RST Suspension: Three Long-Travel Forks - Sea Otter 2014

Apr 12, 2014
by Richard Cunningham  
RST suspension 2014

RST has a long history in the sport, but for a period of time, the Taiwan based suspension maker lost momentum and languished in value-priced OEM end of the marketplace, where the bottom line, not innovation and cutting edge performance drives product development. Three forks from RST, however, indicate that it is back in the game: the dual-crown Killah DH, which has been in the lineup for a little while; and two single-crown models - the Rogue trailbike and the Stitch AM/enduro forks. As with most suspension brands these days, the buzz at RST is 27.5-inch wheels, but as you will discover, they have not completely forgotten where the roots of our sport came from.

RST Kilah Fork 2014

RST's new 200-millimeter-travel Killah DH fork accepts the same direct-mount handlebar mount as the RockShox Boxxer. The 200Killah fork is coil-sprung and its damping is an internal cartridge OCR-CT type with a special dual-speed compression shim stack. The 20-millimeter through axle has a unique left-hand threaded nut that prevents the axle from rotating in torsion. External adjustments are low-speed rebound and compression and the chassis highlights are: 36mm 7050 alloy stanchion tubes, Magnesium lowers, post mount caliper bosses, and the Killah is offered in either 26 or 27.5 wheel diameters.Weights are stated at 7.08 pounds in 27.5 and 7.04 pounds in the 26-inch configuration. MSRP is $950 USD.



RST Stitch Fork 2014

Stitch is a single-crown air-sprung fork, intended for hard-driving AM or enduro riders. The Stitch shares the OCR-CT DH damping cartridge and sports 36-millimeter-diameter stanchions and a he-man-size, 20-millimeter through-axle. Travel is internally adjustable at 160, 170 or 180 millimeters, and like the DH fork, RST designed the Stitch crown with a full width, 138-millimeter stanchion pitch, so that any tire width short of a fat bike will easily fit. Stitch forks wisely use a coil negative-spring to smooth the small stuff, and the external damping adjustments include low-speed compression and rebound. Sliders are magnesium and sport the RST's new, rectangular looking arch design. RST Offers the Stitch for 27.5 or 26-inch wheels and pegs the weight at 4.98 pounds, with a full-length steerer tube. The MSRP is $645 USD.



RST Rogue Fork 2014

Rogue hits the long-travel trailbike market right in the center, with stiff, 34-millimeter stanchion tubes, RST's premium OCR-C damping cartridge and internally adjustable travel options of 130, 140 and 170 millimeters. The air sprung fork also uses an air-type negative spring. The lowers are magnesium, with a 15-millimeter through axle and post-type caliper mounts. Weight is pegged at a very respectable 4.0 pounds even and sadly, the only wheel size available is 27.5 inches, but RST says that will change soon. MSRP is $550 USD.



RST QR 15 2014

RST's 15-millimeter through axle is a thread-in type which mirrors the strategt of the RockShox Maxle. When released, the QR lever locks into a groove, which allows the user to unthread or tighten the axle. When installed, the lever secures the axle like a conventional quick release skewer. A set-screw on the right dropout allows the user to determine the angle where the lever rests.


