RockShox 35 Gold: Where do we go from here?

PB Forum :: All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country
RockShox 35 Gold: Where do we go from here?
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Posted: Sep 6, 2020 at 17:22 Quote
Tl;dr: I want to upgrade my new 150mm RockShox 35 Gold, but I don't know what with. RS Pike? Fox 34? Fox 36? I have 130mm in the rear with an RS Deluxe Select+ that I am reasonably happy with.


I can't be the only one in this situation (there's enough 35 Gold posts in the Buy/Sell area to let me know what's up). I've got a bike spec'ed with a 35 Gold on it. It's not a bad fork, per se, but it is definitely lacking in several areas, and until today, I hadn't really noticed them (new bike, still getting used to it).

The seals... Boy are the seals not smooth and slippy. Rebound from a "parking lot check" results in a lovely 5-6 section sticky expansion up the stanchions. The stiction is actually becoming noticeable on the trail now that I feel comfortable on the bike.

Then there's the complete lack of rebound adjust, or any kind of adjustment, really. You can set the sag aaaaaand... that's about it. Makes for a simple setup, but I wan't to fine tune my gear to my riding style.

My heart has been set on a new Pike Ultimate because that silver is so attractive. But I know Fox has the 34 and the 36 that are possible contenders. The 34 seems more realistic for my riding; the Lyrik would be overkill and the extra weight would likely only hinder, not help, my riding so it makes sense that a 36mm stanchion would be too much.

Please guide me, oh wise PB forum users. I am stricken by paralysis from analysis.

Posted: Sep 6, 2020 at 17:34 Quote
Osirian wrote:
Tl;dr: I want to upgrade my new 150mm RockShox 35 Gold, but I don't know what with. RS Pike? Fox 34? Fox 36? I have 130mm in the rear with an RS Deluxe Select+ that I am reasonably happy with.


I can't be the only one in this situation (there's enough 35 Gold posts in the Buy/Sell area to let me know what's up). I've got a bike spec'ed with a 35 Gold on it. It's not a bad fork, per se, but it is definitely lacking in several areas, and until today, I hadn't really noticed them (new bike, still getting used to it).

The seals... Boy are the seals not smooth and slippy. Rebound from a "parking lot check" results in a lovely 5-6 section sticky expansion up the stanchions. The stiction is actually becoming noticeable on the trail now that I feel comfortable on the bike.

Then there's the complete lack of rebound adjust, or any kind of adjustment, really. You can set the sag aaaaaand... that's about it. Makes for a simple setup, but I wan't to fine tune my gear to my riding style.

My heart has been set on a new Pike Ultimate because that silver is so attractive. But I know Fox has the 34 and the 36 that are possible contenders. The 34 seems more realistic for my riding; the Lyrik would be overkill and the extra weight would likely only hinder, not help, my riding so it makes sense that a 36mm stanchion would be too much.

Please guide me, oh wise PB forum users. I am stricken by paralysis from analysis.


It sounds like the pike ultimate is your best option

Posted: Sep 6, 2020 at 18:15 Quote
bikeman5 wrote:
It sounds like the pike ultimate is your best option

Do you have any experience with the Pike Ultimate? Or any Pike for that matter? I see you’ve got (or had) a Lyrik on that Diamondback. That’s clearly a more burly rig than what I’ve got. I can’t imagine a 150mm Lyrik would be right for a rig where I’m not even using all 130mm of rear travel.

Posted: Sep 7, 2020 at 5:11 Quote
You will be very happy with the pike, huge step up from 35. Its a very good fork. You don't need a lyrik from what you are saying. Cane creek helm and mrp ribbon are both great as well. I don't like fox as much. If you want a good deal on a 34 performance I can sell you mine.

Posted: Sep 7, 2020 at 7:01 Quote
Dixonm wrote:
You will be very happy with the pike, huge step up from 35. Its a very good fork. You don't need a lyrik from what you are saying. Cane creek helm and mrp ribbon are both great as well. I don't like fox as much. If you want a good deal on a 34 performance I can sell you mine.

I've been looking at offerings that aren't RockShox or Fox, but I don't know enough about the Helm or Ribbon to be comfortable dropping $750-1000. I've seen both the Helm and Ribbon on pretty decent discount for Labor Day sales so I might just buy-once-cry-once during this Covid-battered season. At worst, I just try to flip it and break even.

Thanks for mentioning the Helm and Ribbon. I'll definitely look into them more.

Posted: Sep 7, 2020 at 7:01 Quote
I have a pike select plus 140mm on my 2020 Norco Optic. It has performed really well in all situations. I keep wanting to get something a bit more jazzy, but it seems pointless when I don't have any issues with my current set-up.

Having said that, you sometimes don't know how good or bad something is until your try another fork. Therefore my thoughts that my fork is great might be wrong if I swapped it out for a lyric or a fox 36.

But, there are many great forks out there, so it will be an upgrade regardless of what you go for.

Posted: Sep 7, 2020 at 7:09 Quote
v7fmp wrote:
But, there are many great forks out there, so it will be an upgrade regardless of what you go for.

That's what I'm thinking. This 35 Gold has set a pretty low bar. I like to think I'd be able to push the Pike close to its limits, but that's some seriously wishful thinking. Decisions, decisions...

Posted: Sep 7, 2020 at 12:58 Quote
I’m in the same boat, serviced my lowers and plucked out the all-travel spacer to up it to 160mm. It feels a lot better after service and greasing the seals and bushings, but it’s still a budget fork. I have my eye on the new Marzocchi Bombers.

