We’ve just got the details of the new RST forks for 2001.Details came from our old mate Jamie Tatlow, who’s working for RST out in Europe. Jamie (now known as James) has been riding since 1983 and was seen in MBUK in the very early days, picking up the nickname “freefall” for one reason and another. This is what he told us…
You will notice that we have a new logo and name for some of our 2001 products – SDK. This will become the new branch of RST for the high end products and OMNI will be our OEM brand name. This might be a little confusing at the beginning but we want to try and keep the cheaper models that are fitted to 1000’s of bikes separate from the aftermarket models, as we develop new models we will add then to the SDK range and remove others from the RST listings.
The 3 new models that we have released under SDK are to be called AEROSA and they are all air sprung and damped forks aimed at the light weight market and XC racing, but yet again without the high price tags of the other big names.
This fork has a built in air system (BAS) and uses the stanchions to retain the air pressure, 1 leg also has an adjustable (Allen key from bottom) damping valve, the other leg has a shorter chamber to increase the effective spring rate towards the end of the travel. This fork uses a low pressure of air of about 50-75psi.
- 7075 steerer tube and stanchions (30mm).
- 1 piece magnesium outer legs with disc mount.
- 3.5″ (89mm) of travel
I have had a sample of this fork on my bike for 3-4 weeks and have been
quite surprised at the stiffness after using the XMO, and the feel of the
suspension is very good, my fork weighed 1470 grams so the brochure weight
is about right if you loose the steerer tube. I am running 50psi and I have
reduced the travel to about 2.5″ (63mm) and it can handle the small bumps
very well and only bottoms out under heavy compressions or jumps. I will
be fitting these forks (back to 3.5″) to my full suspension bike ready to
ride at the festival in Garde, Italy soon so I can give some further feed
back after riding some hills! A bit lacking in Holland. Servicing these
forks is a bit of a fiddle, but uses mostly standard ‘O’ rings, so the service
kits that we are making should be quite a good price.
AEROSA – AT
This fork is our version of the XMO from USA, but with out the CNC machining and price tag, again using the 30mm stanchions, with 130mm pitch, these forks are also very stiff for the weight, 1.35kg in the brochure. The use of a pair of ‘TORNADO-A’ cartridges, running at about 150psi, gives the fork the same feel as the old XMO, and the easy servicing. Each cartridge has a 4 step adjuster at the bottom to allow personal settings to suit bike and riders. All the other details are the same as the BAS, like stanchions, outer legs etc.
This entry level air fork has an air cartridge (non adjustable damping) in 1 side and a standard set of MCU’s in the other, again other details are the same as the AT model. This model will probably be found fitted to bikes as original equipment, and upgrading to the TORNADO-A adjustable cartridges is as easy a changing your remote control batteries except you do not have to by a pack of 4!
The travel of the AET model can be reduced to 2.5″(63mm) by turning around one of the internal parts, for the BAS and AT you will need to add 2 small parts in order to achieve the same effect, still very easy when you service the forks.
We also have further down the range a Gamma AT, Gamma AET, 381AT and 381AET, all use the same type of cartridge but with the original size stanchions from similar models last year, Gamma with magnesium outer legs.
We also have a few other new models, but sticking with the same thing, we have 2 new rear shocks, again they are air sprung and damped, called the ‘CHAMBER-N’ and ‘CHAMBER-A’. I have not yet seen these in the flesh as they say but should be very good items, especially for the after sales that were so hard for standard steel sprung shocks. Most dealers will only need to stock a couple of sizes and the pumps to be able to cover most bike set ups, I will let you know if they will be available to the retail outlets as soon as I can.