Rockshox SID Team fork review£460.00

Race light, trail tough and thoroughly brilliant

BikeRadar score4.5/5

The latest incarnation of RockShox’ flagship cross-country fork ushers in a new era of racing forks. It offers speed and composed control in an adjustable, easy-to-use package. It’s great for trail riders looking to reduce weight without compromising control. Racers may still be tempted by lighter units, but in terms of technical speed, this is the fastest 100mm fork around.

The finest testament to RockShox new baby is that this tester is here to write this review. If I’d tried riding half the stuff on an old SID that the new SID barely noticed, this would be a personal epitaph instead of a test. Light, tight and controlled enough to tackle anything you could call cross-country, RockShox’s weakest link just grew some serious balls.

Say goodbye, then. to the old, skinny, non-steering SID. The new version is tough enough to handle the trail, while still remaining track-light.

Control is where SID excels. The new crown, square arch and swollen ‘Power Bulges’ around the bushings give it an impressive stiffness that’ll carve inside most trail-specific forks. Even down proper off-piste sections in Welsh woods it never twisted, twanged or turned nasty, despite our death-grip braking on a 183mm front rotor.

The Dual Air positive and negative springs make stroke tuning easy and almost infinitely variable, from suck-every-root-up mushy to stiff as you like.

The Team and World Cup versions use a ‘Black Box’ titanium spring tube which leaves enough room for dual-stage damping internals. The difference in control over previous Motion Control set-ups when you’re right at the ragged edge is immediately noticeable.

We hit every rockfest on Coed y Brenin’s black-rated Beast run flat-out without flinching and the SID never lost composure, regardless of how hard we landed it, turned it, braked it or hammered it down the trail.

RockShox has a fantastic reputation for reliability on its 32mm forks and set-up is super easy. The recommended pressures are spot-on, but it also comes with an O-ring travel checker and sag markings printed on the leg. There are even white and black versions for exact bike-matching convenience.

Because the SID is a race fork first and foremost, RockShox has worked hard to keep the weight down. Despite being the now-benchmark 32mm stanchion diameter – the old SID had 28mm stanchions – the upper legs are shorter than those on the similarly shaped RockShox Reba.

The base of the internals is tucked up inside the legs, while the area between the ‘Post’-style brake mounts is recessed, giving the fork a diminutive size.

The result is that our sample weighs 1498g – even with a relatively long steerer tube, headset race and star-fangled nut fitted. To put that in context, that’s more than 200g lighter than the Reba Race and 80g lighter than Fox’s F100.

While that’s light for a RockShox fork, the Magura Durin (1456g), DT Swiss XCR100 (1408g) and Manitou R7 MRD (1310g) are all even lighter than the SID, and the Magura and DT are impressively stiff, too. Neither can quite match the SID in terms of versatility, adjustability and ease of set-up, though, and the DT Swiss is way more pricey.

For now, UK buyers will also have to live with only the 80mm version having the option of the excellent PushLoc remote locking.

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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