Riders on 5-6in travel trail bikes want a bottomless, long-travel feel on a fork that still has the poise and panache of shorter, cross-country orientated models. That’s where RockShox’s Revelation sits.
Longer and burlier than the cross-country Reba, and shorter and lighter than its freeride Lyrik sibling, the 2010 Rev is an enticing option.
Our 120-150mm Team U-Turn adjustable travel model weighs between 3.6 and 3.8lb, depending on your choice of either 9mm or 20mm dropouts, and it nails its cross-country colours firmly to the mast.
A full 6in-travel suspension fork with sorted damping and class-leading stiffness is always going to be a lot of fun when the trail turns down. The stiffened ‘Power Bulge’ chassis of the 2010 Rev helps underpin the confident feel.
Our 20mm through-axle version likes it best when you unweight the bar, have confidence in the improved stiffness and damping control, and just blast the obvious fast bits.
It’s grin city as the reined Black Box Motion Control damping circuits keep you in touch with unfolding situations with excellent feedback as you float around the mid-stroke sweet spot, revelling in the progressive spike-free cushioned feel. You can get it to bottom out if you try, but thankfully that too is well controlled thanks to the damper.
The 10mm increase in travel for 2010 to 150mm keeps the Rev on par with the travel offered by its key rival the Fox 23 Talas, although at 3.9lb for the £829 QR15 model that’s a spendy and heavier option. The Rev’s extra travel only adds 4mm to the total fork length and keeps it from upsetting bikes with 120-150mm rear ends.
On our 140mm rear travel test bike, with air pressure set for 30-35mm sag and rebound set three to four clicks from full fast, we had an immediately plush feel without any sense of it bogging or getting lost in the mid-stroke.
We thought the fork might labour under slow-speed climbs and were ready to reduce the travel with the U-Turn dial but instead all we noticed was the extra front-end grip from a tyre patch that was more able to hold the ground than normal. The XX models have XLoc hydraulic lockout if you want to razz your Rev on/up the smooth stuff.
Against the Fox, the Rev is a fractionally more entertaining ride though they trade punches pretty evenly: the Rev is lighter, the Fox can go down to 110mm for big ascents. You choose – we’re happy reading from the book of Revelation.