RST “First” 29 Suspension Forks: On Test-by Guitar Ted and Grannygear
In the realm of suspension forks, there is Fox, Rock Shox, and then perhaps DT Swiss, White Brothers, Manitou, and……everybody else. Sure, Magura has entered the fray, and there are some big expectations there. Marzocchi? Who knows?…..(Well, actually we pretty much do. Don’t look for much from them in the near future. But that’s another story.)
Anyway, here we have a list of the “bigger” players in the 29 inch compatible fork market. That hasn’t deterred others from taking swings at getting our attention as riders with big wheels though. RST is one of those companies and has been since about 2007 when they introduced the workman-like M-29 fork which we tested at that time. We felt that fork was a great value from a dollars for performance aspect for its day, but RST needed to update that offering to compete with features riders are looking for today.
It should be said that RST has always been a major player in the suspension fork realm for mountain biking, albeit on the entry to mid-level bikes. The M-29 swung around a few rider’s heads concerning RST, but now with the “First” model, (which is essentially the upgraded version of what the M-29 was), and especially with the upcoming “Champ” model, (introduced at Sea Otter, see report here), RST is wanting to raise awareness amongst enthusiast level mountain bikers, and specifically 29″er riders, to these newer offerings.
Twenty Nine Inches has received a set of RST First 29 forks: One that is a straight 1 1/8th steerer, 9mm quick release fork at 100mm travel, and another 120mm travel variant with a 15mm through axle and a tapered steer tube. Grannygear and Guitar Ted will put these two forks through their paces to see just what RST has done to the performance aspects over the past M-29 model, (which both have ridden extensively), and see how these value oriented forks stack up to the competition these days.
So stay tuned for an Out Of The Box post where we hope to outline the technical features of these two forks and to introduce you to the test sleds they have been bolted to.
Note: RST has sent these forks to Twenty Nine Inches for test/review at no charge. We are not being paid, nor bribed for these reviews. We will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.