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The original RockShox RS-1 was the first mountain bike suspension fork. It stood out from the crowd, it did many things well, it won downhill and cross-country world championships, and people looked at it funny.
Similarly, while riding a 2014 RockShox RS-1 in Horsetooth Park, near Fort Collins, Colorado, an unknown rider rolled up behind me and shrieked, “Holy s—t, is that an RS-1? Do you own that thing?”
The rest of my bike is relatively unassuming. It’s an aluminum Specialized Camber EVO with SRAM’s entry-level X1 drivetrain, but add on the RockShox RS-1 and it completely changes the look, with its one-piece carbon upper and inverted design, it is striking.
Hands down, it is the best-looking suspension fork on the market.
As I rolled home from my encounter with the excited stranger, I thought about the original RS-1, which launched nearly 25 years ago. How many RS-1 riders in 1990 ran into strangers who lost it when they saw that “crazy new suspension fork?” The new RS-1 brings things full circle.
Background and setup
The RS-1 is available exclusively for 29ers and comes in three travel options: 80mm, 100mm, and 120mm. The 120mm option seemed best suited for my Camber EVO, which sports an extra 10mm of travel and some slacker angles than the standard 110mm-travel Camber 29’s.
Looking at 2015 bikes, nearly all RS-1 forks on full-suspension bikes have 100mm of travel. Russell Finsterwald (SRAM-Troy Lee Designs) raced an RS-1 for most of the season on his Trek Superfly full suspension. The target audience is certainly the cross-country rider, but the RS-1 is much stiffer and just more fun than your average cross-country fork, such as a RockShox Sid World Cup.
The RS-1 relies on a proprietary hub design, which RockShox calls Predictive Steering (PS), to keep the fork legs from deviating independently. SRAM PS hubs are currently offered only by SRAM, though DT Swiss has been licensed to produce a hub, and we’ve seen a sample hub from American Classic that is not approved by SRAM.
The PS hub, while it seems to work quite well, creates a couple headaches. You have limited wheel choices, unless you want to build a wheel around a new hub, buy a SRAM PS wheelset, or you purchase a complete bike with an RS-1. Similarly, putting your bike on a roof rack that necessitates front wheel removal is nearly impossible, and mounting a wheel is not nearly as simple as a traditional wheel — whether it’s a thru-axle or a quick release — as the lowers pivot independently without the PS hub holding them together.
The RS-1 retails at $1,865 for the fork and the XLoc Sprint hydraulic remote lockout lever, but be prepared to spend quite a bit more than that, as you’ll need a new front wheel built up after you purchase the $238 PS hub, or you’ll need to purchase a SRAM PS front wheel (pricing below).
So when it’s all said and done, you’ll be spending well over $2,000 to upgrade to an RS-1. However, if you’re in the market for a new bike, there are a handful of options with an RS-1, the most budget-friendly that I’ve found is the 2015 Salsa Spearfish RS-1, which retails for less than $7,000 and comes equipped with SRAM’s XX1 drivetrain. However, that’s still not cheap.
Back in 1990, in an article titled, “What next, a motor?” a journalist wrote about the original RS-1, saying, “but wait, are you sitting down? Be prepared to pay around $350 for the system.”
The worth of a dollar has certainly changed.
If you take a look at motocross bikes, upside-down stanchions are not a new idea — they are the accepted design. You can also walk into any Cannondale dealer and find a slew of Lefty fork models, all with an inverted stanchion design. X-Fusion’s 34mm trail fork, the Revel HLR, is also inverted. Like electronic drivetrains and dropper posts, this approach has been tried with mixed results. Perhaps major companies were scared away from inverted stanchions after brands like Maverick and Hanebrink came and went.
From an engineering standpoint, the major difficulty is stiffness, a problem RockShox addresses with the Predictive Steering system.
The inverted design keeps the RS-1’s seals better lubricated than a traditional fork design. Of course, the inverted design seems to leave the stanchions bare to the elements, unprotected from a rock on the trail or the surprise spill. After a few months and a couple of crashes, my RS-1 stanchions remain completely undamaged; my initial concerns never became reality.
