35mm tubes make all the difference
With the switch to 35mm upper tubes, the RockShox Revelation RC is now in line with the Pike. And it’s just the shot in the arm it needed.
The old 32mm stanchion Revelation was long in the tooth and lacked the stiffness needed to control modern 27.5in and 29in bikes.
Travel options on the latest Revelation start at 120mm and are capped at 160mm on the 27.5in version. And, just like the Pike, the Boost casting has clearance for 2.8in tyres. It’s not roomy enough to swallow 29in wheels though, which is why there’s also a dedicated 29in Revelation that will also take a 27.5in wheel with a full size 3.0in Plus tyre fitted. So even though tyre and resulting wheel sizes are currently in a state of flux, the new Revelation has it covered.
Like most RockShox forks the Revelation RC comes with pre-installed Bottomless Tokens, which are essentially volume reducers that can be added or removed to fine tune the progression of the air spring. Having them fitted as standard is great because if you’re buying a bike with a Revelation RC on it you will actually get the Tokens, rather than the shop chucking them in the bin along with the reflectors, plastic pedals and owner’s manual.
Depending on the travel the Revelation RC has different numbers of Tokens installed as standard: four in the 120mm fork, three at 130mm, two at 140mm and zero in the 150 and 160mm options. Once again, it’s just like the Pike. Over the past couple of months we’ve tested the Revelation RC on a bunch of different bikes, from 130mm travel hardtails up to 150mm travel full sussers and found that progression rate of the 130mm fork felt spot on, we needed to remove on of the Tokens from the 140mm version to tap into the final portion of the travel.
And it’s not just the stature of the Revelation that’s been increased for 2018; the overall level of damping has been bumped up too. So much so, we’ve been running the compression and rebound adjusters pretty much wide open on all the forks we’ve tested. Not something we’d ever have done on the old Revelation. As such, riders weighing under 70kg will struggle to get the rebound damping fast enough to match their rear suspension, or just to their liking.
With the extra hydraulic support the 2018 Revelation is very stable and composed, but it has not got that pitter-patter feeling you find on the Pike RCT3 on high speed square-edge hits. In fact, even in the open compression setting the Revelation feels more like the Pedal setting on the Pike.
Obviously the Motion Control RC damper isn’t as sophisticated as the bladder-backed RCT3 Charger II unit in the Pike, which explains why the Revelation is quite a bit cheaper even though it shares the same chassis. It also accounts for the additional 100g in weight the Revelation is carrying.
So the new Revelation is to the Pike, what the Yari is to the Lyrik. And with Yari and Lyrik taking care of the bigger hitting enduro bikes, it’s as if RockShox has made a shift towards a tighter, more reactive response on their entry-level trail fork. Which is probably why the Revelation loses out a little on square edge hits and outright sensitivity.
And while it’s to easy to draw comparison between the Revelation the Pike, it is a much cheaper fork, its increased affordability making it game changing on mid-priced trail bikes. Given time, the Revelation with no doubt dominate this category in the way that the Yari currently dominates entry-level enduro. In fact, given how many bikes we’ve tested with Revelations in the past four months, it’s already happening.
As a standalone upgrade however, the new RockShox Revelation RC feels a little over damped when compared to the Manitou Mattoc Pro and recently released DVO Beryl. Both of which have a much better range of usable adjustment for lighter riders.