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Old 08-21-08, 09:32 AM   #1
pagliaci
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Rockshox Dart 1, 2 or 3? Deore worth it?

What are the significant differences? I'm a road guy looking at a few bikes from Bikes Direct (save the flames please) and I don't know much about these forks. I will be riding fairly gentle trails and not lots of high speed downhill.

Also, is the upgrade to Deore a big deal from Altus and Alivio?
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Old 08-21-08, 09:44 AM   #2
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Off the top of my head, the Dart1 has no adjustment for rebound. Dart 2= adjustable rebound and preload, but half a pound heavier than the Dart3. As a rodie you could compare the difference in groups to Tiagra VS 105.
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Old 08-21-08, 09:45 AM   #3
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Not much of a difference between the three forks. With the Dart 2 you get rebound and the option of lockout, and it's a bit lighter than the Dart 1. The Dart 3 is even lighter and has 29er compatible versions. You can see detailed specs here.
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Old 08-21-08, 12:49 PM   #4
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we are not roadies here. bikes direct is a perfectly valid option for a bike on the cheap to see if you like the sport.
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Old 08-21-08, 01:53 PM   #5
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one main thing i know on those forks is they have replacement springs for you to adjust the weight limits for it ... other then that haven't a clue ...
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Old 08-21-08, 02:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by pagliaci View Post
What are the significant differences? I'm a road guy looking at a few bikes from Bikes Direct (save the flames please) and I don't know much about these forks. I will be riding fairly gentle trails and not lots of high speed downhill.

Also, is the upgrade to Deore a big deal from Altus and Alivio?

Deore? IMHO, yes.
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Old 08-21-08, 06:14 PM   #7
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I know nothing of the cheap forks, but Deore is a nice step up from anything starting with an "A"
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Old 08-21-08, 08:40 PM   #8
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any and all Darts sux..go for the Tora at least.....you will hate the performance of the dart after a ride or two
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Old 08-22-08, 12:41 AM   #9
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any and all Darts sux..go for the Tora at least.....you will hate the performance of the dart after a ride or two
My bike has a Dart 2. As a beginner mountain biker I don't have any basis for comparison, but for the light XC trails and road riding I do it certainly seems to get the job done. If you're just getting into mountain biking (as suggested by the OP) it seems like a decent fork to start with that can be upgraded as experience and interest grow. It may be that it "sux" because it's an entry-level fork, but it's a cheap way to get started and see if you like the sport.
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Old 08-22-08, 06:32 AM   #10
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any and all Darts sux..go for the Tora at least.....you will hate the performance of the dart after a ride or two
Disagree. Dart is OK. Go Dart 3 if you can. Go Tora or Reba if you plan to do more aggressive riding and you can afford them.

Absolutely go Deore if you can. Go better if you can afford it. D-Rails get SO much better without spending much $$$

SRAM Rockshox Dart comparison page is here...................

http://sram.com/en/rockshox/crosscountry/dart/
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Old 08-22-08, 09:31 AM   #11
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I had a friend with a Dart 3. He really liked it and it held up well. Good adjustability but try to get a Tora or something better if you can because it will be stronger and last longer and take more of a beating if you ever decide to start riding harder.

Alivo/Altus suck. They are from low end bikes that arn't really meant to be ridden on any kind of off road riding. My friend had one and it basically exploded. Threw the chain into the wheel, wrecked the spokes, and locked up the rear wheel and almost caused him to crash. They are bad news.
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Old 08-22-08, 04:40 PM   #12
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I agree with most of the above statements, especially that Shimano's lower MTB groups suck. Deore is def where it starts to get good. Even as a beginning rider, I would splurge and get a bike equiped with a RockShox Tora rather than the Dart 3. The Dart won't hold you back as a rider, but like most cheap forks, its basically a big spring and is heavy as hell and pretty worthless in the adjustment department. For a couple hundred bucks more you can get something that is definately raceworthy.
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