RockShox 2011 ... A day in Durango

MBUK takes a trip Stateside to check out the latest from RockShox

Well that volcano certainly didn't do us any favours! It seems to have been spewing ash into the sky for weeks now and managed to time it perfectly with our trip to Durango.

Anyway, it may have delayed the flights by a day but when we arrived, all that sitting in airports was more than worth it. 

The dudes at RockShox are always striving to improve on their already impressive range and from what we saw, 2011 is set to be really exciting.

First thing to get to grips with is the new way in which products are named or categorised. RockShox have opted to head down the abbreviation route where things stay super-simple. These guys are all about calling a spade a spade. For example 'R' means rebound and 'T' means threshold. Decipher the abbreviation and you'll get the feature within the fork or shock model. Easy.

For 2011, the guys have been working flat out to deliver not only tweaks and improvements to existing products, but also some entirely new bits of kit. Now, like we said, they've been busy, so here are some of the highlights from Durango.

The Reverb adjustable seatpost will certainly turn heads. With 125mm (4.9in) of travel all controlled via the sleek, hydraulic bar-mounted Reverb Remote (XLoc style), there is plenty of adjustment on offer and the fact you can dial in the return speed via the barrel adjuster on the remote is pretty great. This hydraulic actuation is dealt with using RockShox's IFP (Internal Floating Piston) technology which seperates the air and oil, keeping things running sweet. The routing is neat and if the sealing is as good as they promise, this could be the answer to a lot of people's prayers.

Rear shocks are big news too at the minute. The all-new Monarch Plus is based on the current Monarch along with the new Vivid Air shock. This piggyback damper features Dual Flow rebound along with compression adjustment and is aimed at the all-mountain brigade. 

We were lucky enough to rattle out a few runs on the all-new Vivid Air rear shock and were more than impressed with the performance. RockShox took the wise step of taking two years to develop the Vivid Air and we think it shows. There has been so much development involved in this shock it's crazy.

Internally, the Vivid Air is pretty special, boasting the Hot Rod thermal compensating needle which helps eliminate rebound fade when the shock is piping hot. On the mellow downhill runs we did, the shock felt great, with plenty of support and a super-supple stroke. In fact, it would be tricky to tell the difference between the Vivid Air and a coil shock, but the Vivid Air does save around 300g over a coil sprung shock, which is pretty significant.

Other noteable products had to include the new Sektor fork which fits in just below the Revelation. The Sektor is set to be more friendly on the wallet without skimping on quality. The lowers are in fact identical to the Revelation, and the damper and spring options seem almost endless. Using the new Maxle Lite axle, which is even easier to use, the Sektor looks to make waves in the trail riding market next year. 

Lastly, the new SID has to have a mention. Now available with 120mm (4.7in) of travel with a 15mm Maxle Lite option, this is going to be clocking up the cross-country miles come next season, that's for sure.

Before heading home we did manage to get an invite to the legendary Greg Herbold's ranch for some beers and bonfire action. This place is amazing and showcases everything bike and motorbike related, including some of the first ever suspension forks, all the way up to the latest in prototype technology. This guy really knows his stuff and it was a great way to end the trip.

Keep a close eye out in future issues of MBUK for more details on the RockShox launch as well as full tests coming soon.

Rob Weaver

Technical Editor-in-Chief, UK
Rob started riding mountain bikes seriously in 1993 racing cross-country, though he quickly moved to downhill where he competed all over the world. He now spends most of his time riding trail bikes up and down hills. Occasionally he'll jump into an enduro race.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Natural trails where the loam fills my shoes on each and every turn
  • Beer of Choice: Guinness
Back to top