Up-Side-Down, Ground-Breaking (Expensive!) New RockShox Suspension

All new, Carbon, Inverted RS-1

Sharing the name of their first suspension fork introduced 25 years ago, RockShox released a brand new RS-1 model. With inverted legs and a full carbon chassis, this RS-1 is a different beast for sure!

This shock was just announced today and we have not yet ridden the new RS-1, but from the looks of specs and images, it will push fork design forward on several levels.

Two important notes: it is designed specifically for 29ers, although a 27.5-inch version may be in the works and; this bad boy rings in at a hefty $1,865.

The RS-1 is more than just a new fork –- it is a totally integrated front-end system. Dubbed “Predictive Steering” the design is a harmonious relationship of fork and wheel. The fork chassis, a stiff, oversized carbon upper, paired with aluminum stanchions is nothing without its massive (and proprietary) 27mm tubular axel to tie them together. A 15mm “Maxel Ultimate” slides inside the 27mm “Torque Tube” to attach to the fork to tie the front end together as a structural member.

Predictive Steering: Torque Tube and Maxle

Why inverted? Having the damper above the legs (stanchions) allows them to be bathed constantly in oil. Better lubrication equals better small bump sensitivity equals more speed! It also eliminates the need for a “crown” above the stanchions and allows for a lighter one-piece carbon steerer tube/upper legs configuration.

Taking a “ruthless approach to material optimization,” Rockshox claims this integrated system fixes all the issues of previous inverted fork designs, which were either light and flexy or heavy and stiff.

Full, 1-piece Carbon Steerer/Crown/Housing

Aimed at the XC racer, the fork is a light 3.67lbs (1,666gr) and will be offered in 80/100/120mm of travel. The “Xloc” remote fork lockout is limited to one of two options: “Sprint” or “Full Sprint” to meet XC-specific needs. Two fork off-sets will be offered: 46/51mm.

The fork alone will sell for an eye-watering $1,865 and can be used with SRAM Roam 50, Rise XX or Rise 60 wheels. Fret not; if you’ve got the cash, the hub will also be available for purchase alone to lace to the rim of your choice.

Downside? For most of us it will be the pretty epic entry price. Secondly, there are obvious wheel limitations. For now, the RS-1 will initially only be available for 29” but RockShox promises 27.5” will come later.

While we have not yet ridden the new RS-1, it looks to be a game-changing fork. While not technically lighter than the existing SID World Cup model (+55gr), it should be far more stiff and responsive. Think all-mountain burly but at XC weight. We can get behind that!

—T.C. Worley