RockShox Inc. is an American company founded by Paul Turner in 1989, that develops and manufactures bicycle suspensions. The company led in the development of mountain bikes. It is now part of SRAM Corporation.

RockShox Inc.
IndustryBicycle Component Manufacturer
Founded1989; 35 years ago (1989)
FounderPaul Turner
Defunct2002; 22 years ago (2002)
United States
ProductsSuspension forks, rear shocks
ParentSRAM Corporation
2008 RockShox SID World Cup suspension fork for mountain bikes.

History edit

Start edit

RockShox was founded by Paul Turner in 1989 in Asheville, North Carolina, USA. It moved to California four years later when Steve and Deborah Simons bought out Dia Compe.[1]

Turner raced motorcycles in his teens. In 1977, at the age of 18, he established a company that sold motorcycle components. He later worked for the Honda Motor Company as factory mechanic for their professional motocross team. This put him in contact with designers of suspension systems for motorcycles and other motocross industry people.

Simons is a former motocross rider in his teens and early twenties and entrepreneur. He developed heat sinks for Koni shock absorbers to lower oil temperatures and then in 1974 he designed a shock absorber for the company that became Fox Racing Shox. He then established his own company Dynamic Enterprises which became Simons Inc. developing pneumatic upgrade kits for suspension forks. This led to his own fork design and manufacture. He had two patents on suspension forks, one which, for upside down forks, he licensed to motorcycle and suspension manufacturers.

In the late 1980s Paul began riding mountain bikes and with his motorcycle experience longed for suspension. Paul began developing the first bicycle suspension fork. In 1989 or 1990, Turner approached Simons for help designing a suspension fork for mountain bikes. Turner had in 1987, with the help of Keith Bontrager, presented a full bike with front and rear suspension at the bicycle industry trade show in Long Beach. The industry was not impressed. Two years later Turner and his wife Christi were manufacturing suspension forks in their garage with parts bought from Simons Inc, who later partnered Turner when Steve and his wife, Deborah, mortgaged their home to buy out Dia-Compe and move manufacturing to Mt. View, California in 1993. The R&D and Marketing groups remained in Boulder, Co. until moving to Mt. View, Ca in 1994 and then Santa Cruz in 1995. Manufacturing and Engineering move to San Jose, Ca in 1995. They worked with Thomas Dooley at TDA in Boulder, CO who created the current RockShox logo, and was the creative director for all marketing and advertising.

Turner brought in Greg Herbold as a test rider and company spokesman. In 1990 Herbold became the first world champion in downhill mountain biking riding one of the first suspension forks for mountain bikes made. In August that year the company manufactured its first 100 suspension forks, the RS-1. The start-up was financed by the East Asian bike component manufacturer Dia-Compe, the founders, and other investors. Dia-Compe manufactured the next series of forks in addition to the original Aheadset,[2] which the RS-1 utilised. Later Dia-Compe USA was bought out by Simons & Turner who disposed of its shares. From then the forks were primarily manufactured at RockShox in Mt.View, Ca.

In 1992 Turner & Simons, using the RockShox RS-1 design, created a private label fork for Specialized working with Mark Winter. Mark left Specialized a few years later, joining RockShox in 1995.

Growth and IPO edit

Eight years after inception the company manufactured and sold a million RockShox forks and had revenues of $100 million. The company went public in October 1996, was listed on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange (ticker: RSHX), and raised 65 million dollars ($72 million before deduction of IPO related costs). The company had 300 employees, most in the company's US factories. RockShox had a market share of 60 percent. [1]

Competition and cost savings edit

Towards the end of the 1990s competition was fierce and profits were thin.

Rock Shox was one of many brands that marketed suspension forks for bicycles, others were Answer Manitou, Marzocchi and RST. During this time Fox Racing Shox also entered the bicycle industry. As the number of direct substitutes to Rock Shox's products increased, the company experienced difficulties in protecting its position as the leading manufacturer in the business.

In June 2000 RockShox moved production to Colorado Springs, which saved an estimated $5 million a year. In 2001 the company lost $10 million.

SRAM takeover edit

In 2002 RockShox defaulted on a loan to SRAM. SRAM took over the company and its debt obligations for $5.6 million. The company had 300 employees in Colorado Springs.[1] In 2002, production in Colorado moved to Taichung, Taiwan. A small test facility remains in Colorado Springs.

