RST 281 99 Front Shock

3.01/5 (109 Reviews)


Product Description

RST 1999 281


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Reviews 1 - 15 (109 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by tazzer a Weekend Warrior from penrith, u.k

Date Reviewed: December 22, 2008

Strengths:    good for road use

Weaknesses:    hardly work over a pot hole, and
when you introduce them to off road they seize on you and make awful grinding/twanging noises when put them under little pressure,
alot of back and forth play in the fork legs which caused me to loose control and shatter my collar bone when falling off on a technical section of track



Bottom Line:   
wont even advise you to them let alone your worst enemy because they are that bad

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   glentress

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $310.00

Purchased At:   aaragons cycles

Similar Products Used:   rock shox jetts

Bike Setup:   light mountain

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by tyler from mobile, al

Date Reviewed: November 5, 2007

Strengths:    none in my opinion

Weaknesses:    very little travel, rough ride, not tuff enough to stand up to the things i throw at it

Bottom Line:   
the rst 281's suck and i upgraded to a new set of marzocchi xc 600 forks, they are great, tough and have lots of travel but i would recomend to anyone thinking of buying or even using the rst's would be Dont do it! they are one big waist and will not satisfy most riders!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   devils loop

Duration Product Used:   6 months


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by nathan brown a Weekend Warrior from st louis

Date Reviewed: July 25, 2004

Strengths:    i have been using the rst 281 since 1999 and have yet to have any problems with it. It seems to be able to take a beating and keep going.

Weaknesses:    i have bottomed it out a couple times on a jump or two.could be a little stronger

Bottom Line:   
i feel the rst 281 stood up under all kinds of riding and i have had no issues with it at all.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   a small bike shop

Similar Products Used:   i have used a couple of the manotus and of course they were better shocks but the type of riding i do dosent require me to pay the price for them.


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by phil a Weekend Warrior from Calgary

Date Reviewed: July 9, 2004

Strengths:    Reliable, they do work (contrary to the belief of a few other reviewers here).

Weaknesses:    Now, this is where it gets tricky. Most people here haven't been comparing this fork to other forks in the class. If I were to compare this to high end Marazocchis (sp?) or Manitous, this fork would get a 1 at best.

But, if you compare it to similar forks in the same class and price range, it should get at least a 3.


Bottom Line:   
Unlike most people here, I'm rating this fork based on other forks in the same class and price range. Taking that into consideration, I'll give it a 4. The point of this site is to provide potential buyers with usable information. Anyone who has checked out this fork should know that it isn't a high end fork, so don't compare it to one. It's reliable and does what it's supposed to do. A perfectly good no frills, entry level fork.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   nose hill

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   Slightly better RST's, Manitous, Rock Shocks... and so on.

Bike Setup:   Came with my KHS Crest.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:4
Submitted by rick stewart a Cross Country Rider from newmarket ontario canada

Date Reviewed: June 13, 2004

Strengths:    didnt break, pretty light, good control

Weaknesses:    rigid, not enuff give, needing to open and grease to get good goin,


Bottom Line:   
This setups very rigid and isnt best for jumps or stairs, great across large distances and no problems at high speeds.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   present from friend

Similar Products Used:   rockshox other rst

Bike Setup:   CCM cliffrunner II dual suspension with rst rear

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by jd from canada

Date Reviewed: May 30, 2004

Strengths:    cheap
good for a learning bike
doesn't break (or it hasnt for me)
provides good balance


Weaknesses:    doesnt really compress. I don't think that the shock in the fork is designed to go down more than an inch or so. It is practilcly a rigid fork.
no cool points


Bottom Line:   
This would be a good fork for someone just starting out in MTB and wanting to move up from a walmart/ canadian tire bike. It does not provide a very plush ride and is not really a shock. The RST is basicly a rigid fork, with about 2 inches of travel.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Rocky Ridge to Rambler

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   stock with a raliegh seringeti @ Bow Cycle

Similar Products Used:   various bombers and rockshocks

Bike Setup:   raleigh seringeti, deore everything, RST fork

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Bernard Martin Miranda a Weekend Warrior from The Philippines

Date Reviewed: September 1, 2003

Strengths:    Light, Tough, Simple Design, can handle Heavy Riders.

Weaknesses:    Not yet discovered for my 3 years of use of this product.


Bottom Line:   
A good choice for an average bike, but quality rules, nice quality, Money's worth is achieved.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Southwoods, CSA floody rough roads

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $46.00

Purchased At:   Wheelers Bike Store-Cartimar

Similar Products Used:   SR Sakae, RST Delta HL. Post Modem, Unbranded Taiwanese Forks

Bike Setup:   MOB ( Men on Bike )

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by tony Selinger a Downhiller from vancouver BC canada

Date Reviewed: December 30, 2002

Strengths:    it has not fallen appart on me.

Weaknesses:    BOTTOMS OUT!!!! I have bottomed this thing out more times than I can count. wobbles over 60km/h, VERY dangerously wobbles, I felt like I was going to fall off. it bounces to much after landing.

