By Jimmy Mac

We had a chance to ride the new Duke Race at a product introduction RockShox held in Durango, Colorado. The Duke impressed us on our initial ride with its steering performance and torsional rigidity (we rode it back-to-back with a Judy). We can?t wait to get a Duke for a real thrashing. Here’s the scoop on the Duke so far:

This totally new RockShox platform borrows technology from both the SID and Psylo platforms. The Duke forks fit below the SID line and above the Judy line. They are intended for serious (and cost-conscious) cross-country riders. The forks casting is a give-and-take affair. Material has been added in the arch area and removed in less critical places. RockShox feels this gives them a strength advantage without an added weight penalty. Two models have 30mm legs that are treated with an anti-friction process the company claims produces a 65% reduction in sliding friction. The Dukes are all equipped with Schrader valves for adding or removing air pressure.

The entry-level Duke XC offers external rebound adjustments and an aluminum steerer tube that won?t be found on OEM-only the Duke C. Above the XC is the Duke SL. It has the new low-friction upper tubes and a painted crown. At the top of the Duke platform is the Duke Race that adds Dual Air adjustments, a scalloped crown and aluminum top caps.

Model Weight Travel Spring/Damping Tire size Retail $
Duke Race 3.3 lbs 80mm Dual Air/oil bath     2.4 $429
Duke SL100 3.55lbs 100mm Hydra Air/oil bath   2.4. $359
Duke XC 3.55lbs 80mm Hydra Air/oil bath   2.4 $299


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