RockShox Tora 318 U-Turn Coil review£175.00

Not light, but a cost-effective upgrade

BikeRadar score3.5/5

The coil-sprung RockShox Tora 318 isn’t light for a trail fork, but it’s cheap and competent enough to consider as a cost-effective upgrade.

The structure shares the same lower legs with the other RockShox 32mm forks, and with steel stanchions plugged into them it feels impressively stiff. The steel steerer tube adds yet more weight, though, making it even heavier than the all-mountain RockShox Pike and Fox’s monster 36.

The Tora’s suspension stroke starts off quite stiffly, but after the seals and bushings smooth out, so does the fork. After a few rides it certainly feels acceptably plush and compliant enough over the small stuff.

Considering the price of the Tora (it’s one of teh cheapest good quality trail forks) and its basic damping, it’s not bad over bigger hits. It can suck up single big hits without spiking, and the external rebound damping and Turnkey lockout are both satisfactory and self-explanatory. Unlike most cheap forks, it doesn’t top out badly, either.

Successive hits such as big steps or random rocks throw the rebound – and consistent control – right out of kilter, however.

IS disc mounts make brake setup more awkward, but overall reliability is absolutely outstanding. 

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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