RockShox Officially Introduces The 29er specific RS1 Inverted XC Fork

FS RS1 29 SA 120 BLACK TOPAfter teasing us mercilessly for weeks with almost complete image of the fork, scenic lifestyle videos, and all too brief slow-mo closeups of the fork in action – the new RS1 has finally arrived.

So what’s in side, how does it work, and many body parts will it cost you?FS RS1 29 SA 120 BLACK BOTTOM
There’s alot to cover here, so let’s start with the basics. The new inverted design was built specifically for 29ers, although you could probably squeeze a 27.5″ wheel within the arches, although we assume the fork trail would be off until SRAM developed a set of dropouts with a more middle wheel size friendly offset. The company is currently offering the fork with two different offsets, so there is still hope. That said, this forks is intended to help win World Cup XC races, where most of the field are aboard 29ers.

The fork will be available in three different travel sizes (which are reflective of it’s XC pedigree) – 80, 100, and 120, and will have 32mm stanchions sliding into a tapered carbon steer tube.

Claimed weight is 1,666 gm (3.67 lbs).

Rockshoc RS1 Predictive Steering Not only is this fork light, Rockshox claims it’s stiffer than anything else available on the market for 29ers. To achieve this stiffer chassis with an inverted design, the engineering team had to think outside of the box.SRAM_MTB_RISE_XX_PS_Hub_Axle_M

Their solution is called predictive steering and features a stock 15mm Maxle Ultimate paired with an oversized solid axle dubbed the Torque Tube. When  the 27mm tube is clamped down into the dropout, it acts as a structural part of the fork and helps maximize stiffness.

Because the system only ads extra material around the hub/axle/dropout, the overall weight gain is minimal. The hub will be available as a stand alone product, or bundled with the new SRAM Rise XX, Rise 60 -29″, and Roam 50 – 29″.
Rockshox RS1 Accelerator Damper Part of the journey during RS1 product development was identifying and understanding the consumer needs, so the RS1 internals and chassis have been rethought to offer XC riders the maximum amount of comfort and efficiency. In the past, Rockshox noted that many racers would run their suspension with the maximum amount of compression, in order to increase pedaling performance, which sacrificed small bump sensitivity and ride quality.

To negotiate these two opposing forces, the technology behind the popular new sealed cartridge bladder found in the Pike – called the Charge damper, was reworked for XC racing. As product manager Jed Douglas explains it, the all new accelerator damper completely separates the air from oil to provide consistent damping using an independent floating piston, which allows them to create the highest lock out force of any Rockshox product.Rockshox Bottomless 32mm RS1 tokens In order to further tune your ride, Rockshox has also released a 32mm version of the 35mm bottomless tokens found in the Pike. Rockshox RS1 Token System Force Chart

The tokens are easily installed by unthreading the air spring and threading the spacer onto the bottom of the air cap. Each will make the forks spring rate more progressive and you can run upto three tokens.


The cost for the fork will be $1,865 (or  € 1,658) and will be available this summer.

We have a meeting setup with Rockshox at Sea Otter later this week and will be bringing you a closer look at the product soon. So please leave your technical questions in the comments and we’ll try to get them answered!

Comments

taylor - 04/08/14 - 12:30pm

$1865

HAHAhahahhahhahhhahaaahahahhahaahhhaahaaahhhaha
hahahhahhahhahhahahahah

joe - 04/08/14 - 12:31pm

Almost $2G for a fork?! Are you kidding me?? Sram trying to make up for lost profits? The industry is out of control.

px - 04/08/14 - 12:32pm

Cheap.

Kyle - 04/08/14 - 12:32pm

My lefty carbon is 3.1 lbs, and that not even the best part about it, I get so many confused looks from the laypeople when I ride by.

K11 - 04/08/14 - 12:38pm

@taylor. well said. need to add more-Hahhahahahahahahahahahahahah…
$1865, are you joking me. if this is an april fools thing, you are about a week late.

Matt - 04/08/14 - 12:39pm

The price is ridiculous and I rightfully blast SRAM quite a bit for their brakes on here, but it is great to see SRAM trying to progress technology in our sport. This specific fork may or may not be adopted by the masses, but it certainly explores a different view that may benefit the future of front suspension technology. Nice work SRAM.

vectorbug - 04/08/14 - 12:39pm

I’ll admit I made fun of the price when pinkbike posted it earlier, but kudos to SRAM for pushing the envelope / thinking outside the box / shifting the paradigm / gelling / marketing phrase.