Posted: Sep 7, 2020 at 14:28 Quote
Osirian wrote:
bikeman5 wrote:
It sounds like the pike ultimate is your best option

Do you have any experience with the Pike Ultimate? Or any Pike for that matter? I see you’ve got (or had) a Lyrik on that Diamondback. That’s clearly a more burly rig than what I’ve got. I can’t imagine a 150mm Lyrik would be right for a rig where I’m not even using all 130mm of rear travel.

I have had experience with a pike ultimate, and it's a great fork. I've also ridden the ribbon. Both are excellent forks, but I prefer the ribbon.

Posted: Sep 7, 2020 at 16:38 Quote
Osirian wrote:
Tl;dr: I want to upgrade my new 150mm RockShox 35 Gold, but I don't know what with. RS Pike? Fox 34? Fox 36? I have 130mm in the rear with an RS Deluxe Select+ that I am reasonably happy with.


I can't be the only one in this situation (there's enough 35 Gold posts in the Buy/Sell area to let me know what's up). I've got a bike spec'ed with a 35 Gold on it. It's not a bad fork, per se, but it is definitely lacking in several areas, and until today, I hadn't really noticed them (new bike, still getting used to it).

The seals... Boy are the seals not smooth and slippy. Rebound from a "parking lot check" results in a lovely 5-6 section sticky expansion up the stanchions. The stiction is actually becoming noticeable on the trail now that I feel comfortable on the bike.

Then there's the complete lack of rebound adjust, or any kind of adjustment, really. You can set the sag aaaaaand... that's about it. Makes for a simple setup, but I wan't to fine tune my gear to my riding style.

My heart has been set on a new Pike Ultimate because that silver is so attractive. But I know Fox has the 34 and the 36 that are possible contenders. The 34 seems more realistic for my riding; the Lyrik would be overkill and the extra weight would likely only hinder, not help, my riding so it makes sense that a 36mm stanchion would be too much.

Please guide me, oh wise PB forum users. I am stricken by paralysis from analysis.

One thing you could try before giving up would be to buy a new set of aftermarket seals, dropping the lowers and giving it a good service with a high quality splash oil like fox gold. Then if they still suck, switch back to the stock seals and sell them. That way you have spare seals for your pike ultimate and plenty of oil as a worst case scenario, or maybe they become usable, who knows.

Posted: Sep 7, 2020 at 17:58 Quote
noelb40 wrote:
I’m in the same boat, serviced my lowers and plucked out the all-travel spacer to up it to 160mm. It feels a lot better after service and greasing the seals and bushings, but it’s still a budget fork. I have my eye on the new Marzocchi Bombers.

That might have to be a weekend project soon. My experience as a wrench at my local shop is relatively limited (building/repairing bikes, never any suspension service), so how would you rate that kind of service? I’ve been wanting to do my own fork servicing for a minute here and I figure this is as good a time as any.

Posted: Sep 7, 2020 at 18:09 Quote
Osirian wrote:
noelb40 wrote:
I’m in the same boat, serviced my lowers and plucked out the all-travel spacer to up it to 160mm. It feels a lot better after service and greasing the seals and bushings, but it’s still a budget fork. I have my eye on the new Marzocchi Bombers.

That might have to be a weekend project soon. My experience as a wrench at my local shop is relatively limited (building/repairing bikes, never any suspension service), so how would you rate that kind of service? I’ve been wanting to do my own fork servicing for a minute here and I figure this is as good a time as any.

It's not difficult at all, especially if you aren't messing with the damper. Having a decent amount of rags, some isopropyl alcohol and a container to catch old oil in helps a lot. Other than that just make sure you have the right supplies (seals, grease, oil, crush washers) on hand to get it done quickly.

Posted: Sep 7, 2020 at 18:18 Quote
bikeman5 wrote:
Osirian wrote:
bikeman5 wrote:
It sounds like the pike ultimate is your best option

Do you have any experience with the Pike Ultimate? Or any Pike for that matter? I see you’ve got (or had) a Lyrik on that Diamondback. That’s clearly a more burly rig than what I’ve got. I can’t imagine a 150mm Lyrik would be right for a rig where I’m not even using all 130mm of rear travel.

I have had experience with a pike ultimate, and it's a great fork. I've also ridden the ribbon. Both are excellent forks, but I prefer the ribbon.

Fair enough. From your builds it looks like you ride stuff that’s a generally “bigger” than what I’ve got here which makes sense.

[Quote="arnie86"]
Osirian wrote:
It's not difficult at all, especially if you aren't messing with the damper. Having a decent amount of rags, some isopropyl alcohol and a container to catch old oil in helps a lot. Other than that just make sure you have the right supplies (seals, grease, oil, crush washers) on hand to get it done quickly.

Do you recommend just following the service manual? It is remarkably detailed...

Posted: Sep 7, 2020 at 21:20 Quote
Yup all the info you need for a lower leg service and seal replace is there- make sure you check the steps and don't start pulling the damper apart. There are loads of videos online about doing a lower service and it is more or less the same procedure for most forks. Get some new seals (go for nicer skf or enduro ones), crush washers (sometime you can reuse the old ones), slickoleum grease and then the splash oil and a syringe to measure it. The manual will have weights and volumes for the 35 gold specifically but to be honest I think most fork oils will work for a lower leg- lots of people seem to like fox gold but stick to the manufacturers recommendation if you are concerned. Volumes are specific and can destroy seals if you use too much. A drop of oil or tiny amount of grease in the airspring can help everything feel buttery smooth too!

Posted: Sep 8, 2020 at 8:06 Quote
Urrrrm op- are you aware that you should lube seals with fork juice etc when bedding in and continue to after cleaning dirt away post rides?

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