RST 381r Front Shock

4.23/5 (31 Reviews)


Product Description

381r


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Reviews 1 - 15 (31 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Phil a Weekend Warrior from Adelaide South Australia

Date Reviewed: January 29, 2004

Strengths:    Cheap, strong, low maint, smooths out the bumps in a basic fashion, longer travel than other 381 models (except XL), much better thad rigid if you are not that good/hard core!! Paint seems to hold up well, keep on workin...

Weaknesses:    probably better options out there now for the money now, a starter shock - but you will move to another bike, not throw away!!

Bottom Line:   
You have to keep the price range in mind when considering this shock - so it does a bloody good job. Its not a Marzocchi Z1, but it will do an honest job better than most at this price point.
It helps you confirm you want to do this stuff without the big $$$ commitment - once thats understood (ie wife sees you doing it enough) you can move on to another better item without having the $$$ issue up front. Its one of those shocks you do grow out of, but will not chuck away but move to the thrasher or family outing bike!!! or better still not wasting it, but "upgrading" the wifes ride!!
Got to be happy with that. Its no Marzocchi Z1 FR SL, but I have ridden heavy XC (im 200lbs so any bouncing is heavy!!) on this for a couple of years, done no maintenance, and its still fine. $$$ well spent!!

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Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $120.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Manotou, rockshox, marz Z1 FR SL (not really in the same class)

Bike Setup:   now on old steel frame thrasher

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Bill Critster a Cross Country Rider from Seattle,WA,Usa

Date Reviewed: December 23, 2003

Strengths:    80mm,thats all, no big whoops just a fork.

Weaknesses:    Blew out in 3 yrs. The psiton got all messed upand it is not worth to repair. I am very disapointed with performance, I bought it with a Kona Fire Mountain for$700.00. Kona should have put a better standard fork on their bike. But at least RST made a fork that lasted 3yrs.

Bottom Line:   
RST should improve their quality on their products for people who really depend on their forks. Nice and cheap. I give this fork 1 Flamin' Chili for performance issues.

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Favorite Trail:   Tiger Mountain

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   kona

Similar Products Used:   Headshok Super Fatty Ultra DL

Bike Setup:   Kona factory, STX,that disapointing fork and Mavic X139 wheels

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Igor a Weekend Warrior from Cortina - Italy

Date Reviewed: May 13, 2003

Strengths:    Easy to setup, good fast drivig on medium rocks

Weaknesses:    weight

Bottom Line:   
The right item to prevent (more) phisical injuries to my body and a rigt price for quite good performance. For people who do not look for the last hit, but need a well working hardware and do not want to spend too much.

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Favorite Trail:   Passo Posporcora tour

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $130.00

Purchased At:   Podar Bikes Cortina

Bike Setup:   aprox 10 years old Infinity frame, all Deore LX, Araya wheels and Continental Vector & Tractor Tyres

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Ratboy a Downhiller from Glos. England

Date Reviewed: April 1, 2003

Strengths:    Cheap, reliable, easy to sevice, strong, long lasting

Weaknesses:    limited ajustability, heavy, few features

Bottom Line:   
It's taken me four years of riding to eventually snap these forks. They are simple, effective, and strong. They survived regular dirt jumping, light downhill/extreme singletrack, and street/skatepark abuse. I've dropped off bus shelters, walls and done 30 foot jumps through fire with them. They at no point showed any signs of giving up. I seviced them twice, both times they were immaculate inside. I eventually bent the stanctions, but kept on riding. Ironically, they snapped when I hopped up a curb. Had I not done this then I expect I would still be riding them today. If you're a rider on a budget then i would suggest getting a pair, though they are now rare. The only thing that will need replacing is the rubbers which go soft after a year or so. I only bottomed them out when the rubbers became too soft. And that was off a 6 foot wall.
Because of their age and rarity, money would be better spent on other models. Now there are far more forks that have greater adjustability, are lighter, plusher, and have more features. Which is a shame, because the RST 381r forks worked well for me. Now I'm hardcore, so I'm breaking my wrists on rigid forks.

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Favorite Trail:   Ruardean dirt jumps

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   Through mail order

Similar Products Used:   marzocchi Z1, Handsome Dog Superstrong (rigid)

Bike Setup:   12" Dirt jump frame, 24seven, DMR, FSA, Sunn, Mavic, Handsome Dog, Azonic, Tioga

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ronald Hejastro a Weekend Warrior from Philippines

Date Reviewed: March 6, 2003

Strengths:    This fork was given to me by my bestfriend downhill biker Raymund Domingo (Thanks Pre!). It's durable and the weight is ok. The best fork for a weekend biker like me. Thanks RST!

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
Very Good Fork! It's indestructible and not bulky. I will buy another one for my wife. RST 381r rules!

