@jooo, it is actually a very confusing review which my cynical mind reads as they want to push the fork as good (SRAM pay a fair chunk in PB for advertising at the end of the day) but they couldn't get the balance of plushness and small bump sensitivity with big hit performance they wanted.
First they make reference to it being poor on the small and good on the big hits (by the way, few if any XC racers run 0-10% sag, they tend to run suspension surprisingly active and use the lockout far more than most of us would). This description suggests poor small bump performance but doesn't really make sense for a typical spring curve
At best it sounds like a very, very linear spring rate.
The stock air spring is configured without Bottomless Tokens, because pro XC racers run super-high spring pressure settings. At zero to ten-percent sag, the 100-millimeter RS-1 feels rough over the small stuff, but strangely compliant over the kind of roots and rock gardens that pepper XC courses.
Then they describe it as good small bump sensitivity at lower pressures but blowing through the travel. To me this actually means not truely good small bump performance but just undersprung and very linear spring rate which of course will make the initial stroke feel supple because the whole stroke is supple!
With a typical trail setting of 20 to 30-percent negative travel, however, the 100-millimeter fork rides like an 80-millimeter conventional-type slider, with a more sensitive feel over the little stuff and with almost nothing in reserve for significant rock hits.
Your quote below contradicts my first quote so I'm not sure how this change in opinion on PB came about??? The original quote again for clarity...
Set up for XC-type trail work, its small-bump sensitivity is second to none.
The stock air spring is configured without Bottomless Tokens, because pro XC racers run super-high spring pressure settings. At zero to ten-percent sag, the 100-millimeter RS-1 feels rough over the small stuff
More evidence at having to give up small bump performance for a decent balance:
For the all-mountain style terrain we subjected the RS-1 to in Moab, we had to give up a measure of that small-bump compliance in order to attain the larger-impact performance necessary to maintain pace on the square-edged hits and drops that punctuate the landscape.
Further evidence PB were not satisfied with the small bump performance:
The takeaway from the RS-1 tuning experience was that in stock trim, both the 100 and 120-millimeter forks were best suited for pro XC racer types - riders who prefer minimal negative travel and higher spring pressures, and who are willing to put up with a bit of a beating over chatter in exchange for big-hit protection
... and again....
In stock form, the 120-millimeter RS-1 is undergunned in the plush department to compete with some elite-level trailbike forks in the same travel category, but all the pieces are in place.
They seemed to feel the spring rate needed a more progressive end stroke...
That said, we believe that the addition of one or two Bottomless Tokens would give the 120-millimeter RS-1 the progressive spring rate it needs to soften its initial travel and become a killer XC-trailbike fork.
... but it baffles me why RS would not have some forks set up in this way if the feeling was some of these tokens were needed???? Because XC riders want no initial small bump compliance but some sus in reserve for the bigger hits (refer back to first quote)???? If this is truely the case then my comment about the traditional USD advantages of small bump compliance balanced with other sus characteristics becomes redundant and it exactly what I was talking about when I said the design of the RS1 looks like it misses the mark yet again
Anyway, not entirely positive ride impressions on PB and I have too much time on my hands
Time to ride!