RockShox Launches New 2021 SID & SID SL Forks, Plus A New SID Rear Shock!

Big news out of Colorado today – RockShox has just announced the arrival of a brand new SID fork! Technically, it’s actually two forks, since the new SID has been split into two distinct platforms optimised around different amounts of travel. Inside those forks you’ll find a new DebonAir spring, a new Charger Race Day damper, and well, new everything. And to go along with the 2021 RockShox SID forks is the new SIDLuxe; an XC-specific rear shock that RockShox says is the lightest it has ever produced.

SID Two Ways

The big story with the new 2021 RockShox SID is the fact that it has been separated into two different forks – the SID SL and the SID. Here’s how they’re split;

SID SL – The 100mm XC Fork

The lightweight SID that we all know has now been renamed as the SID SL (the SL stands for Super Light, duh!). It sticks with 100mm of travel and 32mm diameter stanchions, and features a thoroughly pared-back chassis that is totally optimised for World Cup XC racing. Think whippy carbon hardtails and short travel race bikes like the Giant Anthem, Scott Spark RC and Trek Supercaliber. As well as being about 200g lighter than the regular SID, the SID SL is also slightly narrower too, though still accommodates up to a 2.4in wide tyre.

SID – The 120mm Trail Fork

In comparison, the regular SID has expanded – a lot! In fact, it’s grown to become a sort of Diet-Pike. It’s built around 120mm of travel but the stanchions have swollen to a chunky 35mm diameter. It’s pitched more at the marathon and light-trail crowd, and is quite obviously going after the Fox 34 Step-Cast. Think more aggro XC bikes like the Yeti SB100, Trek Top Fuel and Specialized Epic Evo. (Note: We’ve actually been riding the 2021 RockShox SID Ultimate fork for the past couple of weeks – check out the review feature here).

New Charger Race Day Damper

While the 2021 SID fork has been completely redesigned and shares absolutely nothing in common with the previous SID, RockShox is particularly excited about what it’s been able to achieve with the new Charger Race Day damper.

Like the Charger 2.1 damper you’ll find inside the Pike & Lyrik forks, the Charger Race Day damper is a sealed cartridge system with a flexible rubber bladder that expands as fluid fills the reservoir under compression. All the damping gubbins are sealed inside to keep them separate from the rest of the fork, and cleverly, there’s an external bleed port on the fork’s top cap that allows you to bleed any air out of the damper without having to pull the whole fork apart.

rockshox charger race day damper
The Charger Race Day damper (bottom) is quite a bit slimmer than the regular Charger 2.1 damper (top). As a result, it’s a lot lighter.

Where the Charger Race Day damper differs is in its size. In the name of weight savings, everything has been slimmed down to the absolute bare minimum possible. There’s less oil volume, smaller ports and shims, and shaft lengths have been optimised around the SID’s shorter 100-120mm travel. Even the top cap has been ruthlessly machined in the hunt for maximum gram removal. All of that has saved quite a bit of weight. Here’s how the new dampers compare to the previous version;

Aside from dropping weight, RockShox says the new smaller Race Day damper also has inherently less friction (smaller damping surfaces = less friction), so in theory it’ll be smoother too. Given the short travel application, adjustments have been kept simple. You get low-speed rebound adjustment at the bottom, and a two-position lockout up top that offers either Open or Locked settings. You can also get the new SID fork with a TwistLoc remote lockout option.

Yes, It’s Quite A Bit Lighter

Of course a new XC fork would be nothing without an impressive weight claim, and the 2021 RockShox SID has that well and truly covered. The 100mm travel SID SL Ultimate is claimed to weigh just 1326g, which is not only 166g lighter than the previous SID Ultimate Carbon, it’s also lighter than its main rival; the Fox 32 Step-Cast fork.

Most of the SID’s weight saving has come from the lighter Charger Race Day damper, as well as the new lowers and CSU. What’s particularly impressive is that RockShox is achieving that number without a carbon fibre steerer tube and crown. That’s right, as of right now, the SID is only available with an alloy steerer and crown. On the Ultimate models, the forged alloy crown is also post-machined to remove a few more grams.

As for the regular SID, RockShox is claiming a 1527g weight for the 120mm travel SID Ultimate. That’s pretty bloody impressive for a trail fork with 35mm diameter stanchions, and it’s also lighter than its main rival; the Fox 34 Step-Cast fork. RockShox throwing down some serious shade!

2021 rockshox sid ultimate fork fox 34 step-cast
The new 120mm travel SID is clearly going after the Fox 34 Step-Cast. So we tested the two forks back-to-back to see which one came out on top.