It’s too bad Maverick went out of business. At the end the SC32 weighed about as much and only cost $600. The Duc32 was 3.9lbs and was less than a DT Swiss fork.

Psi Squared - 04/08/14 - 12:40pm

The industry’s only out of control if no one buys the products. If people buy the products, then that would seem to indicate that the industry is in control and understand basic economics, unlike many internet commenters. So, I guess that means we’ll have to wait and see what happens with RS-1 sales.

I do know I didn’t come close to winning the price pool.

mike - 04/08/14 - 12:44pm

how much does the hub weigh? i’m guessing 27mm thru axle hub isnt that light?
with all that carbon to be honest I assumed it would be lighter, esp given the high price

badbikemechanic - 04/08/14 - 12:44pm

I was expecting it to be allot lighter. The world cup sid is weighing in much less and costs significantly less as well. 1865$ that’s crazy. I will be going with the lefty. The RS1 is an overhyped turd.

Wes - 04/08/14 - 12:44pm

Im sure these will be 50% off on Jenson.

Ryan - 04/08/14 - 12:49pm

The big news here for anyone that is happy with their existing RS shox is the tokens. I love running low air pressure, which dual air let me do without bottoming out all the time. Solo air is good, but not as progressive as I’d like. I’ll be getting me some of these tokens to play with!

RUSTYDOGG - 04/08/14 - 12:50pm

$$$!? Jeezus. You must be still pulling our leg with April fools jokes. Stop it. Just stop it.

Matt - 04/08/14 - 1:00pm

I think the production of this fork is analogous to F-1 racing. The hyper expensive technology of F-1 trickles down eventually to find itself in our non-supercar cars. You probably won’t see many of these forks out on the trail unless you are in a pro race, but there is the potential for parts of, if not all, the technology to eventually make an impact in the stuff that we do buy.

vhom - 04/08/14 - 1:08pm

Please don’t forget you have to buy a new hub also. Somewhere Paul Turner is laughing @ this group of people @ RS.

Andre - 04/08/14 - 1:18pm

I really would like to see someone re-making the Look Fournales forks, that thing can easily go under 1kg as 29er, extremely sensitive to small bumps and very cool looking. Would be cool to see someone working on that also trying to add a little more travel then 80mm…would be the perfect fork!

solidasarock7 - 04/08/14 - 1:18pm

I was expecting something lighter that what is currently offered, Does the 3.67lb include the hub weight?

Robrobot - 04/08/14 - 1:21pm

This is a new take on an old design. I agree, the industry is totally control.

solidasarock7 - 04/08/14 - 1:23pm

was expecting something lighter than what is currently offered, does the 3.67lbs include hub?

Louis Vuitton - 04/08/14 - 1:27pm

To achieve this stiffer chassis with an inverted design, the engineering team had to “thing” outside of the box.

padrote - 04/08/14 - 1:31pm

You think an $1800 fork is crazy? People buy $3000 wheelsets every day and have been for quite a while.

nick - 04/08/14 - 1:32pm

I don’t get the big deal. It’s heavy and expensive. What’s so good about it? A Lefty is half a pound lighter and most likely stiffer. I’m confused…

Robrobot - 04/08/14 - 1:34pm

Conspicuous consumption will drive the sales for these forks.

Topmounter - 04/08/14 - 1:34pm

FFS… For that kind of jack I’d rather go with a Lauf or a Kilo.

Slim - 04/08/14 - 1:37pm

So, what is the total system weight, torsional and fore-aft stiffness for the system(fork+hub), compared to SID+lighweight hub and Lefty with steerer.

The price is known, they’d better back up those claims about stiffness with some numbers on this fork and Lefty.

DownSouth - 04/08/14 - 1:49pm

I am also very surprised about the weight, and then you need a new front hub also, not sure what this is aimed at.

