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Old 02-22-03, 11:53 AM   #1
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Fork stiffness

Hi all.

I had a terrific 40km ride today in Wales. Everything was completely dry for a change and that happily reminded me of my country (Greece). However i noticed a loooot of flex on my forks while pedaling hard off the saddle. Is there any way to reduce or to eliminate this problem? I got manitou axel fork.medium springs. Specialized disc hub in the front. Should i get the stiff springs for my fork? Change the hub to deoreXT? Change the fork to Manitou Black series? By the way. after a rather long and steep downhill my brakes almost bed in finally and i can experience true power from my Xt discs.

PS. For fork suggestions i would like to stick to manitou. Also i am 200lbs and ride a rockhopper 2003 through aggresive XC and trail riding.

thanks.
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Old 02-22-03, 12:08 PM   #2
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if you want a stiffer front end it's definately the fork's fault, especially with disc brakes the thing is gonna sqiurm if it's a lower end fork.

How much money you looking to spend b/c that'll be the biggest factor by far when looking for a fork
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Old 02-22-03, 12:23 PM   #3
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Well since the axel is a brand new fork on the bike i would like to see if i can solve the problem by putting stiffer coils in the fork. I was looking on getting the Manitou Black Comp in the long run with around 400$.
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Old 02-22-03, 01:01 PM   #4
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stiffer coils will only effect the ride quality. The lateral stiffness is all about the lowers
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Old 02-22-03, 01:27 PM   #5
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Hold on. Are you talking about tortional stiffness or stiffness when you push down on the fork. If the problem is bob when you pedal then stiffer springs and maxing out the preload will help a lot. If it is squirilly (sp) when you pedal or seems loose laterally when going through a rock garden then you are out of luck. The only way to stiffen that up is to buy a qr20 fork. The 20mm front end puts a LOT of stiffness into your ride.

As for Manitou...I only ride marz so I really can't help you with suggestions...
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Old 02-22-03, 01:43 PM   #6
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Yes i notice a loot of boob when pedaling hard...and when i am out of the saddle i can see the wheel flexing sideways...which is caused partially from the bob. I guess with stiffer springs i ll reduce bob and the flex caused by it. Also half of my travel becomes shag when i just sit on the bike....damn...pretty soft stock springs.
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Old 02-22-03, 01:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Maelstrom
The only way to stiffen that up is to buy a qr20 fork. The 20mm front end puts a LOT of stiffness into your ride.
:confused:

Or he could save money and buy a fork with thicker stanchions.

Manitou Black is an awesome fork and can be had cheap on closeout. It has 30mm stanchions and is MUCH burlier than the Axel.
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Old 02-22-03, 02:12 PM   #8
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Originally posted by schnell
:confused:

Or he could save money and buy a fork with thicker stanchions.

Manitou Black is an awesome fork and can be had cheap on closeout. It has 30mm stanchions and is MUCH burlier than the Axel.
See shows you I don't use manitou...I thought 30mm was a standard stanchion size for a fork. I can't believe there is smaller I would be terrified to take it out on the road let alone trail ride.

Math - 200pnds you will ALWAYS need the heavy spring. Stock springs or mediums springs are sprung for lightweights in the 150 to 170 pound class. It will help the bob but in theory shouldn't help fix the lateral stiffness. Getting a fork with 30mm stanchions (haha less than that jeez sorry) will help a lot. At your weight you may even want to go with thicker stanchions OR a 20mm front hub. That will stiffen it up signifigantly. Keep in mind at 200 pounds you are considered a clydesdale rider and may need both to increase the stiffness enough to make you happy.

To fix the sag is there a preload adjust? Turn that all the way down should preload the springs enough to hopefully reduce sag. If you have already done this than the heaviers springs will help.
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Old 02-22-03, 02:14 PM   #9
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What is a clydesdale? Anyway the preload is at the stiffest setting . So i will get the stiffer springs. In the long run i am planning to get a Black Comp.
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Old 02-22-03, 03:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by math2p14
Yes i notice a loot of boob...
hehe...me too!

he said boob!

boooobies!
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Old 02-24-03, 01:11 AM   #11
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hehe...me too!

he said boob!

boooobies!
Which one are you Beavis or Butthead?
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Old 02-24-03, 08:15 AM   #12
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Clydesdales are big heavy draft horses. I know you're 'across the pond', but they are the horses used in Budweiser Commercials. Big and beautiful!

Anyways, the term came to be used for the heavyweight class of cyclists (and other sports). For most mtn bike events, the starting weight for Clydesdale Class is 200 lbs +.

There are also some (few) races that will include a RHINO class which is 250 lbs +.

L8R
(Clydesdale Class, hopefully never qualify for RHINO)
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Old 02-24-03, 08:22 AM   #13
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Oh yeah, back to the topic at hand. A set of stiffer springs will help a significant amount. Figure about $40 to $50 for the set. Installation is very easy, consists of removing the top caps, pulling out the old springs and installing the new ones. It'll definately improve the handling of your bike.

If you've got cash to burn, then upgrading the fork will also be significant. However, remember, you'll have to upgrade the springs in the new fork as well.

A 20mm thru axle hub will make the front end solid, but it'll also add a lot of weight. I'm a clydesdale (as mentioned), so I don't give a rat's as$ about weight, and I use a RS Psylo with Tullio and a Profile Racing 20mm front hub. This set-up probably weights close to 7 lbs for the fork and front wheel alone! (I'm guessing, the fork is probably 5 lbs and the wheel another 2 lbs)
with rotor, tube and tire!