29in Wheels, 44mm Offset & Boost Only

Acknowledging the rapidly-shrinking market for 27.5in XC product, RockShox is totally committing to 29in wheels for the new SID – unfortunate news for anyone out there who’s still racing on 27.5in wheels. It’s Boost-only too, with each SID coming with a lightweight Maxle Ultimate thru-axle.

Also interesting is the move to a single 44mm fork offset. Up until now, RockShox had been offering both 42mm and 51mm fork offsets for its 29er forks. However, it’s pretty clear that the XC market is moving exclusively towards short-offset forks, so RockShox is ditching the 51mm option. Interestingly, it is settling on the 44mm offset in a bid to simplify things and standardise with Fox’ 44mm offset. Our guess is that we’ll see other RockShox forks also move to a 44mm offset in the near future.

2021 rockshox sid ultimate fork debonair spring
The SID gets a totally re-engineered DebonAir spring that’s designed to emulate the performance of the Pike & Lyrik.

What Else Is New?

The DebonAir name carries over into the 2021 RockShox SID fork, but structurally it is also totally new. Aiming to emulate the performance of the Pike & Lyrik, the new SID’s DebonAir spring gets the same top-out bumper, reworked chamber volumes, and a smaller and lighter seal head to improve overall sensitivity. The transfer port between the two air chambers has been lowered so that the air spring balances earlier and keeps the fork riding higher in its travel – important for a shorter-travel XC fork. You can still adjust volume with Bottomless Tokens as usual.

In a further bid to keep things nice and slippery, RockShox has partnered with SKF for the SID’s new wiper seals. It’s also utilising Maxima Plush fluid for the damper, which supposedly reduces damping friction and noise, and is also less sensitive to temperature.

2021 rockshox sid ultimate fork
RockShox is now using SKF wiper seals for both the new SID and SID SL forks.

What SID Models Are There?

Both the SID and SID SL will be available in Ultimate and Select versions. Coming in at a lower price point, the Select forks don’t get the Charger Race Day damper – instead they use the existing Charger RL damper inside. They also don’t get the machined crown, and that means they’re a bit heavier than the Ultimate forks.

Here’s a closer look at the four new SID forks coming for 2021;

2021 rockshox sid sl ultimate fork
The 2021 RockShox SID SL Ultimate is claimed to weigh just 1326g, making it A LOT lighter than the old carbon fork, and lighter than the Fox 32 Step-Cast too.

2021 RockShox SID SL Ultimate

2021 rockshox sid select fork
The SID SL Select misses out on the Charger Race Day damper and the machined crown, which means its over 100g heavier, but quite a bit cheaper.

2021 RockShox SID SL Select

2021 rockshox sid ultimate 35mm fork
The new SID takes the place as the lightweight trail fork with 120mm of travel and chunky 35mm diameter stanchions. RockShox is finally making a bolt-on mudguard too!

2021 RockShox SID Ultimate

2021 rockshox sid select fork 35mm
The 2021 RockShox SID Select gets the same chassis as the Ultimate model, and also features the same redesigned DebonAir spring for smooth-sliding.

2021 RockShox SID Select

2021 rockshox sidluxe rear shock mondraker
There’s a new rear shock too. It’s called the SIDLuxe and it’s made to be the perfect accompaniment to the new SID forks.

But Wait, There’s More! The SIDLuxe Rear Shock

While the majority of the interest will be around the new SID forks, RockShox has also launched a matching SIDLuxe rear shock to go with them. Details are a little sparse at the moment, but from what we understand it’s an XC-specific rear shock that has been lightened significantly compared to the current Deluxe shock design.

It’s obviously air-sprung, and volume can be adjusted with Bottomless Tokens just like RockShox other rear shocks. The overall size is quite a bit smaller, which supposedly offers a more progressive spring curve that should suit short-travel XC bikes. Inside you’ll find Maxima Plush damping fluid, and the SIDLuxe offers a two-position lockout (Open/Locked) and adjustable rebound damping. You’ll need a hex key to adjust rebound, and conveniently the rebound dial from the new SID fork can be removed to perform that exact task. Neat!

2021 rockshox sidluxe rear shock
The SIDLuxe will be available in remote and non-remote options.

2021 RockShox SIDLuxe Shock

2021 rockshox sid ultimate fork trek top fuel
We’ve been riding the new SID for the past couple of weeks, and it is very, very impressive on a number of levels.

And there we have it – the new 2021 RockShox SID range! What do you folks think of the two new forks and the rear shock? Are any of those likely to find their way onto your bike? Or perhaps you’ll be looking for a new 2021 bike that comes spec’d with the new SID? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

If you’d like to know how the new SID actually rides, be sure to check out our review of the 2021 RockShox SID Ultimate fork right here.

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