RST 381S Front Shock

2.83/5 (6 Reviews)
MSRP : $200.00

Product Description

RST 381S

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Reviews 1 - 6 (6 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rico Flor a Weekend Warrior from Philippines

Date Reviewed: February 13, 2002

Strengths:    This is a review for RST 381 EL. It is rock bottom cheap!!! It has preload adjustment...that's better than having no adjustment. It even has a disk brake mount...for the wishful ones.

Weaknesses:    This is a review for RST 381 EL. It has no damping (so it seems...MB Mag sez so), no damper adjustments...this translates to topping out when rebounding. I even top out when I just lift my front wheel to get up a curb.

Bottom Line:   
Did I say this already? This is a review for RST 381 EL. It's el cheapo, unAmerican (but who cares? I'm asian so it shouldn't matter), but it works for the bucks I had to shell out. Most RST reviews were really bashes; for the money I spent, I will beg to disagree. The Rock Shox's, Manitou's, Marzocchi's might be technically better, but this dirt cheap fork did very well in taming my weekend trail which had some 3K's worth of mud, baby head sections, and a lot of washed out, worn out, eroded, decades old concrete/asphalt logging road, at 15% to 25% grade at that. What used to be a masochistic downhill ride with a rigid Cro-Mo fork turned out to be an Instamatic type of a ride...just point and shoot, err, ride (is this the beginnings of a Kodak moment?). I know, I can spend here a $100 for a genuine Indy, or more for a Judy or Jett, but a $35 asian fork? It's, in my books it was worth it. Now, if someone can only provide a manual in's hard enough to try to discern the Spanish words I know, but to read it in French, German or Italian? C'mon, RST!!!

Who should buy it? The middle-class biker who can scrounge just enough bucks to buy a fork and not get guilty afterwards. Who shouldn't? The lowly who can't afford it, and the rich kid who can easily lose $200-600 bucks for what 'Mericans would call the real deal (so that's where our dollars are going..!!!) In retrospect, I think I shelled out some of our PCI to Taiwan...:(

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Favorite Trail:   Mt. Makiling

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $35.00

Purchased At:   Rocc Cycle Center

Similar Products Used:   None so far...I'm an ex Homo rigidus

Bike Setup:   Rigid Cro-Mo, standard diameter frame, mid-90's geometry (crouched for racing), old style cable routing (uses the down tube), dependable Shimano DX crank, front and rear derailleur, DX hubs, Ritchey (I forgot) rims, XT 7-speed trigger shifters (damn....really retro specs), Shimano STX-RC direct pull brakes, Continental Navigator 26 x 2.1 wheels front and rear (had to, I had to match its weird, chocolate colored sidewalls)...what did I leave out?

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Simon from Trowbridge, UK

Date Reviewed: December 20, 2001

Strengths:    Fairly cheap and !look! quite nice and stong (emphasis on the word LOOK)

Weaknesses:    Crown cracks easily, fork legs can get coated in rust (Although the metal they are made of can't rust) from the coils.
Crown can flex quite considerably.
Bottom out easily over time.

Bottom Line:   
This is a review for 381CL's 75mm of travel in light blue.
Cheap fork that does the job if you do light freeride and XC.
Try anything else and there will be hell to pay.
However, if you purchase some harder springs and elastomers and replace the crown for a stronger one (Which RST can quite happily do) you will have a good fork.
Alternitively you can save up for something that will last e.g. Rock Shox Judy XC/SL or a set of Z4's.

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Favorite Trail:   Pallettes and other trialsy stuff

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   T.T. Cycles (Came with bike)

Similar Products Used:   381TL, Rock Shox Jett/Judy C's.

Bike Setup:   Jamis Durango SX (Set up for Trials)

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Fatboy a Weekend Warrior from Calgary

Date Reviewed: July 17, 2001

Strengths:    Cheap, esay to maintain

Weaknesses:    color, travel, lots of flex

Bottom Line:   
It's a cheap fork and an ugly yellow. So far they has done the job though. I have not bottomed them out and I'm 220. I worry about them braking when on some of the tougher trails because there is lots of flex and had to replace the front and rear rims because they couldn't handle my weight. Maybe I should lose a few pownds.

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Favorite Trail:   Powdeface

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Rockshock Jett

Bike Setup:   Norco Bigfoot

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by balls a Weekend Warrior from Nanaimo

Date Reviewed: April 26, 2000

Weaknesses:    heavy, need a lot maintenance

Bottom Line:   
These shocks came stock on the bike and lasted a season. The dampening mechanism never really worked. The shocks used to bottom out all the time until one ride the snapped. They snapped at the crown, luckily all of my teeth are still intact! RST gave me a new set of 381 TL's. These shocks ar probably decent for anyone who doesn't like to push it too hard.

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Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Z3's, Z5's

Bike Setup:   Kona alu hard tail

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Brandon a Weekend Warrior from Denver, CO

Date Reviewed: February 27, 2000

Strengths:    Cost

Weaknesses:    Heavy, Lateral Flex

Bottom Line:   
A decent fork with a few minor problems. But, hey, for the price you are paying it ain't bad. Although it is extrememly heavy, The biggest problem I have had with it is that there is some side to side flex when riding aggressively. Otherwise, not a bad deal. Although, I would consider upgrading or another fork if you are experienced or an agressive rider

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Favorite Trail:   Government Trail-Aspen

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Indy

Bike Setup:   Kona Alum. Hardtail

Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Gary a Weekend Warrior from Portland, OR

Date Reviewed: August 9, 1999

Price, ease of maintenence, durable

a bit heavy

Bottom Line:   
Does the job with minimal fuss and expenditure. Handles most trail hits really well, never bottomed. Could be stiffer or lighter, but great bang for the buck ! Probably best for intermediate level or less aggressive riders.

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Favorite Trail:   
Cascade Mtns

Duration Product Used:   
6 months

Similar Products Used:   
Jett, Indy

Bike Setup:   
Kona alu hardtail

Reviews 1 - 6 (6 Reviews Total)

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