|Rock Shox 30 Gold|
Yet time and again I see a bicycle spec'ed with poor brakes, poor drive train gear, and especially poor wheels and forks. It is why I often tell potential riders on a budget that one bicycle is a "mountain bike shaped object", while another is actually an off road-able machine.
I recall one particular bicycle model put forth by a well known company a few years back that came out of the box, brand spanking new, with fork bushings that displayed so much slop I wouldn't consider it for off road riding of any type. In fact, now that I think about that, there are two bicycles from two separate manufacturers that stand out in that way to me. Bad stuff.
That's why yesterday I was heartened a bit by a press release I got saying Rock Shox was making a fork available which would be lighter and less expensive than some of their other offerings and yet retain the high performance features that the upper end forks are known for, just with less bells and whistles attached. To my mind, a decent suspension fork, along with competent wheels and drive train bits, go a long way towards building customer satisfaction, and maybe a life long rider that will upgrade some day.
I think Rock Shox got something right here. They are providing a product that potentially is simple, durable, and requires minimal maintenance.That's what entry level to casual level mountain bikers need. Something that "works" with minimal fuss and input on the part of the owner. Hopefully Rock Shox gets this model right, and that's exactly what folks will experience with this fork. The fact it says "Rock Shox" on it doesn't hurt matters any either.
While "halo" models and high end, new technology parts are a lot of fun to check out, the reality is most folks are on a "beer budget". Big, fancy models that fetch astronomical prices, ($10,000.00 per bike is not unheard of now), are one thing. Forks that cost $700.00+ are one thing, but the focusing attention on all of that by the marketing guys and gals is a bit heavy handed. This news is a bit of fresh air in those terms, and I welcome more of this sort of thing in the future.