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Favorite Trail:   Manila Bay

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Gift

Similar Products Used:   marzocchi

Bike Setup:   xc

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by chriss grant a Racer from moolooabah sunshine coast queensland australia

Date Reviewed: January 4, 2003

Strengths:    Light,very strong,dose not bottom out,easy to tear doun and
service,very well made,suits well when building specific
build bike,top shelf fork.


Weaknesses:    There is none

Bottom Line:   
The racing i do means the bike has to be tough,especially
the forks,and these forks are tough,I would recommend these
forks to anyone wanting reliability and value for money
I have checked out all the other fancy so called top shelf
forks, and yeh there just fancy, I know,because i have put these forks through hell,and they passed with flying colours.
These forks will suit custom and special bike builders

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Favorite Trail:   Super(E) endurance rallying

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $280.00

Purchased At:   my fav bike shop.

Similar Products Used:   None i have heaps, because i build my oun bikes i do not use anything else.

Bike Setup:   Garry fisher frame (old one),azonic PTW rims,specialized
and shimano deore LX hubs. Deore LX running gear Dice sythre
mud guards Bullit bars. We race 150 klm long distance races
in 6,7,8 stages its called SUPER E RACING


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Steven a Cross Country Rider from Australia

Date Reviewed: November 14, 2002

Strengths:    Strengths, well strong has never broke and dose not bottom out.

Weaknesses:    you tell me

Bottom Line:   
Well i got the RST 381r when i got my bike, i do eveything from road, stairs gutters, dirt, cross country, even a bit of downhill. i must say that in all that time i have never bottom them out, i have tried everything to do it even pushing down on them with my weight. I had a friend try the same thing, he is about 4 times stronger than i am and he could still not bottom it out. I have been over rocks as i leant over the front, rode of a gutter and stright in to a pot hole and it took it very well. On my cusin bike the shocks bottom out (i don't know what brand the are but the were crap). I am also a hard rider. If you are looking for a good shocks than this is the one to get

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Favorite Trail:   what ever i want to do

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   got it with the bike

Similar Products Used:   these are the only shocks i have used


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Steve Eckardt a Racer from Markle, IN USA

Date Reviewed: June 22, 2002

Strengths:    -Strong
-Durable
-Easy maintenance


Weaknesses:    -Heavy
-Limited adjustibility


Bottom Line:   
This is a follow-up review to an earlier (8/2000) posting. I ran this fork for 3 years (I raced it to 3 top-10 finishes, beginner-class). It's currently sitting in my back room waiting to be installed on my beater bike. A recent check showed that it still goes through its travel, although with a little more required effort. This should change as it gets used again. This fork has done everything I have asked it to. Yes, it's heavy and adjustibility is limited; but it will take a pounding and it's easy to service. This fork also does a good job at generally taking the edge off most bumps/roots/etc. I'm glad to see the average rating up to 4.30, when I reviewed it the first time the rating wasn't that high. This really is a pretty good fork, considering the price range and the market it's aimed at. I would not recommend this to an expert or sport-level racer but it's perfect for a beginner. It's also good for anyone's beater/2nd bike.

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Favorite Trail:   Any dirt trail

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   From a friend

Similar Products Used:   Giant Zorbers - RockShox Quadra 21R - RST 381r - Manitou SX (current fork)

Bike Setup:   Alum HT - SRAM - RaceFace - Avid - Sun/Ringle

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Joe a Weekend Warrior from England

Date Reviewed: June 3, 2002

Strengths:    It was cheap
It is durable
It can take the knocks and doesn't bomb out on an overshoot
Basic but very well made
Light


Weaknesses:    Leave it for too long and it seizes up and needs abit of lubing
Doesn't have a disc brake cable loop


Bottom Line:   
A good fork but don't leave it lying in your shed if you're intent on using it again - it'll need some lubing and riding in. Great value for money. It'll last you a long time - buy it.

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Favorite Trail:   Barford Spinney (don't ask)

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $10.00

Purchased At:   Off my mate

Similar Products Used:   Chili Works 381, RST 281

Bike Setup:   Barracuda frame, Amoeba bars and stem, RST fork, Diamondback BMX freewheel, DMR Tension Seeker

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by hal jalikakik a Cross Country Rider from who cares

Date Reviewed: July 31, 2001

Strengths:    very smooth travel, plenty of travel, doesn't weigh that much

Weaknesses:    none yet

Bottom Line:   
Okay, this whole weight issue has gotten ridiculous. This fork weighs about 4.6lbs. What difference does 1/2 a lb make when you're just out to enjoy the day? I look at it this way, if the fork weighs more, then I'm going to get a better workout.
This fork is awesome. For what I paid for it I won't give it up until it breaks. I weigh 180lbs and am 5'11". 80mm of travel is more than enough. If you bottom this fork out, or any 80mm travel fork, then YOU NEED STRONGER SPRINGS AND/OR ELASTOMERS! It's as simple as that. If you are looking for a good, sturdy, easy to maintain fork then start the hunt for this little gem.
To all those who have really expensive designer forks, I can probably still beat you around the trail. :-P