I do admit 1800 seems high, but I dont get why people come to this site to complain about the cost of high end new stuff, go plant cabbage if you don`t have money!!!! You should be happy you will get this technology in a few years time at your beer money budgets, otherwise just stop whining and appreciate what people/companies work hard and have to charge a premium for getting the technology there.

pmurf - 04/08/14 - 1:58pm

The BoXXer WC is up around that price, and people pay that NQA to have the best tech to race at the top level of DH. Why should XC be any different? Because it only has 1 crown? Everyone lost their minds about the cost of XX1, Di2, etc. Lower-tier families get made, prices come down, radical becomes the norm. Innovation starts at the top.

R0b0tAt0ms - 04/08/14 - 2:10pm

Are these 32mm tokens only applicable to Dual Air models?

i - 04/08/14 - 2:15pm

It sounds like you have to use their hub, and the 15mm axle really isn’t acting as an axle so much as a clamp for the hub’s 27mm through axle. If I have to use their hub anyhow, why not just make a… qr27 directly?
I know everyone hates new standards, this effectively is one but IMO it’s even worse when you have something like this that looks like it’s compatible with other 15mm hubs but isn’t.

waiting to see what actual street prices are. I can’t see too many people rushing out to buy one at the asking price, especially when it requires a new hub, but I guess we’ll see.

herrow prease - 04/08/14 - 2:28pm

So lets get this straight? They are claiming it’s light weight @ 3.67lbs for 1900.00. You can get a fox ctd w/trail adjust for 800 and it’s
3.43 lb / 1.56 kg (1.5″ taper steerer)

trainwreck - 04/08/14 - 2:30pm

we did a pool as to price on the first video thread for this fork and it looks like

“MaLóL – 03/27/14 – 9:16pm
Current Top of the range SID is over 1000€, that is 1390$. I say 1890$, just uber-expensive, like the XX1.
Can we make a real pool in s poll website? somebody please do it and put the link here.”

wins! congratulations!

badbikemechanic - 04/08/14 - 2:44pm

@ herrow

Not to mention the lefty aluminum weighs in at 3lbs, costs around 900$, and already has a ton of support for it’s proprietary hub from third party manufacturers.

bryanus - 04/08/14 - 2:57pm

Are the new 32mm “bottomless tokens” made to be used within existing 32mm RS forks that don’t have the Charger-type dampers? I guess I don’t really understand what they are for/how they work.

I wish they would come out with a Charger damper retrofit kit for the Revelations. I’d love one for my Rev WC.

matilda - 04/08/14 - 3:12pm

I may be laughed at for this comment but the first question that springs (pun not intended) to mind is how, without the use of connected fork lowers do Rockshox get the stantions to move as a unit and not independently of one another? I.e. How does the wheel stay parallel to the fork legs?

NDE - 04/08/14 - 3:20pm

Does that price include the hub? Or do you have to buy that as well. Does that weight include the hub?

M. Polka - 04/08/14 - 3:32pm

What is so predictive about the steering? And, how do you service it when your “constantly bathed in oil” seals wear out and start oozing oil down the stanchions towards the brake assembly?

devintrouble - 04/08/14 - 3:44pm

well said @pmurf

Brycelewis - 04/08/14 - 4:01pm

So it is a half pound heavier than a SID WC, $600 more expensive and uses loads of proprietary parts??? I really wanted to be excited about this but I would much prefer a SID with a Charger damper over this RS-1. It seems they put a lot of engineering into making a product that looks “neat” without any real performance gains.

walljw - 04/08/14 - 4:05pm

So I wonder if they are going to make any pros ride this? Might be difficult with the predictive steering hub and a different wheel sponsor.

Ryan - 04/08/14 - 4:28pm

Oh for Pete’s sake, why do I even bother to daydream. This may as well be a Lamborghini.

MaLóL - 04/08/14 - 4:36pm

Not only I won the price pool, but I also told you this fork is crap.

Now that we know that the axles is a flimsy 15mm, we have the proof. Using a secondary cylinder around the axle, is an insult to any engineering student. You can use a secondary cylinder of 100mm diameter if you want, but if the axle is weak for an inverted fork, as it happens here, the legs will move separately, and the wheel will move side to side, just like on any inverted fork in the past.

This huge price tag will cover all the warranty claims, before the fork is out of the market. We can make a second pool to guess in what day, the fork will be discontinued. I say 2 years from release date.

MaLóL - 04/08/14 - 4:42pm

Also, the weight of 1666g is another joke. that is too heavy for a cross country fork of 1865$.
DT swiss offers forks of around 1250g, and current SID forks weight 1400g for 26ers. less than 1500f for 29ers.

