Getting the basic set-up right on the Revelation RCT3 Dual Position Air is easy thanks to a helpful air-spring chart printed on the left leg. The recommended pressures are a good starting point, and actually getting the air into the fork is a doddle thanks to the most accessible valve of the trio and the included shock pump. We settled on 125psi, which is a touch more than RockShox’s suggestion for our 70kg weight, and a pressure that yielded 17 per cent sag.
The Revelation may look a little lacklustre next to the Fox 32 Talas, but while it doesn’t sparkle like its rival it does feature a number of clever design features that help raise its game. For example, a sharp tug removes the rebound knob to reveal a 2.5mm Allen key that can be used for a multitude of duties, including adjusting the tension of the 15mm Maxle Lite axle. The hose clamp is a well-engineered piece of plastic, even if it does favour a front brake lever positioned on the left. And finally, switching between the 110mm and 150mm travel settings is made painless by the most comfortable travel-adjuster of the three.
Once we’d got the fundamentals dialled — air pressure and rebound damping (we settled on seven clicks in from fully open, or about halfway) — the learning curve got a lot steeper. Finding the right compression damping settings was critical to performance and required much experimentation. There are two elements to the compression damping adjustment on the RCT3’s Motion Control DNA cartridge; the blue outer dial moves through three positions — open, platform and locked — while the inner silver knob gives up to 13 clicks of low-speed compression damping. Think of it in terms of Fox’s CTD and the open mode equates to Descend, the middle platform setting is equivalent to Trail and the locked-out mode is closest to Climb. And while the compression damping can only be tuned within the Trail mode on the Fox, the silver low-speed knob on the Revelation does a similar job across all three platform settings.
In the open position we found the Revelation supple and grippy, but lacking support in the mid-stroke under braking and in steep switchbacks. Keeping the lever in the open position and adding low-speed compression helped, but just as we began finding support, so the fork seemed to hit the buffers in terms of travel. Then we ran the platform in its mid-setting and backed off the low-speed compression until we had it just three clicks from fully open. The results were much better. Unfortunately we never got more than 130mm of travel from the Revelation — 20mm less than advertised.
RockShox has done a good job with the Revelation. It ticks all the boxes, with excellent damping, well-thought-out detailing and real value when you consider the price includes a shock pump and a service kit. However, not everyone will have the patience and perseverance required to achieve a good set-up — a problem that could easily be solved with clearer instructions and better labelling of dials.
MBR rating: 8
Axle to crown: 530mm
Stanchion diameter: 32mm