RST Suspension


87 Comments

  • + 77
 RST = random suspension technology?
  • + 3
 @dbox123 I am LOLing right now!!!! On the real. Actually out loud. Thanks for that one brah!
  • + 23
 Really Shit Technology.
  • + 3
 Haha, thats what we used to call them as well @vanillapodfan
  • + 3
 Really Shitty*
  • + 8
 Sponsor someone to use it at rampage like suntour.
  • + 4
 That's funny RST is huge! They probably did make your fork.
  • + 1
 You mean the fork comes in dining room?
  • + 3
 Rapid Suspension Technology lol
  • + 7
 Killah? seriously? Just horrible
  • + 5
 Hey you deleted my boob comment? Frown its wasnt rude, and I didn't use bad language, it was just a funny comment?
  • + 2
 I wondered where it went, made me laugh Smile
  • + 1
 Russian Shit Technology.
  • + 2
 I had a buddy who used to do jumps on the shitty Taiwanese era RST forks, and they held up surprisingly well, all things considered. He wasn't overly heavy though, and their action was abysmal.
  • - 1
 Your buddy must be shitty then.
  • + 1
 In my opinion, having a shitty bike doesn't make you a shitty rider, it's probably the opposite, because if you're good on a shitty bike, you'll be even better on a good one. There were tons of people with nicer bikes, who were much shittier at riding them.
  • + 30
 so questionable.
  • + 41
 Especially when the title image on their website's DH/FR/AM section is a dude riding BoXXers!
  • + 26
 RST = randomly stuck together
  • + 3
 I had RST launches once....they snapped...I unintentionally dismounted HARD! Cheers GT putting those forks on the chucker....
  • + 12
 Thanks to sam-rodda's comment above, RST's website has possible doubled its amount of visits.
  • + 1
 Yeah I've got launches on my bike and all the reviews say they snap. It makes eyeing up that 6 foot drop even more intimidating.
  • + 2
 RST= Refurbished Suspension Technology haha
  • + 1
 Forking Hell.
  • + 1
 well spoted sam-rodda, guy is ridding boxxer Smile ) lol
I used to have one RST fork, it was not bad to be honest, but it was like 15 years ago...
  • + 23
 Everyone should thank rst. Before them single crowns had 3 inches of travel. Everyone said 4.5 inches was too much travel, now look at how many long travel singles there are. Rst opened up suspension to so many of us that would have had no chance of affording rockshox stuff. Then after a few years along came stratos and changed the world again.
  • + 3
 I has rst hi fives.
5" of buttery smooth elastomer triple clamp
  • + 4
 But remember that most of the haters on here are petulant little children who have no idea where the sport came from and know nothing of the old Mozo Pro's, or the XXXL (was that the name?) forks. Personally I am really glad the Suntour and now RST are aiming at the higher end, hopefully it will start to lower the astronomical, outlandish, ridiculous pricing the Rock Shox and Fox seem to be getting away with!
  • + 1
 good point clarky78, hopefully prices will go down at some stage...
  • + 11
 They should re-release the RST mozo pro! Ahhh to be young again and not realise that elastomer suspensions sucks camel schlong, it was a simpler time. One could only dream,of having pike like technology in those days. Good times
  • + 6
 Lol I had RST dirt's on my abd DJ, they lasted all of about 6months max before they snapped when I fell off and the bike landed sideways? My next pair from warranty snapped the steerer tube and bent the head tube on my frame after like 4 months. The only time I loved those was when it was pouring rain on the way home from school because that was the only time they worked decent but if I rolled off a gutter or pressed down hard enough you literally bottomed out, like crown hitting the lowers bottoming out so no thanks never again
  • + 5
 To be honest, i don't mind the look of the dual crown fork... I think RST should also change their name because of the negative reviews and bad experiences associated with 'RST' name lol. I have a storm super fork from them which was on my Btwin Fr6, now it has a bent steerer tube which falls out of the crown, the coating on the stanchions are also peeling off like onion skin and the rebound cartridge doesn't really seem that user serviceable. Mind you that was getting into biking no hard riding. If they really started getting stuck into the high end market and revised and listened to previous owners/reviews they could get somewhere... Like suntour recently
  • + 9
 $500-$1000 RST's.... yeah I'll pass.
  • - 1
 I'm quite sure they got their prices wrong...
  • + 5
 I'm quite sure they didn't...
  • + 2
 I'm pretty sure your a name snob
  • + 0
 oh absolutely that's part of it, good attempt at talking down to me though.

I'll pay a little more for the big brands as i feel they have earned thier reputations (and higher pricing) because they produce good, reliable products.

I wont buy a cheap $500-$750 fork from someone like RST or SR Suntour ... I'd rather pay big for something (ie my Float 100 RLC that I've raced, flogged, and put away wet, for the past 3 years now.) that I'm confident won't let me down (and therefore only have to buy once, not two or three times).

