The new SID is ideal for tackling serious trails or taking top step on a World Cup podium. It’s not the lightest fork, but 32mm legs and Power Bulged lowers are a match for most trail forks in terms of steering and braking stiffness. The race-developed Black Box Motion Control damping is outstanding too.
So what's changed?
The RockShox SID is the most successful fork ever on the World Cup cross-country circuit but it was long overdue for a major overhaul. The new version is vastly improved in every way but one – SID isn’t just a racer’s fork anymore.
The venerable SID platform was many things to many people, but two things had always remained constant – it was one of the lightest forks available but also among the flexiest and most unpredictable in technical terrain.
Thankfully, this latest iteration firmly puts that old reputation to bed with a new trail bike-stout chassis, competitively light weight and highly tunable and effective internals that should not only keep it at or near the top of racers’ wish lists, but also make it a viable short-travel all-purpose trail fork, too.
The new SID grows in size in nearly every dimension. The straight-walled 7000-series aluminum stanchions are now a healthy 32mm instead of an anaemic 28mm, the beefier cast magnesium lowers feature a more heavily bolstered arch and Power Bulge reinforcements around the lower bushings to combat flex under load, and the new forged AL66-TV aluminium crown has a wider stance.
Weight is kept in check with shorter stanchions and internal shaft lengths which also decreases oil volume. Though RockShox had originally hoped to roughly match the old SID on the scale, our numbers suggest it fell well shy. A previous generation SID World Cup was just 1,375g (3.03lb) with a Pushloc remote and uncut carbon steerer; our comparably equipped 2008 SID Team tester is markedly heavier – though still lightweight – at 1,585g (3.49lb).
Only weight weenies are likely to complain about the extra mass, though, as the difference in chassis rigidity is like night and day on the trail. Gone is the vague steering, floppy braking and that unnerving 'hmm, I wonder where my wheel is going to go?’ question that always seemed to haunt SID users on technical terrain.
In its place is a more confidence-inspiring and secure feel that holds its line far more faithfully than before, even on our demanding test grounds of Colorado’s Front Range, Gooseberry Mesa and Moab in nearby Utah, and the (literally) backyard stunts and trails of SRAM product guru Greg Herbold.
Impressive composure when things turn nasty
Adding to the new SID’s capabilities are its highly evolved internals which include the well-proven – and highly tunable – Dual Air spring system and updated Motion Control damper. In the case of our mid-level SID Team version, the BlackBox compression assembly also upgrades to a titanium spring tube for lighter weight.
A printed-on inflation guide and permanent sag markings speed setup (though we consistently ran lower pressures than recommended), and the dual air springs let you micro-manage ride height, initial sensitivity and through-stroke spring rate too.
The refined guts yield dividends when tyres meet dirt. Dual ﬂow rebound and compression circuits manage suspension speeds differently at different stroke depths to give consistent control that shames most 120mm forks. Trail chatter is effectively canceled out and this new SID displays impressive composure through nasty rock gardens that its ancestor could only dream of.
Though our early sample initially included a Floodgate blow-off valve that was too firm for our liking, it was quickly replaced with a later production assembly that was more in keeping with the Reba and all current samples should be so-equipped.
The Team is only 20g heavier than the £829.99 WC and deﬁnitely worth the extra £100 over the standard Motion Control Race.
Niggles are few and relatively minor in light of the fork’s otherwise superb overall performance. The recessed lower legs may help shed some grams but they also make the rebound adjuster knob and negative air spring cap hard to access, especially for those with bigger fingers.
Our Pushloc remote lockout also proved a bit stubborn to return to the open setting without unweighting the front end and regular running in dry desert conditions required relatively frequent oil bath service to maintain optimal running.
Otherwise, we have nothing but praise for this little-fork-that-could. Reliability has been faultless in a year’s hard hammering. Anyone want to buy an old SID, cheap?