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Old 08-22-05, 09:39 AM   #1
sarsparilla
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Will I really miss 20mm?

I'm currently in the market for a new fork. After testing a few out on friend's bikes I've decided that I want to go with a fox rlt. My question though is if I should get the 100mm or the 80mm travel version. I race xc competitively at the sport level and hope to move up to the expert level next year or the year after so weight is a concern, but not so much that I'd be willing to sacrafice quality (which is why I'm not going with a sid).This will be going on my trek 8500 which is an xc only bike.I live in New England so almost all of the trails are covered with babyheads and roots. I won't be doing drops really over a foot and all of them are right there on the trail. I won't be going out of my way to hit any.

My question is mainly for those that have rode both 100mm and 80mm forks. What major differences did you notice between the two? Did the extra 20mm make that big a difference for xc riding. I've only been able to test out 100mm versions so I don't know how the difference would feel.

Thanks for any help and if you need more info just ask.
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Old 08-22-05, 10:14 AM   #2
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I've been wondering the same thing myself. I've got a fairly soft fork right now (Manitou Axel Comp). Even on the largest drops I've taken (2'), I've only managed to use about 3" of the 4" available to me. This is in the softest setting. How much travel were you using when you tried out the 100mm forks? You probably don't want to cut it too close, but if you're only using 60mm on the average ride, you'd probably be ok. Closely monotoring your travel usage should be insightful in determining the right fork for your needs. I'd be curious what the experts have to say on this, as I'm just speculating.
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Old 08-22-05, 10:27 AM   #3
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Right now I'm using an '01 psylo race and it's seen it's share of riding and it has not been working the way it used to and a complete rebuild didn't help matters much. But I can't remember a time when I bottomed out my psylo, set at 100mm. I wasn't able to really measure how much travel I was using on the fork I tested but I wasn't coming close to bottoming it out, but it was just a test so I wasn't putting it through too much.
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Old 08-22-05, 10:33 AM   #4
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I noticed a big difference moving up. Likely my riding style but I like longer travel forks. I tend to ride over the front of the bike more than the roadie/xc riders. I still think 4 to 5 inches is ideal for almost anyone but I know xc racers who still use 3 to 4. Its their style. If you haven't bottomed a 100 I bet the only thing you might notice is how much better the climbing is due to the steeper HA.
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Old 08-22-05, 02:31 PM   #5
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I'll go with Mael on the 100 for fast XC. I regularly measure the travel that took place over a ride with a zip-tie and, while I've never actually noticed that I've bottomed out, the zip-tie shows it gets pretty close to the maximum travel sometimes. I like having that extra 20 available in case I need it sometime and I like the effect on the HA. I also tend to ride over the front. (My fork is a Fox Vanilla 100, which has been superb.)

Last edited by Juniper; 08-22-05 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 08-22-05, 08:19 PM   #6
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Okay, maybe I'm missing something juniper but I think Mael was actually hinting towards the 80mm, saying that if I haven't bottomed it'd probably be a better choice due to the steeper HA. I might be misreading it though. So far I'm leaning towards the 80mm though. I'm very light also, at a little under 140, and have long legs and arms that can compensate for some of the lack of travel as well (6'1").
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Old 08-22-05, 09:02 PM   #7
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I was. If you don't need 100mm and you aren't using it, then why not steepen the HA for xc riding. Generally, I would think, that would be better
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