RockShox Recon Race review£310.00

Value winner in mid-priced forks

BikeRadar score4/5

There are so many mid-priced RockShox forks around that it’s hard to pick the best, but we reckon this hot-rod Recon is a value winner. We often meet the Recon on complete bikes, and it always does a cracking job of making mid-price bikes feel top-class in suspension terms. It can do the same for your bike, too

The main difference between most Recons and most RockShox Rebas is that the more expensive Reba comes with a lighter alloy steerer. However, the Recon Race gets that too, leaving it only 18g heavier than the Reba. It’s got the same durable, steerable structure elsewhere, too, making it a sturdy enough fork even in its longer-travel incarnation.

On the bike it’s pretty much impossible to distinguish the Recon and Reba. The solo air spring ramps up noticeably deeper in the stroke, but not so much that you can’t get full travel. You have to be pushing it really hard for the Motion Control damping to become clattery rather than reasonably controlled.

While Recon lacks the Reba’s adjustable negative air spring that lets you adjust the initial stroke sensitivity, its pre-set behaviour is pretty much the same as what we run Rebas at anyway. Given that most riders – even experienced ones – don’t really know what a negative spring is for, it also removes the potential for people to ruin the set-up of their fork. The same applies to the lack of Floodgate adjustment on the compression circuit.

Instead you get RockShox’s excellent Poploc lever, which effectively turns the fork off for steep road climbs or sprints – which is all most racers want. You even get a metal top cap on the air spring for that quality feel.

If we had one gripe, it’s that the permanent V brake studs and IS (rather than post mount) disc brake mounts make the fork look dated.

With RockShox’s legendary reliability, the actual performance is unlikely to age, though, giving another reason why it’s our clear value winner.

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: 45
  • 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 than 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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