RockShox Dart 3 2008 Forks

Available At:
Dart 3

  • Travel: 100mm
  • Spring: Coil
  • Damping: TurnKey Lockout
  • Lowers: Aluminium
  • Crown: Forged, pocketed 6061 T-6 Aluminium
  • Steerer Tube: Steel

User Reviews (34)

Showing 1-10 of 34  
joeinchi   Weekend Warrior [May 06, 2012]
Strength:

Nice travel range, effective lockout and easy to service yourself. Its simple design means there's less that can go wrong.

Weakness:

A little stiff for anyone weighing <160 lbs but I weigh 165, so it's perfect. I use zero preload and ride mellow trails--no big jumps--and not in danger of bottoming out anytime soon.

Great entry-level fork with a nice range, smooth damping and nice features. I've read some of the knocks on this fork but, as others have suggested, the problem isn't with the product; like any componnent, it requires maintenance!

I got mine used on a GT Avalanche I picked up off of CL. On my first ride, I noticed it was fairly squishy and pogo'd noticeably on the choppy stuff. And the rebound adjustment and lockout had virtually no effect. Soon afterwards, I took it apart, cleaned it and added some oil--the damper was nearly empty! After adding about 70ml of oil, it worked perfectly--smooth ride over all terrain type, not too squishy as I pedaled out of the saddle and the lockout performed as intended.

As you may have noticed, I only added 70ml of oil as opposed to the 93ml recommended in the SRAM documenation. When I followed their instructions, I only got about an inch of travel--it was ovefilled. I carefully removed about 20ml and, voila, problem solved. YMMV

I gave five stars on both because these are pretty cheap secondhand and, for their intended purpose, the 100mm of travel and options in this price range, it's hard to imagine a better-performing alternative. Again, it's probably a better fork for someone weighing >160 lbs but, for lighter riders, you can replace the spring (easily) with a Dart 3 black soft spring for about $20. Even with the extra outlay, it's still a pretty good value.

These are simple, well-made products. Treat it to some TLC and you'll be very happy you got one.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
BigWillieStyle   Cross Country Rider [Jul 06, 2011]
Strength:

It works at first.

Weakness:

After a while it doesn't work. Leaks fluid in my car, poor quality/longevity

This is a cheap fork that comes on cheap bikes. I'd be surprised if it lasted more than a year performing as a fork should. Mine simply wouldn't engage unless considerable force was placed upon it. Would have been better off with a lighter, rigid fork. Was one of the first parts replaced on my stock rockhopper.

Similar Products Used: Rockshox Reba team 29er,
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
indianadave   Weekend Warrior [Mar 18, 2011]
Strength:

Inexpensive, adjustable preload, rebound adjustment, lockout

Weakness:

Pretty stiff, especially for my 155 pound body. I hardly use any of the travel even with the prload backed as far out as I dare.

I bought this before doing much research. Might have bought something else if I'd read more about them.

Similar Products Used: Cheap department store stuff.
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Available At:
Pollution Warrior   Weekend Warrior [Apr 05, 2010]
Strength:

Holds the wheel to the frame; soaks up bumps ok; nothing has fallen off of it yet

Weakness:

Locks up solid in cold weather

Depends on how much money you have. If $130 is the top of your budget and you live in Miami or only ride when it's over 40 degrees, then it may be ok as long as it doesn't self-destruct like some have experienced. It could be more plush, some in this price range are, but my only real issue with it is that it locks up in the cold. Supposedly you can change the damper oil to 2.5WT, but that's only good to around freezing I think. A friend recently bought a bike with a Suntour XC9 (I think?) and it felt better to me on a really short ride. Suntours may be a better bet for the money. Hardly anything has lower reviews that Dart forks though.

Similar Products Used: Judy TT, el cheapo stuff on low-end Chinese bikes
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
MTBERMISS   Cross Country Rider [Mar 27, 2010]
Strength:

Great lockout feature, 120mm of travel, adjustable rebound, adjustable preload, great for XC Riding

Weakness:

Stickers are boring

This is a great fork for cross country riding. Great for beginners or budget riders. Mine never let me down. I only switched because of more technical riding.

