Less than a month after RockShox announced that their BlackBox factory forks were designated for a handful of world-class pros, the first production versions were being advertised for sale. MBA’s test staff got a chance to test ride the first copies of the fabled, metallic gold superfork at home, and on the famous sandstone of Moab, Utah. Here’s the inside information on one of next year’s most sensational sliders.
For reasons that no RockShox official could explain, the name of the long-travel ?freeriding? fork is Psylo (say ‘silo?). Psylo’s big features are:
1). Psylo Psylo Psylo: The five-inch travel, single-crown fork will be available in three price ranges: Race, SL , and XC.
2). All-Travel: By clipping a plastic spacer onto the top-out shafts inside the fork, you can change the Psylo from a five-inch, to a four-inch stroke fork.
3). Vari-Travel: The lower-priced models have a slightly different damping mechanism which allows for a threaded travel adjustment–you simply pop the caps off and use a long screwdriver to subtract travel from five to three inches.
4). On-the-fly lockout: an oversized lever on the right fork crown adjusted the Psylo’s compression damping from full open to fully locked out. A blow-off circuit prevents damage to the damping system and allows the fork to absorb sharp hits in the lockout mode without affecting your climbing performance.[IMG3]
5). Lightweight: Test forks weighed 3.7 pounds. Good for a four-inch fork–great for a five inch model. This is what aggressive trail riders have been waiting for.
6). Thru axle magic: You can buy the Psylo fork in a standard, or thru-axle design. The 20mm thru axle has a threaded end on one side and a trick pop-out lever that helps to unscrew it in a hurry. Twin, quick release levers clamp the thru-axle in place for rigid steering.
7). One-piece lowers: Cast magnesium, one-piece sliders are widely spaced to make room for mud and fat tires. The Race version will only come in the ?BlackBox? metallic gold.
8). Air on both sides: An air main spring on the left hand side is controlled by an air negative spring. No more funky valves–the Psylo uses Schrader valves in both locations.
9). Dual damping adjustments: A dial compression clicker on top and a knob-type rebound clicker on the bottom make this air/oil fork ultra adjustable.
10). Decarbon secret: Like a shock, the Psylo fork’s damping fluid is separated from air contamination by a pressurized compensator piston. This means the Psylo isn?t affected by heat or cavitation bubbles in high-stress situations.
11). Nice price: Although the mid-cost Psylos are not yet set in stone, the Race version sells for $580 in the conventional axle and $650 for the thru axle version.
12). Not anytime soon: RockShox insisted that the Psylo is an 01 fork that won?t hit the dealer’s showcase until late this year.
13). Pro-performance: As you may have guessed, you can?t really hit something that the five-inch Psylo can?t handle. It’s torsional stiffness is tops and if you really don?t want all that fork travel, you can dial it in to suit your frame geometry or cush? requirements. Five-inch -stroke? Three and a half pounds? Ooooh yeah!