from Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines
Date Reviewed: May 7, 2010
Strengths: looks, the price, performance and reliability
It has withstood 3 years of trail and riding. What can you ask for? It has saved me on a couple of bad landings. I haven't sent my fork for servicing because it hasn't given me problems up to now. The feel is still the same as when it was broken in. A put little lube and some fork oil on the stanchions before every ride. By the way, the chromed stanchions are still shiny.
Bike Setup: Merida AM 3000D with Syncros, Truvativ, Shimano, FSA, Kenda, KMC parts.
Date Reviewed: January 19, 2010
Strengths: Strong and simple. Less sh*t to go wrong. Very plush and linear. Takes a beating with an unbeatable price.
Weaknesses: 160mm Domain with standard spring tends to bottom-out a lot on larger kickers (100kg rider). Harder spring ruins plush feel.
Awesome shock for the money. Although tagged as a beginners fork, I'm still struggling to notice significant differences with a number of the Domains expensive alternatives I've tried (although this probably has a lot to do with the 2009 SX Trail I package I'm running them on). Due to my thirst for bigger kickers and the small issue of bottoming out, I'm upgrading to a 180mm Domain on standard spring (do not recommend a stiffer spring as they loose thier plushness). Will end up paying 250CHF for it vs 1300CHF for a Totem... you do the maths.
Similar Products Used: Rockshox, Marzocchi, Manitou
from london uk
Date Reviewed: May 30, 2009
Strengths: perfect tuning between 115-160 mn..good idea
all the adjustements that you will need
plush and lively
Weaknesses: no for this one
well the riders definitly put it right for this one, they love it !!
and i do too. this is the time that i bought a new rockshox and, i am happy, finally a product that eliminates the need to think about trails, and equipment, just turn up, warm up and ride,
i even lost the rebound red control, and that didn t matter the fork look always right here, so no time for maths, i just carried on riding, the slow, the thight, the fast and the gnarly...
love my vanilla, but goes to war with the domain
Strengths: Stiff and strong. Chunky build. Maxle. Buttery smooth feel. Proper adjustments that matter. Quite cheap for the quality.
Weaknesses: Really quite heavy.
These forks continue to impress me. The feel is just so smooth. Seriously, compared to the rockshox boxxer team that i tried, this is in a different league. The boxxer felt a bit scratchy, and occasionally bouncy, but this is just so controlled. The damping is amazing, with external adjustable rebound and compression. All the adjustment you will ever need. And the adjustment is so useful. The compression dial almost works as a 'front wheel grip' dial... its incredible. Aand I thought my old marzocchi was plush. With the compression damping down, this thing tracks the ground like no other fork i have used. And with it up, it just takes the hits with no fuss at all. Having done 12ft drops on this, it really is superbly controlled. I havn't ridden a TOTEM, but i find it hard to think how it can be any better. And it has been faultless for the last 6 months.
Obviously, all this performance at a low price has a downside... and that is the weight of the thing. It really is pretty heavy... but so is the rest of my bike... so i dont find this a big problem. If you are a gravity orientated rider like me, who would rather push than ride up a hill, this is a great long travel single crown fork.
Similar Products Used: Rockshox boxxer team. Marzocchi drop off.
Bike Setup: Iron horse 7point3. Saints, manitou shock, heyes, etc.
from Covington, WA
Date Reviewed: December 17, 2008
Strengths: Quick release axle is pretty cool, although I rarely remove my front wheel, so that's not a big benefit for me. You can get it really cheap right now, which is a big benefit because I'm kind of a cheapskate.
Weaknesses: It will never meet the advertised 180mm travel. The rebound damper knob will fall out of the fork if you leave it in the lower leg while riding.
