When RockShox decided to re-design and re-position the SID in their lineup, it piqued my interest. These lightweight beauties were getting lighter while also adding more travel to the mix. Make no mistake, the SID XX is a race-tuned weapon, but just how far into all-mountain can the 2012 RockShox SID XX 29 go?
Rockshox SID XX 29 Features
- DualAir: Independently-adjustable positive and negative air springs
- Blackbox Motion Control: Enables blowoff threshold for extended climbs
- PopLoc: Lockout the fork from the handlebars
- Maxle Lite: 15mm thru-axle (as tested, 9mm option available)
- Sag Gradients: Easy-to-tune travel with built-in sag gradients
- Power Bulge: Allows for increased-size bushings
- 100 grams lighter for 2012 (3.43 lbs stated)
- Available in 80mm or 100mm (tested) travel
- Aluminum tapered steerer
- MSRP: $870 as tested
Rockshox SID XX 29 Fork Review
When it comes to being swift and fast on the trail or racecourse, few forks rival the pedigree of the Rockshox SID. Looking back at podiums over the years, you’ll find it has been ridden to a fair share of victories. As times and technology have changed, the SID platform was in need of an overhaul and expansion to keep up with the Joneses.
SID stands for Superlight Integrated Design, so everything in the SID is built to shave excess weight while retaining desirable ride quality. While the exterior looks identical (sans stickers) to the Reba line, the top-of-the-line SID is available with an integrated carbon steerer/crown for increased stiffness and a reduction in weight.
Setting up the SID was easy with the built-in air pressure chart on the left fork leg. Just dial in the positive pressure, then the negative based on your rider weight. Keep in mind that you should include your gear into this calculation. I found that setting it up based on the charts certainly gets you into the ballpark, but fine tuning was needed to get it completely dialed. If you want to learn the in’s and out’s of setting up DualAir, download this setup guide.
On the performance side of DualAir, the amount of and ratio of negative/positive air allows you to decide how firm or smooth the travel is. Initially, I had it set up with equal amounts of positive and negative air pressure. This resulted in a much more race-tuned feel that was certainly responsive, but wasn’t as adept at absorbing trail chatter. It always ramped up to meet the challenge on bigger stuff, but small bump absorption suffered in favor of efficiency.
On the other hand, when setting up the fork with 10-15 psi more negative (lower leg) pressure than positive pressure, the SID XX changes considerably. I preferred this setup as it really smoothed out trail chatter and made the fork more fun overall. The bar-mounted Poploc lever was ready and willing should I need efficiency. Trail manners is what I wanted and got with this setup.
My test fork was equipped with a 15mm Maxle, instead of the old 9mm QR. Honestly, I wish the standard QR’s would die, but they are still hanging on. The Maxle system is easy-to-use and provides added stiffness that is really noticeable on the 29er platform. Add on top of that the tapered aluminum steerer tube and the SID XX is among the stiffest XC race forks you’ll ride. After riding my Specialized Camber Expert 29 with the stock Fox fork, then switching to the SID XX, the front-end was noticeably stiffer with more accurate steering.
The bar-mounted lockout was great to have on long climbs, but was rarely used for my typical trail riding routine. Where it comes into play is on fire roads, pavement or for XC racing. I found it very easy to both lock and unlock on-the-fly, but you do have to compete for bar space these days with dropper posts, GPS units, trail bells, etc. so finding the proper spot can be tricky.
After riding the SID XX on two different bikes, I was able to both get a good feel for the fork and get it properly adjusted to my liking. Those adjustments paid off as I was able to dial the fork in as if it was custom-made just for me. Steering precision is superb and suspension quality far surpassed my expectations.
Good SID XX 29
- DualAir allows you to fine-tune the ride quality
- 15mm Maxle adds considerable stiffness over standard QR’s
- Can split time as an XC racer or trail slayer
- Handlebar-mounted Poploc is easy to use
- Travel and sag markings on the stanchions make setup a breeze
Bad SID XX 29
- Poploc is nice, but takes up precious bar space
Bottom Line: Rockshox SID XX 29
The new SID XX 29 fork can easily be race or trail-tuned — thanks to DualAir. It offers killer steering precision and smooth (or efficient, if you like) travel in a lightweight package. The SID XX can be pushed hard and it will deliver in spades.
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