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Best RockShox Forks: Buying Guide for Front Suspension

Best RockShox Forks: Buying Guide for Front Suspension

One of the biggest names in mountain bike suspension, RockShox have been producing top quality suspension forks since 1989. Looking for all the info on the range? Look no further than our Best RockShox Forks: Buying Guide for Front Suspension.

Releasing their first ever mountain bike specific fork in 1990 called the RS-1, it had two-inches of travel – a far cry from today’s offerings! RockShox have continued to develop groundbreaking technology to become industry leading in mountain bike suspension.

We’ve assembled the RockShox suspension fork hierarchy below, setting out the various levels on offer for quick reference, from entry level to high performance:


Did you know?

The brand RockShox is owned by mega bike part manufacturer SRAM! Check out our ultimate SRAM MTB groupset buying guide!


Why do I need a suspension fork?

A suspension fork is a ride-changing component when you’re out on the trails, taking the edge off the roughness of the terrain, giving you a smoother, more comfortable and controlled ride.

Because mountain biking requires you to carry more weight over the front of the bike, the fork bears the lion’s share of the your weight. Most mountain bike forks will have some degree of adjustability, ranging from hard to soft, as well as certain models including adjustability in their length of travel.

Commonly made up of a spring and a damper which work together to create a smooth rider experience, a metal coil spring can be found on lower-end versions or the occasional gravity-focused fork.


Why do I need a suspension fork?

RockShox forks in detail

Here’s our RockShox Fork buying guide within their extensive MTB range. One point worth noting on the RockShox fork range is if you’re wanting better performance from your current fork, you can easily upgrade your fork’s internal parts to improve it (always check with an expert before carrying out any upgrades on your forks).


RockShox Suspension Forks

If you’re looking for an entry-level to mid-range fork, RockShox has a wide range of options to meet your mountain biking needs. Performance, materials, and adjustability are the areas where these forks differ from one another, and they are divided into two tiers: Gold and Silver.

*Important to note on any RockShox fork it may state TK (Turn Key dampening) or RL (Motion Control damper).

RockShox Paragon

RockShox Paragon

The Paragon is a 700c suspension fork designed for urban and trekking cyclists who want to take the edge off rough roads. The RockShox Solo Air system fine-tunes the ride to the rider’s weight on the Paragon, which has 65mm of air-sprung suspension travel.

Paragon offers 65mm of travel, meaning almost no terrain is too challenging.

Wheel Size: 700c


Rockshox 30

Rockshox 30

The RockShox 30 is primarily an XC fork with 80/100/120mm of travel. Keeping things simple like a forged aluminum crown, straight wall anodized aluminum 30mm upper tubes and a straightforward coil spring.

Featuring TurnKey’s patented blow-off design which can automatically unlock absorbing the unexpected hit instantly.

Wheel Size: 26″, 27.5″ and 29″


RockShox Recon

RockShox Recon

The Recon is a cross-country fork with 32mm stanchions that is designed to be cost-effective and high-value. It doesn’t have Boost spacing, but it does have travel ranging from 80mm to 150mm. It also accommodates tyres up to 2.8″ without fenders.

Available eMTB configured fork options with fender mounting points. Available in Gold RL, Silver TK and Silver RL.

Wheel Size: 27.5″ and 29″


RockShox Sektor

RockShox Sektor

The RockShox Sektor forks feature a chassis inspired by the BoXXer downhill forks, providing excellent steering precision and bump-swallowing travel. These forks are equipped with RockShox’s Debonair spring and its Motion Control damper.

The Sektor forks allow for you to enjoy better handling, grip and control. Available with 80mm to 150mm of travel.

Wheel Size: 27.5″ and 29″


RockShox Judy

RockShox Judy

Specifically designed for riders who want fast and smooth front-end suspension performance at an affordable price. The RockShox Judy include a dependable Solo Air spring with a Motion Control damper, so they can handle all the knocks and bumps that come with speeding over tree roots and debris.

It comes in either 100mm or 120mm of travel and in three variations, Judy, Silver TK, and Gold RL.

Wheel Size: 27.5″ and 29″


RockShox 35

RockShox 35

These trail-ready MTB forks feature a hard-wearing 35mm straight wall aluminium upper tube construction, which allows them to handle all the abuse that’s associated with long days in the mountains.

These present great value, trail specific forks for entry level trail riders. Available in three models ranging from 100-160mm. Ranging from Silver R, Gold RL and Silver TK.

Wheel Size: 27.5″ and 29″


RockShox Reba

RockShox Reba

Reba forks from RockShox are specifically designed for cross-country use as they offer amazing shock absorption when riding over mixed terrain conditions.

The forks use 32 mm stanchions for improved stiffness and are infinitely adjustable, offering 100-150mm travel. Reba comes in three variations, two 26″ variants (26 and RL) plus a 27.5/29″ RL option.

