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RockShox forks overview 2020: models, details, pricing and specification

RockShox SID Fork
(Image credit: RockShox)

RockShox is one of the market leaders when it comes to suspension, having provided front forks and rear shocks to mountain bikers for almost 30 years.  

RockShox released the first-ever mountain bike suspension fork, in 1990, called the RS-1 — it had two-inches of travel and was essentially a downsized motocross fork. In the years that followed, Rockshox even tried suspension forks for road bikes for the 1994 Paris-Roubaix, but as the technology has grown, it has found a permanent home in mountain biking. 

Now under the umbrella of SRAM, RockShox forks have come a long way, and now the brand produces everything ranging from lightweight 100mm XC options to dual-crown big-impact-eating forks for downhill bikes

RockShox fork tech explained

When it comes to mountain bike suspension forks, you need to implicitly understand the notions behind the damper, air spring, volume token and sag gradient. After all, these parts are responsible for the way your fork performs. 

Dampers: RochShox Charger Damper

With a fully sealed bladder to keep suspension oil and air free, the Charger is RockShox's best damper. The latest 2.1 version sees changes in the valving to help the fork sit higher up in the travel by allowing less high-speed compression, more usable low-speed compression damping and additional rebound control. The updated version also gets SKF seals in the upper and lower leg, and a new piston wear band inside the damper claimed to reduce friction over its predecessor.

There are three versions of the Charger damper, the RC, RCT 3 and RC2, each of which offers different levels of compression adjustment. 

Dampers: Motion Control

The Motion Control damper is RockShox's mid-range emulsion damper — it’s not a sealed unit meaning air can mix with the oil as the fork actuates, leading to less controlled damping after repeated hits. 

Dampers: TurnKey Damper

The TurnKey damper is RockShox's most basic and affordable option found on the entry-level forks. As a basic emulsion damper, the TurnKey offers the least controlled dampening.

Air Springs: Debonair spring

With a high-volume negative air spring and minimal breakaway force for small-bump compliance, the Debonair Spring is RockShox's flagship air spring. 

Air Springs: Solo Air

The Solo Air gets its name because you only have to add air to the one valve, and it will equalise the negative pressure on its own. In years past, RockShox offered a ‘Dual Air’ spring that required you to pressurise both the positive and negative air chambers. 

Volume Spacers - Bottomless Tokens

Bottomless Tokens are what RockShox calls the spacers used to adjust fork progression. Adding tokens reduces the volume of the air spring and makes the fork harder as it dives deeper into the travel to prevent a possible bottom out. Tokens vary in colour depending on your fork and air spring.

Sag Gradients

RockShox streamlines setting up your fork by printing the sag gradients directly onto the upper stanchions, eliminating the need for tape measures or rulers. 

RockShox Forks you can buy today

RockShox Fork

(Image credit: RockShox)

RockShox SID

Efficient enough for the up and the downs

Travel: 100mm, 120mm | Stanchion diameter: 32mm | Steerer: Tapered | Axle: 15x110mm, Boost, 15 x 100mm

Stiff
Tuneable
Not as light as the Fox 32

The Sid is RockShox's all-out XC fork. Available in 100- and 120mm versions, the fork comes in both boost and non-boost spacing and with lowers for 29- and 27.5-inch wheels and tyres. 

For the 2020 model year, each version uses the Charger 2 damper with the top-of-the-range World Cup version bouncing on a Charger 2 RLC damper, Debonair air spring, a carbon crown, blue lowers and the new foil Graphics. 

RockShox Fork

(Image credit: RockShox)

RockShox BoXXer

Uber tunable and tracks the ground like velcro

Travel: 180mm - 200mm | Stanchion diameter: 35mm | Steerer: Straight | Axle: 20x110mm, Boost

Adjustability
The smoothest DH fork out there
Extra-low friction air spring
Not as robust as forks with wider stanchions

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the BoXXer DH fork. With 35mm stanchions, the dual-crown fork is available for both 29- and 27.5-inch wheels and is equipped with a special downhill-specific friction-reduced Debonair air spring. 

With the option of a Charger 2.1 or Charger 2.1 RC2 damper, the fork tops out at 200mm of squish and the flagship Ultimate version is equipped with new low-friction SKF wipers and Maxima Plush Oil said to reduce friction and quiet damper noise, too.