Either they make a new axle standard larger than 25mm, or this fork will be discontinued soon.

Chunky - 04/08/14 - 5:02pm

I’ll stick with my lighter Lefty.

That price is a joke.

Welcome to the elitist sport of mtb’ing.

Psi Squared - 04/08/14 - 5:09pm

So, Malol, how do you know the fork is crap? Is your armchair equipped with special engineering tools, or are you just confusing bias and opinion with fact? There are so many internet experts, it’s hard to keep track of them all.

thehiredgun - 04/08/14 - 5:31pm

I’m glad MTB is borrowing from motocross bikes. Been a long time coming. The new axle thing looks absurb but is probably mostly necessary. Reminds me of the goofy Spesh front hub interface when they were still fighting the qr15 front hub war. Their design works but seriously limits hub choices. I think it’s waaaay too much money but then again, so is all the XX1/X01 stuff. Wait a couple years, it’ll work eventually. From an engineering design standpoint, USD fork design is superior in almost every conceivable way. I just wish SRAM would’ve got with a manufacturer that knows modern motocross suspension. Ohlins, Kayaba, Showa, etc…

Kudos SRAM. Innovation is expensive.

jason - 04/08/14 - 5:38pm

Good to see people pushing the industry forward. Yeah this fork is expensive but I see it as a halo product with a limited market. Rock Shox makes plenty of price point forks and hopefully the tech from the RS 1 will trickle down to those models in good time.

Derek - 04/08/14 - 6:08pm

MaLóL, how does the additional 27mm tube do nothing? Maybe you should go back to engineering school before you go throwing stones.

MaLóL - 04/08/14 - 6:10pm

I´m engineer, but even my brainless friends who practice DH know that an inverted single crown fork is crap, even with a 20mm axle. not to mention a 15mm one.

My armchair with engineering tool is just as good as SRAM marketing tools, who will make you think the fork is good. Otherwise, make a pool for the date this fork will be either discontinued or upgraded to a larger axle.

The weight is a joke, although it is obviously made on purpuse; in the second version they will claim it is 100g lighter and XX% stiffer, and both are extremely easy to improve.

How the hell do they make a fork with one less crown that current forks, all the uppers fully integrated in a single piece of carbon, and still heavier? I bet is just to make it right in the second version. third version will not exist, the design is awful with a 25mm axle.

Derek - 04/08/14 - 6:26pm

Okay Mr. Engineer, can you draw me a free body diagram showing how “Using a secondary cylinder around the axle, is an insult to any engineering student. You can use a secondary cylinder of 100mm diameter if you want, but if the axle is weak for an inverted fork, as it happens here, the legs will move separately, and the wheel will move side to side, just like on any inverted fork in the past.”

padrote - 04/08/14 - 6:34pm

MaLóL you should stick to price-is-righting and leave the engineering speculation to actual engineers.

MaLóL - 04/08/14 - 7:00pm

(deleted)

- If you use the traditional quick release, the fork will be worse than a noodle.

- If you use a 20mm axle, like has been used in the past, it will not be a noodle, it will just do not work as conventional forks, due to the lack of bridge between the two legs.

Simple. If you use a 15mm axle, it will be worse than previous forks.

This concept of using a oversized hub, with a flimsy axle in an inverted fork, is quite a big joke, and even the worst of the engineers at Rock Shox are quite aware of this. But engineers are a diminute minority compared to marketing and PR people in current big names cycling companies.

(deleted)

thesteve4761 - 04/08/14 - 7:01pm

Hey, if it’s too expensive for you, don’t buy it!

@MaLoL- By your response rate here, if you are an engineer, you are surely unemployed.

Matt - 04/08/14 - 7:08pm

Do we have any engineers that can weigh in on the topic of the axle. I am no engineer, but it does NOT seem intuitive that the larger diameter Torque Tube attachment thingy would improve the rigidity given it does not thread through the fork itself as does the 15mm axle.

