RockShox Recon Gold RL suspension fork£400.00

Legendarily reliable

BikeRadar score3.5/5

The Gold RL is the top fork in the Recon range and delivers straightforward, simple to tune and reliably consistent control in a usefully light package for the price.

Power Bulge and post-style brake mount lowers, plus a reworked crown/stanchion interface remove previous stiction/spiking issues and leave a light chassis that steers okay and stops smoothly, even in quick-release format. There’s no 15mm through-axle option though and you get the older zip tie rather than triangular clamp hose guide.

The air spring is RockShox's simpler Solo Air system. This removes the precarious pressure balancing of Dual Air and makes setup a lot simpler. It’s still sensitive enough over small stuff once bedded in. An external rebound adjuster and low speed/lockout lever cover the basic bounce control options well.

The Motion Control valving only really gets overwhelmed on larger successive strikes such as steps or long rocky descents. The internals are totally proven and come with a great reliability reputation however hard you treat them. Spare seals, pump and stickers are included with the fork too. 100mm and coil sprung options are also available.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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