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Noon-to-noon on the new Rock Shox SID

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The new SID is still designed as a cross-country

The new SID is still designed as a cross-country
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SID blue is back in force

SID blue is back in force
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Rock Shox continues to use its very capable

Rock Shox continues to use its very capable
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There is no carbon crown option

There is no carbon crown option
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Shorter stanchions house correspondingly shorter

Shorter stanchions house correspondingly shorter
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As usual, decals will be clearcoated for durability.

As usual, decals will be clearcoated for durability.
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Sag gradients permanently printed on the legs

Sag gradients permanently printed on the legs
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We also sampled the new Monarch 3.3 rear shock

We also sampled the new Monarch 3.3 rear shock
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On your mark, get set…

On your mark, get set…
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Rock Shox mechanics prepare bikes

Rock Shox mechanics prepare bikes
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The 24 Hours of Moab venue

The 24 Hours of Moab venue
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Air mattresses await weary racers.

Air mattresses await weary racers.
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SRAM's race truck was on site to support

SRAM's race truck was on site to support
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The sun sets at Moab…

The sun sets at Moab…
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An army of Light&Motion heads…

An army of Light&Motion heads…
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A fleet of Rock Shox SIDs, ready to go!

A fleet of Rock Shox SIDs, ready to go!
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Hmm.. What's this?

Hmm.. What's this?
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This prototype Siren machine used

This prototype Siren machine used
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Rock Shox held its official on-dirt launch of the new SID at the 24 Hours of Moab.

Rock Shox held its official on-dirt launch of the new SID at the 24 Hours of Moab. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The new SID is still designed as a cross-country race fork, but is also intended to be fully capable for more general XC applications.

The new SID is still designed as a cross-country race fork, but is also intended to be fully capable for more general XC applications. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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SID blue is back in force, but Rock Shox plans to offer "nine or ten" different colors.

SID blue is back in force, but Rock Shox plans to offer "nine or ten" different colors. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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There is no carbon crown option, but the forged AL-66TV aluminum crown and beefier lowers manage to match the existing fork's weight while being far burlier.

There is no carbon crown option, but the forged AL-66TV aluminum crown and beefier lowers manage to match the existing fork's weight while being far burlier. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Rock Shox continues to use its very capable Motion Control damper design.

Rock Shox continues to use its very capable Motion Control damper design. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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A pair of threaded holes in the back of the arch will eventually hold a pseudo-fender…

A pair of threaded holes in the back of the arch will eventually hold a pseudo-fender… (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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…which, for now, is crafted in carbon fiber.

…which, for now, is crafted in carbon fiber. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The shorter stanchions leave the bottom of the legs fully hollow, meaning engineers could cut out some material and tuck the disc brake caliper closer to the leg.

The shorter stanchions leave the bottom of the legs fully hollow, meaning engineers could cut out some material and tuck the disc brake caliper closer to the leg. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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As usual, decals will be clearcoated for durability.

As usual, decals will be clearcoated for durability. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Production forks will be available with both crown-mounted and remote lockout options.

Production forks will be available with both crown-mounted and remote lockout options. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Shorter stanchions house correspondingly shorter guts to cut weight.

Shorter stanchions house correspondingly shorter guts to cut weight. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Rock Shox expands the range of Motion Control dampers.

Rock Shox expands the range of Motion Control dampers. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Sag gradients permanently printed on the legs should greatly ease setup.

Sag gradients permanently printed on the legs should greatly ease setup. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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A fleet of Rock Shox SIDs, ready to go!

A fleet of Rock Shox SIDs, ready to go! (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Among those using the new SID was Subaru-Gary Fisher rider Sam Schultz.

Among those using the new SID was Subaru-Gary Fisher rider Sam Schultz. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Come on, give him a hug.

Come on, give him a hug. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Rock Shox Product Manager Sander Rigney explains the benefits of the Power Bulge design.

Rock Shox Product Manager Sander Rigney explains the benefits of the Power Bulge design. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Rock Shox mechanics prepare bikes for the 24 Hours of Moab.

Rock Shox mechanics prepare bikes for the 24 Hours of Moab. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Similar gradients on the new Monarch rear shock offer the same ease of setup.

Similar gradients on the new Monarch rear shock offer the same ease of setup. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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We also sampled the new Monarch 3.3 rear shock, and walked away similarly impressed.

We also sampled the new Monarch 3.3 rear shock, and walked away similarly impressed. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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On your mark, get set…

On your mark, get set… (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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…go!

…go! (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The dry conditions made for a dusty start.

The dry conditions made for a dusty start. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The 24 Hours of Moab venue was a veritable city of tents and RVs.

The 24 Hours of Moab venue was a veritable city of tents and RVs. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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A fleet of bikes await the next round of racers.

A fleet of bikes await the next round of racers. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Incoming racers saw a lot of these during their 24 hours of racing.

