When accomplished amateur motocross racer Paul Turner began building suspension forks for mountain bikes in 1989, he was ridiculed by many of the established figureheads in the mountain bike industry. Turner wasn't the first to build a suspension fork, but there were only a few examples prior, and the technology was undeniably in its infancy. Unfazed by the criticism that it was too heavy, inherently inefficient, or simply unnecessary, he pushed on, remaining confident that suspension was to play a key role in the future of mountain bikes. His beliefs were confirmed when Greg Herbold raced Rockshox's first fork, the RS1, to a NORBA national downhill championship in 1989, and won the first downhill World Championship the following year. That was enough to convince a large number of mountain bikers of the benefits of suspension, and thus began the simultaneous widespread adoption of suspension forks for mountain bikes, and the meteoric rise of Rockshox as an industry leader.
Today, Rockshox is owned by SRAM, esteemed makers of brakes and drivetrains. This partnership accelerated Rockshox's development, and led to some truly impressive accomplishments, like the carbon fiber crown and steerer assembly found on the SID World Cup. Then again, one could make the case that the most impressive of Rockshox's achievements in the past few years was the development of the redesigned Pike, a fork that's become a staple at the trailhead and has singlehandedly reinvigorated the market for truly capable trail bike forks. Of course, the iconic Boxxer is being raced to podiums, wins, and World Championships in downhill arenas the world over at every level. And with the release of the new RS1, an inverted design that relies heavily on advanced composite manufacturing, it appears that Rockshox has come full circle. In other words, boundary-pushing technologies and race winning performance are set to define the brand in the years to come.