I'm happy to pay more for something with a good name that doesn't have those little issues that, while minor, always seem to come up and detract from a cheaper product, but which we ignore because that cheaper product has "such great value".
  • + 5
 The problem with that argument is that A: SR Suntour make many other brand forks, old Marzocchi and DVO to start, so you can hardly imply they have bad reliability, otherwise these brands wouldn't trust them to make their forks. and B: Any fork can be unreliable. I only owned one pair or Fox forks, and they were junk. Felt like I had a lose headset always, from new, and were very insensitive. and this was only 4 years ago. I would never pay for Fox forks, they are obnoxiously priced, and trading off their name as much as their technology.
  • + 1
 Old Marzocchi huh? as in back when they were kinda trash? A solid argument in Suntours favour.

My experience with fox has been nothing short of exceptional. I agree that you can get lemons... but I haven't had any issues with their service either. The majority of customers whom I've sold and installed Fox or high end Rock Shox for have been trouble free and in the few cases where there have been issues the support from both companies has been quick and effective.

If RST and Suntour can match those experiences over a sustained period of time then I'm sure they will be fine for many riders, but I'll stick with what I like.

And there is still the fact that many of these 'value' forks have issues that consumers and reviewers are willing to overlook because they are 'value' priced. I'm not willing to settle for sub par if I have the option to get something better, even if it costs more.
  • + 2
 When Marzocchi was kinda thrash, i'm eager to know?
  • + 4
 Servicing an RST 318r fork consisted of undoing an allen key bolt, pulling out the string of elastomers (which looked like skinny marshmallows) and coating it in judy butter...done. Didnt need TF tuning in those days! These new forks might be good but whoever did the designing wants shot as they look cheap as shit
  • + 4
 guys...as they said, they lost momentum and anybody know that, like the Suntour, which is coming back now with nice line of suspensions, lets wait and see, more comps on the market is never something bad
  • + 4
 Looks like the Stitch is RST's response to the SR Suntour Durolux. If it's anything like a Durolux, it'll be a great value fork! Looking forward to great things to both these companies.
  • + 3
 Despite PB public and other "componenst specialists" I just bought Storm AIR OCR Platform. I deeply belive that every suspension company on the market can make good product if they want to. SR Suntor was laughing stock for years but now things looks rather different. If RST hire good suspension guy he'll design them very effective and simple system in better price then most of other products.

For now it's way to early to tell if Storm will be good but it's dampnig is promising antd the chasis itself is hellastiff. Maintenance is unbelievable EASY and polish distributor (velo.pl) has all the parts you might ever need.