Paul Turner has been nominated for the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame several times but declined.[3]

Product chronology and common specifications edit

Suspension Forks[4][5][6][7][8]

Product Year introduced Year discontinued Stanchion Diameter Travel Lengths Spring Types
RS-1 1990 1991 25.4 mm Air, oil return
Mag 20 1992 1992 25.4 mm 48 mm Air, oil return
Mag 30 1992 1992 25.4 mm 48 mm Air, oil return
Mag 21 1993 1997 25.4 mm 48 mm (60 mm long travel) Air, oil return
Mag 10 1993 1995 25.4 mm 48 mm Air, oil return
Mag 21 SL 1994 1994 25.4 mm 48 mm (60 mm long travel) Air, oil return
Quadra 1993 1995 25.4 mm Elastomer
Quadra 5 1994 1996 25.4 mm 48 mm Elastomer
Quadra 10 (Primarily OEM) 1994 1995 25.4 mm 48 mm One-piece Elastomer, Allen wrench adjustable preload on both legs
Quadra 21 (Primarily OEM) 1994/1995 1996 25.4 mm 48 mm One-piece Elastomer, Hand-adjustable preload on both legs
Quadra 21 R 1994 1996 25.4 mm 60 mm Elastomer, Multi-cell
Judy C/XC 1995 2001 28 mm 50/63/80mm MCU spring (elastomer), cartridge oil return. Later coil spring open bath oil return
Judy SL 1995 2001 28 mm 50/63/80mm MCU spring (elastomer), oil return. Later coil spring, open bath oil return
Judy DH 1995 1998 28 mm 80 mm Coil, MCU spring (elastomer), oil return
Indy C, XC, SL 1997 1998 28.6mm 63mm MCU spring (elastomer)
Indy S 1998 1999 28.6mm 48mm Solid elastomer (identical to Quadra 5)
SID 1998 2008 28 mm 63/80 mm (early) Dual Air until 2013
SID 2008 2020 32 mm 80/100 mm, or 120 mm Dual Air until 2013, then Solo Air.
SID 2021 present 35 mm 100+ mm Solo Air.
Judy DHO 1997 1998 28 mm 100 mm MCU spring (elastomer)
BoXXer 1998 Present 32 mm (1998-2009), 35 mm (2010-present) 150 mm (early), 180 mm, 200 mm (present) Coil (World cup model with solo air), Coil U-Turn (Boxxer Ride)
Jett 1999 2001
Ruby (road/700c) 2000 2000
Metro (road/700c) 2001 2005
Psylo 2001 2005 30 mm 80-125mm Coil U-Turn, Fixed Coil, Hydra-Air, Dual-Air
Duke 2002 2005 30 mm 80/100 mm (Hydra Air) 63-108 (Coil U-Turn) Hydra-Air (Solo-Air with a coil negative spring), Coil U-Turn 63/108mm
Pike 2004 Present 35 mm (2005-2011 was 32 mm) 140/150/160 mm Older models were coil or air with or without U-Turn. 2014 onwards are Solo-Air, Dual Position Air, or Debonair.
Pilot 2003 2005 28 mm 80/100 mm
Reba 2005 Present 32 mm 80/100/120 mm Dual Air, 90–120 mm Air U-Turn, 130/140 mm Trail Specific 29" Dual Air, Air U-Turn, Trail Specific 29", Solo Air (since 2013)
Recon 2006 Present 32 mm 140 mm (some models like the 335), 80/100/120 mm, 80/100 29" Solo Air / Coil / Coil U-Turn
Revelation 2006 Present 35 mm (2006-2017 was 32 mm) 130/140/150 mm Dual Air, 120–150 mm Dual Position Air Dual Air, Dual Position Air, Air U-Turn
Argyle 2007 Present 32 mm 80/100 mm Coil
Dart 2006 2012 28 mm 80, 100 and 120 mm, 80/100mm 29er model Coil
Domain 2007 Present 35 mm 160 mm, 180 mm (Single Crown) and 200 mm (Dual Crown) Coil
Lyrik 2007 Present 35 mm 115 to 160 mm 2-Step and Coil U-Turn, 160/170 mm T/A Solo Air and Coil 2-Step Air, Coil U-Turn, Solo Air and Coil, (newone) Debon air, dual position air
Tora 2006 2012 32 mm 80/100/120 mm, 80/100 mm 29" Coil; 80–140 mm Coil U-Turn and Solo Air Coil, Coil U-Turn and Solo Air
Totem 2007 2014 40 mm 180 mm 2-Step, Solo Air or Coil
Sektor 2011 Present 32 mm Up to 150 mm Coil U-Turn and Solo Air
Bluto (fatbike) 2014 Present 32 mm 100 mm or 120 mm Solo Air
RS1 (inverted) 2014 Present 32 mm 80 mm,100 mm or 120 mm Solo Air
Yari 2015 Present 35 mm 110 to 180mm Solo Air, Dual Air(OEM),debon air(new),dual position air(new)
Zeb 2021 Present 38 mm dual position air,debon air
30 Present 30 solo air
35 Present 35 debon air
Paragon Present
Judy 2017 present 30 Coil,solo air
XC present 28, 30, 32mm Coil, solo air

Other features:

There are usually several versions of each product, typically distinguished by the presence or absence of certain features, such as material type, preload, rebound damping, compression damping, lockout, remote lockout and replaceable bushings. This article does not attempt to list all specifications for all versions.

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "SRAM Corporation - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on SRAM Corporation". Retrieved August 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "Cane Creek 110 IS Review". 12 May 2010. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  3. ^ The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame Profile: Steve Boehmke Archived 2011-07-14 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Museum of Mountain Bike Art & Technology:Suspension Timeline Archived 2008-05-17 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Bikepro forktable
  6. ^ "Products - RockShox".
  7. ^
  8. ^