GROSS - 04/08/14 - 7:11pm

MaLóL: (deleted). the 15mm maxle is not the axle. the 27mm “torque tube” is the axle. The maxle is acting more like a standard QR skewer while the bearing are actually on the outside of the torque tube which effectively makes it the axle and is where the rigidity is derived. reread the article and get your specs straight or STFU and stop speculating with idiotic assumptions.

edge - 04/08/14 - 7:17pm

for $2K it better guarantee a podium finish.

edge - 04/08/14 - 7:28pm

Also their SID XX World Cup SoloAir Fork 29″ is 3.4 Lbs and sold for $1220.

Spooky817 - 04/08/14 - 8:06pm

The Torque Tube may add stiffness. But it may be better to make a through axle which actually provides good stiffness first. The Maxle through axle does not provide good stiffness regardless of 15 or 20mm version. To see and understand what I mean, you can do a simple test, cut through the arch of a rock shox fork with Maxle axle, bolt it together with the Maxle and see how much stiffness it actually provides. If you’re technically minded, take a close look at the threaded end of the axle and at how the clamping interface works. You’ll be surprised.

Having said that, I’d also like to know the weight of the hub and Torque Tube so that it can be compared to any other complete system. Clean looks are sweet and responsiveness and liveliness should be excellent though.

MaLóL - 04/08/14 - 8:38pm

(deleted)

The axle is actually 15mm, the 27 tube doesn’t enter the dropouts, is not an axle, nor a skewer, is just part of the hub. They could make it 54, or 108mm, and it won’t make that the legs move independently. The article is basically a PR from SRAM, so it will say that the fork is a state of the art and a revolution. you can re-read it 1000 times and it will say the same. Reality is different though.

Mark - 04/08/14 - 8:53pm

The torque tube is there to resist torsional loads so the stanchions will not twist independently. In the case of fore/aft loading yes it is a 15mm axle, but this is the advantage of a USD fork, they are very stiff in the fore/aft plane, they have large upper tubes and where the stanchion is exposed is down near the wheel so there is very little mechanical advantage from the wheel to flex the small diameter stanchion. The fork has already been ridden and reported to be very stiff….it would interest me if they had lightened it up and made it equal stiffness to the current sid, rather then stiffer but heavier.

A. - 04/08/14 - 10:49pm

i just ordered 3 of these. I’m going to make a bar stool out of them.

GROSS - 04/08/14 - 11:15pm

MaLóL: from the text of the article: “…features a stock 15mm Maxle Ultimate paired with an OVERSIZED SOLID AXLE DUBBED THE TORQUE TUBE. When the 27mm tube is clamped down into the dropout, it acts as a structural part of the fork and helps maximize stiffness.”

Patrick - 04/08/14 - 11:44pm

I know I’m not supposed to feed the trolls, especially ones with magical internet calipers, but I just can’t sit back on this one. I love working with engineers – most of them are talented composites of technical pragmatism and passion for innovation. But there are the few who can’t for the life of them fathom the validity of something new because a) it’s never been done before, or b) it was done a decade ago and sucked back then. They eat budgets, hamper progress, and ruin projects. They are a plague on innovation. And I’m sure as hell glad none of them work at companies like rockshox.

MaLoL, I’ll offer a counter-argument to your stance that the TorqueTube could be any diameter and not matter if the Maxle is still 15mm: I think the Maxle (which you incorrectly equate to the axle) could be any diameter and not matter. It could be 10mm. It could be 1mm – so long as it theoretically provides the same clamping power between the end caps of the TorqueTube and the dropouts. The Maxle is not an axle, it’s simply an extremely robust fastener for binding the axle to the fork.

Burnt Orange - 04/08/14 - 11:56pm

A honda cr500 has a 16.95 mm front axle , I bet there engineers are idiots also.
nice fork but way out of my price range

Graham - 04/09/14 - 12:32am

$1800 is a lot of money. But, is it that much considering the Specialized Epic S Works is $10,000?

greg - 04/09/14 - 1:01am

although the 27mm axle contributes to the stiffness of the fork structure, its contribution is meager compared to what it would be if there was a 27mm axle clamped to the bottom of the fork legs.
with independent leg movement, you only have the axle face that is on the side of the dropout to counter the movement, it is highly leveraged by the axle itself. the axle face is only being held on there by the Maxle’s clamp force. if the 27mm axle was clamped, then the legs would be attempting to bend the axle in two places (or break it in shear).
I see what MaLoL is saying. i dont think it will be as doomsday bad as he’s making it out to be, but i also dont think it will be that good. a study showing fork stiffness in different directions compared to other forks (including lefty) would go a long way.

and it’s quite porky.

