hi guys. i had been saving up for a Reba U turn for my bike, the lbs is selling 2007 u turn models for $460 (they are all out of 2006 models, so no discount for me). Though today I went to the shop and saw the RS Recon 351 (u turn model) and they are selling those for 225 dollars. this one has a little more travel than what my bike is designed around but i am thinking i could just simply keep the travel between 85 and 100 mm.

the recon 351 u turn is a coil shock, with external rebound and compression settings but floodgate is set internally and cannot be adjusted. most of my knowledge about suspension forks is what i have read and researched on the mtbr forum. i live in thailand and the lbs does not speak english at all so it is very difficult to ask them to explain technical know-how to me. also, i dont have anybody here i ride with so it is tough to get information offline. i basically (i think) have a second hand theoretical understanding of rebound and compression and floodgate, but no real time knowledge and i was hoping some of you folk could help me out here.

the way i am seeing it is, the recon coil vs reba air robs me a bit of the adjustability of an air spring. which means, besides other things, that with the recon i might have to take the headache of swapping out the stock coil if it seems under or over sprung for my weight? also, with the internally set floodgate on the recon i cannot mess around with compression settings by coupling it with different floodgate adjustments like i could have on the reba. do i have that right?

though, considering i am a total noob about stuff like this, and that i am coming off a manitou axel, i doubt such tech speak really applies to me? what i mean is the only fork i have really ridden is the axel which honestly i keep at locked out all the time. so, the way i figure it is any of these two forks would make a world of difference to me regardless of any particular technical abilities because, well i really dont have a first hand experience to compare ride qualities with except the axel....yes? and man, while i would love the reba, the recon is cheap!

anyway, i was wondering if you guys could give me any feedback on the Recon fork, if any of you have ridden it. also, i weigh between 175-180 pounds and was wondering if the default coil spring in the Recon is for me or will i have to get a harder/softer one? im thinking to save some money and go with the recon even though i would prefer to have the reba. what do you think?

ps, btw, if i have said anything stupid in this post kindly attribute it to my carefully crafted idiocy and not my wayward genes.