RockShox Fork

(Image credit: RockShox)

RockShox Pike

The gold standard for trail forks

Travel: 110mm - 160mm | Stanchion diameter: 35mm | Steerer: Tapered | Axle: 15x110mm, Boost

Spring and Damper
Shaves weight from the previous version
Silver lowers
Top-end spec is expensive

Serving as RockShox’s do-everything trail fork, the Pike is available in travel from 110mm to 160mm and sees 35mm stanchions which add weight but also stiffness. 

Only available in boost-hub spacing, the Pike features the new Charger 2.1 damper in either the RC 2 or RCT3 spec as well as a Debonair or Solo Air spring. It will accommodate both 27.5- and{"data-model-name":"RockShox Pike RCT3 forks","data-widget-type":"review"} 29-inch wheels with room for 2.8in tyres. The Ultimate and Select + specs also see the new SKF Wiper seals and Maxima Plus Oil.

RockShox Fork

(Image credit: RockShox)

RockShox Revelation

Almost as good as the Pike at a fraction of the price

Travel: 120mm - 160mm | Stanchion diameter: 35mm | Steerer: Tapered | Axle: 15x110mm, Boost

Debonair Spring with option for Charger 2 Damper
Lacking a bit on sensitivity and square edge hits

Based on the chassis as the Pike, the Revelation offers the same range of travel as its more expensive cousin (120mm-160mm) with a less-refined damper. All the Revelation forks bounce on a Debonair Spring but trade the Charger 2.1 damper for the Motion Control version. 

RockShox Fork

(Image credit: RockShox)

RockShox Lyrik

Mirror mirror on the wall, the Lyrik is the burliest of them all

Travel: 150mm - 180mm | Stanchion diameter: 35mm | Steerer: Tapered | Axle: 15x110mm, Boost

One of the most sensitive and tunable forks on the market
Red lowers
Cost of Ultimate spec

Taking a step up in travel, the Lyrik is designed for more aggressive riding with a stiffer, heavier chassis for more precise tracking. The stanchions are still 35mm but the walls are thicker to limit deflection under load.

Available in travel from 150mm up to 180mm, even the bottom-of-the-range Lyrik RC sees a Charger 2 damper with external rebound and low-speed compression adjustments. 

Jump up to the Ultimate version and you’ve got yourself a Charger 2.1 damper in either the three-position RCT3 or RC2 as well as the low-friction SKF seals, Maxima fluid and BoXXer-red lowers.

RockShox Fork

(Image credit: RockShox)

RockShox Yari

The most budget-friendly properly big fork you can buy

Travel: 150mm - 180mm | Stanchion diameter: 35mm | Steerer: Tapered | Axle: 15x110mm, Boost

It’s a Lyrik with a downgraded damper
Motion control lacks support over big hard impacts in an enduro setting

In the same way, the Revelation is to the Pike, the Yari is to the Lyrik. Borrowing most of the design features of the Lyrik, the Yari features the same amount of squish but downgrades to either a Charge RC or Motion Control damper. 

With 35mm stanchions the Yari is often found on e-MTB’s as it offers big travel and plenty of stiffness but doesn't send the already high cost through the roof. All the Yari forks are equipped with the brand’s Debonair or SoloAir springs. 

RockShox Fork

(Image credit: RockShox)

RockShox Bluto

Lightweight and simple to set up

Travel: 80mm - 120mm | Stanchion diameter: 32mm | Steerer: Tapered | Axle: 15x150mm, Boost

Simple setup
Weight
No room for a fender with 4.8in rubber
35mm stanchions would be worth the grams

Named after Popeye’s arch-nemesis, the Bluto is one of only a few production suspension forks for fat bikes. With enough room to clear a 26 x 4.8in tyre, the Bluto offers 80mm, 100mm or 120mm of bounce and 150mm hub spacing. RockShox also say the seals and grease used in the fork are rated for low temperatures and don’t freeze up in arctic conditions. 

With 32mm stanchions, the fork comes with a Solo Air spring and a Motion Control damper; which allows for external rebound, compression adjustment and lockout. The RLT3 spec has three-pedal modes and low-speed compression.

RockShox Fork

(Image credit: RockShox)

RockShox Reba

Budget-friendly charger once you’ve added a token or two

Travel: : 110mm - 150mm | Stanchion diameter: 32mm | Steerer: Tapered | Axle: 15x110mm, Boost, 15x100mm

Borrows the chassis from the SID
Needs a token or two, especially in longer-travel options

Designed for XC or light trail riding the Reba is a capable budget-friendly fork. Available in travel ranging from 110mm to 150mm, for the money, it’s one of our favourite forks in the RockShox catalogue. 

