Here's a simple-as-possible guide to entry level RockShox suspension forks

Guide to OEM, entry level, or just plain cheap RockShox forks. With eight model series to pick from – each with mulitple versions – it can be a miniefield.

>>> Best mountain bike suspension forks 2020

RockShox forks covered in this guide

  • XC30, approx £140
  • 30, approx £200-£500
  • 35, approx £500
  • Judy, approx £200-£500
  • Reba, approx £500-£600
  • Recon, approx £300-£400
  • Revelation, approx £550
  • Sektor, approx £500-£600

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Looking for a RockShox fork under £500? Or maybe you’re looking for more information about a RockShox fork that’s fitted to an existing bike – or on a future bike purchase? We’re here to help.

At this more affordable end of the spectrum, there are still eight different RockShox fork ranges to wade through. In total there are 30(!) different entry level RockShox forks out there. And there’s plenty of overlapping features, buzzwords and acronyms.

Fundamentally though, at the sub-£500 level, all these RockShox forks fall within the XC-Trail remit. Where these forks differ from each other is in performance, materials and adjustability. There are also super-useful things like sag gradients on the stanchoins that are typically only found on forks with the Fast Black coating.

As they get more expensive, forks get lighter, stiffer, more adjustable and more capable. With that said, these days pretty much any fork from RockShox isn’t going to be awful. They’ll all work. There is even some argument that some well-sorted but heavy cheap forks actually offer a better ride experience than more expensive, lighter, flexier mid-range forks.

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As RockShox forks get more expensive you get:

  • Larger diameter stanchions
  • Aluminium stanchions instead of steel
  • Air spring instead of coil
  • More sophisticated dampers
  • Adjustable damping
  • More travel
  • Sag gradients on stanchions
  • 15mm bolt-thru axles instead of 9mm quick release

Anyway, you came here to get help in choosing and/or identifying cheap RockShox forks. So let’s get to the forks themselves…

rockshox forks

RockShox XC30 TK [B4]

RockShox XC30, approx £140

The classic OEM RockShox suspension fork. Impressive suspension performance for the money and possible to service and keep tip-top.

  • 80, 100, 120mm travel.
  • 30mm steel stanchions.
  • Nickle coated stanchions.
  • TurnKey damper.
  • Coil spring.
  • Fixed rebound.
  • 9mm QR axle.

RockShox 30 Silver TK [A4]

RockShox 30, approx £200-£500

The 30 series has been around a while and appears to be being slowly replaced by the new Judy sries (see below), so you can find these being flogged off really cheap.

  • 80, 100, 120mm travel.
  • 30mm stanchions (steel on Silver TK [A4], aluminium on Silver TK [A5] and Gold RL [A2]).
  • Nickle coated stanchions on Silver TK [A4], Fast Black coated stanchions on Silver TK [A5] and Gold RL [A2].
  • TurnKey damper on Silver TK [A4] and Silver TK [A5], Motion Control damper on Gold RL [A2].
  • Coil or air spring on Silver TK [A4] and Silver TK [A5], air spring on Gold RL [A2].
  • Adjustable rebound on Silver TK [A4] and Silver TK [A5], adjustable rebound and low speed compression on Gold RL [A2].
  • 9mm QR axle.

RockShox 35 Silver R [A1]

RockShox 35, approx £500

A genuine game-changer for forks that come with bikes (OEM). Much fatter stanchions and bolt-thru axle for stiffness and some 35s even come with the sophisticated DebonAir air spring.

  • 100, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160mm travel.
  • 35mm stanchions (steel on Silver R [A1] and Silver TK [A1], aluminium on Gold RL [A1] and Gold RL [A2]).
  • Fast Black coated stanchions.
  • Unnamed damper on Silver R [A1], TurnKey damper on Silver TK [A1], Motion Control damper on Gold Rl [A1] and Gold RL [A2].
  • Coil spring on Silver R [A1], coil or air spring on Silver TK [A1], DebonAir air spring on Gold RL [A1] and Gold RL [A2].
  • Adjustable rebound on Silver R [A1] and Silver TK [A1], adjustable rebound and low speed compression on Gold RL [A1] and Gold RL [A2].
  • 15mm bolt-thru axle.

RockShox Judy [B1]

RockShox Judy, approx £200-£500

Slowly but surely replacing the 30 series of forks listed above. Essentially offering more tyre clearance in a slightly lighter but stiffer chassis. Still rocking skinny 30mm stanchions, mind.