Bottom Line:   
It was good for me for the first year, It has since then been through alot, I am suprised it still works for how much I have taken it through. It has done about 1000km a year since I had it, and not once have I taken it apart to fix it. But now it cant do much. I did a really nice 4 footer (nice angle and you get alot of speed on it) I was doing about 20km an hour, you fly about 10 feet and get about 6 feet of air. I bottomed it out everytime I did that jump (I did it about 10 times) but it isnt too bad, except for the wobble at higher speeds, other than that, I liked it, but now Im geting into to heavy of things for this, so I gota replace it, but atleast a friend of mine is looking at it, and is willing to buy it. I give it 3 chili's because it is strong as hell, and I have taken it on DH, DJ, and XC without having to many problems, and it has not broken down in the time I have had it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Ledgeview

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   the bike shop-already on bike

Similar Products Used:   My first suspention-im moving to a bomber EXR as soon as I have the cash

Bike Setup:   1999 Norco storm, RST suspention, Ryno Lite rear rim, rear Deore Hub, Deore cranks, at 18 front rim axiom DH seat, cat eye spedo deore sealed bb SRAM PC48 chain, Deore rear cassette a horable front hub, shimano Vee brakes

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Ellison Smith a Weekend Warrior from Greenville, SC

Date Reviewed: October 24, 2002

Strengths:    Very tough. handles like a rigid fork.

Weaknesses:    Not soft at all, doesn't work at all on the trail, odd distance between the two ends of the fork, etc. the list goes on.

Bottom Line:   
Hey, it works for riding around town, hopping curbs, etc. But that's about all. If you really want to do any off-roading, you should drop this one right now if you're serious about it. It provides almost no damping on the trail. I would only recomment it to a comfort seeking beginner.

Gets 3 chilis for value just because it may be right for a few people who want something cheap.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   still looking

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Bike Setup:   Came stock on my old bike. '99 Schwinn Mesa

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Alex from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada

Date Reviewed: August 16, 2002

Bottom Line:   
great!... sure therez a lot of other really good forks out there wat are better than rst 281's... but the value on 281's are awesome... i've rode bikes wit rock shox and manitous b4 and they work just as good or not as good as rst 281's... they came with the bike which is good, takes a little while 2 break them in but after that u can literally bounce on them! haha! anyway the value is great so i give that 5 flamin chilis ~ and the overall rating has 2 be 4! l8er

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   alexh@roadrunner.nf.net

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Bike Setup:   Nakamura DescentFS with a load of upgrades

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:4
Submitted by KC a Cross Country Rider from St.Louis, MO, US

Date Reviewed: July 1, 2002

Strengths:    takes a beating

Weaknesses:    not adjustable travel, hard to keep clean

Bottom Line:   
good for road and XC rides

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sarato a Weekend Warrior from Seville,RA, USA

Date Reviewed: June 12, 2002

Strengths:    Great for using as a security device

Weaknesses:    Seems a bit to spring when plunged into the ground

Bottom Line:   
Just amazing how people will read this review stuff.
Imagine if you were a manufacturer and needed to sell some off the wall crap. Just get all your employees to sign on and say great things about it.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   SuperKanobo

Similar Products Used:   Easton 5000 34"

Bike Setup:   Camnanoglo Sprite with full suspension rear. STX, Haynes Hydralics, King Head

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Derek a Weekend Warrior from Toronto

Date Reviewed: May 13, 2002

Strengths:    Excellent shock absorbsion
Perfect damping
Keeps wheel planted for non-crazy off-roading, provides perfect feedback of the terrain


Weaknesses:    They hiss on upstroke (to be expected)
not adjustable



Bottom Line:   
This is the stock shock on the FS9000 which is actually the 281R

I read the reviews and keep hearing people saying that these forks suck. Well, if they suck, why didn't you purchase something better huh?
You get what you pay for. And for the price, they do not suck. They are not like some Infinity from Costco that seizes after 2 months (it was a Suntour fork)

I got exactly what I paid for. They are comparable to the stock Rock Shox on my buddy's DS2's and DS1's...and considering that the DS2 costs double what I paid for the Nakamura...don't even mention the DS1.

You people must be thinking of SST, this is RST we are talking about, and they make a damn good suspension!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Rouge River

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $75.00

Purchased At:   Sport Chek

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shox off a Giant DS2 and DS1

Bike Setup:   Nakamura FS9000

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mike a Weekend Warrior from BC

Date Reviewed: May 1, 2002

Strengths:    Fairly strong, durable and way better than a rigid fork.

Weaknesses:    Noisy, the way the look and the rst logo.

Bottom Line:   
They are an excellent shock for light riding and people on a tight budget. Mine have held well under some rough terrain provide way better preformance than a rigid fork. If you can get past the bad looks and rst name, they are a good fork considering the low cost, but i would not recommend them for any serious riders.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   came with bike

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   2000 stock kona hahanna

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Tristan a Weekend Warrior from Australia

Date Reviewed: April 17, 2002

Strengths:    Better than rigid forks

Weaknesses:    They Flex, Bottom out at the sight or smell of any drop biger than half a foot, can't fit 2.3' tyres, well they do but they rub like hell, heavy.

Bottom Line:   
They suck, but if you've got a rigid fork and a measley amount of money there you're thing

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Bike Setup:   Avanti Comp series Ventura

Reviews 1 - 15 (109 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


99 RST 281 Weight

I have been in the process of upgrading warn out parts on an old trek I got from a friend. The fork works but the seals are going and eventually I plan on upgrading. I have found the bike to be a little on the heavy side and I'm starting to be weight contuse about it. Anyway the fork is an RST 28 ... Read More »

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