RockShox Judy SL 97 Front Shock

97 Judy SL

User Reviews (116)

Showing 1-10 of 116  
Dmitry   Cross Country Rider [Mar 22, 2007]
Strength:

Reliable, resilient fork. Simply bomb proof.

Weakness:

None

I got this fork 10 years ago. I raced on it for a couple of years, commuted to work, went on countless mountain and road trips and ... forgot about cleaning it. I think I opened it once or twice to apply judy butter for lubrication, that's it. It feels great, I still do like to take it through rough trails and it handles as good as new. I can't believe this fork still functions. I am waiting for something wrong to happen so I can get a new fork, but it doesn't look like it shows any kind of weakness. If you get it - your are stuck with it for a while.

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Panayot Nakov   Weekend Warrior [Jul 09, 2001]
Strength:

Durable as HELL; Plush; Veeery light;

Weakness:

Flex(kind of remedied with a better hub)
Damn damping is not too tuneable.

A very very tough fork. So far I did 3 head on, full speed hard impacts with it - all of them to complete stop. The fork hasn't moved a bit(although, that didn't save my forehead from being slammed into a truck, with the first headon crash:))! The crown does some funny creaking noise that bothers me. There is flex - not lots, but easily noticeable, but hey, at 1.2kg this fork is as solid as should be expected for such a lightweight thing! The springs are replaced so now it has 100mm springs and 50mm MCU instead of 100mm MCU and 50mm springs, but the current springs are too soft for me, I'm a heavy guy(85kg).
For me, this for is a dream for XC racing - it's light, and moreover, it's dependable. My advice: if you ride XC buy one if you can - you wont regret it!!! Hopefully i'll run a Psylo soon, but i'll never sell my Judy.
Bottom line - excellent XC, but has stood pretty well to my numerous DH abuses!!!

Similar Products Used: Suntour-used; Tested alot of stuff(almost everything that's worth it)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Hyper X   cross-country rider [Nov 13, 1998]

To begin with, I'm not a all-out crosser, downhiller or terrain thrasher... I'm just a guy who likes to ride trails and stay educated and updated regarding news and product reviews.
I've had my 97 Judy SL 63mm for about 3 years now, and I must say, I bought it based on rider testimonies and magazine reviews when it was compared to the Manitou SX-Ti.
When I got it, I noticed that the Judy was made one-piece and the dropouts were noticeably beefier than the Manitou SX-Ti. It was lighter, has less travel, and costed more. I tested it out my turning it upside down on the steerer tube and compared it to the SX-Ti and noticed that the Judy had a stiffer feel. The local bike mechanic (a guru in my opinion) just notified me that I was making a wise choice because he informed me of a bad design flaw in the '96 Judy SL cartridges (basically blowing up), and the new cartridge was a great improvement with no one coming in to repair them.
Now, the good stuff. The Judy looked cool with that black sticker, and the red dampening knob did a good job when I landed off larger drops. (I couldn't notice it until I landed drops from the curb.) It was very easy to service the fork... cleaning the crown and the stanchions was quite easy.
Okay the bad stuff. The yellow paint started to fade after a few washes and that cool black sticker? Got really messed up in the brush during some trail rides and made the fork look older than its time.
The fork has a slight dead feel now, probably because the response of elastomers do naturally have that kind of feel versus the activeness of spring. My guru friend let me know of a way to modify the Judy SL by replacing the elastomers with a springset (to liven it up more) and if I wanted, I could install dual-cartidges (one compression, one rebound, or a combination) for the more tricky stuff, but, I stuck to the original configuration with the addition of new springs.
The overall vote? Now, it kicks! It handles the smaller stuff better (I don't feel it at my hands anymore) and the progressive nature of the spring handles the larger thumps better! I now ride my bike with the dampening control on full and had no problems since. If you got the elastomer stack and looking for a way to improve its performance, try springs!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Lee Norton   Racer [Jul 19, 1999]
Strength:

light weight, but not 2.65 lbs more like 3 lbs

Weakness:

Flexy
Type II internals don't work as well as other designs.
Damper has history of blowing up - leaking

