SRAM Rudy Ultimate XPLR fork

An extra 30mm of travel for your gravel bike - but at what cost?

(Image credit: Future)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

There is no denying that the Rockshox XPLR Rudy Fork made a very long, very hard gravel ride significantly less arduous and more enjoyable, and it certainly boosts control over techy sections. The weight penalty is not significant when considered alongside the extra capability on offer. However, compared to simpler solutions such as suspension stems, the price (and maintenance) hike is a major leap for not a huge boost in travel. Granted, a suspension fork will provide plushness without the control pitfalls of the cheaper option. The Rudy's worth comes down to the riding you're doing, and how much you're prepared to pay. I did encounter toe overlap using this fork - something riders on smaller frames should be aware of.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Does significantly boost compliance

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Toe overlap on smaller bikes

  • -

    Not much more travel than cheaper/lighter alternatives

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Rockshox has entered gravel. With the ‘groad’ loving demographic looking to ganelier terrain each year, it was always going to happen - an air-sprung suspension fork is an obvious progression from the elastomer dampers we’ve been seeing crop up on some of the best gravel bikes. But does a suspension fork on a gravel bike step dangerously close to the ‘why not buy a hardtail’ line? Possibly, it depends upon your terrain of choice.

Rockshox, owned by SRAM, unveiled this fork alongside a cross-brand XPLR 'ecosystem', comprising of the Rudy, a dropper post, SRAM XPLR gearing and Zipp XPLR wheels. 

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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan the Editor of Cycling Weekly website. An NCTJ qualified traditional journalist by trade, Michelle began her career working for local newspapers. She's worked within the cycling industry since 2012, and joined the Cycling Weekly team in 2017, having previously been Editor at Total Women's Cycling. Prior to welcoming her daughter in 2022, Michelle raced on the road, track, and in time trials, and still rides as much as she can - albeit a fair proportion indoors, for now.