Ghengis Pawn - 04/09/14 - 1:01am

Malol didn’t win the pool; he went over. Read the rules.

Joshua Murdock - 04/09/14 - 1:11am

I was super excited about this fork until I read the article. Now it’s at about the same level as Avid’s hydro road brakes, in my mind. What an emotional roller coaster. Phew.

This is going to be just like Sram’s wheels. Silly, heavy, overpriced and overrated.

Pahb - 04/09/14 - 2:23am

I like it. the SRAM crew is a really cool, we deal with them a lot in the shop and everyone is just trying to be a part of the cycling industry.
Is it over priced? Yes, maybe no. Look at Merida’s bikes. I mean Specialized.
It’s an innovative new desing that had a lot of work from the tech guys.
All we can do for now is wait for the winter reviews, from people who dont get paid to write nice adjectives on sponsored magazines.

Charles - 04/09/14 - 3:00am

Love it. Props to SRAM, Rockshox. I’ve never really been a fan of their stuff, but an inverted single crown fork that works (assuming it does) is long overdue. Bummer it’s only available for 29ers but that’s the right market to sell it in. It’s safe too assume 29er riders have the most dough of all the mountain bike factions. I’m looking forward to seeing this design trickle down to other wheel sizes, and other bike types. The price will drop too, as more and more people adopt. This is the new standard, it’ll be on your rig in 5 years, get used to it and stop whining.

Johan - 04/09/14 - 6:21am

What a disappointment!!
Way too heavy for that price.
Where did all the weight come from?
Back to my $100 rigid carbon fork, which weighs 537gr and just HTFU.

rowan - 04/09/14 - 7:26am

If the seals leak then vey little oil will come out. These are cartridge oil forks. So no problems there.
Heavy ,,, yes !!
Price is way to high ! And no electric switch for lockout. Fail!

I think carbon lower tube protectors would look cool!!!

MaLóL - 04/09/14 - 7:27am

One leg has the air, only one leg. The other leg the oil. One leg is much harder than the other. Look at a lefty axle, that is a proper axle, and it’s integrated.

this new RS baby is gonna eat bushings every 1000Km.

i - 04/09/14 - 10:03am

@Burnt Orange

I was going to say the same thing:
http://scandalon.com/2009/06/motorcycle-front-axle-diameter-chart/
there are hundreds of motorcross bikes with axles smaller than anything used on a bicycle. I guess the entire motorcycle industry is poorly designed by idiots.

Timothy Reinbold - 04/09/14 - 10:43am

for all that are whining about the price tag of this, well guess what?? New technology costs money! remember when “EDGE Composites”; now ENVE, came out with a $1000.00 rim?? and now that brand is the standard of high end components. With ho many riders now riding ENVE wheels that five years ago scoffed at the very idea of a rim that pricey. Good shit costs money, I’m personally stoked on this development! Keep in mind that I am a life long mechanic, and I ride rigid mtn bikes. Suspension is cool (deleted)!

saupak - 04/09/14 - 12:03pm

@MaLoL – If you look at the drawing provided by SRAM, the 27mm sleeve DOES enter the dropouts, just not completely. In light of this, and not having any of the empirical testing data I assume SRAM has from actually TESTING this fork, I’m gonna side with SRAM on this one, unless you can provide proof that you’ve actually tested this fork yourself.

Now, is $1,800 and 3.67 lbs. to much for this fork? Yeah, that does seem a fair critique, as that’s quite a price tag and significantly heavier than other forks on the market (i.e., the Lefty). So again, let’s see how well it performs and what it’s longevity is first and then trash or praise it accordingly.

aaron - 04/09/14 - 12:14pm

another fork with a proprietary hub (the other is, yes, a lefty).

Here’s the deal, why is it heavier?well it has to be, to be stiff enough and “work”. Fox has tried this inverted fork thing and R&D the sh#t out of it, just does not translate to mtb from moto. Yes i get what fox was testing was not a xc fork, but that would prove further that it is not for xc, if confused think about it. (sorry rock shox and everyone else all geeked up on this thing.) They are just trying to be different, that’s it. If the price was $865, they MIGHT have something, but at $1865, i will add some HAHAHAHAHHHHAHAHAHAAAAAHHHHAHAH.