The fork is light at about 3 lbs. The Type II spring system was good for the mid 90's, but has now been surpassed by numerous other manufacturers. The Rock Shox damper has a deserved history as being unreliable. It's range of damping is also minimal. The fork is stiff enough for uphill and level ground riding for most people. If you start riding at higher speeds such as when the trail points downward, stiffening the fork will pay bid dividends. Stiffness is a problem with a lot of forks leading the way to oversize hubs/axles, triple clamp designs, etc. A brake booster can also help stiffen the fork.I would only recommend this fork if purchased at a discount by someone willing to do the following:Throw away the stock internals and replace with either springs and something like the White Brothers damping cartridge, or with an Englund Air kit, which if you want to keep the weight down, is recommended. (See my review under Englund Air Kits.) With the Englund kit and Judy SL you will have a good sub 3 lb fork that you will be able to tune (independent compression, rebound and spring settings), rebuild, and repair yourself without special tools.Install a good stiff carbon fiber brake booster as this will also add torsional stiffness to the fork. I made my own from ¼ aluminum plate as most models in the market are not designed for torsional or twisting motion. Mine weighs 70 grams, a bit more than the 50-55 gram norm, but is twice as stiff in torsion. Braking is also improved, although that is of secondary consequence as V-brakes are so good to begin with.If you keep the rubber boots on, remember to lift and clean underneath as part of your post ride bike cleaning. I also throw on a bit of Tri-Flow while I'm at it. If you replace the boots with a fork wiper, lift the wiper, clean and re-grease under as a regular part of your bike cleaning.With a little work, this is a good fork for the money as they can be purchased relatively cheaply. If you are paying full price, there are better models on the market.3/5 due to light weight and potential.

Similar Products Used: Amp Fork F3C
Rock Shox Mag 21
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
alex   Weekend Warrior [Jul 20, 1999]
Strength:

light

Weakness:

it is weak, it bottoms out easily, the cartidge blows like nothing. I don't like it in any way. It doesn't suit my style of riding

I don't suggest this product. RockShock ripped off its customers, for a shitty fork. My friend cracked his, which shows it weakness. I cracked the cartredge within the first month. I feel the '96 was a better fork. I am going to switch to a marzzochi

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
Karl   Weekend Warrior [Apr 08, 1999]
Strength:

light, stiff, strong and plush

Weakness:

NONE so far

Whats up with all the bad reviews? These things Kick! Great feel, great stiffness and strength, And nw you can get NEW 97's for $199! great fork, great value, the best I ever tried. This is the way to go. Forget those who give these bad reviews, These shocks Rule!

Similar Products Used: Tested Manitous, zokes, RST, nothing came close
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
John   cross-country rider [Sep 23, 1998]

I bought the '97 SL from the shop where I work at. I broke the original AMP fork off my Amplifier and replaced it with a Girvin Elite. The Girvin worked great, but for some reason neither me nor my co-workers could seem to get it on straight. I rode it for 300 miles and then I gave up and slapped on my unused Judy when my girvin's shock spring started rubbing through the pain on my head tube. (Like I said, bad installation and no way to fix it.)
But I was really surprised at how much the handling improved, the shock action is really plush,it's stiff, and light. My bike went from 27 lbs with the Girvin to 25!.People breaking their lowers just need a better hub. If your wheel isn't tightened securely or your hub just sucks, breaking your lowers is inevitable.Anyways.. the only complaint I have with this is that i already blew through the cartridge, but that's okay since I can get a better one on my employee discount.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
JT   cross-country rider [Mar 20, 1998]

Is the travel on my 97 SL measured in travel of axle FRONT to BACK?! This puppy is like riding a wet noodle, albeit a light one. Waiting for fracture at steerer
tube due to flexing where it meets crown. Doesn't Rockshox have a testing department? Didn't anybody ride this thing and discover how FLEXIBLE it was or was it too late-the tooloing was already done?

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
Chris   [Mar 17, 1998]

Oops, Rockshox cocked up. 97 Judys aren't bad, trouble is Pace, Marzzochi and Manitou came up with something better for less money. Good thing is 98 Rockshox are much better, but still not as nice as the Pace. For all you 97 Judy owners out there here is my advice: Get a large hacksaw and.....only joking, go and get some full length coil springs and stick those in instead - and make sure you service them regularly.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
Jim   cross-country rider [Mar 19, 1998]

Whatta ya kiddin me? This is a light shock but that's about it. It flexes
more than Lewinsky's knees. The movement in the lower legs is not often in line
with the legs. I have been riding Headshocks and Girvins and this unit does not compare to the tracking and stability of either.
2 chiles for weight only; this thing is overrated AND overpriced.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 116  

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