn't get over 50% travel out of it. Turned the preload 1/2 a turn from the lower limit, but still too stiff.

Bottom Line:   
Definately a midrange XC fork. Great for those chill trails and it climbs really well. When things get crazy, the fork holds up enough so you don't kill yourself. I'm not sure if it's my weight or the 28mm stanchions, but I can really feel it and bend on those tight techincal single tracks.

The spring is just way too stiff. I'm on the medium spring when I should be on a heavy, but it won't let me use all the travel. Great for chill/mid XC/race XC but not AM/FR/DH.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Pirate or Fall Line at Big Bear

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   SR Duro 100

Bike Setup:   Ironhorse Warrior SE

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by BT a Weekend Warrior from Fort Collins, CO

Date Reviewed: May 21, 2007

Strengths:    takes the hits, great lockout

Weaknesses:    bad rebound adjusting

Bottom Line:   
I bought the 125mm model, which is good for me, but I would have rather had more travel. Great amateur fork. Cheap, will hold me for a while. Great if you're just getting into freeride, easy downhill. If you're more advanced, like the big stuff, skip it and go right to Totem, Boxxer, 888, etc.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Performance

Bike Setup:   Ironhorse full suspension

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Chris Higgins a Cross Country Rider from Scotland

Date Reviewed: May 17, 2007

Strengths:    Does its job

Weaknesses:    The locout and rebound doesnt work

Bottom Line:   
Good forks shame about the lockout and rebound

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   7 Stanes

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $64.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   SR Suntour

Bike Setup:   Claud Butler Ravana front hydralic disc sram shiffter and Shimano Deore rear derailer

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by james gunter a Cross Country Rider from wenatchee WA. USA

Date Reviewed: May 15, 2007

Strengths:    Great options for fine tuning to fit my needs (at first)

Weaknesses:    everything. forks crapped out after 1 year of mostly highway riding. no big jumps or anything!

Bottom Line:   
obviously they had to put a cheap fork on a relatively nice bike. I kept thinking when I bought the bike, why is this such a good deal? now I know.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   to work and back/ highway

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   manitou 6 ( had 2 years & no problems)

Bike Setup:   GT avalanche 1.0, hayes sole hyd disc, lx rear derailer

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Adam from Columbia, SC, USA

Date Reviewed: April 28, 2007

Strengths:    Good adjustments. Allowed me to ride home on a broken spring (see Product Weaknesses).

Weaknesses:    The spring popped out and launched about 100 yards into the air (just an inch from my face) when I hit a bump hard. Weak lockout.

Bottom Line:   
It was good until it almost killed me. I ride all over the city and trails and this lasted a year of urban assault and a few trips out to Harbison Nat'l Forrest. It took a couple months to break it in and find the correct tuning. I'm not a fan of exploding shocks. Time to upgrade.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Any Harbison

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   Cycle Center

Bike Setup:   2006 Rockhopper.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by B P a Cross Country Rider from England

Date Reviewed: March 29, 2007

Strengths:    Does exactly what meant to. Absorbs the bumps. Good adjustmant. Easily takes the odd drop off or more regular crash. Very smooth

Weaknesses:    nothing other than Shiny silver stanchions

Bottom Line:   
Can't be beaten for price but don't buy if ur fat and do lots of jumps. Its a bloody xc fork.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   picos mountains spain 45mph

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $80.00

Purchased At:   merlin cycles

Similar Products Used:   Judy XC Manitou Stance Fox Talas

Bike Setup:   Diamondback X-link sport. Alex rims on deores. FSA cranks + BB with shimano drivetrain.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by zeno a Racer from Romania

Date Reviewed: March 24, 2007

Bottom Line:   
still no problems an the rebound and lockout. no oil leaks. after riding in the rain gains softness. succesfully used at urban and rokkie dj-ing

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $110.00


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Till Till a Cross Country Rider from UK

Date Reviewed: March 7, 2007

Strengths:    lockout.

Weaknesses:    None as yet

Bottom Line:   
no probs as yet. I dont know why everyone cant get travel on them. I weigh 185lb and have got 80mil easy with out doing any big drops. Good for general riding. would upgrade if stepped up to comp racing, jumping

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   TPE

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   part fof original bike

Similar Products Used:   None, unless you count my suntours on my old Raleigh (I dont)

Bike Setup:   GT Avelanch 1.0 - standard except new freewhel and pedals changes for flatties

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by lone rider a Weekend Warrior from lancashire

Date Reviewed: January 25, 2007

Strengths:    Adjustability

Weaknesses:    Failed twice in 8 months

Bottom Line:   
I posted here in May about them losing damping ability. The were fixed under warranty really fast and continued to work for a while after that. Now they've messed up again though they've hardly done many miles since and have been used only for the occassional potter around the countryside, no jumping/etc. The lockout function doesn't work anymore regardless of lever position and they now lock out when they feel like it. When they do lock out on their own and I depress them one of the wipers *pops* up the stanction and spits oil about the place. They don't seem to have much travel anymore either... *sigh*.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Pennines

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shox Mag 21

Bike Setup:   Giant VT

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by DJ Ponte a Weekend Warrior from SparkS, NV, USA

Date Reviewed: October 16, 2006

Strengths:    Hard spring and good for dirt jumping130mm

Weaknesses:    you don't get the full 130mm of tracel becuase the fork is too hard even with the softest sprinng in


Bottom Line:   
too hard for a freerider or xc rider because it doesnt respond to little bump or jumps well
ok DJ fork

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   shock treatment at mammoth

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   came on giant pistol 2 from mammoh

Similar Products Used:   Marzocchi mz comp, rockshox tora 302 solo air


Bike Setup:   Hopped up giabt pistol 2 w/ avid juicy and sramx7

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Pete Baughman from Bend, Oregon, USA

Date Reviewed: October 14, 2006

Strengths:    Poploc feature great for uphills on relatively smoooth surfaces

Weaknesses:    Not lots of travel for anything more than moderate downhill runs

Bottom Line:   
Put this fork on the bike to give it a bit more suspension and hold me over until I bought a more advanced bike. Did a few rides here locally, then went to Moab for the first time beg of October. Fork blew oil during the first ride. Although the compression suspension still works ok, the fork 'tops out' - the stanchion bangs internally when I pull up. Rebound & lockout don't function any more. I guess I've outgrown forks like this, and perhaps I just overworked it.
I would possibly purchase this (or J4) again, but only if I were going to be riding less severe terrain. Definitely would NOT take a fork like this to Moab again, nor would I use it for any of the moderate-hard uphill & downhills that I regularly do now (although I didn't do any jumps/dropoffs higher than 2' with this bike, even in Moab).
I'm going to return it thru Jenson for repair now, we'll see how long Rock Shox takes to fix & send back....

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Edison Lava trail/Kwohl Butte & McKenzie River

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $165.00

Purchased At:   Jenson USA

Similar Products Used:   Rockshox Judy

Bike Setup:   2001 GTI iDrive, Fox Float RC shock, vbrakes & Shimano mid/low end shifters

Reviews 1 - 15 (24 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


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