Ilikeicedtea - 04/09/14 - 12:27pm

Fox R&D’d a DH fork, not an XC fork. Let’s compare apple to apples, shall we?

DVO seems to disagree with Fox, btw.

Let’s also get some miles on it before armchair engineering it into a steaming pile while not so much as seeing one irl, touching one, and especially riding one.

Ask yourself this; Would SRAM release of fork that’s 50% more expensive than it’s nearest competitor, slightly heavier, AND a have it be a poorer performer? It just doesn’t seem like a good move, from either a marketing or logical perspective.

That’s a crap halo product, if so.

Engineer Tom - 04/09/14 - 4:45pm

Gross, Patrick and Greg have done a fine job explaining why the torque tube is an effective approach. Nothing new there in the fork (not bike) world. It’s a good — if slightly inelegant — approach.

But, as an endurance mtb racer, I have more than one set of wheels, and it looks like I wouldn’t be able to use these fine wheels in my fancy new fork without first rebuilding all of them with a new hubs (hoping I missed something there).

I don’t see these selling well in the aftermarket, and I doubt SRAM does either. I suspect the real target market is high end OEM race whip-style bikes.

I’ll check back in June 2015 for developments. It should either be gone or well sorted out by then!

Tim - 04/09/14 - 4:45pm

Judging from the drawing, the 27mm section does appear to enter the fork. That’s good, and they probably couldn’t have made the “torque tube” any bigger without its radius getting close to the rotor’s bolt circle. A 27mm torque tube should stiffen things up- maybe to the point of a rightside up fork with a proper fork brace.
The torque tube fits perfectly with the usual history of single-crown USD forks: add a stiffening feature that could easily have been added to a conventional fork in order to make the stiffness passable, and claim this makes the fork unique.
Some people in this thread are saying, “Hey, wait and give the fork a try before you pan it!” My response- a ride report may show that the fork possesses acceptable torsional, maybe as stiff a conventional fork, maybe less, maybe even more so. A ride report may also convince everyone that the damper and spring work OK. It may show that that particular test specimen is reliable. It won’t change that this is a badly overweight fork costing 60% more than the Lefty, whose rigidity it cannot possibly match.

Tim - 04/09/14 - 4:58pm

@Ilikeicedtea- DVO’s fork is at press time vaporware. What does it matter if their opinion is that USD forks are good if they have nothing to demonstrate that we should listen to them, neither in the form of an actual product nor a history of good designs? Why should we listen to an unknown quantity?…
DVO wants to break into the suspension market- doing this with yet another two-legged conventional telescopic fork is not easy to do. Look at X-Fusion’s market share. So it’s easier to break in with a USD fork, something which is comparatively novel in the world of mountain bikes. RS may be doing this just to make competitors products look less special. Just speculation.
Please don’t say I am against odd stuff- if there were a viable linkage fork out right now, I might be on one.
Test rides will not demonstrate that this fork is light- it isn’t.

Tim - 04/09/14 - 5:10pm

@I- Yes, motorcycles often have small front axles. They also use forks which have two crowns. I remember riding an X-Vert Super (single crown fork) and an X-Vert DC (essentially the same fork in a dual crown version) and the difference in stiffness was out of this world. The DC simply did not flex. It was like riding a rigid fork, except that it moved up and down.
Another very significant difference is that MX bikes have a minimum weight limit. MX bike makers could make much lighter machines, but don’t, because bikes below a certain weight limit are barred from competition. This is supposed to keep the playing field level for guys who can’t pony up for a 100,000 dollar carbon and titanium ride. What does this mean for axle size on MX bikes? It means that MX manufacturers make their forks inner legs out of large diameter, relatively heavy chromoly steel. And don’t forget the extra upper crown. In other words, MX forks don’t need a big axle because the double crowns and heavy materials guarantee stiffness, not the axle.
Please someone correct me if I am wrong on the MX stuff. (No sarcasm.)

Tim - 04/09/14 - 5:12pm

@I- I think Burnt Orange was being sarcastic about axle sizes. You guys actually agree with each other.
PS sorry for the wall of responses. The site was barring me from posting and participating in the discussion.

