The RockShox SID is the most successful fork ever on the World Cup cross-country circuit. A long-overdue overhaul in late 2008 improved it in every way but one – a slight increase in weight – to ensure it is no longer just for racers.
The SID's old reputation for flexiness has been put to bed with a trail-bike-stout chassis which, combined with highly tunable and effective internals, makes it ideal for technical riding as well as taking the top step on the podium.
There are a few lighter options out there, but the straight-walled 7000-series aluminum stanchions are now a healthy 32mm instead of an anaemic 28mm, the beefier cast magnesium lowers feature a more heavily bolstered arch and Power Bulge reinforcements around the lower bushings to combat flex under load, and the forged AL66-TV aluminium crown has a wider stance.
Weight is kept to 1,490g (for the standard fork; with the Pushloc remote shown it's 1,585g) with shorter stanchions and internal shaft lengths which also decreases oil volume. The mid-level Team is only 85g heavier than the £829.99 World Cup, which has a carbon fibre top end, and deﬁnitely worth the extra £100 over the standard Motion Control SID Race.
Only weight weenies are likely to complain about the extra mass over the old SID, as the difference in chassis rigidity is like night and day on the trail. Gone is the vague steering, floppy braking and that unnerving 'hmm, I wonder where my wheel is going to go?’ question that always seemed to haunt SID users on technical terrain. In its place is a more confidence-inspiring and secure feel that holds its line far more faithfully than before.
Adding to the latest SID’s capabilities are its highly evolved internals which include the well-proven – and highly tunable – Dual Air spring system and updated Motion Control damper. In the case of our Team version, the BlackBox compression assembly also upgrades to a titanium spring tube for lighter weight.
A printed-on inflation guide and permanent sag markings speed setup (though we consistently ran lower pressures than recommended), and the dual air springs let you micro-manage ride height, initial sensitivity and through-stroke spring rate too, meaning you make the fork as supple or stiff as you want.
The refined guts yield dividends when tyres meet dirt. Dual ﬂow rebound and compression circuits manage suspension speeds differently at different stroke depths to give consistent control that shames most 120mm forks. Trail chatter is effectively canceled out and the SID displays impressive composure through nasty rock gardens, with excellent stroke control.
Niggles are few and relatively minor in light of the fork’s otherwise superb overall performance. The recessed lower legs may help shed some grams but they also make the rebound adjuster knob and negative air spring cap hard to access, especially for those with bigger fingers.
Our Pushloc remote lockout also proved a bit stubborn to return to the open setting without unweighting the front end and regular running in dry desert conditions required relatively frequent oil bath service to maintain optimal running.
There's no screw-through axle option and UK distributors Fisher Outdoor Leisure don't import the tapered steerer versions. Otherwise, we have nothing but praise for this little-fork-that-could. Reliability has been faultless, and 80mm and V-brake versions are also available.