Strengths: Low price
Weaknesses: A little heavy
For the price, I did not have high expectations.
But for a 2nd bike that is 18-year-old, I figured it would be just right.
Two things stood out to exceed my expectations:
(1) I was surprised to find just how well it responded over deep and irregularly-spaced ruts.
(2) I was also surprised how precise it was while climbing out of the saddle.
I can feel the extra weight out front, but it works better than the old and under-sprung Manitou SX it replaced.
Actually, it works better than a couple of 90s era forks I have had, that each cost three times as much!
As the name implies, it is a cross-country fork, and it performs that task well.
Strengths: + Rebound Adjustment helps smooth over the ride.
+ Uses all of its Travel but does not bottom out.
+ Plush, but not as plush as an air fork (of course).
+ Easy to clean / maintain. Just lube the stanchion tubes and keep them clean and it will serve you well.
+ One of the best entry level forks on the market for the money (beats SR Suntour XCT, XCM, or XCR which stiffen up and do not use all of their travel).
+ From what I have heard from my LBS, RS has increased the quality of the XC range forks from 2012 in 2013. Mine is a 2013 so yay for me!
Weaknesses: - The ride quality is really good but not outstanding. Will get the job done until you want a 500 dollar + priced fork.
- You can either dial it in to have good small bump compliance, or large bump compliance, but not both (for this price this is to be expected).
- For heavier riders the preload must be set high, or you will eat through 100 mm of travel like its nobodies business (as mentioned above, this eliminates small bump compliance).
- Cheap forks means cheap quality seals. This means in order to keep it working well, you must lube up the stanchion tube seals before every ride to clean the seals, or it will begin to stiffen up.
- Heavy, but does not pretend to be a race fork so whatever.
I weigh in at about 245 lbs, 5'11, so if this work was not up to par I would notice pretty quickly. So far it has worked great for me on my 2013 Giant Talon 0. My previous set up was a giant Revel 1 (stolen) with a pair of SR Suntour XCM forks on it and the difference between these forks and those is night and day. A lot less flexing and a lot more plush use of travel. As stated above however, dialling in the ride is difficult on this fork as you cannot really find a setting that will get you by in all situations. You either get small or large bump compliance (according to your preload adjustment and rebound), but you cannot achieve both. Luckily the fork is simple to adjust on the fly and gives you options unlike other forks in this price range, but for someone wanting not to touch the settings ever this could get annoying fast. I like to adjust stuff on my bike so it is fine.
Also, like noted above, cheap forks are maintenance heavy if you want to keep them working properly. This is inevitable at this price range: you pay more for REBA or Recon or even a Fox Fork (if you save up), because the parts and seals are strong enough to last maintenance free for up to a season. With these you will have to lube them often to keep them loose and ready for action. Unfortunately, many people who buy forks in this price range do not do maintenance often at all: since they are beginners and do not know any better. Regardless, you have been warned: maintain or risk decreased performance to the point where it is "junk".
All that stuff aside, the fork is excellent for beginner to intermediate riders. It is a little noisy due to the dampener working on high travel compression, but I do not really care. It will get you through the learning stages of your bike and give you increased confidence in your riding. I had to hold back with other forks I have owned in this price range due to my weight, and I do not have to with this one. That says a lot for me. Ride em hard, shred up single track trails, and when you get to a level where you feel like they are seriously holding you back, buy a 500 dollar + air fork to suit your evolving needs. In the mean time, ride these guys for all your recreational needs.
Overall, great value forks for the money, but if your needs lie in really technical stuff or downhill, I recommend you spend a lot more or buy a better used fork on kijiji or ebay.
Similar Products Used: 2011 SR Suntour XCT (80mm travel)
2012 SR Suntour XCM (100mm travel)
Bike Setup: Stock 2013 Giant Talon 29er 0
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: February 20, 2013
Strengths: it's RS, so I presume build quality is good
there is a turnkey, so you can turn it OFF
Weaknesses: weight, like made of cast iron ...
feedback (none... )
very un-smooth travel
I got a 2012 (nearly new second-hand deal) GT Avalanche 1.0 for the wife and it came with this fork. I presumed it would be good, being RockShox.
But it sucks ... I tried better forks on much cheaper bikes (yes... , even better Suntour-forks).
Forks like this coming on 1000€ bikes ? Come on ! Rock Shox is great, don't get me wrong, I run a Reba 120mm on my bike, and it's great. But not this one ...
I would definitely not buy it as an upgrade for any fork. As for suspension forks ... buy a good one, or get a rigid fork.
You don't see Fox making good, cheap suspensions (because that is impossible).
Strengths: Robust, simple, nearly maintenace free, good looking? . Looks good on my GT bike.
Weaknesses: weight penalty, a bit heavy.
Good budget fork. Perfect for light trail. I weigh 80 kg though and sometimes I feel the spring is a bit soft. But overall good fork for those on a budget. I am planning to upgrade to remote poplock to suit my riding, which is a mixture of light trail and tarmac. Question. Do i need to take the lower assembly to install the remote damping kit? or just unscrew the right top bit and fit the new one. The damping kit for xc30, does it come with spool and clamp? Please help ! Ta
Strengths: Pre-load and rebound adjustment, lockout, weighs under 2000g (80mm), disc and rim brake compatible
Weaknesses: Coil shocks, 30mm stanchions
I just upgraded the RockShox Quadra 21r on my '96 Univega Aluminum 808, and wow. I'm sure there are better shocks, but coming from the old school world to this for $164 is amazing. The lockout is easy to enable and disable, the tool for the rebound control comes off and preload is easy to get to too. I rode 14 miles today (mixed XC and more technical sections) with a few decent descents and climbs and it was like riding a new bike. I didn't notice any pogo stick like action and the shock was silent -- most of the time, got some dirt on it at one point and could hear it.
All that said, my frame of reference is older 60mm shocks, so while I highly recommend it as an upgrade to your old shock, I can't speak for how it compares to more modern competitors. Sure beats buying a new bike for 5x as much with the same shock on it, though.
I bought this to extend the life of my '01 fuel until I can afford a new bike so I didn't set great expectations in the first place, but was surprised. I got the 100 mm to replace an 80 mm '01 X-fly that holds air, but leaks oil like the exxon valdez. While (obviously) this fork is not nearly as plush as an air fork is is far more responsive than I expected. Under heavy preload the action gets a bit sticky, at mid and lower preloads its pretty smooth. I weight 160 and set mid level preload for XC riding. I could see heavy riders, racers and anyone looking to do big hits not liking this fork.
I set a quick response rate on it and was able to blast over 4 to 5 inch rocks at full speed with little distrubtion to the steering line of the bike.
I don't recomend this fork if you realy want a remote lockout. It is poplock/pushlock campatible and to do this it requires the remote adjust damper. I was only able to find aftermarket shocks with the crown adjust option. To upgrade from crown to remote adjust you need a new damping kit (rockshox part number 11.4015.537.020) and the remote (ended up talking with a Rockshox engineer to figure all this out, LBSs had no info this), this adds about $135 to the cost of the fork. I only paid $130 for the fork online and did the install myself.
a Weekend Warrior
from Bakersfield, CA USA
These forks suck...this is basically a Dart fork with a turnkey lockout. Sad part is that I payed $200 (over priced by the way) for this fork in the worse bike shop in our town. Decided to go to another shop (Sniders Cyclery) and ordered me the X-Fusion Enix RL...best decision of my life. If you're on a budget, I suggest going to the X-Fusion route.