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Old 08-14-07, 03:10 AM   #1
BenLi
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bigger fork on XC bike

so what I have is a Hardrock SD. I would like to get into some more aggresive stuff that the RST (100mm) just can't handle. I've been looking at some 120-140mm forks like the Fox 32 Vanilla and Talas. I'm aware that it is advised against, but will the longer fork really be so much harsher for the frame? I mean, the Hardrock has a burlier frame than most bikes in the price range...
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Old 08-14-07, 06:21 AM   #2
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You need to find out the largest size fork that the frame can handle. You can't go throwing 6 inch forks on a frame that was designed to use a 4 inch fork, unless breaking the headtube off and eating rocks is what your wanting to do???
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Old 08-14-07, 06:44 AM   #3
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You should just get a dirtjumper. They are great forks and will be able to handle pretty much anythign you do to it. It isn't the longer travel that makes a fork able to "handle" big hits etc. It's just having a well built fork that's made for it. I'd go to a 100mm no matter what fork you get though.
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Old 08-14-07, 08:42 AM   #4
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From personal experience.

Going 25mm + or - in fork travel is not going to do too much damage on your frame. Also, its not going to change the geometry to drastically. So, if you get a 120mm fork for the hardrock, you sould be fine.

Also, the axel to crown length is a much more important measurement than just the travel length itself.

One thing a lot of people forget is that its not necessarily the amount of travel you have, its how effective and responsive the travel is..

my guess is that if you go from an entry level RST 100mm to a Fox Talas 100mm.... you will feel the difference. the adjustability, reliability, and mechanism of the talas will make your front end more plush than the RST 100mm ever was. So, you may not necessarily need a 120-140mm fork. But, if you decide to get a 120mm talas. you should be fine. the minor changes that may happen are:

- Higher front end (but that depends on the change in the axel-to-crown length). less efficient on the climb
- Heigher bottom bracket
- about 1 change in head and seat tube angles (you may not even notice any difference

So, my suggestion would be to pay attention to the quality of the fork and all the adjustments and mechanisms....not necessarily the amount of travel.....specially when you are talking about 20mm....

another option is to get a Rock Shox fork with 100-130mm adjustable travel. with motion control and lock out option. this way you will be able to adjust the fork the way you want.

good luck..and ride hard...
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Old 08-14-07, 09:11 AM   #5
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I agree with sherpa. I went from my Manitou Axel Elite FFD which was 100mm to my SID Team which is 80mm and it was like night and day. The SID soaks everything up big or small and it just more sensitive and has way more options. I've learned to better my riding technique to handle the really rough stuff. I think SID Team is excellent for XC, just as any other of the nicer shocks mentioned. The Talas is an excellent performer as well, while keeping your travel. I personally care d about weight then travel ( to a degree ) :-D.

Try a decent fork first before you start changing travel and axle-crown lengths. Not all forks are created equal. If you're trying to soak up huge hits, consider All Mountain style bikes.

-Avinash
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Old 08-14-07, 01:13 PM   #6
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yeah, and I do believe the talas and vanilla are adjustable to around 120mm as well.
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Old 08-14-07, 01:35 PM   #7
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also, if I contact Specialized and ask them, what would they say? What about the Warranty? I don't see anything that says I have to keep the same size fork.
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Old 08-14-07, 03:14 PM   #8
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"Time for a new bike. It's not really worth it to upgrade a Hardrock. Those bikes are great for commuting and light trail riding, but not for serious MTBing."
Thats a pretty big statement. What kind of experience do you have to back that up. Why is Hardrock with a decent fork and decent setup not good enough for mountain biking? and what do you mean by serious mountain biking.

Also keep in mind that a great fork won't necessarily make rough terrain easier to ride. really, you are sure that it would not make it even a bit easier. wish I had this kind of conviction.

"It'll just make you a bit faster, assuming your skill level is high enough to take advantage of the better equipment." redundant and nonsensical statement. this statement is applicable to any component/eqipment that you can think of. face it, you can not be a great Mountain biker if you just buy the Ellsworth Oracle...you need to have the skills.
by the way. welcome to the forum.
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Old 08-14-07, 03:20 PM   #9
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also, if I contact Specialized and ask them, what would they say? What about the Warranty? I don't see anything that says I have to keep the same size fork.

why do you care what specialized will say? I am pretty sure that if you put a 120mm fork the warrenty will be void. the leagal argument is that the frame is designed for a 100mm fork. I have seen people do crazy things with their Hardrocks...even with Marzocchi AM fork (150mm)...never seen one brake. and, you will probably be bored with the frame before it brakes (guessing 2-3 years)...so, dont worry too much about the warranty.
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Old 08-14-07, 03:23 PM   #10
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Since you're comparing to an RST, you might want to try test-riding some bikes with similar-travel forks that are a bit higher-end (either at a bike shop, or by borrowing a friend's bike for a ride). You may find that a Reba at 115mm or something similar gives you everything you need.