RockShox stamps the recommended air pressures near the air pressure valve, and recommends 105-110psi as a starting point for my 167-pound riding weight. The first thing I did was drop that down to 95, then 90, and finally stuck with 85psi. The RS-1 also bears the recommended sag settings on the stanchions, making for an easy way to quickly dial in your pressure. The silky-smooth movement of the 32mm stanchions makes for dramatic results in even the smallest air pressure changes. I would recommend riding with a shock pump in your pack for a few rides until a comfortable pressure is set. The lockout is quite rigid, even at lower pressures, so climbing efficiency is not compromised for better fork feel.
Once dialed in, the RS-1 shows it’s not just a pretty face. It’s also pretty badass.
The RS-1 is stiff. Compared to other cross-country 32mm-stanchion options, the RS-1 feels burly and shines on technical descents. Braking into jagged, downhill corners, the RS-1 gives the rider plenty of confidence. With its weight (3.67 pounds) and stiffness, it splits the difference between a RockShox Sid and the beloved Pike trail fork.
The RS-1 is great for mountain bikes that have between 110 and 140mm of travel, bikes that do well with a more robust fork. The Yeti ASR-c I recently reviewed is a perfect candidate for an RS-1 upgrade, if you have the means.
SRAM Roam 50 Predictive Steering wheels
Mountain bikes have reached a plateau in thru-axle compatibility. While there are some outliers on the larger travel and smaller travel spectrums, nearly every bike I ride calls for a 142mm rear and a 15mm front thru-axle, so switching wheels between test bikes and on race day is a breeze.
Now, the RS-1 is disturbing the laid-back juju in my garage. RS-1 buyers will have to buy a SRAM Predictive steering hub, which will cost $238, and build up a new front wheel, or buyers can buy SRAM Rise or Roam wheels. I went with the most budget-friendly, Roam 50 wheels, but the front wheel alone will still set you back an extra $527 and the rear is another $586.
SRAM has been in the wheel game for only about a year, and I had some trouble with my Roam 50 rims. SRAM uses a plastic rim strip to seal up the spoke holes, and while we were able to get the tire to set up tubeless with an air compressor, my rear wheel had a small leak at one of the spoke holes, that took some effort to seal for good.
Then, on my first ride, I dented the rear rim. I was running about 30psi — not incredibly low or high — and was on a typical trail, nothing excessively rocky. I was able to bend the rim close enough to straight to re-seat the tire, though without the aid of an air compressor, my roommate and I had to tag-team the pump and wheel to get the Hutchinson tire back in place. We were both exhausted, but it worked.
The brands in the SRAM family tend to play the weight game. SRAM, Avid, Zipp, and RockShox all try to cut weight to have the lightest flagship models in the marketplace. While the RS-1 is in no way the fat kid of the family, it’s also not the lightest. It’s more of the middle child at 1,666g for the fork only. It is heavier — and more expensive — than the Sid World Cup, though it’s a better performing fork. Weight isn’t everything.
I don’t know that I would spring for the RS-1 if I already had a capable fork, but were I in the market for a complete cross-country bike, anything with an RS-1 would be on my wishlist. If I were buying an aftermarket RS-1, I would buy my own Predictive Steering hub and have a local builder lace it up to a wheel already in my stable.
I hope the RS-1 has a less expensive little brother in the future, maybe a fork with an aluminum upper, that performs similarly, so I won’t have strangers on the trail wondering if I sold my car to afford a new fork.
When I first caught wind of the new RockShox RS-1, I wanted to test it, but I didn’t want to like it. Right away, I didn’t like its price tag, or the limitations it brought to wheel selection. There was, and still is, a list of concerns with the RS-1.
But there’s just no getting around the fact that it is one of the best performing forks I’ve ridden.
What we like: Stiff cross-country performer that rides like a trail fork. Damn sexy looking
What we don’t: Huge price tag, front wheel limitations, and changing a front wheel is a bit of a struggle
RS-1 Fork: $1,865
Predictive Steering Hub: $238
Roam 50 29”: $527
Roam 60 29”: $998
Rise XX 29” Tubular: $1,341
WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Winnipeg, a small prairie city, will aim to surpass all previous editions of the Canadian national cyclocross championships at the end of October with a downtown venue that will bring cyclocross to the people.