I got the domain 318 coil 180mm, and noticed that it seems kind of short compared to the 170mm Sherman that I'm replacing. When I measured it, I see that there is no way this fork could provide 180mm of travel since it would cuase metal on metal interference between the lowers and the crown, and would crush the stancion seals. I kept it anyway because it was cheap. I'll see how it works compared to my Sherman. Maybe it will be better, but I'll have to flame RockShox for lying about the travel specs. I originally intended to buy a Marzocchi 66, but decided this was worth a try since I'll be using it as an XC/FR fork and it was very inexpensive. Out of the box, it is definitely not as supple as a 66, but I've got a 888 for DH riding so I'm not too concerned about that. If you need a DH or high speed freeride fork (like for Whistler), I'd say this isn't the fork for you, but for trails and some heavy duty low speed FR (jumps and drops), it may work out. If I love it, I'll post an update, otherwise I'll sell it and fork out the dough for a 66.
Similar Products Used: Own: Sherman breakout plus 170mm, Lefty 100mm, 888 200mm, Shiver 190mm, old headshok 80mm, manitou TPC 100mm. Demo'd: several other cheap and some expensive forks from Marzocchi, Fox and Rockshox and found unacceptable for my riding style. My personal favorites are the 888 and 66, but I'm a DH junkie willing to sacrifice efficiency for ride quality and control.
Bike Setup: C-Dale Gemini freeride bike with a bunch of other components that are unrelated to this subject.
from Sundre, Alberta, Canada
Date Reviewed: July 27, 2008
Strengths: Tons of adjustment settings, including rebound and compression.
Weaknesses: None so far
Came stock on my bighit, and I couldnt be happier with these shocks. I have bottomed them out once, and that was my own fault for an ugly flat-land.
If i were to upgrade my bike to a new one, and if it came with some marzocchi's with no adjustment, I would slap on a new Domain in no time.
If you don't have a set, you're going to want to look into some if you're looking for "mucho" adjustment settings.
An awesome bang for the dolla'
from Palmdale, CA
Date Reviewed: July 16, 2008
Strengths: Beefy looking and awesome performing fork. It can take anything you throw at it, and come begging for more!
Weaknesses: none so far
There is no doubt in my mind that this Rock Shox Domain fork is the best freeride/ DH fork on the market today, for the price. Sure, you could pay $500 more and get a Totem, but the Domain offers far more bang for the buck.I have the coil version of this fork, with the 115-160mm travel, and the action of it is very buttery smooth. I took this fork on a 14 mile downhill ride on Mt. Gleason here in California, and by the time I reached the bottom of the run I was as fresh as a daisy! No more tired wrists like I had with my other Marzzochi Bomber fork. The fork looks killer too.... like it belongs on a motorcycle or something..... very bit-chun! The fork soaks up the big hits with ease.... and is even sensitive to the smaller bumps as well. For my $620 bucks, I feel i'm getting the ride of a fork that cost TWICE as much! I used to own a Rock Shox Totem..... and this fork feels just as plush , but cost half the amount. I'll never pay huge bucks again for a DH fork, when the Domain fits the bill just fine. RS, you did your homework on this fork! I'm gonna shell out 5 roasted ravioli's for this BAD BOY of a fork!
Strengths: Stiff, Cheap, Good damping adjustability, Single crown, travel adjustable, relatively low stiction after compressed a few times each ride
Weaknesses: Maxle comes loose if moved - which is very easy to do; very poor small bump sensitivity - no good for dh at all, first few clicks of compression do nothing, harsh damping spikes near bottom-out, no spring available soft enough for my weight:(
At first I thought these forks were real nice when I took them out the box, but even after paying another $110us to have an x-soft spring installed, they are still just too stiff for general riding and they cause my wheel to just bounce off obstacles instead of absorbing them as the low speed sensitivity is bad, nowhere near as good as my Fox Vanilla's.
After 1 year of use I have gotten fed up of lugging round their excessive weight (2.9kg) in return for such irritatingly 'budget' performance, they are very harsh at the end of their travel on big hits too and I have hurt my wrists because of this on relatively small jumps.
Most recently, the rebound damping has given up and they have top-out 'clunk' no mattter what setting - 1 year on and I'm getting rid of them - I can't help but be reminded every time i ride them, that I should have just shelled out the extra dough and got some Fox 36's, which I'm now goona try!
These forks are more than adequate for an occasional freeride sesh, but just fall short for anyone who demands real performance from their products.
Similar Products Used: none quite the same, but: fox vanilla 32, Marzocchi dj3, Marzocchi Junior T, Rockshox Boxxer.