FWIW, I put a 2004 Talas (90-130mm) on my Klein Attitude, which sounds and looks a bit ridiculous. But I was hoping to get a much shallower head angle as well as more travel (that and I picked up the fork for about $150). It's OK, and I ride it regularly, but in retrospect I would have been better off with a Reba or a Fox F100 or something... hill climbing has become a bit more challenging with the high front-end, as well as navigating very twisty low-speed singletrack.

Just my two cents.
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Old 08-14-07, 06:06 PM   #11
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Time for a new bike. It's not really worth it to upgrade a Hardrock. Those bikes are great for commuting and light trail riding, but not for serious MTBing.
I also seriously doubt this statement. I've been people who upgrade their Hardrocks to be decent XC machines (though admittedly heavier than others because of the beefy geometry and tubing). I've also seen people turn hardrocks into All Mountain or XC trail hardtails. I think the general consensus is that the Hardrock is a good frame to spend money on
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Old 08-14-07, 06:34 PM   #12
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Time for a new bike. It's not really worth it to upgrade a Hardrock. Those bikes are great for commuting and light trail riding, but not for serious MTBing.
.
If you are going to post here you should stay off the crack. The thing I hate about the hardrock is it's just not versitale at all. I mean you buy one for your kid and he can't race XC,DH,trail ride and do a litte free riding as well. Those things are crap, you fer sure can't throw a nice fork on one and have it on the trails 4 or 5 times a week. Good post Zumba, keep up the good advice.

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Old 08-14-07, 06:43 PM   #13
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mtnbiker66, seeing as you own one, I'll ask you. (oh, nice rant btw). How has your hardrock held up under the bigger fork? And have you used it in the disciplines you listed above? How did it perform?
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Old 08-14-07, 06:44 PM   #14
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You should just get a dirtjumper. They are great forks and will be able to handle pretty much anythign you do to it. It isn't the longer travel that makes a fork able to "handle" big hits etc. It's just having a well built fork that's made for it. I'd go to a 100mm no matter what fork you get though.
+1 for dirt jumper
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Old 08-14-07, 06:48 PM   #15
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mtnbiker66, seeing as you own one, I'll ask you. (oh, nice rant btw). How has your hardrock held up under the bigger fork? And have you used it in the disciplines you listed above? How did it perform?
Mine has held up fine.My son is in the pics above with his and yes,he did all those on his hardrock with no issues.The DH pic I from Fontana village DH race. The XC pic is when he won the 12 and under SC state champ.The others are from riding in WNC.I put a Fox Vanilla 125 on it.It was a great bike for him to hone his skills on.Hambone40's son is now riding that frame.As for a DJ fork, I would look for something else if you want a good trail fork.
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Old 08-14-07, 06:58 PM   #16
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yeah, I was thinking the Vanilla. I'm a heavier rider so I want to stick to the coils. Plus its on sale!

http://www.fullcycles.com/product_in...roducts_id/790
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Old 08-14-07, 07:01 PM   #17
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I was also looking at Talas:

http://wheelworld.com/itemdetails.cf...gId=39&id=4692
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Old 08-14-07, 07:21 PM   #18
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yeah, I was thinking the Vanilla. I'm a heavier rider so I want to stick to the coils. Plus its on sale!

http://www.fullcycles.com/product_in...roducts_id/790
I haven't had very good luck with the one I have. After many rebuilds and a trip back to fox. A set of blue enduro seals have finally fixed the leaking problems.
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Old 08-16-07, 01:50 AM   #19
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however, to a student who does not wish to dish out a huge amount of money at any one time, building it up and (attemping) selling his components seems the most desirable way.
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Old 08-16-07, 02:57 AM   #20
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The component spec of a Hardrock isn't exactly desireable. Acera derailleurs, budget shifters and brakes, heavy wheels, mediocre tires, etc. What happens when the OP wants to upgrade those? Would you advise that he spend a couple hundred more to upgrade all those components?

If he eventually buys a new bike anyway, he'll be a few hundred bucks behind from upgrading the fork. If he decides to keep the Hardrock and slowly add new parts to it, he'll be spending a lot of money. Custom building a bike is always the most expensive way to do it.

