RockShox Tora 318 Fork Review
RockShox 318 Fork
We’re looking at the 2008 Tora 318 U-Turn in this review, which checks in right around the $350 MSRP mark and can be bought mail order in the $300 range. You can get an air-sprung model for about $60-$70 dollars more if that is more your preference. The RockShox Tora 318 U-turn reminds me of just how far we have come on the equipment side of the mountain bike world.
It wasn’t very many years ago that suspension forks in the price range of the RockShox Tora 318 were absolutely inferior products compared to the more spendy products. The design was inferior, the durability was inferior and the ride feel was inferior in almost every way. These days, that has all changed and the RockShox Tora 318 U-Turn is a great example of that.
RockShox Tora 318 Features
The left leg of the Tora sports a coil spring and RockShox’s famous “U-Turn” travel adjust system that can be adjusted from 85 to 130mm of fork travel. The right leg of the RockShox Tora contains the “Motion Control” damping that has previously been found only on RockShox’s more expensive forks.
The only difference that we noted was that the Tora 318 does not offer an adjustable Floodgate blow-off valve. This valve is designed to prevent fork damage if you take a big impact while the shock is in lockout mode. The valve will allow the Fork to give way, without it the shock either takes the impact and survives or it doesn’t. Again, this is only in lockout mode, so you aren’t likely to be taking many big impacts in lockout mode anyway.
Speaking of Lockout this has become a very popular feature on suspension forks as of late and yes the RockShox Tora 318 offers to lockout. The Motion Control still gives a very small amount of travel in lockout mode, which makes for a much better ride, but it is minimal. I’d say around 10mm maybe? You also have some control over the rebound damping as well with an adjuster is located at the bottom of the right side fork leg.
So to summarize, the RockShox Tora 318 offers adjustable travel, adjustable rebound, adjustable compression and a lock-out feature. All of this functionality is wrapped up in a solid chassis with 32mm stanchions made from 4130 Chromoly steel. This gives a very stout fork, at an economical price point, just what we all like.
RockShox Tora 318 Ride Quality
So far we know it’s a feature-laden fork that sounds good, but how does it ride? Honestly, if we didn’t know how inexpensive this fork was, we would have thought it was much pricier. It looks solid and rides nice. The RockShox Tora doesn’t feel unstable in the technical and maintains its composure when you are hard on the brakes. The suspension handles the bumps great and soaks them up nicely for a fork in this travel class. For us, we say it’s a great bang for the buck no question at all.
As for the cons of the RockShox Tora, there aren’t many that we could find. It’s a touch on the heavy side compared to some of the featherweight forks available but they are not in this price range either. Our Tora weighed in at a whisker under 5lbs certainly not portly and definitely comparable to forks in this price range. I’d compare the RockShox Tora 318 to Marzocchi’s MX Comp Air, which is a bit lighter but only offers a rider 105mm of travel and much less adjustment than the Tora.
RockShox Tora 318 U-Turn Suspension Fork Specs:
Weight 4 lbs. 14 oz.
Travel 85 – 130 millimeters
Steer tube diameter 1-1/8 inches