Steering stiffness combined with silky smoothness
The RockShox SID Charger World Cup version benefits from a full carbon crown and steerer unit over the hollow aluminium crown of the RLC version.
The SID is a name eponymous with cross country racing and has been evolving from the spindly legged, nineties noodle into the wide stanced SID of today.
The construction of the this SID increases stiffness and steering precision but interestingly results in very little overall weight loss. Any weight lost is gained by the carbon specific bung that is needed to clamp down the headset (you can’t use a standard star nut).
The SID World Cup gains one of the best hand me downs from its bigger travel brothers in the form of the Charger 2 damper unit. This is RockShox’s premier damper technology and features a much wider range of low speed compression damping. It provides a level of silky smooth plushness from the initial stroke far superior to that of a Fox 32 Float Fit4 . Despite this eagerness to get moving, it rarely felt out of its depth despite the meagre 100mm of travel. The suspension curve being such that it provides excellent progression with minimal chance of any harsh bottoming out. For the racers, the ability to really dial in the low speed compression to provide a firm platform is definitely a boon and results in much less need to faff about with the fork mounted lock out. Ideal in race situations when your brain is required elsewhere.
If you’ve never ridden a SID before then be ready for a surprise. This is one stiff, straight tracking fork that has all the burly characteristics of its larger stanchioned stablemates but for minimal heft. The fact it only needs to provide 100mm of travel obviously allows for greater top and bottom tube overlap, increasing stiffness. But the critical part is RockShox has really created a rock solid connection between the legs thanks to the wide carbon crown and chunky brace. On the sorts of tight, twisty and rooty trails that can really expose a flexy fork the SID remains rock solid, steering the ship and refusing to be deflected off your chosen path.
The SID might have gained a little middle-age spread thanks to a chassis based on RockShox’s more burly forks but the pay-off here is a fork that is more capable. Not only in terms of steering stiffness but in the silky smooth performance of the Charger 2 damper. Which is why most riders should ignore the weight penalty and opt for the SID.