Although it features similar travel numbers as the Revelation, the 32mm stanchions mean it doesn’t track quite as straight through heavy braking or high-speed cornering. RockShox makes the fork in 26- up to 29-inch versions, and each comes with a Solo Air Spring and Motion Control damper. 

RockShox Fork

(Image credit: RockShox)

RockShox Judy

A fork with history that's ideal for beginners

Travel: 80mm - 120mm | Stanchion diameter: 32mm | Steerer: Tapered | Axle: 15x110mm, Boost

Affordable
Adjustability for the price
TurnKey damper reserved for beginners

First launched in 1995, the 2020 Judy has come quite a long way. Positioned as a budget-friendly XC and light trail fork, the Judy sees plenty of trickle-down tech from the Pike.

Available in travel ranging from 80mm to 120mm, it’s available in 27.5- and 29-inch sizes and sees enough clearance for a 2.8in tyre. Both versions of the Judy fork - gold or silver - feature a Solo Air spring. 

The Gold Spec version gets a Motion Control damper complete with rebound and low-speed compression adjustment and lockout. The Silver spec sees a TurnKey damper, which still offers rebound adjustment and lockout.

RockShox Fork

(Image credit: RockShox)

RockShox Sektor

The living, breathing definition of trickle-down technology

Travel: 80mm - 150mm | Stanchion diameter: 35mm | Steerer: Tapered | Axle: 15x110mm, Boost

Debonair spring
Structurally the same as the Revelation
Dampening can get overwhelmed if things get rowdy

Placed at the lower end of its product range, RockShox gave the Sector a makeover last year upgrading the fork with aluminium uppers and a Debonair spring. Available with 80mm to 150mm of travel the axle to crown measurements are the same as the Pike and the fork is controlled by a Motion Control damper. 

With 32mm stanchions, Boost-hub spacing and a tapered steerer tube, the Sektor is a veritable sleeper - a high-performing fork for those that don’t have much to spend.

RockShox Fork

(Image credit: RockShox)

RockShox Recon

Budget fork that doesn’t skimp on adjustability

Travel: 80mm - 150mm | Stanchion diameter: 32mm | Steerer: Tapered | Axle: 15x110mm, Boost, 15 x100mm

Low-speed compression and rebound adjustability
It's porky on the scale

Taking another step down in price, the Recon RL is a value-based fork with 32mm stanchions that covers travel from 80mm up to 150mm. It features a Motion Control damper, Solo Air spring and will even play nice with a bar-mounted lockout remote. 

RockShox Fork

(Image credit: RockShox)

RockShox 35

Robust stanchions at an unbeatable price

Travel: 100mm - 160mm | Stanchion diameter: 32mm | Steerer: Tapered | Axle: 15x110mm, Boost

35mm stanchions
Debonair air spring
Weight

As you can probably guess from the name, the 35 is based around a 35mm chassis and is a supremely stiff fork when you consider how low it sits in RockShox's product hierarchy. 

Boasting travel options from 100mm to 160mm the fork floats on the Debonair air spring. It comes fitted with a Motion Control damper and can be had with a simple lockout, too. 

RockShox Fork

(Image credit: RockShox)

RockShox 30

Entry-level off-road-ready fork

Travel: 80mm - 120mm | Stanchion diameter: 30mm | Steerer: Tapered | Axle: 9m QR

Easy setup air spring version
Coil spring should be avoided
Doesn’t take much to overwhelm the TurnKey Damper

Occupying the lower step of the RockShox range of suspension forks is the 30. The fork uses 30mm stanchions and is one of the only proper off-road forks that will still accept a quick release.

Available in two spec levels, the 30 Gold RL has a Motion Control damper allowing for low-speed compression, external rebound adjustment and lockout, as well as a SoloAir Air spring. The Silver TK comes in either SoloAir or coil-sprung varieties and gets a TurnKey damper. 

Born and bred in Colorado, and now based in Australia, Colin comes from a ski racing background and started riding as a way to stay fit through the summer months. His father, a former European pro, convinced him to join the Colorado State University collegiate cycling team, and he hasn't stopped since. It's not often he pins on a number nowadays, and you'll likely find him in search of flowy singletrack, gravel roads and hairpin corners. Colin has worked at BikeRadar.com and is a regular contributor to Australian Mountain Bike and Cyclist magazines. Rides: BMC Team Machine SLR01 Trek Top Fuel 9 Ibis Ripley