IMO, if the OP is serious about MTBing, it makes economic sense to sell the Hardrock now and shop around for an 05/06 bike on clearance, equipped with a good fork, good brakes, LX or better components, etc. There are wicked deals to be had and the net cost after selling the Hardrock may be just $200 or so more than the cost of upgrading the fork.
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You can't be serious?
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Old 08-16-07, 03:01 AM   #21
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however, to a student who does not wish to dish out a huge amount of money at any one time, building it up and (attemping) selling his components seems the most desirable way.
Your bikes fine!

On a note with the fork, you would be surprised how much better a decent 100mm fork performs in comparison to your current RST. More travel doesn't always = better. If you had the chance, try and test ride some RockShox Tora, or Reba forks that are already on bikes to get an idea .
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Old 08-16-07, 04:04 AM   #22
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As for mtnbiker66, your son weighs 80 lbs. BenLi considers himself to be a heavier rider. Just because it has held up for your son doesn't mean it'll hold up for a guy weighing more than twice as much.

Oh well, to each his own. Not my money, and not my bike.
What was I thinking???? Thanks for helping me out there.
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Old 08-16-07, 10:14 AM   #23
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Does anyone on this forum have the ability to disagree without acting sarcastic and arrogant?
Yes, plenty of people just act stupid instead.
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Old 08-16-07, 10:22 AM   #24
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Old 08-16-07, 10:43 AM   #25
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Does anyone on this forum have the ability to disagree without acting sarcastic and arrogant?
you are right. I will try not to be sarcastic.

The OP's bike cost around $450-500 new I believe? If it's still in decent condition, he should be able to sell it for $300 minimum.

He's looking at $400 forks, and unless he trusts himself enough to cut the steertube himself and do the install on a brand new $400 fork, he's looking at an additional $50 to get the fork installed by the LBS. At least that's what they charged to install my forks back in the late 90s.

With the total now running at $750, I just don't think it's worth it. He can get a much nicer bike with a great fork for under $1000.

Maybe you guys missed the part in my above post where I said "IMO". It's just an opinion. If you disagree, state why.

Ben, I'm not telling you to shell out a ton of money. You're already prepared to spend $450, so I'm recommending that you up that budget to $650, which will not only improve the front suspension but every other part as well.
there are certain missing link in your thought process. like:

how is the total running at $750. He already has the hardrock, complete bike. Now, he is looking to get a decent fork. and He may get a good deal on a decent fork and may end up spending lot less than your assumed $400.

"At least that's what they charged to install my forks back in the late 90s."
now, if I were sarcastic, I would say - nothing has changed between the 90s and now. but, I would just say that things have changed and not all the bike shops charge the same amount of money for a certain service. Also, changing a fork (including cutting the steer tube) is not a difficult job. I have seen fairly inexperienced people do it pretty easily.


"Maybe you guys missed the part in my above post where I said "IMO". It's just an opinion."
when you express your opinion on a public forum, you can not really control how public respond to it. so, please try to be mature about it. Also, you have expressed your opinion in response to someone asking for suggestions. So, people have every right to point out the flaws in your suggestions.

Buying a complete bike may be cheaper than putting it together part by part. But, you can choose the pace of spending the money when you custom build. Also, you are able to pick the parts that you want.

Few months ago, I built a Haro V5. it cost me a about the same as a new Haro V5 2006 model. But, I got the specific components that I wanted....like XT hubs, Mavic rims, BB7 brakes, lock on grips, SRAM shifters (as opposed to Shimano), FSA cockpit etc.

And, the best thing is I got to gather around the parts over a 9 month period, about $40 from each pay check (bi-weekely). Now, I am not disciplined enough to save up for 9 months and buy a new bike. there would be other priorities in my life. but, as I was spending it a little by little, it did not become a financial or decision making issue.

Also, seeing the bike come together a little by little is a lot of fun. I did most of the work myself. and it was pretty rewarding. Now, when ever something goes wrong with the bike I exactly know what to do. and I am quicker to find out what when wrong.

Last and final point. If a bike/frame fits you well its really amazing. You can not judge it by its retail price. Specially if its a decent quality frame. there was feature on Specialized Hardrock in a recent issue of Mountain Bike Action, and I think they pointed out how good of a value this bike is. Hardrock and Rockhopper essentially has the same frame (with minor differences). they use different component set. Now, the most expensive rockhopper sales for about $1100.....So, my point is, that the frame has a lot of upgrading potentials.

Point me to a widely available bike with your specification: cost about $650 and has "equipped with a good fork, good brakes, LX or better components".

I tried not to be sarcastic...but I dont know if I qualified for gastros category "stupid"

well...we'll see.
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