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   the happy trail

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $29.00

Purchased At:   jensonusa.com

Similar Products Used:   manitou magnum, manitou sx-r, various rock shox

Bike Setup:   access frame, tektro brakes(if they lock up then they can stop me, so I don't care how cheap they were), various lx and xt components.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jeff D a Cross Country Rider from Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Date Reviewed: July 12, 2001

Strengths:    Doesnt bottom out, easy to maintain

Weaknesses:    None yet

Bottom Line:   
It holds me and i weigh 150lbs and it holds my friend that weighs 200lbs so it is awesome. Buy it. It will last

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Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Race Pace Bicycles

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shox Judy

Bike Setup:   2000 GT OUTPOST STOCK

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Craig a Weekend Warrior from Kelowna, B.C., Canada

Date Reviewed: December 26, 2000

Strengths:    ok, I may not have the 381r but the fork i have is very similar...I have the 381xl, that was an experimental fork back in 99 that had 4.5 inch of travel out of elastomers... The for is sooo nice.... I paid $200.00 canadian from my local bike shop.. I have not yet taken it apart to clean it... i have beat this fork through every thing from 5+feet drop onto flat cement, and mud where i could not see any color on my bike(i even needed all new cables and housings couz they were like perma stuck) the fork is truly amazing!!!and the cool thing is it works just as good as the day i bought it!!!

Weaknesses:    The springs never held their tension from hammerin 5+ foot drops... i need to get some mountain speed spring and then i will be set!!! I love this fork and would not trade it for anything!!! marzocchi, RS, anything of the same caliber would not even compare...

Bottom Line:   
ok, I may not have the 381r but the fork i have is very similar...I have the 381xl, that was an experimental fork
back in 99 that had 4.5 inch of travel out of elastomers... The for is sooo nice.... I paid $200.00 canadian from my local bike shop.. that was includin both taxes... man i beat the living hell out of this fork EVERY DAY!!! It sux it up, no prob... it is wicked over small bumps and it sucks up 5+ foot drops... the fork bottoms hardcore at 5+ feet but it still eats it all up!!! I have not broken it yet and i seriously don't think i will... This fork is crazy. it has noo flex whatsoever!!! this fork is built like a tank, the only bad thing i have to say is that it is wayy too soft from the factory... I give this fork 5 flamin chilis becuz there is not an option for 10 chilis and it eats everything i feed to it!!! I have not had to perfom ANY knid of maintenance on it and it was super Cheap!!! I dare you to try and find a better fork for the money!!!

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Favorite Trail:   Kelowna Urban Asault Team

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   Bike shop

Similar Products Used:   RS Judy XL, RST 381XE(another quality fork)

Bike Setup:   Gary Fisher Level Betty(98), Tektro vee's(magura disc comin soon)Lx deraillers, goretex cables(now after the mud), oury grips, Sram esp 900, serfas seat, RS superdeluxe rear shock, IRC elgato tires(sweet ass tires for sand and super dry stuff) Bontrager crow bar, spinergy spox, several stickers, Finish line race lube!!!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by JoeyZ a Weekend Warrior from birmingham,al,us

Date Reviewed: December 1, 2000

Strengths:    inexpensive,light,nice looking,

Weaknesses:    ups ground shipping,
broke my seal when installing,couldn't get the race off my old fork!


Bottom Line:   
get them,the are good on stairs and curbs!
works good offroad too,
I don't do much offroad HEAVY riding, but they sure take the blow out of curbs and stairs!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   stairs&curbs

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   jensonusa.com

Similar Products Used:   i don't know the name,stock kept topping out,so? got new ones

Bike Setup:   mongoose pro,all shimano drivetrain&brakes

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mark Hemming a Weekend Warrior from UK

Date Reviewed: November 11, 2000

Strengths:    Easy to maintain
Cheap
Stiff


Weaknesses:    Not much travel
Not very plush


Bottom Line:   
I've never bottomed it, not even after flying over 3 metres on a jump. It's easy to service, and quite cheap. It's not that plush or smooth but what do you expect for the money? Good for riders on a budget, but not anyone else.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Rogate DH Course

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   Evans Cycles Woking

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Kona Lavadome with D521's

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jon Ranger a Cross Country Rider from London

Date Reviewed: November 3, 2000

Strengths:    Super look, fanctionable, fantastic value

Weaknesses:    weight

Bottom Line:   
SUPER FORK

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Favorite Trail:   Epping Forest

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $170.00

Purchased At:   maidstone

Similar Products Used:   RS SL, RS Sid.

Bike Setup:   Dawes Watoga LX, XT upgrades

Reviews 1 - 15 (31 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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