SRAM lists the RockShox Argyle range under the freeride banner, but we think the Argyle 318 is much more versatile than that pigeon-hole might suggest.
The freeride categorisation conjures up images of massive 360 bomb drops and epic flips, and although this fork is capable of being used in that way – in the right hands – it makes a great fork to hit up street, track and trails for everyday riders.
It’s a relatively uncomplicated fork. The stock 100mm (3.9in) travel is perfect for your all-round hardtail weapon. There are enough external adjustments for most, with the all-important rebound adjuster situated at the bottom of the right leg and a compression adjuster on top.
The compression adjuster indexes through about 45 degrees of audibly satisfying clicks to a ‘lock’ position, which is pretty useful if you want to hit up a skate park and stop the fork wallowing in the transitions and losing your speed and flow.
What the fork does lack, though, is an external spring pre-load adjuster. It can still be adjusted, but the top cap has to be removed and some plastic extra strong mints have to be shoved in to compress the spring.
This isn’t ideal, because you may well want to run a stiff fork down the BMX track, but jumping in the local woods calls for a more compliant fork. The compression adjuster does help with these different set-up requirements, but doesn’t negate the need for an accessible spring adjuster.
In use, the forks are really sweet – pretty much what you’d expect from a RockShox fork.
We ran ours absolutely stock and the standard fitted extra firm spring was perfect for the 13st of bulk hooning around on top of it. The 32mm taperwall 4130 steel stanchions combine with a really hefty aluminium steerer to give a stout and twang-free ride.
Running shorter travel means more overlap between the stanchions and the lowers, and more overlap stiffens up the fork considerably. Add to this the really quite excellent 20mm Maxle through-axle system and you have the recipe for a superbly tracking fork.
This is an excellent choice if you have a jump bike that you use for everything from 4X to skatepark.