Here's a pic of my front hub:
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Old 02-24-03, 08:53 AM   #14
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Thanks man for the info. I am probably gonna get the stiffer spring anytime soon. Being heavy due to overbuilt construction (6 years semi pro swimming team) helps me however to put good power through pedals and to be able to resolve trailside conflicts (with ******** anti-cyclistic walkers) with ease . I was considering the X317 rim as well (currently i run the X139) whats your opinion on that?
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Old 02-24-03, 09:28 AM   #15
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I had a pair of X317's on my XC bike! Very nice light wheelset. I used them only as my "Race Wheels" however. I usually rode while riding for fun and training on a set of D521's and then would swap them out the week before the race!

Held up very well, but I didn't use them all that much!

It is a heck of a lot better than the X139!

L8R
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Old 02-24-03, 09:48 AM   #16
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Being heavy due to overbuilt construction (6 years semi pro swimming team) helps me however to put good power through pedals and to be able to resolve trailside conflicts (with ******** anti-cyclistic walkers) with ease .
I'm not sure if I should be offended as a trail access advocate or as an employee of the board of mental *********** and developmental disabilities. Since both mountainbiking and people skills are more about finesse and technique, I'd discount your burly strength as anything positive in either situation.

As for my on-topic comment, also look in to an aftermarket brake arch for the fork to supliment the existing one built in to your fork. I use an old one from a set of magura hydro rim brakes and it works well for me.
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Old 02-24-03, 10:41 AM   #17
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Where would one find these stiffer springs? I have the same bike ('03 Rockhopper) and forks as the thread starter. Plus I guess I would be in the RHINO class. I can bottom the Manitou Axles just by standing up on the pedals and bouncing on the handle bars.

Thanks.

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Old 02-24-03, 11:20 AM   #18
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I didn't know there was a rhino class. I am in that range or around it. I fluctuate between 245 and 260 all the time
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Old 02-24-03, 11:29 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Maelstrom
I didn't know there was a rhino class. I am in that range or around it. I fluctuate between 245 and 260 all the time
I just read that some where else in this tread.
a2psyklnut wrote "Anyways, the term came to be used for the heavyweight class of cyclists (and other sports). For most mtn bike events, the starting weight for Clydesdale Class is 200 lbs +.

There are also some (few) races that will include a RHINO class which is 250 lbs +."

Hopefully I'll be down to a Clydesdale this summer

Eric
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Old 02-24-03, 11:51 AM   #20
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Cheezer...

Sorry I was actually responding to his post haha ..yeah I did read that in this thread...
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Old 02-24-03, 12:10 PM   #21
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Stumpjumper....i dont use force against people...unless there is a life threat. Anyway in the UK there are a lot of strange people thinking that they own the mountain and than mountain bikes are evil machines. As for the stiffer forks on the Axel fork they are obtainable by the Manitou distributor (which means also the local dealer) . Ask your closest dealer and he ll know. At least in the uk this is the story.

By the way i feel i am a bit cramped on my cockpit. I got a 90mm stem (19"frame) and i am 186cm tall. Should i get a 110mm or 100mm stem? (raceface deus) plus i need a nice light (anti numbness) saddle. Is the WTB Laser V stealth a good choice or the Flite TransAM?
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Old 02-24-03, 03:48 PM   #22
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Fine tuning your bike is a lot of trial and error, I would try a longer stem, but see if your LBS or a buddy has one in a different length than your 90mm, try it before you buy it. Although a Diablos may be stiffer than another type stem, your bike should handle the same using a 100 or 110 mm length and say 5 degree rise regardless.

As far as saddles, that also a very personal thing. I've got a Selle San Marco era on my road bike that I love. I also have a WTB Speed V on my mtn bike which is o.k., nothing great! I did however, put my San Marco on my mtn bike and hated it! Same saddle different bike, different feel! Go figure!

I've got the WTB Speed V, and I'll keep it till it breaks and then who knows?

L8R
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Old 02-24-03, 05:37 PM   #23
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those brake boosters (the arch shaped things made of carbon) might help stiffen up the fork from side to side, it seems to me that it would be like another brake arch.
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Old 02-24-03, 05:38 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cheezer
Where would one find these stiffer springs? I have the same bike ('03 Rockhopper) and forks as the thread starter. Plus I guess I would be in the RHINO class. I can bottom the Manitou Axles just by standing up on the pedals and bouncing on the handle bars.

Thanks.

Cheezer
I'm in the higher end Clydesdale low-end Rhino class. This is why I IMMEDIATELY swapped out (as in it NEVER left the shop with the old stuff) the Manitou on my Rockhopper for a Rock Shox Duke XC, ditched the rims for a set of Rhynolites built with 14 ga. straight spokes to XT disc hubs. I also slapped on a set of Avid Mechanical disc brakes as that was one of the upgrades I HAD to have. FWIW I'm extremely happy with my rig aside from a factory defective seal on the Fox Float R shock which the LBS fixed under warranty
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Old 02-25-03, 09:36 AM   #25
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Sounds like you got a nice bike. I upgraded my shifter/brake levers to XT and my derailuers to XTR and changed to a 9 speed cog but didn't give much thought to the shock. I've never ridden a suspension bike so didn't really know what to look for. I am a bit concerned about the wheels but I'll just deal with that after my fat a$$ bends a wheel or two
Do you think that the Manitou Axle is worth upgrading the springs in or should I just bite the bullet and upgrade the whole shock?

Thanks!

Eric
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