First Impression: RST M-29

Well, it’s been awhile since we announced that we recieved the M-29 fork from RST for review/test. Now that I have a few rides off road on it, I wanted to give you all a first impression on it.

First of all, it’s important to understand how to operate and adjust a fork these days. What with all the knobs, pressure settings, sag rates, and what not, some suspension forks and shocks require a full on “get aquainted” session or two out on the trails before you can really put the wood to it. Well, happily, the RST M-29 isn’t one of those forks.

The RST has an air spring. You find the chart in the supplied manual, convert your body weight to kilograms, and check what pressures are recommended for you to start at. With your supplied RST “Bag Pipe” shock pump, you adjust the pressure to the setting of choice, grab your bike and hit the trail. Simple? Well, almost that simple. It’s just a bit more involved than that, but not much more.

You also have the lock out feature which also doubles as a compression adjustment. The closer you move the lever to lockout, the stiffer the fork feels. It resists compression more and more as you turn the lever towards the lock symbol on the cap. Does it work? Well, it definitely locks out when it’s supposed to, and it does have blow off protection for spike hits while in lock out that works. The adjustment doesn’t feel all that linear……yet. It probably will get better once the fork is broken in, which RST claims will take 2o hours of use. For now, I’m a happy camper, because I hate brake dive, and I can effectively dial it out with the M-29.

There also is a rebound adjuster which seems to be having a positive affect on the fork as I adjust it. Once again, I’ll reserve final judgement until I feel the fork is broken in. But that’s it, really. There isn’t really anything else to mess with out of the box to get up and riding right away.

The fork tracks really well. One look at the beefy lowers and massive drop outs helps you understand why. Braking performance is quite good as well. Again, the post mounts and drop outs are helping here, but the fork seems pretty stiff fore and aft too, because I can’t discern any brake shudder. I’m running a 185mm front rotor too.

Action on the smaller bumps is not as buttery smooth as a Reba, but better than the Fox F-29 that I rode at the Ballyhoo. I suppose this might change with break in as well. Big hits are swallowed up with out any real problem. I hear a slight hiss on sharper hits, but that’s not uncommon. (The Fox F-29 did that even more than this M-29 does) I am running a lower pressure than I would with a Reba, but I am feeling the M-29 to be a slight bit stiffer. Again, time may mellow that out, but an even slightly lower air spring pressure is going to be tried just to verify my initial feelings on that.

All in all, the RST M-29 is making a really good initial impression from a suspension stand point, but there is more to it than that.

Remember this fork has a slightly longer offset than a Reba? (43mm vs. 38mm) Well, the Dos Niner I put the RST on was always a tiny bit on the stable side with the Reba. With the RST, I can tell it turns in just a touch quicker. It’s a very subtle change, but I am looking forwards to getting into more varied terrain and different trail situations to check this out further.

Finally, there are some details I am going to check on and when I get those sorted out, and have a few more rides under my belt, I’ll be back with another update.

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No Responses to “First Impression: RST M-29”

  1. Oliver Says:

    Do you know what retail will be on this fork?

  2. GreenLightGo Says:

    Retail is $329, add $30 if you want the remote lockout lever for your handlebars. It comes in 100mm which is nice and will compliment my Astrix Rook frame (I have a white one on the way).

    It seems very similiar to a RS Tora 318 solo air. Set air pressure so you hit your desired sag %, adjust rebound to your liking, tweak lockout if you want and ride. No +/- air settings, etc.

  3. GreenLightGo Says:

    Should clarify, it comes in 80 and 100mm travel. You can order from rstmtbstore.com.

  4. Guitar Ted Says:

    GreenLightGo: Thanks for that info! šŸ™‚

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