For 2012 RockShox have launched a full line of SID models in the longer 29er length with options for 15mm axles and tapered head tubes. Because we were looking for our test fork to fit a specific frame and wheel setup, we opted for a standard plain 1-1/8in alloy steerer and standard open 9mm dropouts – on paper the least stiff option on offer.
Riding the SID XX 29er is better than good; it’s better than great. The fork is simply supple and forgiving. It feels less race specific and more rider friendly than other 29er forks we've been riding recently. The fork travel begins with minimal effort thanks to some awesome seals that allow unhindered movement from the anodised alloy stanchions.
From there you’re off down the trail enjoying a mid-stroke that, over most mountain trails, is the definition of composure. In fact, you’re not enjoying it, because you don’t really feel it happening – not in a mechanical in/out sort of way – but the traction from the front tyre in bumpy high-speed turns suggests that it’s giving you exactly the performance you’re looking for.
Picking our way down slow speed, steep rocky trails the SID 29er gave up more of its 100mm of travel than other less linear feeling forks, but it wasn’t bad by any means, just different, and if you didn’t ride them back to back like we have, you wouldn’t notice. Besides if that’s your bag, you can tune the SID specifically.
The remote XLoc is also good. We didn’t notice not having a taper or through-axle; the floaty feel more than compensated for any minute front end steering inaccuracies. If it wasn’t for the price, this would have landed a near perfect score.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.