You can laugh at RST all you want but I'm sure that they can change their suspension for much better products just like SR Suntour or CST and Vee Rubber in tire department.
  • + 3
 I hope they do a suntour and produce a great product following on from the past but these I don't think will match up to it, the cost is just too high for people to justify when they can opt for rock shox around that price point
  • + 2
 That would certainly be nice, but as you said, why get RST, who have made cheap forks since inmemorable times when you could buy a Rockshox fork, So its very hard to get a reputation for b¡making good forks especially after coming from a budget fork reputation. Because personally I wouldnt buy RST over any brand pretty much, because in suspension there is soo much more than numbers to a fork, you can say many things about a fork, but you cannot give an accurate and objective description of how it feels and how it responds.
  • + 2
 But who's better for engineering a new fork? RST or a completely new entity? They still have years and years of experience making forks
  • + 2
 I was about to say DVO but I remembered that they are ex-marzocchi esentially, but I will recognise that they have made forks since inmemorable times but that doesnt change my opinion on whether i would buy a RST fork, simply because they are pretty new in the high end market. It doesn't take a genius to make a 100$ fork, but you need someone with a lot of expertise to engineer a 700$ fork.
  • + 2
 "Pretty New in the high end game".
Sir, you were obviously not riding a bike with suspension between the years of 1992 an 1995 when Giles and Mozo Pros were regarded amongst the best forks you could buy. The difference between maintaining that high-end price tag or not, is closing to make OEM forks where the price is prioritised over weight and a small amount of ultimate performance. RST are not new in the high-end game... They're just new to you.
  • + 3
 Remembering their latest "high end offering", the storm, I get sick. These were awful. If these were 1000% better they would still be crap. They have a lot of catching up to do.
  • - 1
 That's a long memory or a long grudge...the storm was "latest" model like six or seven years ago.
  • + 4
 Was 3 years ago and the fork was brand new. Maybe I remembered the wrong Name. It was a 160mm fork and, except for being very stiff it had nothing positive about it. major disadvantage were lubrication and damper performance.
  • + 2
 If Sr Suntour can make a turn-around and start producing some stuff, then I don't see a reason why these guys can't turn their act around and start making some solid stuff. Although, it might not turn out well! Only time will tell!
  • + 3
 Have an RST F1 on an old hard tail, been 3 years now and it hasn't missed a beat. Have to admit though, the price was a huge factor in the purchase decision.
  • + 1
 I had 318's on a GT Avalanche for a short time. they compressed and rebounded, that's about all you can say. then one day they rebounded all the way out of the leg and into my face. they were cheap, sure, but my bro has some RS Indy forks on his bike which we're cheaper and they are still going. sounds like rst have a lot of work to do to rebuild their reputation.
  • + 1
 All 3 of those forks look reasonable, but I can't think of a single good reason to pay the prices they're asking for them when RockShox and Marzocchi forks cost about the same. My first bike had an RST gila suspension fork up front and let me tell you now, it was an absolute crock of shit
  • + 1
 The triple crown looks a bit questionable but the two singles look pretty sweet. Not going to go out and buy one. But could any of you design functioning mtb suspension? I couldnt
  • + 2
 i don´t know why everbody is so negativ??? the writeup of the Killah Fork sounds intresting and the price is low . would be cool to testride this one.
  • + 3
 I don't know.... seen too many RST forks on Zellers bikes. These look like real forks tho.
  • + 2
 Would you rather participate in a downhill race with
-a santa cruz V10 but it had to have an RST fork on it
-Or race a TR250 with a Fox 36 180mm fork on it?
  • + 1
 Seems like a crucial element in reporting on a new "long travel fork" might actually entail telling us how much travel they have in the review....
  • + 2
 My wife's bike has a RST Lady Gila. I've seen better suspension on a pogo stick.
  • + 2
 RST make the only decent 24 inch fork for kids. air sprung, adjustable compression and rebound.
  • + 1
 Yeah let me get one of these rather than my 40 oh hey maybe I should trade out my commencal for a Settle Vexx DH frame as well.....
  • + 2
 Refurbished Suspension Taiwan!
  • + 3
 Just no, thanks.
  • + 1
 I had the 461 and Mozo Pro back in the 90's. And was so fuc.. jealouse of those guys on Z2 Bombers Smile
  • + 1
 what a terrible name for a dh fork.. im going to assume its coil due to the black thing on top of the left stanchion?
  • + 1
 bad graphic design (i can make it better by the way, haha)
bad name..killah? what's that??
  • + 1
 I somehow survived my hi5s for the year i had them, but ive got 3 mates with impressive facial scars thanks to mozo pro's.
  • + 1
 950 USD for a RST Killah DH fork? Why not just buy a slightly used boxxer fork for less but better quality?
  • + 2
 Cool, the fork in 26" Smile
  • + 1
 Yeah sure Rst, that's going to happen.
  • + 1
 The looks of these forks reminds me a lot of SR Suntour's forks...
  • + 1
 Refurbished Suspension Technology
  • + 2
 Lol @ RST
  • + 0
 I always liked RST. They ain't all "prestige", "blingy" 'n' shit, but I always thought they did solid stuff.
  • + 2
 RST Gilla plus
  • + 2
 That's a luxury product right there. My first bike came with the standard RST Gila. I dreamed of the plus!
  • + 1
 What?...... Why didn't this come on my DB Response back in the day?
  • + 1
 RST in peace
  • + 1
 nobody likes 29ers lol
  • + 1
 Rotten Savage Toegunk
  • + 1
 Elastomers?!
LOL
  • + 0
 killa dh fork looks decent enough
  • + 0
 Really Shitty Technology

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