MaLóL - 04/09/14 - 5:40pm

The 27mm tuve does not enter the dropouts, it just touches them. but the real axle is only 15mm. This fork will fight in the field of the lefty fork, which is an un-reliable fork for any euro rider who does proper mtb and lots of km’s per year. I don’t think this fork will be worse or less reliable than a lefty, and the weight will be reduced in further seasons. price will be dropped too with non carbon versions.

I’ve been using Rock Shox forks since the plastics cartridges of 1996 judy’s, I rebuild all of them and I know pretty well their internals and externals.

This is a product for Rock Shox to dive into that lucrative market of uber rich clients with exclusive products that have enormous margins.

Alec - 04/09/14 - 6:29pm

At that price it better ride really nice, but I’m not willing to spend that much money and re-lace my hole front wheel (because of the big axle) to find out just yet.

ginsu - 04/10/14 - 2:50am

Sorry, MaLoL but you sound pretty arrogant for an engineer, especially since there are actual engineers all over these boards. As others have indicated, the Maxle is acting as a glorified QR, so it really doesn’t matter what the diameter is as long as it can handle the TENSION loads! IMHO, you could have used a 5mm titanium threaded bolt to drop weight in this design because the Maxle does not have to resist bending or torque as the 27mm Torque Tube is KEYED into the dropouts.

Hate to quote another review, but hopefully this will shut you up for good:

“Like a conventional 15 QR hub, the big torque tube axle locates into U-shaped slots in the dropouts – very big slots. The Maxle Ultimate through axle assembly in this case, functions only as a very large and powerful quick release skewer to clamp the hell out of the interface between the dropouts and the hub’s 27-millimeter axle, and it also ensures that the wheel will not fall out if the user forgets to tighten the Maxle.”

Tim - 04/10/14 - 11:04am

They should have applied this 27mm axle idea to their other, far lighter, and already reasonably stiff forks to make them better.

Ripnshread - 04/10/14 - 12:54pm

My guess is a lot of the hard charging pro’s will be running a solid steel Maxle. BlackBox edition of course.

Matt - 04/10/14 - 1:41pm

I am not sure why people are saying the torque tube enters the forks. From the diagram and ridged outer-side, it appears that it will only compress against the fork.

dean - 04/10/14 - 10:22pm

updated and improved FRM fork

MissedThePoint - 04/10/14 - 11:27pm

They 15QR is a skewer for a large majority of hub designs. I think front QR hubs before 15QR were actually running ~17mm axles on average. The 5mm thing is just the skewer’s rod that clamps/secures the wheel to the fork dropouts; the 9mm part of the hub makes contact with the slots in the dropout, while the end cap’s side also provides contact. The Torque Tube is their marketing name for an oversized axle.

Can’t think of many QR/15mm hubs that don’t have axles pre-built in. I imagine there are somes, as SR Suntour’s Quicklock 15QR isn’t compatible with some of them. Outside of QR/15mm, the Lefty hub is one and a good number of 20mm also. Don’t think any of Shimano or Chris King hubs don’t have axles, due to their patented cup-and-cone angular contact or just CK’s angular contact system needing pre-load and specific race shape to facilitate bearing pre-load adjustment.

NotAnEnginerd - 04/11/14 - 12:15am

Has anyone read Bike Mag’s review of this fork?
http://www.bikemag.com/gear/first-ride-rockshox-rs-1/

“Cornering stability is right up there with burly, large stanchioned forks, but the RS-1 sports little 32-millimeter tubes. Bump sensitivity is astounding, but I never had issues with bottoming, partly due to a fancy new bottom-out bumper to soften the blow on huge hits. I rode the RS-1 alongside guys on 160-millimeter bikes adorned with Pike forks and Monarch Plus shocks, aboard a Trek Fuel EX and 120-millimeter RS-1 on the rowdy Porcupine Rim trail, and never felt under gunned. While it may not be as revolutionary as the original, the new RS-1 is an astounding fork. If you can afford one at the similarly astounding price of $1,865 you definitely will not regret it.”

Kaydee - 04/30/14 - 5:38pm

Very nice to see new designs,BUT,far too expensive and only available in 29″. Round here we all ride 26″ wheels(still) so I have to say I somewhat resent the fact they ignore their biggest market,there are still far more quality 26 ers out there than 29 ers.so I can’t see them shifting many over here in the UK

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