Sitting between RockShox’s race-friendly Reba cross-country fork and the abuse-thirsty Pike is the Revelation, which has always been overlooked but is actually surprisingly good. Its 2009 revamp is causing quite a stir, leaving Reba and Pike riders scratching their heads – the new Revelation operates at both ends of the spectrum with worryingly good performance at each.
We rode the 426 model, which uses a dual air spring for positive and negative adjustments. RockShox's U-Turn system allows you to adjust the fork’s travel without changing the spring rate. Screwed down to 110mm (4.3in) travel, it feels like a burly short travel fork, but when released to its full 140mm (5.5in), it’s a bump swallowing beast.
The 426 features Motion Control damping and rebound adjustment. Up top is a T6 aluminium crown, which resembles the Pike crown, but on a diet. The lower legs feature the Power Bulge, allowing a bigger bush to be used for increased stiffness and better wear, while a Maxle Lite 20mm through-axle system sits down below. There’s also a quick-release option.
With the new Maxle Lite being substantially lighter, and the whole fork resembling and handling like a light Pike, it’s easy to get carried away, but this is still a trail fork. The ride is amazing – we think even better than a Pike for most bikes due to its light weight. But it isn't a freeride fork, and if you ride it as hard as you would a Pike, it could leave you pinballing through rough stuff.
The Revelation will take a hammering in the right hands, but it's in its element as a trail fork – its silky smooth action, reliable damping and light weight make it a sure-fire winner in the trail/all-mountain market.