RockShox Duke SL 2002 Front Shocks

Tunable positive and negative air springs // External rebound adjustment // Low-friction PTFE 30 mm aluminum upper tubes // Travel: 80* or 100 mm // Spring/Damping System: Hydra Air

User Reviews (66)

Showing 1-10 of 66  
stevo   Weekend Warrior [Aug 19, 2003]
Strength:

Light fork for the travel and performance, looks cool and is very stiff

Weakness:

rebound adjuster not reliable but see note below. Perhaps a slight loss of low speed sensitivity but also see note below.

Overall - coming from a sid these dukes are very stiff and feel almost bottomless although the sids for the weight benefits are great, if you want cush and stiff why buy a sub 3ib fork and then complain of flex - get realistic folks!

The only weak point seems to be the rebound adjuster, after a while it seems to stop working HOWEVER this happened on my sid's when it happens don't whinge, instead get it to a REPUTABLE fork specialist (Tim Flooks here in the UK) and get it rebuilt for approx £65 which includes getting fixed damping installed instead of the adjuster, they will come back far, far plusher and more reliable than from the factory. Overall a brilliant, great looking fork for sensible money, I do a lot of 20-30 mile day rides and have not been let down

Similar Products Used: 2000 rs sid xc , 2001 rs sid xc,
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Brian   Cross Country Rider [Aug 22, 2003]
Strength:

Kinda light, can get a good deal online, the stupid rockshox stickers fall off which improves the aesthetics

Weakness:

Seals (or something) blew, RockShox has had the fork for a month now, still no word.

This fork was a great improvement over the crap Judy that came with my bike, and it's relatively light. I have to say after reluctantly switching to a Marzocchi MX Comp after the Duke blew out mid-season, the Duke kinda sucks in comparison. The Marzocchi goes straight over all kinds of stuff that made the Duke bounce around like a pogo stick. I found it harder to hold my line on technical climbs with the Duke and had tried several setups. The Duke is OK if you're on a budget and you get a deal, and it's a worthy upgrade if you're riding a real sh*t fork - if it doesn't break you can ride all kinds of stuff with it, but the (chearper MSRP) Marzocchi blows it away.

Similar Products Used: Judy TT, Marzocchi MX Comp, Marzocchi Z4
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
RM   Weekend Warrior [Jun 06, 2003]
Strength:

Decent price, fairly light.

Weakness:

Busihing slop developed after 6 months! Rebound damping doesn't provide enough range of adjustment.

I originally bought this fork to replace a 2001 Judy SL which was a real piece of junk. When the Duke SL was new, it provided better feel and more precise steering than the Judy. But after about two to three months I noticed it started to loosen up. I bought a Blur frame two months ago and transferred the almost-new Duke fork to the new frame thinking the 100mm Duke would be a good match. During our last race at Laguna Seca, I noticed the fork was packing up a bit on some of the high speed runs and attributed it to the damping but found out the bushings were toast. This sucks considering the fork is only about 6 months old.

I have recently replaced the Duke with a Fox Float which is the fork I should have started with on the Blur. The Duke is going back to Rockshox for service under warranty (I hope). I really didn't want to buy another fork right in the middle of the season, but Rockshox is not too consistent when it comes to turning around their warranty repairs and I didn't want to be without a bike for two to three months. I will not hold my breath waiting for Rockshox to return it.

If you have ever have had a warranty issue with Rockshox, you know that you cannot send it back to them directly rather you need to go through a local retailer. I bought a fork for my son's bike through Colorado Cyclist on the web last summer and it failed. Colorado Cyclist told me I would have to contact Rockshox for warranty service who in turn told me to work with a LBS. The LBS didn't take too kindly to sending back my mail-order fork. It took 2 months to get it back.

This is my last Rockshox product. Every fork I have owned so far (six of them) and one SID Race rear shock have all failed within a year and needed to be repaired. I am a XC rider and do not abuse my stuff. I perform all recommended service and take care of my gear. Rockshox's customer support is horrible and in the long run I have paid out way more than I should have on this crap.

I usually don't write such negative reviews but Rockshox has earned it. Buy this fork if you ride local paved and dirt bike trails that are smooth. Forget it if you are looking for a decent XC fork that you can count on for occasional racing duty or for real MTB trails and technical stuff.

Similar Products Used: Fox Float, various Marzocchi & Manitou forks, Judy SL, Duke XC, Duke C.
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
PM   [Jun 02, 2003]
Strength:

100 mil air travel fork at a reasonable price
with good performance characteristics...

Weakness:

1/4 turn rebound damping knob...

This fork (2002) is a rockin deal. The new 03 Duke SL
is $400, and it isn't much different than the 02
Duke air 100. I have ridden this fork for a year. No
leaks, no problems, and great performance, but only AFTER
I changed the oil viscosity. The 1/4 turn rebound adjuster didn't seem to work at all. I drained both the damping oil and the semi-bath oil, replacing it with 7.5 wt marzocchi fork oil, and WALAH!!!! The fork damping adjuster now actually works.(I have it set close to full "open") This
oil change is no easy task (download instr. from RockShox)
but made a HUGE difference in damping characteristics.
Worth the whole 2 hrs it took to do it. (remove the fork
completely from your frameset) If you can get one of
these 2002 duke airs from a mail order co, GET IT!!!!
It is one great riding 4" travel air fork....

Similar Products Used: Mars Air
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Matt   [Mar 17, 2002]
Strength:

Stiff, Takes drops and Big Jumps really well and still rides well over the little bumps.

