By James Huang
Beautiful weather conditions and an outstanding course at the 2007 24 Hours of Moab provided a marked contrast from last year's event as well as the perfect setting for Rock Shox's official on-dirt debut of its new SID fork platform.
Rock Shox turned the suspension world on its head in 1997 with the introduction of its first SID suspension fork. Back then, users admired the fork's then-remarkable low weight and wide range of tuning options (arguably too wide on that first version by some measures), but the relatively tiny 28mm diameter stanchions and correspondingly small chassis dimensions resulted in a lot of flex and somewhat loose handling characteristics, especially as trail conditions roughened.
In many cross country circles, though, 'light makes right' is still the golden rule, and the SID's paltry mass has kept it firmly planted on the front row of the World Cup circuit (and the top step of the podium) and on the front of weight weenie machines Rock Shox has performed five major updates of SID since then, but the basic layout honestly hasn't changed much.
The 2008 Rock Shox SID will mark the first ground-up redesign of the venerable cross-country suspension fork since its introduction ten years ago. As the mountain biking market has evolved and matured, being light as the expense of other performance metrics just doesn't cut it anymore and as a result, Rock Shox's engineers have managed to match the existing SID's low weight, but equip it with far more rigidity and overall capability. In theory, this will mean that racers will no longer have to put up with old SID's compromises and general cross-country riders will have another viable option in the true lightweight category to choose from.
We've already covered the technical details of the new SID a while back so we won't revisit it too heavily here, but the new model is essentially a lighter version of Rock Shox's very capable Reba. The top-end SID reportedly weighs just 1425g (with a full-length steerer, no less) courtesy of an aggressively optimized chassis design that now also sports a beefy 32mm chassis for vastly improved rigidity. Internally, the new SID is equipped with an updated version of Rock Shox's proven Dual Air spring system that now offers a more linear spring curve, and enhanced Motion Control damper guts on the top model. Additional structural reinforcement is given by the new Power Bulge-equipped lower legs and a forged AL-66TV crown.
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