Similar Products Used: Rock Shox Recon, Rock Shox Revelation (My current Fork), I have several Dart 3's.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
Blksocks   Cross Country Rider [Feb 28, 2010]
Strength:

Easy to maintain, locks out really well, and with proper care it should last quit some time.

Weakness:

Gotta treat the lockout with love when doing fluids.

It's a really good fork for the amount of money it's selling for. It's not for Dh/DJ riders just purely for XC riders. I think half of these complainers are people who don't know how to take care of something or abuse it without thinking and then complain that it's crap. This fork is excellent for the amount of money wanted for it.

I rated it a 5. Why a 5 you ask? Because I can bike for 3 to 5 hours day after day on it on trails/forest roads with pot holes, large roots, rocks, and whatnot and not have any problems.

Very good fork.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
riverman   Cross Country Rider [Jul 18, 2009]
Strength:

cheap, post mount, semi functional lockout

Weakness:

springs are too stiff for me (I'm 140 pounds, can't get more than 50mm of travel, they flex like CRAZY! with mild-medium front brake, the forks curl back almost an inch. lockout only works if the you set the preload too high, rebound goes from molasses too spingboard with little room in between

I bought this bike knowing that I would be replacing these forks down the road, but I didn't realize it would be so soon. my biggest complaint is the amount of flex in the stanchions. if it comes on a bike and you can't afford to buy a better one, it will do the job for a while but you will want to upgrade asap. whatever you do, do not buy this fork unless it comes with your bike! save an extra $150 and buy a used reba!

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
Available At:
Energetik   Cross Country Rider [Jun 03, 2009]
Strength:

The main strengths of this fork lie in the fact that it has both a rebound adjuster, and a blow off circuit for the lock out.

It also has a post mount style caliper mount for disc brakes.

Weakness:

This fork is definitely on the heavy side. The stanchions are skinny, and I can feel some play as well.

Well I got it for free as a take off from my wife's bike. It is better than what I had, but I wouldn't have bought this one if I were in the market. I would have saved my pennies for a Tora air with the motion control or better.

For an entry level weekender rider this fork will work just fine. I would never ride anything other than cross country with it.

It does the job, but there are far better forks out there.

Similar Products Used: Rock Shox J1, various RST, Spinner, and other generic entry level forks.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
N   Cross Country Rider [May 25, 2009]
Strength:

Cheap, Lockout, Rebound and Preload.

Weakness:

Somewhat heavy, Skinny (28mm) stanchions.

With basic adjustment of preload and rebound, these forks will handle everything that can reasonably be expected of them. Big bumps and ditches can max them out, but there's no off-putting "clank" sound when this happens; you feel it, but have the impression that the forks can take it. Adjusting the preload avoids the bottoming out, but reduces "small bump compliance", so a compromise is necessary. The lockout has a threshold which "blows off" when encountering a large enough hit; a feature you only otherwise find on much more expensive forks. A bit too flexible with its 28mm stanchions (most other forks have 32mm stanchions), but could only really be improved with an air spring, which would increase the price and make a "Recon" a better option (which comes with better damping and is lighter). As far as I can tell, "Toras" have the same internal workings and are heavier, making Dart 3s better value. They've never leaked (although I've seen Toras that have). These should last me comfortably until they wear out and I'll replace/upgrade with an air fork. Mediocre compared to higher level forks, but outstanding compared to equivalent forks by other manufacturers.

Similar Products Used: Equivalent Suntour and RST products.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
Keith   Weekend Warrior [May 11, 2009]
Strength:

When taken off the bike, they make a good club.

Weakness:

Leaks oil. Took it to the local bike shop and they couldn't repair them because RockShok kept sending the wrong part. Eventually had to downgrade to the RockShok Dart 2 just to ride the bike (they didn't have Dart 3s in stock).

Try to avoid if you can. If they come on a bike your considering buying, pull them off and sell them on ebay and buy a quality shock.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Showing 1-10 of 34  
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