Sunday, November 27, 2005

Rockin' the Shox

I've been a devout non-RockShox guy for a long time now. Not to bring up bad subjects, but I got so good at replacing the Judy cartridges that I got it down to about three minutes. When the Sid came out, I couldn't believe they made a fork that weighed less than my stool. Talk about flexy... The Duke stuff didn't last and Reba scares me. Boxxer crowns don't seem to last half of a pro season. Did I mention the Quad 21 or the Mag 21? I won't go back that far. It would be too painful...

Turn to model year 2006. I've managed to befriend Big Ed at SRAM (problem with pre-SRAM Juicy brakes) and he recommended that I check out one of their new Revelation forks. I need something around 130 (hit), with a 32mm stancion (hit) and some sort of adjustability (hit). Oh, and it needs to look good (hit). I've been seeing ads for the Motion Control Damping (MCD) that SRAM has on the Rock Shox forks, I just never swayed from the world of Fox/Marzocchi long enough to take it seriously. I gotta hand it to Ed. He knows his stuff and he doesn't fluff.

I got one of the forks and plugged it into a new SWorks Stumpy 120 with the brain fade to check it out. I spent the entire 2005 'season' on it and rode that bike in the SM100 so I know how the damn thing feels. In a word: good. Good like chocolate. I like chocolate.

Anyway, just putting the fork on the bike made me thing positive things. The 'platform' that I'm so used to hearing about was way different on this fork. I've had some bad luck with the Manitou Minute forks and I'm not a fan of the Fox F100x stuff so I've just avoided anything that has 'platform' anywhere in the marketing materials. But I digress...

The Rock Shox MCD stuff is killer. On the Revelation 426 fork that I'm checking out (non-Uturn), it's 3.7lbs of travel at 130mm. They have 20mm thru forks but I declined. The MCD gives you about 2cm of travel before you bump the MCD (when it's on). The MCD is a 3000lb spring that you can either hit or not, depending on where you have the handlebar switch set. The gate gets turned on and off by the switch and the gate is the thing that really makes the magic.

The gate controls whether the MCD spring is engaged or gets bypassed. Set the gate on max + and you can barely get the fork to move under large hits. Click it a few notches towards the - and it blows open when you hit something of reasonable size. I haven't turned the MCD switch off once yet. It's killer.

Some forks bump you around when they are locked out. This gives you just enough to smooth it out and manual over stuff or preload for hopping. It also engages when you land on the other side. It's the best of all worlds.

So, way to go SRAMShox. This is a good thing and I'm sold on the fork.


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