Canada’s national cyclocross competition has a 25-plus year history but 2014 will be the first edition to run as a three-day festival similar to American ‘cross races. On October 24, the Kick Cancer Cyclocross Derby launches the weekend with community races and clinics. Serious competition ensues with the Shimano Canadian Cyclocross Championships on October 25, and the weekend concludes with a UCI C2 race on Sunday, the Manitoba Grand Prix of Cyclocross international.
The Forks park in the heart of Winnipeg will host the event, offering gravel paths, deep sand, grass, pavement, cobblestones, and riverfront elements for a dynamic and fast course.
Riders will experience a circuit with an in-town feel similar to venues in the Belgian motherland of cyclocross, which organizers hope will introduce the sport to thousands.
Racing where the public plays
The Forks first held a cyclocross competition in 2013 with Manitoba’s provincial championships. Current women’s elite Canadian cyclocross champion and mountain bike world champion Catharine Pendrel is familiar with the venue and scheduled to compete in both days of elite racing.
“Races are always better when we can draw large crowds and share our sport,” Pendrel said. “I like it when people that have never watched a bike race can happen upon one and check it out and meet the people that devote their lives to it. I think the downtown venue will add energy to the riders, races, and the crowds.”
Pendrel, and the rest of Canada’s elite field will battle for red and white maple leaf jerseys on Saturday. Maghalie Rochette and former Canadian champion Mical Dyck will line up. On the men’s side, current elite champion Geoff Kabush and reigning junior and U23 champions Willem Boersma and Michael van den Ham are set to compete, as well as last year’s elite podium finishers Aaron Schooler and Cameron Jette.
Elite riders expected to challenge Canada’s best at Sunday’s Manitoba Grand Prix of Cyclocross include Americans Ellen Noble and Jeremy Durrin, as well as top British rider Gabby Durrin.
With Winnipeg located within a day’s drive North of Minneapolis, the UCI race is expected to draw Americans as well. The Forks will also host a Friday night relay race pitting Canada against the U.S.
Fans can view online livestreams of the weekend’s elite races plus Saturday’s U23 and junior men’s competitions via Canadian Cycling Magazine.
A Canadian approach to cyclocross
This year’s Canadian championships take place earlier than the typical November calendar slot, and much earlier than the traditional schedule for national cyclocross championships that sees most nations, including the U.S., race in January.
“Last year we ran them in the last week of November,” said Nicholas Vipond, competition coordinator for Cycling Canada. “But generally [on] that weekend, Winnipeg is under two feet of snow and minus 20 Celsius.”
Canada’s numbing December cold can deter even the most hardened cyclocross racers from training and racing outdoors. So the Canadian ‘cross season generally extends from September through November. Strong local series thrive around Vancouver and Ottawa, Vipond said, and Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba also offer provincial series.
A shorter season, significant distances between population centers, and accessibility for many Canadians to a robust number of American races leads most invested in the sport to the same conclusion: holding one or two big annual events is a better approach than building a national cyclocross series.
With only one other 2014 UCI race in Canada, the one-day UCI C2 Cyclocross de Rimouski, the national championship becomes a singular opportunity for Cycling Canada to put on the country’s biggest cyclocross event.
“It’s great to have big events at ‘home’ because they connect our community,” Pendrel said.
“For me it’s a chance to get to know some of the up and comers, the organizers and families behind the racers. For developing riders, they get exposed to what bigger, faster races look like and can challenge themselves at a higher level without the challenges of international travel.”
True to both grassroots Canadian cyclocross culture and European tradition, local brewer Half Pints will supply a Belgian IPA called “Dead Ringer” which it created uniquely for the Shimano Canadian Cyclocross Championships.
The post Winnipeg gears up to host Canadian national cyclocross championships appeared first on VeloNews.com.