Incoming racers saw a lot of these during their 24 hours of racing. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The sun sets at Moab…

The sun sets at Moab… (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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…but the racing continues.

…but the racing continues. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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As usual, race promoter Granny Gear Productions helped raise money for the local American Lung Association.

As usual, race promoter Granny Gear Productions helped raise money for the local American Lung Association. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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An army of Light&Motion heads…

An army of Light&Motion heads… (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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…and a matching set of batteries wait their turn.

…and a matching set of batteries wait their turn. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The SRAM 'compound' was a mini-city in and of itself.

The SRAM 'compound' was a mini-city in and of itself. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Air mattresses await weary racers.

Air mattresses await weary racers. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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SRAM brought along chef Don O'Machel, all the way from Chicago, to keep racers fed and happy. When was the last time you had paella, chipotle duck hash, and fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies? This was not 'camping' as we usually know it, and we weren't complaining.

SRAM brought along chef Don O'Machel, all the way from Chicago, to keep racers fed and happy. When was the last time you had paella, chipotle duck hash, and fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies? This was not 'camping' as we usually know it, and we weren't complaining. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The mess tent was a welcome sight after a hard lap.

The mess tent was a welcome sight after a hard lap. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Subaru-Gary Fisher rider Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski occupies some down time.

Subaru-Gary Fisher rider Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski occupies some down time. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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So how are we doing?

So how are we doing? (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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This doesn't look safe.

This doesn't look safe. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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A toasty fire roars through the nighttime hours.

A toasty fire roars through the nighttime hours. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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SRAM's race truck was on site to support SID riders and non-SID riders alike.

SRAM's race truck was on site to support SID riders and non-SID riders alike. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Water sprayed on the surrounding roads helped minimize dust.

Water sprayed on the surrounding roads helped minimize dust. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Hmm.. What's this?

Hmm.. What's this? (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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This prototype Siren machine used an interesting main pivot.

This prototype Siren machine used an interesting main pivot. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)

Tech Feature: 2008 Rock Shox SID first ride, October 15, 2007

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. Cyclingnews Technical Editor James Huang heads to Utah for the weekend to get a first taste of version 2.0 of the winningest cross-country fork in mountain biking history.

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.

"When it's time to change, you've got to rearrange…"

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.

Bang! And they're off!

The 24 Hours of Moab course lies roughly half an hour outside of downtown Moab, UT, and runs on a 24km (15mi) loop with roughly 380m (1250ft) of climbing per lap. From noon on Saturday to noon on Sunday (plus a little more for some), riders navigate a perpetually undulating mix of square-edged embedded boulders, fast washed-out jeep roads, and technically demanding rock sections that would easily challenge trail bikes and all-mountain machines alike. Sound like an ideal testing ground for the lightweight SID? Not for the old one, that's for sure.

Thankfully, Rock Shox seems to have delivered on its heady promises as we made our way around the circuit. The feathery weight we've come to know and love on the old SID remains fully intact, but the impressive rigidity of the new SID made itself known almost immediately with vastly improved handling precision and confidence-inspiring solidity that saved our bacon on more than one occasion, especially during nighttime laps when our desire to turn in a fast time may have slightly overridden our instinct of self-preservation.

The newly found stiffness was particularly welcome on faster and/or more technical rocky sections. Here, the old SID would have either forced you to slow down to maintain control or sent you flying off into the woods. With the 2008 model, however, we were able to comfortably (and precisely) pick our way through or simply blow through at full steam like a pinball.

In addition, Rock Shox's surprisingly simple Motion Control damper continues to impress us, and the more linear spring rate actually saw us use just barely shy of the full travel in normal use, a virtually unheard-of feat with the old SID. In spite of our test forks' admittedly pre-production status, no one in the rather sizeable group experienced any fork failures, either.

Keep on truckin'

Our brief test only included the relatively entry-level SID Race, but the line will actually include three separate models: the top-end SID World Cup, the middle child SID Team, and the SID Race. The SID World Cup will be the lightest and most rigid of the three at 1425g with carbon fiber-reinforced cast magnesium lower legs, and will also house the most advanced BlackBox Motion Control damper that will include a titanium spring sleeve and dual-flow compression and rebound circuits. The1450g SID Team shares a similar damper but goes with all-magnesium legs, and the SID Race will use the standard Motion Control assembly but won't gain any additional mass.

All will be available with both crown-mounted and remote lockout levers, and all will be capable of either 100mm or 80mm of travel via Rock Shox's well-established All-Travel spacer system. Pricing isn't set yet, but production will ramp up in February.

If our initial impressions are any indication, Rock Shox has done an excellent job of remaking an icon, managing to maintain the fork's identity in the process while shedding just about all of the original's drawbacks. It's been a long time coming, but as the saying goes, some things are worth the wait and the new SID seems to be one of them.

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