Rockshox has released a new version of the SID fork and rear shock, and there are a few things about these new shocks that are exciting. Both are largely redesigned, and not just a new model year with a few upgrades. Since the team is sponsored by Rockshox, we got our hands on these shocks early and the riders has spent some time on them already.

Firstly, the rear shock. Some of you might still remember a time when rear shocks shared the same model name as the fork, although the last time there was a SID rear shock was almost 2 decades ago. With the new 2020 lineup, Rockshox has named the rear shock the SIDLuxe.

The SIDLuxe is amazingly light at 230g and aimed at XC or marathon racers. Looking at the design, it is clear that the focus was on shaving weight. The air can and damper shaft are both smaller in diameter. It comes in standard or trunnion mounting options in many sizes, so you’ll be able to put it on your trail bike as well, but you probably wouldn’t want to. The smaller air can also means less air volume, which translates to a more progressive ramp up, suiting XC riders. If you need to tune the spring curve, there is still the option of bottomless tokens.

The lockout on this shock is aimed at XC riders, who generally want a hard lockout for the punchy climbs or smooth sections. The manual lockout lever is easier to flip and there are different remote options to pair with a twistloc lever, and once you flip it you’ll know it is locked.

One obvious difference is the absence of a rebound adjuster that can be adjusted by hand. You’ll need a 2.5mm Hex (allen key) to adjust rebound. But, considering that this is aimed at racers, there probably won’t be much fiddling happening once the initial setup is dialled. Also, when paired with the new SID fork up front, you wouldn’t need to take out your multitool, since the fork utilises a removable 2.5mm hex for rebound adjustment.

That takes us to the fork. While the shock is smaller in size, the fork got bigger. In stanchion size, that is. The SID Ultimate now also makes use of 35mm stanchions, previously reserved for the longer travel forks like PIKE and LYRIK. This makes sense for 2 reasons, firstly because better stiffness can be achieved with less weight, and secondly to reduce friction around the bushes / seals.

The larger stanchions make it look beefier, but it doesn’t look odd. Compared to an older SID, the 32mm stanchions seem tiny. Maybe we are just becoming more accustomed to larger stanchions.

The fork is offered in 110mm and 120mm travel options. For hardcore weight weenies there is also the option of the SID SL Ultimate, which is limited to 100mm travel and still uses the 32mm stanchions. But considering modern bike geometries and riding styles, the 110mm or 120mm options in 35mm stanchion size would be the popular choice.

The biggest change in performance comes from the new Charger Raceday damper. Honestly this damper seems tiny when removed from the 35mm tube. It is smaller and lighter than the current Charger damper and offers a “rock solid” lockout. The lockout lever is easily flipped and looks almost unfinished, as if function was more important than form here. But it gives the dial interface a kind of retro look that I quite like. There is also an external bleed port for the damper, which will make team mechanics happy.

The Debonair air spring has been redesigned to suit XC riding, and as far as I can tell the biggest difference to be felt here is that you would ride slightly higher in the travel range. Again, the spring rate is also tuneable with Bottomless tokens.

The SID Ultimate comes with an integrated removable fender / mudguard which fixes to the lowers with 2 bolts.

As in the rear shock, the rebound is adjusted with a 2.5mm Allen key, but there is a removable key inserted into the lowers for this purpose.
The new SID and SIDLuxe seems like a well-rounded package. The athletes seem to only have good feedback, and the combo definitely looks nice on the PYGA Mobu prototypes that they’re on.

By Andre Bezuidenhout 7 April 2020