I have for sale my GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition camera in amazing condition with extras. The camera includes the original packaging and all the stock accessories. The extras include the GoPro LCD screen (also in its original packaging with the screen protector still on it) and all (4) backdoor options. In addition I have 2 extra batteries with wall and car charger. I also found a package of a couple anti-fog inserts that you can have with the bundle. Again, all of this equipment is in perfect working order and is kept very clean. I purchased everything new from REI and with all the original boxes you couldn’t even tell this was used equipment. I am selling in order to fund the newer Hero 4 model. Below is a detailed list of everything included. I will get pictures up this evening. I have checked eBay and Craigslist for comparable prices and I tried to stay lower in price and in much better condition.
Feel free to ask questions.
Hero 3 Black Edition w/ remote:
- Wi-Fi Remote Control w/ charging cord
- Waterproof housing and additional skeleton back door
- USB Charging cord for camera
- (1) Quick Release Buckle w/ rubber noise dampener
- (1) J-Hook Buckle
- (1) Curved and (1) Flat Mount
- 3-Way pivot with (1) short screw and (1) long screw
- LCD Screen w/ (4) backdoors
- (2) extra batteries in perfect working order with wall charger and car charger
- (1) used pack of anti-fog inserts
The Astana project is over for American Evan Huffman, as the Californian will return to racing stateside next season with Team SmartStop. Huffman, 24, rode for Astana for two seasons.
For Huffman, it’s a chance to further develop in an American program; for SmartStop, it’s a chance to bolster the team, and add a time trial specialist.
“He’s got the papers signed. He’s a pretty crucial pickup. We’ve been fairly inconsistent in time trials,” SmartStop director Michael Creed told VeloNews. “To have a guy like Huffman, who obviously excels at them and he can handle himself in the bunch and help out in a lot of ways. It was a pretty key signing.”
Huffman will aim to strengthen the overachieving SmartStop squad. Last season, it won a national title in the road race via Eric Marcotte (teammate Travis McCabe finished second as well), and McCabe won at the Winston Salem Cycling Classic and stages at Nature Valley Grand Prix and the Cascade Classic. Jure Kocjan held the leader’s jersey for two days at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.
Huffman, a promising time-trial talent, has been quiet since making the move to Europe to race in Astana blue. “I think he can kind of hit the reset button here, you know? I could probably draw a lot of parallels to my time on Postal, feeling like you’re not fitting in … maybe not developed enough for some of the races that they had him go to,” Creed said.
One such race may have been the 2013 Paris-Roubaix, which he rode on little notice and did not finish. Throughout his two seasons, Astana sporadically sent him to races, and in both 2013 and 2014, Huffman saw little to no action in June or July.
“A team like Astana really doesn’t have the time to develop talent. I think here’s a good place where he can kind of hit the reset button and develop where he missed out and hopefully get back to [a] ProTour or Pro Conti team,” Creed said.
Huffman signed with Astana in November of 2012 and is the most recent in a line of California Giant-Specialized elite riders to move into the professional ranks. Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) is the most well-known product of the development squad. Huffman was formerly the under-23 U.S. time trial champion, and he won a stage at the SRAM Tour of the Gila in 2012.
SmartStop will hope to race the Amgen Tour of California and USA Pro Challenge, in Colorado, next season. It raced in Colorado last year, but not at California. “Hopefully we’ve done enough, and if there’s anything more we can do get into that race, you better believe we’ll do our best to make it happen,” Creed said.
As Huffman leaves Astana he does so amid troubling times for the Kazakh team.
Astana took itself out of the Tour of Beijing Monday, electing to “self-suspend” in light of two recent positive tests for the banned blood-booster EPO that ensnared two brothers on the team; riders Valentin Iglinskiy and his brother Maxim both tested positive for EPO in a 12-month period. Valentin tested positive at the Eneco Tour this season on August 11 and Maxim on August 1, after he finished the Tour de France, helping Vincenzo Nibali to a yellow jersey.
The decision came in accordance with the rules of the Movement for Cycling Credible (MPCC), a group to which Astana and some other pro teams — but not all — belong.
“Really disappointed to miss out on Beijing,” said Huffman on Twitter. “That brings my 2014 season to an end and also my time with Astana. … Already looking forward to 2015. I’ll be moving back to the U.S. and hopefully winning some races again, especially on the TT bike.”
The post Evan Huffman to leave Astana, return to racing in U.S. appeared first on VeloNews.com.