  • 80, 100, 120mm travel.
  • 30mm stanchions (steel stanchions on Judy [B1] and Silver TK [A2] and Silver TK [A3], aluminium stanchions on Gold RL [A2] and Gold RL [A3]).
  • Nickel coated stanchions on Judy [B1], Fast Black coated stanchions on Silver TK [A2] and Silver TK [A3] and Gold RL [A2] and Gold RL [A3].
  • TurnKey damper on Judy [B1] and Silver TK [A2] and Silver TK [A3], Motion Control damper on Gold RL [A2] and Gold RL [A3].
  • Coil spring on Judy [B1], coil or air spring on Silver TK [A3], air spring on Silver TK [A2] and Gold RL [A2] and Gold RL [A3].
  • Adjustable rebound on Judy [B1] and Silver TK [A2] and Silver TK [A3], adjustable rebound and low speed compression on Gold RL [A2] and Gold RL [A3].
  • 9mm QR axle on Judy [B1], 15mm bolt-thru axle on Silver TK [A2] and Silver TK [A3] and Gold RL [A2] and Gold RL [A3].

RockShox Reba 26 [A1]

RockShox Reba, approx £500-£600

Since the newer 35 and Judy series of RockShox forks came out, the Reba looks a tad long in the tooth. Having said that, if you can find one going for a song in the sales, you’d not go far wrong with a Motion Control damper Reba.

  • 80, 100, 110, 120mm travel.
  • 32mm aluminium stanchions.
  • Fast Black stanchions.
  • RL damper on RL [A6], Motion Control damper on 26 [A1] and 26 [A2] and RL [A8] and RL [A9].
  • Air spring on 26 [A1] and RL [A6] and RL [A8], DebonAir air spring on 26 [A2] and RL [A9].
  • Adjustable rebound on 26 [A1] and 26 [A2] and RL [A6], adjustable rebound and low speed compression on RL [A8] and RL [A9].
  • 15mm bolt-thru axle.

RockShox Recon TK 15×100 [A2]

RockShox Recon, £300-£400

There are currently nine(!) different Recons listed by RockShox. Almost the only thing common to them all is use of 32mm diameter stanchions with Fast Black coating. The Recon is RockShox’s key offering to the OEM complete-bike market. Hang on while we wade through them all…

  • 80, 100, 120, 130, 140, 150mm travel.
  • 32mm stanchions (steel stanchions on TK 15X100 [A2] and TK [B1] and Silver TK [C1] and Silver TK [D1] and Silver RL [D1] and RL 15X100 [A2] and RL [B1], aluminium stanchions on Gold RL [A5] and Gold RL [C1]).
  • Nickel coated stanchion on Silver TK [C1], Fast Black coated stanchions on TK 15X100 [A2] and TK [B1] and Silver TK [D1] and Silver RL [D1] and RL 15X100 [A2] and RL [B1] and Gold RL [A5] and Gold RL [C1].
  • TurnKey damper on TK 15X100 [A2] and TK [B1] and Silver TK [C1] and Silver TK [D1], Motion Control damper on Silver RL [D1] and RL 15X100 [A2] and RL [B1] and Gold RL [A5] and Gold RL [C1].
  • Coil spring on TK 15X100 [A2] and TK [B1] and Silver TK [D1], air spring on Silver TK [C1] and Silver TK [D1] and Silver RL [D1] and RL 15X100 [A2] and RL [B1] and Gold RL [A5], DebonAir air spring on Gold RL [C1].
  • Fixed rebound on TK 15X100 [A2] and TK [B1], adjustable rebound on Silver TK [C1] and Silver TK [D1], adjustable rebound and low speed compression on Silver RL [D1] and RL 15X100 [A2] and RL [B1] and Gold RL [A5] and Gold RL [C1].
  • 9mm QR axle on Silver TK [C1], 15mm bolt-thru axle on TK 15X100 [A2] and TK [B1] and Silver TK [D1] and Silver RL [D1] and RL 15X100 [A2] and RL [B1] and Gold RL [A5] and Gold RL [C1].
rockshox forks

RockShox Revelation RC [A2]

RockShox Revelation RC, approx £550

Similar to certian fork ranges above, the Revelation’s days are arguably numbered since the arrival of the new RockShox 35 platform. There’s actually only one Revelation model name currently (the RC) but there are two versions of it (the older A2 and the newer virtually identical A3).

  • 120, 130, 140, 150, 160mm travel.
  • 35mm stanchions.
  • Fast Black coated stanchions.
  • Motion Control damper.
  • DebonAir air spring.
  • Adjustable rebound and low speed compression.
  • 15mm bolt-thru axle.

Thanks for reading our guide to OEM, entry level, or just plain cheap RockShox forks. Happy hunting!