29er, Fork, Forks, RockShox, RS-1 -

Review: RockShox RS-1 suspension fork

The RS-1 with 120mm of travel on an Ibis Tranny 29.

The RS-1 with 120mm of travel on an Ibis Tranny 29.

The Lowdown: RockShox RS-1 suspension fork

It’s expensive, proprietary, and hard to mount a front wheel onto, but based purely on performance, no other XC-oriented fork I’ve ridden can match the RockShox RS-1. Featuring an inverted design and new Accelerator Damper, the RS-1 is exceptionally sensitive and active, swallowing up bumps that other suspension forks don’t even bother with, and its steering precision is as sharp and immediate as any rigid carbon fork. But is the performance gain of the RS-1 over a traditional fork worth the $2,000-plus price of admission? Only your wallet knows for sure.

Stat Box
Travel Options: 80mm, 100mm, 120mm Stanchion Diameter: 32mm
Wheel size: 29-inch Maximum Rotor Size: 200mm
Weight: 3.67 pounds (1,666 grams) Fork Offset: 46mm, 51mm
Lockout: XLoc hydraulic remote MSRP: $1865, plus $238 for Predictive Steering hub
Steerer: Tapered Carbon Rating: 4 Flamin' Chili Peppers 4 Chilis-out-of-5
Crown: Carbon

  • Outstanding small bump compliance
  • Expensive
  • Razor sharp steering precision
  • Proprietary hub adds additional cost
  • Incredibly stiff cornering performance
  • Heavier than expected
  • Suited for both the XC race circuit and rowdy
  • Front wheel installation
    backcountry trails
  • Not compatible with a fork mount bike rack
  • Inverted design offers better seal lubrication and stiffness

Update: April 9, 2015 – Now available in 27.5 wheel size and in white color

For 2015 the RS-1 family grows with the addition of a 27.5 model, and a new Gloss White color option.

  • Dedicated 27.5” model with 42mm offset chassis in 100 and 120mm travel options
  • 29” and 27.5” version both get new color option: Gloss White
Rockshox RS-1 is now available in  gloss white color. 27.5 wheel size is available too.

Rockshox RS-1 is now available in gloss white color. 27.5 wheel size is available too.

Full Review: RockShox RS-1 suspension fork

Well here we go again, reviewing a product that many will think is outrageously priced: MSRP is $1865 plus another $238 for the proprietary Predictive Steering hub exclusive to the RockShox RS-1. Reactions of people to the RS-1 have filled the gamut of human emotion. Some are slack jawed, drooling all over themselves. Some are dismissive, pooh-poohing it as another needless innovation. Some are completely oblivious (my favorite reaction). And some are seriously insulted at the mere suggestion of a suspension fork system that costs north of $2,000.

The RS-1 looks as impressive as it performs.

The RS-1 looks as impressive as it performs.

It’s obvious the RS-1 is prohibitively expensive for most people. But considering some people wouldn’t hesitate to drop two grand on a blingy carbon fiber wheelset, maybe the RS-1 isn’t as outrageously priced as some think. The RS-1 was designed to be a no-expense-spared fork that displays RockShox’s innovative evolution since it first debuted in 1989. An engineering-driven project that helps establish new technologies, that hopefully will eventually work their way down to suspension products Joe Consumer can actually afford. Just like automotive manufacturers who develop engine and suspension technologies for Formula One, those prohibitively expensive innovations eventually find their way into the cars we drive to the grocery store.

RockShox RS-1 Logo RockShox RS-1 Field

The brake cable mounts on the RS-1 are cleverly executed (left). The RS-1 is equally capable as an all-mountain fork and an XC-oriented race fork (right). Photo by James Adamson – dropmedia.tv

Continue to page 2 for more of this story and full photo gallery »

The post Review: RockShox RS-1 suspension fork appeared first on Mountain Bike Review.