Weakness:

Sticks when you first start riding everyday and it sometimes leaks oil.

I think that this fork is a really good fork for any size rider and it takes any kind of terrain that you can take it threw

Similar Products Used: Manitou SXR
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
PAUL PIROTTA   Cross Country Rider [Mar 08, 2002]
Strength:

stiff, easy to tune, basic design

Weakness:

for the price none

Got the Dukes as a waranty replacement for faulty Sids. A realy basic fork that works well, and it just blends in with the ride. Not as responsive as the sids, but they are stronger all-round and I can go a little quicker down the steeps with the 100's. A budget race fork...you bet.

Similar Products Used: 99 jett, 01 Z4, 01 Sid XC.......
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ryan   Cross Country Rider [Nov 29, 2001]
Strength:

plush, smooth, full 100 mm of travel

Weakness:

none

This is a bad ass fork. It is the best I've had yet. The duke has held up well. Any rider that rides hard and in technical terrain.

Similar Products Used: RS SID XC and RS SID Race(3 of them)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
AnonyMoose   Cross Country Rider [Feb 26, 2002]
Strength:

Reasonable price. Not too heavy (1705 g). Stiff. 4 inches of useable travel. Nice aesthetics. Smooth. All the basics nothing bothersome and extra. Rebound damping has an excellent range of adjustment. Compression damping perfect (for me) as set by factory.

Weakness:

Maybe not progressive enough (The Rockshox Duke tuning manual states that up to 7 more cc of Redrum oil - for 10 cc total - may be added to the top of the air piston to increase the progression of the spring rate). So this may not be a big issue. No bells and whistles. The lack of travel adjustment, lockout, and compression damping adjustment. I have a fork with lockout, and I don't use it. I like 100mm of travel, don't need less. Compression damping is spot on for me. However, I realize other people may desire these features, and this fork doesn't have them.
No fork boots (I like them to keep rocks and hard stuff from scratching the surface of the stanchion tubes). I put Lizard skins on.

I am extreamly pleased with the performance of my Duke SL. I can ride right over curbs without getting out of the saddle, or picking up the front end (this fork is going to make an even lazier rider out of me). Small bumps??? What are those? This fork was smoother before breaking in than either of my Manitou forks after they broke in (its about as plush as I remember my friends X-vert air as being). It must be the PTFE (teflon) coating on the stanchions, and the open bath design. The Rebound damping is sweet. I am very particular about the speed my fork rebounds. It is very easy to dial the Duke in. I have taken some small jumps and the fork lands me like a magic carpet, no excess dive. I do get this feeling that this fork doesn't have a highly progressive spring rate. Once the snow melts and I go ride more challenging terrain I will know for sure. If it isn't as progressive as I would like, I will add a few more cc of oil to the top of the air piston. That should bump the progression up a bit. Steering precision is excellent, better than anything else I have. There is no bushing slop. Very tight, which is good. I hate bushing slop.
Considering my last experience with Rockshox (my Indy fork) and all the problems past Rockshox forks have had, I was ready to buy a Manitou Black. I read the reviews, and compared features and prices, as well as comparing forks on bike at the LBS and decided that I would take a risk and try my luck with the DUKE. Bottom line, I am glad I decided on the Duke.

Similar Products Used: Rockshox Indy, Manitou SX-R, Manitou Mars 1.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tom   Weekend Warrior [Feb 18, 2002]
Strength:

stiff, plush, strong, absorbs all the little jitters in the trail really well, perfect amount of travel for trailriding.looks great in all black, really smooth, light even with the big tubes

Weakness:

not extremly rigid, has stiction on the first compression of the day. doesnt stiffen up through its travel enough.

Small hitts-Takes up every single liitle bump in the trail just perfectly, in the corners it keeps your tire glued to the ground and does not flex.
Medium hits-This fork will take medium hits probably better than any other 3 inch fork out there, it tends to go a liitle far into its travel, but it comes apart qiuck enough to make up for it. I'm able to hit the corners at atleast 5 mph faster than on my old Sid. This fork also handles the little 1-2 foot drops in the trail well.
Big hits-i do not recomend this as a big hit fork for someone over 160. Just a few days ago it took it on its first urban ride, I'm one of those guys who end up going over a 13 set stair gap or hitting a 7 footer to flat. despite the constant big hit pounding it never made any weird noises or loose any air or oil. it did bottom out really bad in the 6-7 footers. it is very consistant fork and really took the hit out of every thing compared to my sid.
Don't worry you trials guys, this fork is not that hard to do trials stuff with and won't efect your bunnys to much.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
muddbogger   [Dec 06, 2001]
Strength:

The 100 is a must for any downhilling. Its stiff but you need the travel for any dropping off. Soaks up bumps real nice on hard pak cross country riding. Been using and abusing it and I only noticed slight difference from new. Beefy design is solid. Stronger than the frame. It can handle rocks about the size of graprfruits but after that you better get a psylo.

Weakness:

Not quite enough bounce for the technical terrain in Hawaii. It will get you just about anywhere but you kinda wish you had more to get home. The 2001 psylo is only 250 online. Why not go all the way. Also it kinda squeeks cause the air.

Get it if you want a light fork that is stiff enough to handle about any weight for a x country bike. If you are tired of air and want to go big go for the psylo sl or the Marzoochi Z1 MCR for not much more $.

Similar Products Used: Marzoochi z5
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 66  

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