Bike Setup: Orange Patriot Lt, Fox Van RC rear shock, Mavic Ex729 wheels, Hayes brakes
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: June 4, 2008
Strengths: Plush, buttery, and stiff. Maxle is great and easy to use. Uturn is a great feature and easy to reach/use, much better than the TALAS system though maybe not as good as ETA. Motion Control actually works!
Weaknesses: A bit heavy. Silver stantions arent the most attractive.
I sold my TALAS for this fork! If you are looking at Lyriks, 36s, and 55s than I would suggest you take a closer look at this fork. If adding an extra pound to your bike doesn't scare you then I highly recommend this fork for its reliability, ease of use (maxle) and performance. I do 15 miles with 2k elevation gains on this thing...its not THAT heavy!
Similar Products Used: Fox TALAS, Manitou Sherman, Nixon, Marz All Mountain
Bike Setup: Giant Reign with swinger air, Sram X9, Chris King/819s, IRC Trailbears
Date Reviewed: June 1, 2008
Strengths: Durable, adjustable (motion control), very plush, will take everything you can throw at it, cheap (great for downhillers/freeriders on a budget)
Weaknesses: For the price, none really....
This fork came stock on my 07 BigHit 2, and I am very impressed with it so far. Like the other reviews said, this is a great freeride/downhill fork and will take everything you throw at it, from rock gardens to drops. I have the static 180mm version, but the adjustability is still good because of the motion control. Motion control can help fine-tune your fork on the fly to the environment you are riding in. If you had a lot of money, you could probably go with a totem or something, but for the price this fork can't be beat!!
a Cross Country Rider
from Everegreen, CO
Date Reviewed: January 20, 2008
Strengths: Light for a 180mm fork, good price, quality build, Mag lowers, Maxel is a great design
Weaknesses: very soft factory springs!
Fork feels great! After it broke in the springs showed their true colors: they are very soft. I've bottomed twice on drops that were not very big. I only weigh 150, probaly 170 all geared up. This is my only compaint. I guess RS wants their forks to be plush, but come on RS, this is a 180mm freeride fork, it needs stiff springs! Other than the soft springs, I love this fork. Maxel is way better then other 20mm designs. Sram has really turned RS around! I would give it 5 flamers if it came with better springs. I owned a pike before this and had to buy extra firm springs to get it the way I like, and they are not cheap.
Similar Products Used: Marzocchi super T, Z1, Z150, Totem
Bike Setup: Bullit
Date Reviewed: November 11, 2007
Strengths: Stiff,nice plush smooth travle,excellent build quality,Small bump sensitivity good. Very good adjustability.
Weaknesses: the compression adjustment on the bottom. Look out rocks! But what are you going to do.
look out fox and marzocchi. Not even for the $$ it's just a great fork. Jumping, Cornering, Rock Gardens, Drops. I'm throwing everything at it. I'm glade I got one. When I go on a ride I like to have fun and not having to worry if the bike can handle it. Well I don't know if my bike can handle it but I know the Domain 318 can. Rock Shox is headed in the right direction.
I just bought a 05 kona stinky with a 318 on the front. It's really harsh and feels like its impossible to get past the first 2-3 inches of compression. Any ideas what this could be? Surely it's not normalRead More »
I have a 318 Domain (2011 - fixed @ 180mm travel) , I was offered a trade with a Boxxer Ride (2007 ?? - u-turn 130-178mm travel). Also the trader states that he bought it new in 2009. As far as I know, they stopped making them in 2006. He also says he noticed a little oil residue near his motion con ... Read More »
An online seller over here has a RS Domain 318 180mm travel for for sale, and it he claims it has the Mission Control damper in it, he even has the Mission control sticker on the fork. I was under the impression that you couldn't fit one in the Domain due to the internal diameter of the steel stanch ... Read More »
Ok so I have a working brand spanking new domain 318 and I'm also getting a lyrik from a friend of mine. It has been ridden hard and seals are blown out and stanchion scratched and beat to he'll lowers. I also have a new lyrik upper coming in the mail as well. So I was wondering if anyone knew what ... Read More »