Wheel Size: 26″, 27.5″ and 29″


RockShox Revelation 

RockShox Revelation 

Built for the demands of modern MTB trail-riding, this fork features a rock-solid aluminium construction and is also equipped with Boost axle spacing, so you’ll benefit from stiffer and more responsive handling.

The RockShox revelation offers a range of travel depending on your wheel size; 120-160mm (27.5in), 120-140mm (29in).

Wheel Size: 27.5″ and 29″


RockShox Bluto

RockShox Bluto

Bluto forks have a stanchion design with a wide spacing and travel ranging from 80 to 120 mm. These forks are an outlier in the Rockshox series – designed for use on fat tyre bikes and can fit tyres up to 4.8″ in diameter.

Only option available in the Bluto is the RL version.

Wheel Size: 26″


RockShox Yari

RockShox Yari

With a mass of travel options from 100 to 180 mm these stiff, low cost forks are Rockshox entry level long travel enduro option. YARI forks use 35 mm stanchions with a stiffer brace on the lowers to increase rigidity.

Yari RC is the only one available to buy but coming in three wheel size variations.

Wheel Size: 27.5″, 29″ and 29″+


RockShox Signature Range

The signature series of forks from RockShox features a three-tier system on all of their forks in the series. Select, Select +, and Ultimate are the three options, each with its own damper, with the Ultimate being described as having “all the bells and whistles.”

RockShox SID

RockShox SID

Developed for fast-paced MTB racing, these forks are equipped with a DebonAir air spring and the Charger RL damper for incredible comfort and control. They feature a 32mm straight wall aluminium upper tube construction, which makes it ideal for use on XC bikes.

SID, Ultimate, Select + and Select are available offering a range of 100-120mm travel.

Wheel Size: 29″


RockShox SID SL

RockShox SID SL

Another fork in the SID lineup, the SID SL offer a 32mm stanchion compared to the SID 36mm. Additionally, it has 100-120 mm of travel and an optional lightweight race damper.

The SID SL is a superlight XC race option designed specifically for 29″ wheels with Boost front hubs.

Wheel Size: 29″


RockShox Pike

RockShox Pike

Classed as a true trail machine, the Pike forks feature an updated DebonAir spring that’s paired with a Charger 2.1 RC2 damper. This means that you’ll enjoy smooth and reliable shock absorption as you blast across rock gardens and tree roots on your MTB adventures.

Ultimate, Pike DJ, Select + and Select are available offering a range of 120-160mm travel. The Pike also comes available with the revolutionary wireless Flight Attendant system.

Wheel Size: 26″, 27.5″ and 29″


RockShox Lyrik

RockShox Lyrik

These strong and capable forks are the first option for many enduro riders. Holding onto every critical line, Lyrik features an updated DebonAir air spring paired with a Charger 2.1 damper.

Four models are available in the Lyrik – Ultimate, Select +, Select and Flight Attendant – all offering 140-180mm travel.

Wheel Size: 27.5″ and 29″


RockShox ZEB

RockShox ZEB

RockShox ZEB is designed to meet the demands of hard enduro racing. It offers 160–190 mm travel, this MTB fork is equipped with 38mm aluminium upper tubes, magnesium lower legs and a forged, hollow aluminium crown for a perfect strength to weight ratio.

Designed to reduce hand fatigue and fight unwanted friction, the Charger 2.1 damper increases confidence and control over every trail. Available in eMTB specific versions.

Wheel Size: 27.5″ and 29″


RockShox BoXXer

RockShox BoXXer

Well-known for their smooth, downhill performance and adjustability possibilities, the Rockshox BoXXer forks have 180 to 200 mm of travel and are intended for fast, rugged downhill trails.

Unlike other RockShox Signature forks, the BoXXer is only available in Ultimate and Select.

Wheel Size: 27.5″ and 29″


RockShox Flight Attendant

RockShox Flight Attendant

The final fork we are focusing on in this guide deserves a category for itself! The RockShox Flight Attendant suspension system is a wireless communications system that pulls data from electronic sensors at the crank, fork and rear shock to offer you real time automatic suspension. 

The Flight Attendant system constantly analyses your pedal stroke, force, and the trail you are riding using the sensors onboard to tell your suspension how it needs to react to the terrain. No need for pedal-assist switches or buttons to press – the Flight Attendant MTB suspension will do it all for you. 

RockShox Flight Attendant features:

  • Improved pedaling efficiency across all terrain
  • Intuitive and adaptive suspension system matches riders input and terrain
  • Three sensors send data to algorithms which process information every five milliseconds
  • Easy installation and calibration with AXS system

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the information! It look like you missed the Revelation fork. Also you failed to mention that many of the forks are are easily upgradeable on both the damper and air spring sides.

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